‘Walker’s Jared Padalecki Shares a Look at What’s to Come in Season 4

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[Editor’s note: The following contains some spoilers for Season 4 of Walker.]


The Big Picture

  • Season 4 of The CW series ‘Walker’ features family drama, workplace tension, and a serial killer investigation.
  • Jared Padalecki, who’s also an executive producer on ‘Walker,’ aims for universal appeal while touching on relatable themes.
  • Viewers should expect darker and more intense moments in Season 4, as secrets unravel and characters face challenges.

The CW series Walker is back for Season 4, with more family issues, workplace drama, higher stakes, romance and action. Along with a daughter in college with trauma of her own that she’s working through and a son who’s navigating his senior year of high school, Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki, who’s also an executive producer) is dealing with the reemergence of a serial killer known as The Jackal. It’s a case that Walker can’t help but dig deeper into, only the added layer of keeping it from Captain James (Coby Bell), who failed to close the case years ago, could make things very tricky. With so many storylines simmering right from the jump, it’s sure to be a roller coaster of a season.


During this interview with Collider, Padalecki talked about what he’s most enjoying about Season 4, what he hears most often from fans of the show, how he feels about the shortened season of 13 episodes, just how deep and dark things will get because of The Jackal, wanting the issues on the series to feel universal for viewers, why he thinks he’ll leave the directing up to his Supernatural TV brother Jensen Ackles, and his hope of many more seasons to come. He also explains that he’s completely in on a Supernatural reunion, however that might ultimately turn out, as long as the quality level is there, and what it would take for him to make an appearance on The Boys.


Walker

A widowed father returns to Austin after one year, attempting to reconnect with his children, navigate clashes with his family, and find common ground with his new partner, while growing increasingly suspicious of his wife’s death.

Release Date
January 21, 2021

Cast
Mitch Pileggi , Molly Hagan , Chris Labadie , Jared Padalecki , Lindsey Morgan , Violet Brinson , Rebekah Graf , Keegan Allen , Odette Annable , Jeff Pierre , Gabriela Flores , Genevieve Padalecki , Coby Bell , Alex Landi , Kale Culley

Seasons
4

Network
The CW


Jared Padalecki is Excited About ‘Walker’ Season 4 and Ready For More

Jared Padalecki in a gallery photo as Cordell Walker for The CW's Walker
Image via The CW

Collider: You’re four seasons into this TV series now, which isn’t the 15 seasons that Supernatural was on the air, but it’s a very respectable amount of time.

JARED PADALECKI: Thank you so much. Hopefully, we’ll have 40 more. But Season 4 is certainly bizarre and amazing and incredible, and I’m grateful and flattered and love the journey these characters have gone through.


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What are you loving about Season 4 and about the Cordell Walker of Season 4? What are you most enjoying about this point of the journey?

PADALECKI: With Supernatural, we would flip between maybe the big bad guy and then the problems at home or with the brothers. But in the case of Walker, we will go from big bad guy to family stuff to bad guy of the week to family stuff. Just like life is, it gets big sometimes and it gets small sometimes, but there’s always some issue. And so, what I love about Season 4 is having a serial killer out there that is from our past and that haunted us back then and is sure to haunt us again this season, as The Jackal does, and also, there’s so much drama at home. Cordell has a daughter who’s a freshman in college and a son who’s a senior in high school. Mom and dad are trying to figure out what to do. His brother is trying to figure out what to do. It’s just that feeling that we all get, as humans and as adults, where it feels like, “Can’t just one part of my life calm down?” And sure as hell, it never does.


It feels like this show was originally brought back to television because there was a real hole in this type of programming at that time, and I’m glad the series is still on because it still feels like it’s really needed in that space.

PADALECKI: Agreed.

Jared Padalecki Wants ‘Walker’ to be Universal and Relatable for Viewers

What are you most proud of having been able to do with this series, and what are the types of comments you hear from fans that really make you the happiest?


