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The Fascinating Way Misha Collins' Guest Appearance On Supernatural Landed Him A Lead Role

Castiel (Misha Collins) may be one of the shining lights of the "Supernatural" legacy, but he didn't exactly start that way. In a time before many of us can remember, The CW's monster-hunting juggernaut was only a tale of two angst-ridden brothers hitting the road in their classic muscle car and fighting off residual childhood trauma. But even the show's creator has admitted that the story had to change at a certain point.

"People forget that I didn't [originally] want angels in the show," Eric Kripke told Entertainment Weekly after he decided to step down as showrunner. "Then we introduced the angels, and then it spun the storyline in a way that was really rich for us. This is a show that ends storylines and starts new ones and reinvents itself." And invent itself, it did. The show took on new life with the inclusion of warrior angel Castiel and the impending apocalypse. However, it was a long journey for Collins to become a lead in his own right.

Misha Collins was a guest star long before he was a series regular

As massively popular as Dean's (Jensen Ackles) angelic counterpart became, Cas' initial road to being part of the team was slow. He appears intermittently throughout Season 4 as the angel reluctant to side with his hard-lined angel family. Misha Collins only reached happiness after many episodes in the trenches, as he described on the podcast "Inside of You."

"Well, they didn't make me a regular that quick," Collins explained to host Michael Rosenbaum. "It was by degrees. They kept adding three more episodes ... three more episodes, and then finally they were like, 'Alright, it looks like we're stuck with you.'" Cas became an emotional touchstone for the series, especially for Dean's development as a character. Instead of remaining codependent with his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean had to confront what their father had done to his self-esteem. Cas pulling him from perdition made him realize that he was worth saving and contributed to Dean growing up in a major way in later seasons.

Cas also injected a different sort of humor into the series. He is constantly placed in fish-out-of-water scenarios, unable to understand the complexity of human emotion. Eventually, showrunners could not ignore how important he had become to the lore of the series and allowed him to stay. But unfortunately for Collins, his career on the series did not prove to be smooth sailing.

Supernatural lost its love for Castiel in Season 7

Instrumental in stopping the apocalyptic showdown between Michael and Lucifer, Cas became less integral in later seasons. After Eric Kripke handed the reins to new showrunner Sera Gamble, Cas' role in Season 7 was reduced, and Misha Collins was demoted back to a guest star. As Dean and Sam fight off the Leviathans, Cas is sidelined, prompting many fans to think Castiel almost ruined "Supernatural." Gamble defended the choice to diminish Cas' role in the wake of the season's events.

"When it comes to 'Supernatural,' our philosophy is that everyone moves in and out and weaves in and out of the story, obviously with the exception of Sam and Dean," Gamble told TV Line. Collins was not kept as a series regular because that is what the show required. When prompted about the workings behind the scenes, Collins gave even more insight to Entertainment Tonight.

"In Season 7, they were like, 'I think we're killing you,'" Collins recalled. "And then they were like, 'Eh ... We changed our minds. We're not killing you — come back. Let's try this again.'" Cas is often put in deadly situations, but it can be hard to kill an angel. He has been blown up, smote, and overwhelmed by purgatory monsters. But luckily for fans, it wasn't to last. Just in time for Season 9, Collins posted on Twitter that he would return, whether it be due to fan outcry or not.