The Untold Truth Of Jensen Ackles

You may remember him as the chiseled dreamboat Eric Brady from "Days of Our Lives," or know him as hunky badass Dean Winchester from "Supernatural," but chances are, you've seen Jensen Ackles a television screen at one point or another. The actor is somewhat of a small screen legend, having made his way upwards in the industry since the 1990s. Though he arrived on the scene with "Days of Our Lives" — for which he was nominated thrice for a Daytime Emmy — Ackles has been in front of the camera for way longer. According to PopSugar, Ackles began his showbiz stint when he was only two as a child model, pursuing the vocation until acting happened. 

He has extensive acting credits under his belt — including roles on shows like "Smallville" and "Dawson's Creek" — but Ackles' magnum opus came about in 2005 with the CW fantasy series "Supernatural." Talking to Variety, he referred to his tenure on the latter show as an "an educational experience," crediting it for giving him on-the-job training for future projects. In 2022, Ackles made a smashing entry on the third season of the superhero series "The Boys," gaining renewed attention. We turn the chapters on the actor's life, both on and beyond the screen! 

Jensen Ackles has an imaginary best friend

"Supernatural," which has been on the air for 15 years, dominates the better part of Jensen Ackles' acting oeuvre. So significant has the journey been, it would be impossible to detach his screen character of Dean Winchester from his person today — their names are synonymous with each other, belonging essentially to one entity. Ackles too has embraced this truth, frequently describing Dean as his best friend ... er, imaginary best friend. He spelled it out in as many words for Coup De Main, describing just how much he loves Dean: "I used aspects of my own personality to create Dean, so Dean has always been a part of me. ... There are certain things that I have learned from him and there's many things that I've taught him, too." 

Funnily enough, Ackles landed the part of Dean by reading for the role of his brother Sam Winchester (which ultimately went to Jared Padalecki), as revealed on a podcast (per Showbiz Cheatsheet). The two have travelled many roads together, with Ackles stepping into Dean's shoes at age 27 (per Ranker) and hanging them up at 41. "The character of Dean, he really grew as well; we kind of grew together over the years," he told Rolling Stone. So tight are the two that Ackles even dropped a birthday wish "to the best imaginary friend a fella could ask for" on January 24, 2022 (Dean's birthday in "Supernatural"). 

He started a family brewery business in 2017

If you thought Dean Winchester loved beer, wait till you hear about Jensen Ackles! The "Supernatural" actor enjoys a good brew so much that he opened his own brewery in 2018. Family Business Brewing Co. — as his passion project is so named after a popular catchphrase from his CW show — serves up a variety of flavorful beers in Dripping Springs, Texas, at a 15-acre property (via Forbes). The idea for a brewery though, emerged in Ackles' own backyard in Austin about seven years ago, thanks to his "Smallville" co-star Justin Hartley. "[Hartley] was looking to store his small pilot brew systems somewhere while he moved. We ended up storing it in a shed in our backyard," Ackles said. 

Together with his brother-in-law Gino Graul — who figures as an owner on the brewery's official website, along with Ackles and his wife Danneel Ackles — he began making beer — and family and friends were enjoying their creations. "And they're not getting sick," Danneel chuckled in an interview with Austin Monthly. It was all the encouragement the trio needed to build a family business out of it, which has been going strong for four years. The brewery hosts live music and food truck grub, and reportedly has plans of expanding into the restaurant scene as well. 

He took home his beloved Chevy Impala from the set of Supernatural

Fans of "Supernatural" know that the most enduring romance in the fantasy series was between Dean Winchester and Baby, aka his beloved 1967 Chevrolet Impala. The sleek vintage car was part of the show's recurring cast, appearing across all 15 seasons. And we hear the romance between Dean, played by Jensen Ackles, and Baby continued even after the show ended. Ackles actually got to take the car home IRL. "I've wanted it since the second episode," the actor told Glamour. He kept trying to pull some strings so the Impala could be written into his contracts — until it was in the final one: "I didn't ask for more money or more time off or anything. I said, 'I want the car.'" Per Motorious, Ackles planned to refit a radio and air conditioning inside the vehicle once he claimed it as his own. So if you're in Texas, you may even catch Ackles pulling up to a local coffeehouse in Baby (via Glamour). 

