'Supernatural' Star Jensen Ackles Reveals How Many Takes of His Tap Dance Routine He Did

The final season of Supernatural still had some surprises in store for Jensen Ackles. In the 10th episode, “The Hero’s Journey,” Dean (Ackles) has a dream in which he tap dances. In a real dream, your brain can make up anything, but to film the scene, Ackles had to really learn how to tap dance. 

Ackles was a guest on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast on Sept. 8. He was discussing the final season of Supernatural, which he’s back in Vancouver filming. Ackles admitted he needed more takes than usual to get the dance right. Supernatural returns Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

‘Supernatural’ showrunner Andrew Dabb broke the news to Jensen Ackles gently

Ackles recalled when he first learned he would have to tap dance. Like most things on Supernatural, it came out of the blue.

This year, no joke, I get a call from our showrunner, Andrew Dabb. He’s like, ‘Hey Ackles, can you dance?’ Any of the weird sh*t that they come up with in the writers room usually falls in my lap. They usually like to make Dean do it. I’m like, ‘What kind of dance?’ ‘You know, like Fred Astaire?’ ‘No, Andrew, I’ve never had a lesson. I can probably keep a beat.’ He’s like, ‘Well, would you mind taking a couple tap dance lessons? I’ve got this whole dream sequence.I want you to go have a dream sequence, where you’re like a Singin’ in the Rain type thing.”

Jensen Ackles was still game to learn new skills

Ackles decided to volunteer for dance lessons. Supernatural isn’t a movie, though, where he could take months of tap.

“I’m like sure, why not?” Ackles told Rosenbaum. “Let’s try it. So I did three hours of lessons, of tap dancing lessons and ended up doing this whole maybe a minute and a half, minute 45 second tap dance routine on the show.”

Ackles even got good enough to perform the whole choreography in a single take. 

“I get really competitive with myself,” Ackles said. “I wasn’t getting it at first. The poor camera guys and stuff — because it was a huge camera sweep. It was on a crane with a big jib arm. — We did the whole thing. It wasn’t like we cut it up into segments. We tried to do the entire thing in one swooping shot.”

This was too many takes for ‘Supernatural’

Each take may have only lasted two minutes, but would require exhausting resets. Nevertheless, Ackles had to get it right.

“I think I must’ve done 18 different takes,” Ackles said. “I was like, ‘No, I missed that one step. Let’s do it again.’ I’m not usually like that. I pride myself on knocking it out in one take for most things. This, I was like, it was out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t going to subtle. I kept dancing, kept dancing, kept dancing. I must’ve burned 10,000 calories that afternoon.”

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