In this exclusive excerpt from Supernatural: The Official Companion Season Six, discover Misha Collins' thoughts on Castiel:
Early in season six it appeared as if Castiel’s storyline with the war in Heaven would remain mostly offstage, but Misha Collins didn’t mind. “I had a lot of time off at the beginning of the season,” he concurs, “but that really worked out well, because I’d just had a baby – West Anaximander Collins – and it was super nice to be able to actually be around for the first couple of months of his life. In the past, if I had been in the situation where they weren’t using me very much, I would have been like, ‘Oh my God, why aren’t they using me? What’s wrong? What have I done to upset them?’ But I was not neurotic about it, because I had just had a son, so that was great.”
Collins needn’t have worried anyway, since Castiel wound up being at the epicenter of the season’s mysterious story arc. Some might even call him the “big bad” of the season, but Collins doesn’t look at it that way. “He is trying to save Heaven and ultimately save the world,” the actor reminds us. “He’s taking a whatever-means-necessary approach to that. Ultimately, that has caused him to make some very morally dubious decisions along the way, bringing him into conflict with Sam and Dean.” Nonetheless, the actor found it challenging to portray Castiel as someone who would team up with the King of Hell and deceive the Winchesters. “It was difficult to play the duplicitous Cass, as it is something that is inherently difficult for him, because he’s not a great liar,” explains Collins. Yet he managed to fool Crowley, blindsiding him with his double-cross, and demons are arguably experts on lying. “I actually was surprised by that,” says Collins. “I didn’t expect that. Castiel tends to try to be as upstanding as he can along the way, but he’s always reviled Crowley, so it wasn’t totally out of keeping with his character to betray Crowley. In fact, he lays the groundwork for that when he steps away to have his first negotiation with Crowley and Cass says, ‘I was smarter than him.’ So I think to outmaneuver him was Castiel’s plan from the beginning. It was one of several surprising twists at the end.
“Seeing the inner dialogue of Cass and exploring that in a way that we hadn’t done before made ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ somewhat challenging,” adds Collins. “Then I got quite neurotic in shooting the last episode, because I didn’t know until we got on the set that day how Cass as his new proto-god (or whatever he is) was gonna carry himself or sound. I made some subtle changes and I was a little self-conscious when it came to how that would play.”
With Castiel now far more powerful than Crowley, it begs the question: why did he let Crowley go? “Well, I speculated on that and I don’t have any answers,” Collins says, “but I think that Castiel probably feels like he’s in a position where it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks of him any more, because he’s so powerful that everyone has to do his bidding. Irrespective of what Crowley would like to do to him, I think that Castiel certainly is carrying himself with an air of invincibility and that everyone will have to do exactly what he says. So, if he has plans for Crowley, Crowley, like it or not, will have to do what Cass wants.”
Castiel also didn’t turn on the Winchesters, even though he had killed Balthazar for betraying him, and even though Sam literally stabbed him in the back. “There are a couple of possible reasons for that,” Collins muses. “One is that in spite of his new godliness, Sam and Dean may still have a soft spot in his heart. He definitely knows that Sam and Dean have always been trying to do the right thing, which is not something that he felt about Raphael or Raphael’s supporters. The other possibility is that, like Crowley, he feels that Sam and Dean may have a role in his future plans.”
What exactly are his future plans? “I don’t know,” Collins insists. “I’m fascinated and curious to find out where they’re going to go with that. It’s definitely got me curious. At the beginning of season six the plan was to have Cass go down this dark and dubious road with Purgatory and the souls and an alliance with Crowley, and for him to ultimately have a faceoff with the Winchester brothers and die. But we didn’t end up going that route in the end, so I’m glad that I’m still in the picture here. That’s gratifying.”