The '67 Chevy Impala owes its modern popularity to "Supernatural" big time. The CW show reportedly bumped the vehicle up to first place on most-searched lists around the time Season 12 was due to release in 2016. The significance of the iconic car was recognized by the show's makers in full, too. The fourth episode of Season 11, titled "Baby," is shot entirely from the car's perspective. Talk about character! 

He has a pretty cheesy idea of romance

When Jensen Ackles first appeared as the leather-jacketed, evil-hunting, forever sexy Dean Winchester in 2005, millions swooned. Though the actor had already attained renown with television shows like "Days of Our Lives" and "Dawson's Creek" by then, "Supernatural" accentuated his dreamboat status like nothing else. Such was the mania that one faction of the "Supernatural" fandom began defining themselves as EDGs: Extreme Dean Girls. As for Ackles himself, the idea of love is more simple than devotional. He told People in 2006 that his ideal woman would be "someone who you can pal around with and also be intimate with. Someone who can laugh at your jokes — it may sound cheesy, but someone who can be your best friend as well as your lover." 

Ackles, being the heartthrob that he is, has been linked to several famous women in the past — including model Joanna Krupa (via Daily Mail) and singer Jessica Simpson (via E! News). For well over a decade now, he has been a one-woman man to his longtime partner and wife Danneel Ackles. Per Us Weekly, the two actors fell in love while filming the 2007 film "Ten Inch Hero" and have been together since. Ackles and Danneel dated for three years before getting engaged in 2009 and ultimately tied the knot in 2010 in Ackles' home state of Texas (via People).  

He has acted alongside his wife, Danneel Ackles

Jensen and Danneel Ackles are more than husband and wife — they're also co-stars. The pair, married for 12 years and in love for more, have acted opposite each other on several occasions, enjoying a relationship that is both personal and professional. In fact, the beginning of their romantic journey can be dated back to 2007, when the two notably appeared on-screen together in "Ten Inch Hero" (via Us Weekly). This was reportedly not the first time their paths had crossed, and the pair are believed to have been friends before the film. According to Hollywood Life, the duo were acquainted with each other since the early 2000s. In 2004, they were both part of a short film titled "The Plight of Clownana." A year later, they launched their career-defining television stints, with Ackles starring in "Supernatural" and Danneel in "One Tree Hill." 

In 2018, Danneel boarded the "Supernatural" express, sharing screen space with her husband as Sister Jo in Season 13. On shooting her first scene with Ackles and his castmates Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins, Danneel recalled "there was a lot of laughing" (via Entertainment Weekly). Having her veteran husband on set sure helped; Danneel detailed to Variety about leaning on him to understand the show but also how "we had all our kids in the trailer ... and [Jensen] was the babysitter." 

His son is named Zeppelin ... but it's not a tribute to the band

Jensen and Danneel Ackles are parents to three children: Justice Jay, 9, and twins Zeppelin Bram and Arrow Rhodes, 5. Ackles, forever the proud dad, never tires of gushing about his tots on his social media, where sweet snaps with his babies abound! One aspect that always comes up, however, is the unusual bunch of names the Ackles kids have. Zeppelin, for one, seems like an obvious nod to the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, yes? It's actually not. On "Live with Kelly and Ryan," Ackles explained that during his son's birth, the "umbilical cord was tied into a knot, which could've been very dangerous." That prompted the actor to web search a sailing site that threw up names of different knots, the last one being the zeppelin bend, which inspired his son's name. 

As for Arrow, Ackles said at a convention that the couple wanted her initials to be AA, and went about choosing from there (via SheKnows). Justice Jay — aka JJ or Birdie, as Ackles calls her — stars a great deal on her dad's Instagram. Per his own admission, "Supernatural" star Ackles wasn't always around to change diapers, something he hoped to turn around after the show ended in 2019. "It'd be nice to actually be [Danneel's] partner and give a little help and be a dad and see my family," he told Us Weekly.

He isn't ready to let go of Dean Winchester just yet

Fans were crushed after "Supernatural" concluded its final season in 2019 after a glorious run of 15 years. The CW fantasy drama, which premiered in 2005, managed to hold its ground as one of the most popular shows on the network, remaining in the top five of the network's annual rankings for the past decade (via The Hollywood Reporter). Dean and Sam Winchester, whose encounters with supernatural beasts the show chronicled, became household names thanks to an energized fandom. Much like the #SPNFamily, as the fan community calls itself, Jensen Ackles isn't quite ready to leave his character of Dean behind. 

