For Supernatural fans, Mark Pellegrino will always be Lucifer, and that’s why Misha Collins felt so much pressure when the show came to him with the idea that Lucifer would inhabit Castiel’s vessel. “It was very daunting because I think Mark Pellegrino is like the best actor that we’ve had on the show, so for me to have to play the same character that he’s been playing in a similar manner that he’s been playing is a real challenge,” Collins tells EW. “I think it’s an exercise that’s designed to make me look bad,” he adds with a laugh.
But thankfully, Collins was able to go straight to the source and sit down with Pellegrino to discuss his take on the hard-to-hate villain. “When I got the script, Mark happened to be up shooting, so I just called him and I was like, ‘Hey man, can I come over and just work on this with you?’ Normally, TV actors don’t do that,” Collins says. “Everybody pretends like they’ve got everything handled and they never talk about the work with each other, they just show up and do their part. But it was actually really fun to go over to another actor’s house and spend an hour messing around and asking him like, ‘What would you do here? What do you think of your character?’ “
The bit of advice that really stuck with Collins in terms of how to inhabit the fallen angel? “He gave me some great pointers for his mindset with Lucifer,” Collins says. “He gave me some good tips, like: Everybody is a toy to him and he wants to have sex with everything. I was like, ‘Oh, okay, great, I can use that. That’s incredible.’ And then I just watched his episodes over and over again and tried to glean as much as I could.”
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The bad news for Collins is that as complicated as his new role already is, it gets even more complicated this week, when Lucifer — or Cassifer/Lustiel, if you prefer — sends Dean back in time to WWII and then spends the episode hanging out with Sam in the bunker.
“This is the Nazi time-travel submarine insanity episode,” Collins says. “It’s going to be good. And my character particularly in this episode is going to be completely and utterly schizophrenic. I will be pretending to be somebody pretending to be somebody pretending to be somebody. It will be layers and I’m sure that I’ll lose the thread at some point as a performer so I’m a little nervous to see it,” he says with a laugh.
But more than anything, Collins says this is one of those Supernatural episodes he won’t soon forget. “I gotta tell you, I would say maybe twice a year I’ll read a script and I’ll be like, ‘No, really they’re doing that? That’s awesome. This is fantastic. I love this show.’ And this is one of those episodes. It’s a killer concept and it’s going to be a great episode.”
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.