The Untold Truth Of Jared Padalecki

Jared Padalecki first burst onto the pop culture landscape when he was just a teenager, thanks to his role as Dean, hunky boyfriend of Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) on beloved cult hit "Gilmore Girls." From there, Padalecki made a left turn into the horror genre, appearing in such fright flicks as "House of Wax," "Cry Wolf," and "Friday the 13th."

The San Antonio-born actor then went on to cement his horror cred as Sam Winchester in TV's "Supernatural," the 15-season saga about two brothers cursed with being "hunters" who battle all manner of monstrous and spectral entities, ranging from ghosts to demons to Lucifer himself. The show and its decade-and-a-half of success brought Padalecki bona fide TV stardom — not to mention the adulation of one of the most rabid, devoted fanbases in all of television. Following the series finale of "Supernatural" in 2020, Padalecki made another shift to star in The CW's "Walker," a reboot of Chuck Norris' iconic "Walker, Texas Ranger." 

Even though this charismatic actor has been brightening TV screens for more than two decades, fans may not realize how much they don't know about him. To remedy that, read on for a deep dive into the untold truth of Jared Padalecki.

Jared Padalecki dated Gilmore Girls girlfriend Alexis Bledel in real life

As Jared Padalecki's IMDb page indicates, his breakthrough role came when he was cast as Dean Forester on "Gilmore Girls," love interest of star Alexis Bledel's Rory GIlmore. Years after the fact, Padalecki revealed that Dean's romance with Rory wasn't confined to the screen. "It is true!" Padalecki told Glamour when asked if the two were ever an item. He also confirmed they began dating after he was cast, and that he "had never met Alexis before the show."

According to Padalecki, the two hit it off immediately. "When Alexis and I met, we were both 17 years old and were both Texans and kind of in this new, strange city and I was like, 'Hey, want to go out to dinner?'" he said. To the best of his recollection, "I think we dated during season one." 

As Padalecki remembered, they weren't necessarily trying to keep their dating "a secret," there just simply wasn't that much going on. "I wish it was scandalous or something!" he joked. "I think it was more kind of silly. We were two 17-year-old kids who were like, 'Hey, you want to go bowling?' It wasn't anything super juicy."

Supernatural sibling Jensen Ackles is Jared Padalecki's 'brother' in real life too

For 15 seasons, Jared Padalecki co-starred with Jensen Ackles as his onscreen brother in "Supernatural." Given the length of time the two actors portrayed siblings Sam and Dean Winchester, it shouldn't be surprising that they established a fraternal bond that extended beyond the set.

"We have spent probably more time with each other than with any other human on the planet over the past 10 years," said Ackles of Padalecki at the 2014 summer Television Critics Association press tour, via PopSugar. "I've learned a lot from him, and he is a brother, on- and offscreen. We'll forever have a friendship that is a lot different than most because of what we've gone through together."

Padalecki concurred with that assessment of their closeness. "I would be doing it a disservice to try to put into words what I've been through with Jensen," he explained. "We've more than grown up together. We went from single 20-somethings to fathers, husbands, and it's hard to quantify in a few short sentences exactly what all that encompasses." 

Jared Padalecki is the consummate prankster behind the scenes

Jared Padalecki established a well-earned reputation as the resident prankster on the "Supernatural" set. A frequent target of his devious pranks was Misha Collins, who portrayed angel Castiel on the series. Of the many, many practical jokes that Padalecki pulled on Collins, however, one stands head and shoulders above the rest. Or should we say head and fins above the rest?

"He put fish in my car!" Collins told the crowd at a fan convention, asking Padalecki how he managed to gain entry to his vehicle in the first place. "I broke into your trailer, stole the keys," Padalecki said. The "genesis" of the prank, he explained, came when he encountered some leftover (and quite stinky) fish in his trailer, and concocted a cunning plan. "That fish smells," he recalled. "I'm gonna put it in Misha's car."