PADALECKI: What’s funny is that I grew up in Texas. I grew up in San Antonio. I’ve lived in Austin for 15 years. I grew up watching Walker, Texas Ranger with Sir Chuck Norris, himself, so that was a part of my childhood. For those who’ve seen the original and seen ours, this is obviously a very different show. I’m certainly a fan of action movies and action shows and action books and action stories, but I found myself, after 15 years on Supernatural, which was very much based in family as well, wanting something that anybody of any age could watch. I wanted something that wasn’t just about cutting off vampires’ heads, or killing God or the devil and everything in between, but was more like, “How can we make this as realistic as possible to what’s going on right now, and what has gone on in the past, and what is sure to go on in the future?” The commentary is oftentimes about how people have seen the original and love the re-imagining that we Walker put together. But more often than not, I love that I’ve had parents come up to me and talk about how Walker, though the situation is different because he’s a widower, is going through life and trying to figure out his kids while they’re changing, and he has to go to work because he has a job. There’s something universal about that struggle and that experience that seems to have really communicated and landed with people, no matter what their job is and what their family situation is.


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Carry on, my wayward sons.

Is it challenging to make this series with a shortened episode count, or does it feel like you can really just pack more into every episode?

PADALECKI: I get both. There’s a quote I heard one time about actors and writers and directors and producers and whatnot, and they used it in the form of an actor. They said, “If you give an actor three years to prepare, it’ll take three years. If you give him three months to prepare, it’ll take three months. If you give him three days, it’ll take three days. If you give him three minutes, it’ll take three minutes.” It’s one of those things where life imitates art. We’ve found such wonderful stuff, and kudos to our great writing team for making it possible, but it feels very like life. It feels very much like Cordell’s life would be. You find out sooner than you would’ve hoped, “Hey, this is coming up,” or “You’ve gotta do this or that.” While it’s certainly been different, if you could give me 30 days to do an episode, it’ll have its challenges. If you give me one day to do an episode, it’ll have its challenges. I think that goes from top to bottom, cast and crew alike. We’ve had a great time. Because of cross-boarding some episodes, we might be doing episodes one and two, and even if a character is only in episode two, since we will shoot two together, I still get to catch up with that human being during the filming, which is wonderful.


Fans Should Be Prepared For Things to Get Darker in ‘Walker’ Season 4

Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker on his birthday in Season 4 of The CW's Walker
Image via The CW

You’re kicking off this season with a lot of storylines happening for these characters. He’s stepped up his romance, his daughter is not coping well with things, and there’s a serial killer. I love that there’s really this balance where you have the romance and there are some good things on the horizon for the family, but then there’s also the dark and deadly aspect of a serial killer. What sort of balance will we see this season between the light and the dark? Will we get to a point where things get more dark and more intense, as things play out with The Jackal?


PADALECKI: You certainly will. Given what happened with the strikes, over the last 12 months, it didn’t make sense to do a direct pickup after Season 3. So much time has passed between the end of Season 3 and when Season 4 will air that it just didn’t make a lot of sense for our viewers and our lovely and wonderful loyal watchers. Kale [Culley] just turned 18 in May, and he’s almost my size now. If we picked up Season 4, episode one, directly after Season 3, the final episode, it wouldn’t make sense. You’d be like, “Oh, I guess August grew four inches overnight.” Our writers were very aware of that and tried to make every bit of that as real and human as possible. We certainly do see, as characters and as viewers, how this Jackal that haunted Captain James and Ranger Walker back in the day, five years ago, still has a stranglehold on them, and just how deep and dark they go while trying to keep all the other plates spinning in the other aspects of their lives.

It’s certainly never great to keep secrets from people you care about, especially when they’re big secrets. And on a TV series, those secrets are bound to come out, and likely at the worst possible time.


PADALECKI: Yep, that’s what our sadistic writers try to do. Teasing, teasing, teasing. No, they do it in such a wonderful way. Going back to before even the pilot, one of the things that Anna Fricke and I talked about before we’d even staffed the room and cast the characters and hired the crew was that we want this to be as real as possible. Although in a different arena, with Walker being a Texas Ranger and a widow, we want this to have universal problems and issues that every person goes through on different scales as they navigate this life.

Does Jared Padalecki Want Jensen Ackles to Direct Another ‘Walker’ Episode?

Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker talking in Season 4 of The CW's Walker
Image via The CW

Jensen Ackles directed an episode of the series. Do you think he’ll do that again?


