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The Winchesters' Meg Donnelly And Drake Rodger Talk Picking Up The Winchester Mantle - Exclusive Interview

The ending of "Supernatural" has come and gone, and now fans are heading back in time to see how the Winchester story really began. It's no secret that heaven and hell interfered with John and Mary Winchester's love story on more than a few occasions. And who better to uncover the truth behind how his parents met and fell in love than Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)? While Dean is up in heaven waiting for Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) to resume his rightful shotgun position in the Impala, Dean is on a mission for closure before the big family reunion. 

Fans got to know Samantha Smith (Mary) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (John) toward the beginning of "Supernatural," with Amy Gumenick and Matt Cohen later appearing as younger versions of the characters. Now, Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger are taking on even more youthful versions of the couple. In "The Winchesters," Mary and John are picking up where their fathers left off: "saving people, hunting things — the family business."

If Donnelly looks familiar, fans may have seen her in roles like Addison in the "Z-O-M-B-I-E-S" franchise, Taylor Otto in "American Housewife," and Val in "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series." She's also starring as the voice of Supergirl alongside Ackles' Batman in "Legion of Super-Heroes" (via The Hollywood Reporter). Meanwhile, Rodger has been in films like "The In Between" alongside Joey King, "Murder RX," and "Not Alone." 

The CW invited Looper to the "Winchesters" press room at New York Comic Con, where we exclusively spoke to Donnelly and Rodger about playing these iconic characters, how the previous actors inspired them, and what Rodger would ask Morgan about his original stint as John. 

Three John Winchesters walk into the Roadhouse

Drake, a lot of fans became a little frustrated with John's particular brand of parenting, or lack thereof, throughout "Supernatural." Why do you think those fans should give young John a chance, and have you had the chance to talk to Jeffrey Dean Morgan or Matt Cohen about playing John? And if not, what would you have liked to ask them?

Drake Rodger: Actually, I think I'm going to get dinner with Jeffrey tonight, so [I'm] really excited about that. But the exciting part about getting to play John is getting to tell why he is the way he is.

I think John Winchester's frustrated with how he had to parent his kids too, but I don't think that's something he asked for. I think it's something that was thrust upon him. It's a responsibility. He never wanted to be a single parent — wasn't prepared to be a single father — especially wasn't prepared to be a single father. I'm excited for the fans to have a little bit of context [about] who he is and why he [made those choices].

What are the top questions you have on the docket for tonight with Jeffrey?

Rodger: Oh my gosh. "Hi, how are you? What's going on?" No, I just want to hear his take [on] the character and his experience in the show.

The many faces of Mary Winchester

Meg, we've seen so many variations of Mary's character throughout the years on "Supernatural." How [many] of those arcs did you watch or study? [How] did you settle on your version of Mary, and is there anything you would've liked to ask Amy Gumenick or Sam Smith before taking on this beloved character?

Meg Donnelly: Yes, their performances were wonderful, and I've watched a lot of Mary's portrayal and "Supernatural." Later in the series, she's in it quite a bit because they bring her back. Watching that definitely helped. It gave it a lot of context because I wanted to make sure that Mary is a strong, independent woman, as she is in the "Supernatural" series. That was important. But this is Mary as, like, a 19-year-old, so I definitely wanted to have my own take on it as well. But it definitely has helped, for sure.

New episodes of "The Winchesters" air Tuesdays on The CW with episodes streaming on the website the next day. 

This interview has been edited for clarity.