Collins actually got off easy; as he revealed, the stunt came just a few days before the show was scheduled to break for hiatus, with Collins planning to leave his car parked in Vancouver (where "Supernatural" was shot) over the summer while he returned to his L.A. home. "If the fish had gone undiscovered," Collins said, "it might have totaled the car." Quipped Padalecki: "I was hoping."

A scary accident left Jared Padalecki believing he was dead

During a 2017 fan convention, Jared Padalecki and "Supernatural" co-star Jensen Ackles were asked if they'd ever had "a near-death experience." Padalecki revealed he had, while shooting the movie "Flight of the Phoenix" in Africa in 2003. As Padalecki recalled, he was driving to set "in the sand dunes of Libya" when he "took a corner too fast, on the sand... and did a sort of loop-de-loop and hit soft sand and hard sand and a berm, and did a complete roll."

After escaping the wreckage — which didn't explode, as he'd been taught by movies that it would — he realized he'd miraculously suffered no injuries save a tiny cut on the top of his foot. As he looked for his phone to let production know he'd be late, he suddenly had a shocking epiphany: "I can't hear. There are no sounds, there are no birds, I can't find my phone — oh my God, I'm dead."

He was sitting on the sand next to the car, "kinda bummed" that he was deceased, when one of the producers drove up and informed him that he was alive. "So long story short...I was not dead," he quipped.

Jared Padalecki was arrested for public intoxication and assault

Jared Padalecki isn't the kind of actor known for clashing with the law and getting arrested, yet he managed to break that streak in 2019 during a night out in Austin, Texas. Video posted by TMZ shows Padalecki outside Austin watering hole Stereotype (which he reportedly co-owned) putting some dude in a headlock. Another portion of the video features the actor, apparently intoxicated, speaking to a police officer and then reaching into his pocket to remove what appears to be a wad of cash "and allegedly flashing it to officers." Padalecki was arrested, booked on "two counts of assault and one count of public intoxication" after reportedly striking a bar staffer in the face. As KVUE reported, an employee told officers that Padalecki was "the antagonist one hundred percent."

Padalecki's "Supernatural" co-star Jensen Ackles addressed the arrest during a convention appearance. "When he showed up on set on Wednesday, I brought him in in handcuffs," Ackles joked. "So we're having fun with it. The crew really wanted to wear orange jumpsuits, but we couldn't get them in time."

Reflecting on his arrest on a 2020 episode of the "Inside of You" podcast, Padalecki called the incident "humbling" and shared that he hadn't "had a drink since."

Unsurprisingly, Jared Padalecki's kids don't like to see him beaten and bloody on TV

Over the course of 15 seasons of "Supernatural," Jared Padalecki's Sam Winchester has gotten himself into a scuffle or two, and hasn't always emerged unscathed. This has occasionally proved to be traumatic to his three young children, whom he shares with wife Genevieve Cortese. 

Interviewed for Cowboys & Indians, Padalecki recalled an uncomfortable phone call he took after shooting a scene that left his character bruised and bloodied, with "a black eye... blood on my lip and blood coming out of my nose." 

"Well, I got a FaceTime call from home while we were shooting in Vancouver, so I just picked it up, thinking it was my wife. But it was one of my kids on the phone. And the first thing they see is Dad looking all beat up," he recounted. "And I had to kind of go, 'Hey buddy, this isn't real.' And they were like, 'Well, I don't want to see you with blood.' So I said, 'Well, I have to wear this blood for a couple more hours. But after you go to bed and I'm done working, I'll do a video of me getting the blood washed off so you know it's fake.' And that's what I did." 

Jared Padalecki had to wait until the end of Supernatural to bring Walker to the air

After 15 consecutive seasons, playing Sam Winchester for 327 episodes of "Supernatural," Jared Padalecki would have been more than within his rights to take some time off and ponder his next move. He did not do that, but only because he'd actually been prepping that next move for quite awhile. 