PADALECKI: I sure hope so. Now and always, I will work with Jensen, wherever, whenever. He’s obviously a busy man. He’s got a wife and three kids of his own. He’s here, there, and everywhere. He’s been in Toronto, he’s been in Vancouver, and he’s been in New Mexico. He’s a very busy guy. He and I see each other a lot, obviously, with Supernatural conventions, and we text often. He certainly is up for it. It’s just like life and like Cordell Walker, trying to figure out when things will work out.

Do you see yourself directing an episode?

PADALECKI: Not to speak for Jensen, but to try to speak for Jensen, directing is something that he was always really passionate about, and producing is something that I was always really passionate about. I have a deep respect for directors, and the door is not closed. If the opportunity arises and I think, “Man, I really wanna direct,” then I will. But over 24 years in the industry, I’ve worked with so many talented directors who deserve the episode more than I do. Obviously, as the executive producer and the guy in the poster, I could probably make a phone call and say, “Hey, I want an episode,” and they might say, “Okay, you get one.” That’s not what Jensen did.


From day one, he was like, “Hey, I wanna direct some day.” That’s not where I was. And so, I don’t wanna take an episode away from a really deserving, talented director. I really love my job as an actor and as a storyteller, and as an executive producer, I help guide the storyline and help in the casting and help with the editing. So, I’m a pretty happy cat right now, where I stand. I love that puzzle. The director puts the puzzle pieces together. I like getting the puzzle pieces and figuring out how they can work even better. I think a lot of artists go, “Hey, I wanna guide this.” For me, I love the puzzle of acting and scene breakdown and story breakdown, and just trying to figure out how to make what’s already great on the page and great on the set, even better if I can.

Jared Padalecki is Completely in For a Revival of ‘Supernatural’

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles against a car in Supernatural
Image via The CW


You and Jensen Ackles have both talked about having interest in a possible revival of Supernatural. Is that something you’ve seriously considered doing? Have you had any real conversations about that, or are you just having conversations about having conversations?

PADALECKI: It’s not that I have seriously considered doing it, my single answer is yes. It’s timing. It’s availability. Jensen and I feel so strongly about our show that we had for 15 years together that we don’t wanna just do it just to do it. We don’t wanna go, “Hey, I have two weeks off in June. Let’s go ahead and shoot 10 pages a day, just so we can have some more content.” If and when Supernatural comes back, it’s going to be a labor of love, and we’re gonna put every hour in to make sure that it’s as true to the cannon and to the fandom and to the story and to the characters as possible. So, my short answer is it’s not a consideration, the answer is yes. I just don’t know when I’m available. I don’t know when he’s available. But again, my answer is yes.


Have you thought about all the different possibilities of what it could be, as far as whether you’d do a shortened season, whether you’d want to do a movie, or if none of it works, whether you’d do an animated series?

PADALECKI: Yeah. Honest to God, I don’t think about the medium in which it would air. I think about the story that I care about. If Jensen and I talk about where we would like to see Sam and Dean appear on screens again, and we think, “Cool, we like this, and we like this arc, and we like this conclusion,” then let’s do it. If they make it into a movie, great. If they make it into a limited series, great. If they make it into a flip book that’s available on Amazon, great. But at this point in time, I feel so protective of Supernatural that if the story’s fine, then I don’t care how it gets into the world.


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Eric Kripke has also always made it known that he’d love to have you on The Boys anytime you were available. Would you like to make an appearance over there? Have you actually spoken to him about that? Would you even want to be in that world?

PADALECKI: Yeah, he has reached out to me and my response to him 90% of the time is, “Dude, I’m 41 now with three kids. I’m not 25 and working out three hours a day. I know you’re going to fucking make me get naked, so give me a heads up. I’m in, but let me get a nutritionist and a trainer and get in the hyperbaric chamber for eight months before you make me show up.” But yeah, it would obviously be a lot of fun to see Kripke again and to work on that show, which is a great show that I’m a fan of.

It certainly seems like a little wild break of fun.


PADALECKI: A little wild? Have you seen the show?!

Yes, and I love it very much. But I also have a sick sense of humor.

PADALECKI: I do, too. I love watching it, but imagine putting yourself in it. I’ve got kids. My mom and dad are still alive. I’ve got grandparents that are alive. I don’t know how to just unplug their electricity when the show airs.

Walker airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.

Watch on The CW



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