As Dean Winchester, the short-fused, sarcastic, evil-battling older brother on Supernatural (Thursdays at 9pm/ET, the CW), Jensen Ackles has made some pretty hard choices. In the first part of this interview, he talked about his deal with the Crossroads Demon, his obsessed fans and his real-life friendship with costar Jared Padalecki. In this final part, he opens up about this "thrill-ride season," his love of vintage cars and why he's jealous of Matthew Fox.
TV Guide: You've added a couple of hot new female characters to the show, Ruby and Bella. Eric Kripke [the show's creator] said he's looking to see what chemistry that will bring. Will it be meet-cute, hate each other and then romance each other?
Ackles: I don't know. They tried to do that with Jo [Alona Tal] last year and the audience [reaction] was, "No, no, we just want this to be about the boys."
TV Guide: How do the boys feel about it?
Ackles: We're begging for new characters! I look at a show like Heroes and I laugh. You guys have no idea. Those characters are probably working two or three days a week, whereas Jared and I are in every single scene of each episode. If we get a scene off, we're laughing.
TV Guide: I hear it's a tough shoot.
Ackles: It is. We're going 14, 15 hours a day Monday through Friday. We shoot nights, out in the cold, the rain. I read an interview that Matthew Fox gave about working on Lost in Hawaii and he said, "It's great. I only work two or three days a week. I spend time with my family at the beach." I wanted to kill myself.
TV Guide: You did a stage play this summer, right?
Ackles: I played Daniel Cassidy in A Few Good Men. Lou Diamond Phillips played Colonel Jessup. I hadn't been on stage since high-school musicals 11 years ago. It was back in Dallas, so I got to go home and put on a show for my whole family and friends.
TV Guide: How'd you do? Would you do it again?
Ackles: I would, but not for a little while. It was a lot of work.... If you remember the movie, Tom Cruise was in every scene. To memorize 125 pages of a play was a little daunting. But we made it happen.
TV Guide: You don't like to talk about your life, but you're single, right?
Ackles: I'm not married. [Laughs] I've been dating somebody for about a year. She's an actress.
TV Guide: Who is it then?
Ackles: [Laughs] I don't know if I should tell you. She's an upcoming actress. She's not known. She's good people. She comes from a very similar home. Louisiana. We've got that in common. It works well.
TV Guide: What's happening with all the demons you released from Hell?
Ackles: We're doing our best to fight 'em.
TV Guide: So who or what is pulling the strings now? There's someone above the Crossroads Demon, true?
Ackles: The Crossroads Demon is not someone with the utmost power. There's definitely a lot more — we use the term "celebrity demons" — that have now been released.
TV Guide: More scoop, please.
Ackles: The hunter Gordon is back, of course. He thinks that Sam is the ultimate demon — the anti-Chris — that causes a bit of a problem in episode 8.
TV Guide: So will it come down to Gordon against Sam, mano or whatever a mano?
Ackles: You'll have to wait and see, but pretty much.
TV Guide: What's with Buffy and Angel vampire Mercedes McNab coming in as a bloodsucker?
Ackles: We just finished filming that. Yes, she gets turned into a vampire. It turns into a pretty sticky situation.
TV Guide: Does one of you fall in love and then you have to kill her as usual?
Ackles: Not with her. Mercedes is great. She turned in a great performance. It's not easy playing those kinds of completely outlandish characters.
TV Guide: In what way are you most like Dean? Are you a sarcastic guy?
Ackles: Dean and I share a few qualities. Sarcasm is definitely one of them. Where we differ the most is the short temper before getting into a big confrontation. But when push comes to shove, I can easily turn into Dean.
TV Guide: Do you have a thing for vintage cars now, since you practically live on screen in that old Impala?
Ackles: I do, though not necessarily muscle cars. I'm more into four-wheeling. I just sold a '73 Bronco, all tricked out for off-roading. But after driving the Impala around so much, I'm getting the feeling of that good old muscle car, so I'm kind of in the market right now. I'm going to try to write into my contract to get one of these Impalas, so when the show's over, maybe I'll scoop it on up and get it styled.
TV Guide: Anything more about the show?
Ackles: It's another thrill ride this season. We're really hitting our stride. If the audience likes what they've seen in the last two seasons, it's a little more intensified version of the same. I'm real proud of it.
TV Guide: And you're hoping you don't die, or at least come back in some spectacular fashion.
Ackles: Please write to Kripke. Tell him not to kill me.
Enter Jensen's Supernatural world with clips in our Online Video Guide.
Get an exclusive sneak peek at the CSI/Without a Trace crossover event in the Oct. 29 issue of TV Guide. Plus: The truth behind Oprah's health scare. Try four risk-free issues now!
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.