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Smallville's Tom Welling Gave Jensen Ackles This Unusual Advice For Supernatural

Before "Supernatural" ruled The CW, "Smallville" was the king of the network. The Superman origin show marked a milestone for the cable network and spawned its focus on DC Comics characters, which continues to this day. Clark Kent actor Tom Welling even served as a mentor to many of the younger CW stars, including Jensen Ackles. 

Following the finale of "Smallville" and the subsequent massive rise in popularity of "Supernatural," stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki – who auditioned together for their roles – entered a league of their own at The CW. The fantasy series, which ended after 15 seasons and well over 300 episodes, became the longest-running show on the network, with many different contract negotiations required for the two stars. 

During one of those negotiations, Ackles turned to Welling, the one actor he knew who would understand his situation, for help. "I talked to Tom a few times about that because he was really the only person I knew that had been in that position," Ackles said on the "Inside of You" podcast, hosted by former "Smallville" Lex Luthor Michael Rosenbaum (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). And Welling gave him a rather unexpected suggestion.

Welling stressed the importance of having a driver

Tom Welling stressed the need for the "Supernatural" stars to have drivers take them to and from the set. Up until that point, Jenson Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and the rest of the cast had been driving themselves and never thought twice about it. 

The driving force (pun intended) behind this demand was a story from Welling when the actor also had to drive himself home during the early days of "Smallville." After a long day of filming, he had to pull over on his drive home, exhausted, to sleep in his car. The story showed Ackles the danger of not having drivers, especially after grueling days on set that could go on for over 10 hours. It moved him enough to meet with the producers to negotiate it into his and Padalecki's contracts (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). 

Ackles said that producers initially met the demand with pushback, but the star convinced them after he used Welling's story. "Listen, Tom season 1, he pulled over to the side of the road and slept in his car. This is your number one actor on the show," Ackles said. "This is your quarterback and you're working him so much and making him so tired, he's giving all he can all day long and he gets in a car and behind the wheel and you trust that he's going to make it back to you the next day?" 

Ackles then noted that he and Padalecki were the quarterbacks of "Supernatural," and they needed to be kept safe. The pitch convinced the producers, and the stars never had to worry about driving exhausted again. He did not specify if any other cast members received this contract addition.