That project was "Walker," a loose remake of the Chuck Norris action series "Walker, Texas Ranger" that premiered mere months after "Supernatural" concluded its run; Padalecki had the idea to revive the series for years, but wasn't able to act on until "Supernatural" had run its course and his schedule was freed up for a new show. "The original [series] was this lawman who abides by his own rules, and he would just do head-spinning kicks on people, and obviously we can't do that now; that would be laughably bad," Padalecki told Variety of updating the concept. "This is not a show about a martial artist kicking minorities in the face... this version is less about what goes through somebody's fists and feet, and more about what goes through somebody's head and heart."

The series premiered on The CW in January 2021 and was promptly picked up for a second season.

How a Supernatural spinoff put Jared Padalecki at odds with Jensen Ackles

It wasn't long after the series finale of "Supernatural" that Deadline reported star Jensen Ackles and wife Danneel Harris were shopping around a new spinoff they were hoping to produce. Titled "The Winchesters," the prequel series would focus on John and Mary Winchester, parents of Sam and Dean.

While fans were excited about the potential spinoff, the project also came as a complete surprise to Ackles' co-star Jared Padalecki. In fact, Padalecki responded via Twitter, addressing Ackles. "Dude. Happy for you. Wish I heard about this some way other than Twitter. I'm excited to watch but sad that Sam Winchester had no involvement whatsoever." When a fan replied by insisting Padalecki's tweet "has GOTTA be a bad joke," he responded, "No. It's not. This is the first I've heard about it. I'm gutted."

However, the two quickly hashed things out. "@JensenAckles and I had a great talk, as we do often, and things are good," Padalecki tweeted, adding, "Once brothers, always brothers." Ackles replied, confirming the hatchet to be buried. "I know you're busy... as am I, but you're still my brother," he tweeted. "I miss you, pal."

Jared Padalecki is obsessed with watches

In a 2021 interview with Cowboys & Indians, Jared Padalecki was asked about his "obsession" with watches, and admitted that word was "putting it mildly. Is there a more intense word than obsession?"

As Padalecki explained, he is indeed "fascinated by watches and timekeeping, and the mechanical, magical aspects of the idea of somebody sitting down and creating something that can be wound and keep time. And I love them for what that means. Some of the best gifts that I've ever received have been watches. And when I try to find a good gift for somebody for something, for some type of event in their life, I try to make it a watch. But, yes, I am head over heels obsessed with horology."

Padalecki continued to extoll the virtues of timepieces. "It just feels like I can hold a piece of history on my wrist," he gushed. "And it's almost like a little charm or something that kind of resets you. You can look down and you have that moment just to yourself... And hopefully appreciate to some degree the level of technical mastery that was required to put that little thing together."

Jared Padalecki's Bill Cosby joke went over like a lead balloon

Jared Padalecki and "Supernatural" co-star Jensen Ackles were onstage at a 2017 New Orleans fan convention when they were asked a somewhat innocuous question about their go-to pick up lines. As Babe reported, the pair answered the question with a joke about comedian and formerly convicted sex offender Bill Cosby.

In video of the appearance, Padalecki shares his response off-mic to Ackles, who responds, "Nope." However, fans cheer insistently, even as Padalecki tells him that his "pick up lines ... are all really offensive." Finally, he relents, quipping, "Excuse me, does the rag smell like chloroform to you?" Adds Ackles: "No, Mr. Cosby." As the crowd groans, Ackles asks, "Too soon?"

According to a subsequent report by Refinery29, there were many fans who found the joke to be offensive. While others tried to make excuses for the comment, one fan summed up the general consensus by explaining it's possible to remain fans of the men while calling out their inappropriate comment. "STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR J2'S PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR JUST BECAUSE U LIKE THEM," reads the tweet. "U CAN LIKE SOMEONE AND STILL ADMIT WHEN THEY'RE BEIN A HEADA**."

In the wake of the controversy, Padalecki's rep told TheWrap that the actor "condemns any form of sexual harassment or assault" and maintains the subject "should not to be taken lightly under any circumstances."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

When exhaustion hit, Jared Padalecki took a brief break

In 2015, Jared Padalecki left fans disappointed and alarmed when he abruptly cut some scheduled appearances at conventions in Europe. Apparently, the demands of "Supernatural" and appearing at conventions had simply taken their toll, leaving Padalecki in dire demand of some R&R.