In 2021, Deadline reported that Ackles and his wife Danneel Ackles were backing a prequel to "Supernatural" titled "The Winchesters," which would explore the story of Sam and Dean's parents. Ackles is expected to reprise his role as Dean for the project in development at its home network CW. "I always felt like my character, Dean, would have wanted to know more about his parents' relationship and how it came to be," Ackles told the outlet. Executive produced by Chaos Machine Productions, the Ackles' company, "The Winchesters" is set to premiere in the fall of 2022 (per Variety). As for whether or not Jared Padalecki will be returning as Sam, well, we're keeping our fingers crossed! 

He believes in using his online platform for social causes

Social media is tricky stuff, especially if you're a celebrity with wide reach. Measuring how much or how little you'd want to weigh in on topical issues and social causes on the feed is a natural part of the online experience today — but it doesn't daunt Jensen Ackles. The actor, who boasts a following over nine million on Instagram, is of the opinion that social media is a platform that can be used responsibly. "Looking at my kids and being a father, I'm thinking, Wow, what kind of world are they gonna have? So I've started to listen a little more and I've started to want to understand other people's experiences so that I can make a better choice about the actions I take," he told Glamour in 2020. 

In the wake of George Floyd's death that year, Ackles took to social media to share several posts in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, even partaking in the Blackout Tuesday trend. In a post, he reflected on how social media was a tool useful in highlighting resources about "inequality, prejudicial injustice and overall race issues." The Texas native further used his platform that year to encourage fellow citizens to vote during the 2020 United States presidential election, writing: "Get out there folks and make your voice heard. Only you can do it."  

He didn't really get along with Jessica Alba while shooting Dark Angel

Hollywood is much like high school, going by the kind of drama that one gets to hear of from behind the screens. Jensen Ackles once dished about such an experience he had on the set of the sci-fi drama show "Dark Angel," in which he starred between 2000 and 2002. Jessica Alba, who marked her breakthrough with a lead role on the Fox series, was apparently "horrible" for Ackles to work with. "I was the new kid on the block, and I got picked on by the lead," Ackles said on Michael Rosenbaum's podcast. "She had it out for me. It wasn't that she didn't like me," he explained, going on to say that they bickered like siblings. 

It hasn't inflated into a celebrity feud though, since Ackles said in the same podcast that he loved Alba and was empathetic to her situation during shooting, given how young and under pressure she was at the time. "If she walked in, we'd be all hugs, but she didn't make it easy on me," he remarked. While Alba has refrained from publicly addressing her relationship with Ackles, she has been candid about her rough early television stint. Only a teen when she stepped into the shoes of superhuman Max Guevara, Alba revealed that shooting the show was "a lot tougher than I anticipated" and that they were "really shooting a mini-movie in eight days" (via Closer Weekly).

Besides acting, he can also direct and sing

Jensen Ackles can do a lot more than just act. Several episodes of "Supernatural," his television home ground of 15 years, have been directed by him. Presumably familiar with the CW series like the back of his hand, Ackles has gone behind the camera for six episodes, having begun his directorial stint in Season 6 (via ScreenRant). The show's 15th and final season marked his last shift as director, an experience he likened to "riding a bike" to Variety. Not long after the show concluded in 2019, the actors who played the Winchester brothers in "Supernatural" — Ackles and Jared Padalecki — reunited on CW's "Walker." The show, executive produced by and starring Padalecki, had one episode directed by Ackles, who recalled how "allowing [Padalecki] his space to be this new character ... was a lot of fun to watch" (via TVLine). 

The final "Supernatural" episode Ackles directed also served as an exhibit for his musical aptitude, with vocals from his song "Sounds of Someday" featuring in a hunting sequence, as reported by Variety. Besides "Supernatural," the gifted actor has also lent his voice to "The Boys," the show he presently stars in as Soldier Boy. A clip on the show's official Twitter account shows Ackles in his superhero costume, performing a rendition of "Rapture" by the rock band Blondie. Further, per PopSugar, the actor has loads of other song covers to his credit. 

He has spoken about the need to reflect on toxic masculinity

Few male celebrities have reflected on the culture of toxic masculinity in recent times as much as Jensen Ackles has. The 44-year-old, who currently stars as Soldier Boy in the Amazon Prime series, "The Boys," has spoken with candor about how his character espouses certain outdated principles, which allows room for satire. "It is that embodiment of what we deal with in society still from generations past and he is from an older generation," Ackles said of his character to "Good Morning America," adding that the show pokes fun at the "toxicity that still exists today." 

