After winning Fox TV's "Claim to Fame" contest in 1999, Texas ranchhand Jared Padalecki landed a role on "Gilmore Girls" and has since realized every young actor's dream of steady work in TV and movies.
"I’d tried out at Planet Hollywood in San Antonio," Jared said of his brief appearance on the 1999 Teen Choice Awards that started it all. "They ended up picking me and I flew to Los Angeles and just stood up there with a surfboard while Freddie Prinze Jr. won for like ‘the best hottie’ or ‘the best kisser,’ or whatever."
Just a few months after his 2000 high school graduation Jared moved from San Antonio to Hollywood, and at 18 landed a major featured role on The WB's "Gilmore Girls" as Dean Forrester, the all-American boyfriend of Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel).
On his current show "Supernatural", Jared plays Sam Winchester, the youngest of two brothers who drive around the country confronting ghosts, urban legends, and unexplained phenomena - like finding his girlfriend splayed out and stuck to the ceiling while burning to a crisp.
Jensen Ackles ("Dawson's Creek," "Angel, and "Smallville") plays the older Winchester brother, Dean.
"Sam is trying to figure out whether he has a choice in this," Padalecki says of his character. "He has fought it as long as he can, from the day he could get out of the house and away from his father and brother and the life he was born into, he has been trying to convince himself that he could just live a normal life. He finds out slowly but surely that he can't choose his own destiny."
"He's a classic reluctant hero. He's Luke Skywalker. He's Neo from `The Matrix.' He doesn't know why he's able to do what he's able to do, and he doesn't know why he kinda has to, but he has this ability. Not anything magical, or anything supernatural, but this understanding and ability to help others, so he feels compelled to do so."
There's a good interview with Jared at www.msnbc.msn.com.