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Bianca Kajlich Discusses Filming That Heart-Wrenching Scene With Drake Rodger In The Winchesters - Exclusive

The article contains discussions of mental health struggles.

For years, "Supernatural" fans have wondered how a deeply compassionate, young John Winchester could become the cold and militant John who's introduced in Season 1. Later, in Season 5, Matt Cohen plays young John for the second time. In this time travel episode, fans watch a heartbreaking scene where young John condemns Sam's father for callously raising his children as hunters — not realizing that he's talking about an older version of himself.

John's fractured relationship with his sons and the ensuing abuse and neglect are difficult to watch, especially given what fans know about the younger version of this character. Sure, John loses Mary, but the minute he becomes a hunter a second time, he's mentally transported right back to Vietnam. With that shift, his entire world changes. Knowing John's backstory doesn't excuse some of his choices, but it adds context to this complex character.

"The Winchesters" dove into John's PTSD struggles in Season 1, Episode 4, and it's clear how young John becomes the John fans met back in "Supernatural" Season 1 as he loses the love and support of both Mary and his mother. Prior to this, though, there's a beautiful moment where his mom, Millie (Bianca Kajlich), consoles John in a bathtub as he has a war-related panic attack. The moment is critical in that it positively represents mental health onscreen, and it bridges the gap between how John becomes who he is without this support.

Looper spoke to Kajlich during an exclusive interview, where she discussed that heart-wrenching scene and why it's important for everyone to embrace their emotions.

Millie sees John Winchester's vulnerable side

While talking about this personal moment between John and Millie, Bianca Kajlich addressed the significance of being vulnerable. "Whether it be the '70s [through] present day, collectively as a whole, we're feeling the repercussions of this right now," Kajlich said. "We all want to be held. We all have precious wounded hearts that haven't gotten to express our real, true needs."

The scene is a pivotal scene for both characters because it's a rare moment to see John so vulnerable; meanwhile, Millie realizes that her son's inner battle is greater than she initially thought.  "I love this moment for John and Millie, because for Millie, it's a moment of recognizing that her son is deeply scarred and that there is nothing that she can do — as a woman who is very adept at fixing things — to fix this," Kajlich said. "It speaks so beautifully of her character that she is able to, in that moment, know that the best thing that she can do is to be there with him in that space."

Bianca Kajlich advocates for being in touch with one's softer side

Bianca Kajlich is all for not judging a book by its cover. "We moved to Texas last year, and some of the burliest, rough-around-the-edges cowboys are the most sensitive softies. I have found that, and it's so true that we have this idea that to be tough you cannot be soft," Kajlich said. "That is the ultimate expression of true strength — to be able to stand up for whatever it is that you believe in and also be able to contain the softness of being a human being."

If the pandemic taught viewers anything, it's that everyone needs human touch and connection. "This beautiful moment with this mother and her son, I hope that it speaks to people in the sense that it's something that we all need," Kajlich said, "but also something that we also all need to do for each other."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

"The Winchesters" airs Tuesdays on The CW, with episodes streaming for free on the app and website the next day.