Ackles' own youth was shaped by similar gender stereotypes that earlier seemed normal to him: "I might be one of the last generations that really witnessed that toxic masculinity without any repercussion. It's just what we were taught," he told CBR. As much renown as his toxic screen alter ego may be raking in for him, Ackles — who is father to two daughters and a son — has expressed a need to address generational gender norms. He told USA Today that it's problematic that people still shame kids based on their gender for having certain interests: "Princess dresses are not for boys, painting your nails is not for boys, playing with dolls is not for boys."

His role on The Boys came to him through the creator of Supernatural

15 years ago, Eric Kripke brought the "Supernatural" world to life. So naturally, when he developed Amazon Prime fantasy series "The Boys," a crossover wasn't entirely unexpected. Kripke brought the demon-hunting Dean Winchester, aka Jensen Ackles, into his latest superhero land as Soldier Boy in Season 3, which premiered in 2022. "I was originally looking for an older actor, because he is a World War II veteran. So it hadn't occurred to me to think of Jensen," Kripke told Collider. Until one day the two happened to be chatting and Kripke decided to send him a scene for reading, which Ackles loved. Despite his longtime friendship with the top boss, the role didn't come to Ackles on a golden platter. "There's a lot of producers and executives who didn't know him. So he had to really go through his paces," Kripke said. 

Ackles isn't the only "Supernatural" connection on "The Boys," which is sprinkled with many easter eggs that fans of the now-concluded CW series will be able to pick out. "Small things, but enough that the fans will see a little wink from us of what we're doing," Kripke told Variety. For example, actor Jim Beaver appears in "Supernatural" and "The Boys" — and plays a character named Robert Singer in both (via Metro). Another callback hawk-eyed fans spotted was a brief appearance of Dean's iconic '67 Chevy Impala in one episode.

He shares a real-life bromance with Supernatural co-star Jared Padalecki

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki played brothers Dean and Sam Winchester for 15 years on "Supernatural." A journey so long would presumably establish firm grounds for a real-life bromance, as it has for Ackles and Padalecki. "I love Jensen deeply. He's my brother — he has been for many years, and he always will be, no matter what," Padalecki told The New York Times after "Supernatural" concluded. Ackles, meanwhile, has acknowledged that the relationship he shares with Padalecki is "pretty rare and may or may not ever happen again." 

Both Texas natives, Ackles and Padalecki have been by each other's sides through interviews, comic conventions, and photoshoots for what seems like ages. In fact, each took on the role as groomsman at the other's wedding, per PopSugar. The brotherly pair, along with their "Supernatural" dad Jeffrey Dean Morgan, also have matching crown tattoos and dub themselves the "three kings" (via Entertainment Weekly). 

Come June 2021, the Ackles-Padalecki bromance appeared to hit an unprecedented snag. When news broke that a "Supernatural" prequel, helmed by Ackles, was in the works at CW, Padalecki tweeted that he was "gutted" at having had no knowledge about it. Such hell broke loose on social media — there were threats involved, per TVLine — that only the Winchesters could have contained it, which they ultimately did. Padalecki, in another tweet, said he'd had a talk with Ackles and that "things are good." 

He almost played Superman on Smallville

"I'm Batman." It made for a fandom-favorite moment when Jensen Ackles repeated these words as Dean Winchester on an episode of "Supernatural," GIFs of which still refuse to fade out of pop culture memory. Over a decade after he uttered that golden phrase, Ackles did get to slip into the Batsuit for Halloween in 2019. Fast forward to 2021, and it was revealed that the actor would transform into the DC Comics vigilante for Warner Bros.' animated "Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One." "I don't think they even got the whole word 'Batman' out. They were like, 'Bat—' and I was like, yes!" Ackles said during a roundtable, recalling the moment he landed the role. 

But Bruce Wayne isn't the only name on his superhero portfolio. In the past, Ackles has been associated with other comic book hunks as well, including Superman. Though he is remembered for his role as Jason Teague in the early 2000s television series "Smallville," Ackles was initially slated to play Superman (or Clark Kent). He even auditioned for the part, but lost out to Tom Welling, which Ackles himself said was the "right decision." Meanwhile, there were also whispers that Ackles was in the race for Captain America in the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. He told Entertainment Weekly that though he was briefly considered, his commitments would've made it difficult for him to take on the role, which ultimately went to Chris Evans.