Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Mary From The Winchesters Looks So Familiar

The spin-off for "Supernatural" looks to help fill in the gaps and plot holes in the origins of the family that eventually results in the birth of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). As originally established in "Supernatural," the Winchester family is a bloodline of hunters — those who deal with cryptids, monsters, and other extra-planar entities. This proves to be the long-running formula of "Supernatural," as the brothers often have to deal with all manner of creatures and horrors, but they handle their birthright with characteristic aplomb and cunning.

Considering that "Supernatural" ran for 15 seasons and holds a 93% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, it makes sense that a spin-off would eventually come to be. Called "The Winchesters," this prequel shows how Dean and Sam's parents became a couple, and how they learned to be respected hunters in their own right. Starring Meg Donnelly as Mary Campbell and Drake Rodger as John Winchester, the trailer for "The Winchesters" looks to bring back all of the things fans loved about "Supernatural." Fans might be wondering, though, why does the actor who plays Mary look so familiar?

Donnelly's first major role was on Netflix's Team Toon

Perhaps the first place viewers may recognize Meg Donnelly is from Netflix's "Team Toon," which also stars Trevor Teichmann, Jon-Christian Costable, Tony Mitchell, Jerome Stephens Jr., and CJ Diehl. This Netflix show came out in early 2013 and it is about friends who discover that their artwork actually comes to life. Of course, when you have animated characters coming to life, they will eventually end up fighting villains, which forms the basis of the show. Running for 26 episodes, Donnelly plays the character of Ash, one of the aforementioned people with the ability to bring cartoons to life.

Speaking with Brief Take, Donnelly was asked what her dream role would be, and she replied, "My dream role is to be in a Marvel movie. Marvel is definitely a dream. I think to be in an action movie would be so much fun. I'd just like to be a dope heroine, like someone along the lines of Scarlet Witch of the 'Avengers,' I think she's so cool. Or like Rey from 'Star Wars.' I look up to those characters so much." At least she already knows what it is like to have fantastic powers and be a part of a team, considering her tenure on "Team Toon." 

Donnelly plays the eldest child in American Housewife

Taking a dramatic shift from "Team Toon," Meg Donnelly's next project was 2016's "American Housewife." According to IMDb, Donnelly appears in 102 episodes of this ABC sitcom, where she plays the role of Taylor Otto, a bubbly young woman who yearns to fit in. "American Housewife" is about a family that moves to a ritzy area of Connecticut where they must deal with arrogant and detached rich people. Predominately following the matriarch of the Otto family, Katie (Katy Mixon), "American Housewife" is about Katie's parenting and how the environment affects her loved ones, which include her husband Greg (Diedrich Bader), her middle child Oliver (Daniel DiMaggio), her youngest child Anna-Kat (Julia Butters and Giselle Eisenberg), and of course Taylor, her eldest child.

In a 2021 interview with The Cherry Picks, Donnelly was asked what her biggest takeaway from "American Housewife" has been, and she replied, "Surreal, because I literally grew up on the show, going from 15 years old to 20! It is hard to say what the biggest takeaway has been, as working on the show every day was like going home to family. We were one big family, cast, crew, and production, everyone who was part of 'American Housewife.' I have made friends for life! I am forever grateful for the opportunity to play Taylor."

Donnelly appeared in a musical franchise about zombies

The next major outing of Meg Donnelly is in the Disney collection of musical movies known as the "Z-O-M-B-I-E-S" franchise, with the first movie coming out in 2018. These delightful made-for-TV movies combine musical numbers and friendly zombies in a message of acceptance and open-mindedness. The first film was so popular that two sequels were created, and both of them feature Donnelly as her character Addison. The story of "Z-O-M-B-I-E-S" revolves around Addison's relationship with Zed (Milo Manheim), a zombie who is controlled through the use of a bracelet. That marks the second time that the two actors shared an on-screen romance, considering that Manheim also appears in "American Housewife" as a love interest for Donnelly's character in Season 3.

In an interview with Pop Culturalist, Donnelly spoke about what drew her to her character, and she answered, "I play Addison and, to me, the movie is about accepting people for who they are and not based on where they are from, what they look like, or what others tell you about them. It may be hard at first, but if you stay true to your heart, kindness will show you that embracing our diversity and uniqueness is best for all."

Donnelly has a musical career outside of television and movies

Of course, there is much more to Donnelly's career than just appearing in movies and television, and she actually has a pretty impressive music career, complete with several music videos and tour dates. That is to be expected though when you have spent enough time doing a zombie-based musical. Donnelly's official website for her musical endeavors features some of her videos, as well as the aforementioned tour dates from 2020, though there aren't any upcoming shows on the horizon. Fans may recognize her from her songs like "With U," "Just Like You," and "Smile," which was her first music video in 2018.

Speaking with Her Campus in 2021, Donnelly expressed her passion for musical pursuits, and said, "I've been working on so much music during this quarantine period. 'Title' was something that I was working on in the studio with my friends, and I just decided to put it out there because I had a lot of fun. But it's been such a crazy journey trying to figure out what sound I actually want."

Donnelly also appears in a television adaptation of High School Musical

Besides her role in "The Winchesters," Meg Donnelly has utilized her extensive skills involving the musical arts in several episodes of "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" on Disney+. As noted by IMDb, Donnelly appears in five episodes of this television show as Val. Although the name of the show is a bit of a handful, it makes sense considering the meta-context of the series. It is about students at the high school where the 2006 Disney film "High School Musical" was filmed, who decide to create their own musical production inspired by the movies.

Speaking with Euphoria, Donnelly had a chance to talk about her character, saying, "She stirs up controversy without really realizing it, by bringing a bit of tension to the group. Her storyline with Ashlyn is something so dear to my heart! It was an incredibly fun role to play especially with the 'HSMTMTS' cast. They are such an amazing and talented group of people." Although Donnelly's career definitely has a musical flair, her talents and demeanor help to bring Sam and Dean's mother to life, and finally give a face to Winchester history.