Padalecki shared the news on Twitter. "I am in desperate and urgent need of my family," he wrote. "I am so sorry to tell you this but I must head home." Onscreen sibling Jensen Ackles responded, "get some rest, my brother. I got ur back...Always." And their fellow "Supernatural" co-star Mark Pellegrino also offered his support, writing, "I don't know what's wrong, but you hang in there. This whole SPN FAM loves you like crazy. That includes me of course."

The actor's manager issued a statement, via Us Weekly, to explain the cancellations. "Jared wanted everyone to know he loves meeting his fans around the world and was very upset at having to cancel his trips to Rome and Australia," the statement read. "Jared has pushed himself to his limits and is suffering from exhaustion... At this time he needs to be home with his family."

Walker gave Jared Padaelcki a chance to reunite on TV

Jared Padalecki met actor Genevieve Cortese in 2008 when she was cast as Ruby in "Supernatural," taking over the recurring role — a vengeful demon — from actor Katie Cassidy. They wed in 2010, noted an Us Weekly timeline of their relationship. 

After working together on "Supernatural," the Padaleckis once again teamed up onscreen for the actor's followup series, "Walker." This time out, Padalecki's wife didn't play a demon, but the deceased wife of his character, Texas Ranger Cordell Walker (appearing via flashbacks, obviously).

Speaking with ET, she described her role in the show as being akin to "a vacation," given that "Walker" films in Austin, Texas, where the couple own a home. "It's really, really nice being back," she said of reuniting with her husband onscreen. "We met working together and it's how we fell in love, was working together," she shared. "I honestly feel like we are at our best when we are working together, which I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing!" Added her husband, "She put her work aside for many years, as women so often do and they make that ultimate sacrifice... So it's awesome for me to see her [on set]."

When it comes to home decor, 'casual is the biggest thing' for Jared Padalecki

While "Supernatural" was filmed in Vancouver, Jared Padalecki and his family actually lived thousands of miles from the Canadian city, with their primary residence in Austin, Texas. In 2021, Padalecki and wife Genevieve Cortese showcased their home in Architectural Digest.

According to AD's profile, the couple purchased the home in 2012, and spent the ensuing years transforming the property into "their ideal modern farmhouse" by undertaking a "full gut renovation" to reinvent the "Texas Tuscan" style. For Padalecki, the key characteristic he wanted his home to exude was a casual sense of comfortability. "Nothing is precious in this house," he said in an accompanying video tour of the abode. "It's very livable. And I just, casual is the biggest thing. And we really want everyone who steps into this house to feel like it's their home and they're welcome." 

As "Gilmore Girls" alum's wife noted the renovation process was not an easy one, joking that "if you wanna test your marriage, do a remodel 'cause that was a tough one for us, but we got through it and we brought both of our ideas to the table, which was really fun."

Jared Padalecki's net worth is pretty super

There's no denying that "Supernatural" has been one of television's longest-running and most successful series. As its star for 15 seasons, Jared Padalecki has managed to build up a fortune that Celebrity Net Worth estimated at $13 million, with his "Supernatural" salary reportedly $125,000 per episode. In addition, Padalecki had interest in the now closed Austin bar Stereotype and co-owns Sixth Street watering hole San Jac Saloon. He's also a partner in a nutritional business called MANTRA Labs.

Another income source has been fan conventions — and there have been a lot of them

Conventions can be surprisingly lucrative. As an example, a source told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that "Arrow" star Stephen Amell regularly "walks away with $250,000 a weekend," a sum that reportedly exceeded his TV show salary. Actors on "Supernatural," THR noted, received a guarantee of "anywhere from $35,000 to $250,000 and up, depending on their popularity and the frequency with which they appear." As one of the show's leads, Padalecki is at the top of that scale, while "it's not uncommon for a star to earn anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 on top of their guarantee." Sounds pretty super, naturally.