spn 803 ackles family portrait 'Supernatural' pics: Jensen Ackles and his dad crack up on set and moreAwww. When “Supernatural” star Jensen Ackles took his turn behind the camera this summer to direct the season’s third episode, “Heartache,” he kept it all in the family and cast his dad, Alan Ackles, in a fun cameo role. Judging from this behind-the-scenes photo, the Ackles men had a blast working together.

It’s Jensen’s third time directing an episode of his show. “He always does — even though it doesn’t air first — the first episode of the season. We do that because than he couldn’t actually have prep time if he did an episode in the middle,” says executive producer Bob Singer.

For Jensen’s first time in the director’s chair, he helmed an episode that focused on Bobby (Jim Beaver), so his character was in it very little. His second episode centered on Sam (Jared Padalecki) — and Jensen’s character, Dean, was laid up with a broken leg, allowing him to focus on what he was doing behind the camera, not in front of it. This time, the producers didn’t hold back on writing Dean scenes into the episode.

“He’s in this one quite a bit,” Singer laughs. “We threw him in the deep end of the pool.”

“I think last year I was only in three days out of eight,” Jensen says. “This year
I’m in all eight days, so it’s a little difficult.”

Luckily, some of the work is second nature at this point. “The stuff with Jared, the scenes in motel rooms and things like that, I
can pretty much block it all myself, pick my camera shots, and he and I
just go do our business as usual,” he adds. “It’s when we have scenes with guest
stars who need direction or who want direction or want that kind of
affirmation of ‘Is this right? Am I playing this right?’ That became
very difficult because… I’m trying to be Dean, [and] I’m also trying
to keep an eye out for what they’re doing so I can give them notes on
their performances after they yell cut.”

The episode airs Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.

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