Whether it’s past, present, future, or some combination thereof, Jared Padalecki’s co-stars are always quick to praise the star. And who can blame them? Not only is Padalecki starring as the title character on The CW’s “Walker,” but he’s executive producing it alongside its spinoff “Walker Independence.” That’s a whole lot of moving parts to lasso for one cowboy. Even more, Padalecki loves working with his former co-stars.
The actor has found “Walker” roles for “Supernatural” alums like Mitch Pileggi, Colin Ford, and even Jensen Ackles’ bow legs make a cameo on the “Walker” episode he directed in Season 2. So, it’s only natural that we’d see a familiar face on “Walker Independence.” Crowley actor Mark Sheppard took on the role of Hagan — (former) owner of the local Independence bar.
Looper spoke to Sheppard for an exclusive interview, where he discussed his casting process for “Walker Independence” and how Padalecki reacted when Sheppard signed onto the role.
Getting the call
Sheppard’s role must have been fate because it seems like there aren’t any CW creatives that he isn’t friends with. He told Looper, “I’m lucky enough to be great friends with Larry Teng, Seamus Kevin Fahey, Anna Frick, and a multitude of wonderful people at The CW who I’ve worked with on and off for many years. Eight years of ‘Supernatural’ makes me a little biased toward The CW family, and there’s a certain really tall person that’s involved in this that I was like, ‘I’m definitely going to get into this. [It will be] fun,'” he explained. “I got a call during the making of the pilot, and it was like, ‘Call me.’ I called Larry, and I’m like, ‘I’m in.’ He goes, ‘You don’t even know what it is.’ And I said, ‘I don’t care. It’s going to be great.'” Obviously, Sheppard must be clairvoyant.
Sheppard continued the story, adding, “He said, ‘I’m doing ‘Walker Independence.’ I’m like, ‘I know what this is. This is great.’ And he goes, ‘And we have this character, we have this centralized character and it’s one line in the pilot.’ I’m like, ‘Great.’ He goes, ‘But we’ve got this little plan. We’re going to tell you what this plan is, and this is how we’re going to do it.'” Spoiler alert: someone spoiled the plan.
Padalecki’s seal of approval
Sheppard couldn’t wait to share the good news with Padalecki, who was thrilled to work with Sheppard again. “I got all excited, and I texted Jared, and he goes, ‘I’m so happy to have you there,”‘ Sheppard recalled.
But The Powers That Be wanted to keep Sheppard’s presence a secret. “We got all really clever, and I took my name off the pilot. I didn’t want anyone waiting 38 minutes for me to show up and go, ‘Right, he gives us one line, and that’s it.’ As much as I love CW in all their wisdom, [they] put me in the trailer,” he explained. “At the Upfronts, all three of the boys were there, and then my voice [shows up in the trailer], and I appear, and Jerry’s like, ‘Yeah, Sheppard’s in the pilot.’ That was that. The surprise was blown, but in a very good way.” It certainly got fans even more excited to tune into the series.
Later on in the interview, Sheppard expressed his love for Padalecki and the show, saying, “Moose [Jared Padalecki] is one of my favorite people on the planet. It’s a labor of love. I hope the show goes for long enough that people get to experience that feeling they’ve had while being there.” If we could bottle up the wholesomeness of these casts, it would solve a lot of world problems.
“Walker Independence” airs Thursdays on The CW, with new episodes streaming for free on The CW app and website the next day.