Feel better soon, Jared Padalecki!
Between greeting shrieking fans at convention appearances, keeping up with a network TV show’s shooting schedule, and trying to maintain something of a social and family life under the celebrity glare, life isn’t all sunshine and roses for the actors and actresses who embody our favorite characters to full effect. One of them has now bowed out of public appearances for the time being: Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki, who plays younger Winchester brother Sam on the hit CW show.
Padalecki, who recently partnered with the self-care nonprofit To Write Love On Her Arms on an initiative named #AlwaysKeepFighting, is a staple of modern fan culture. As a member of the fandom triumvirate SuperWhoLock (that’s Supernatural, Doctor Who, and BBC’s Sherlock for the uninitiated), he and the other actors at the center of those shows bear fan intensity, in all its highs and lows, at its fullest. And it’s taken its toll on the actor, as he cancelled two public fan convention appearances a few days ago, citing exhaustion.
The effects of extreme fan attention, even when it’s nothing but adoration, have been documented by other actors in the same position. Earlier this year, Martin Freeman (who’s neck deep in fandom by virtue of his roles in Sherlock and The Hobbit films) had this to say about fandom:
At one of the conventions Padalecki missed, Supernatural co-star and onscreen brother Jensen Ackles said, “In true Jared fashion, he exhausted himself to the point where he had to tap out. He needed to go home and get some rest and be with his family.” We too wish Padalecki well, and hope he gets some clearly much-needed time out away from the public eye.