SFX has an exclusive chat with Supernatural star and Twitter Overlord Misha Collins about his new charity and upcoming marathon...
As anybody who follows Misha Collins on Twitter ( twitter.com/mishacollins ) will already know, the angelic actor has raised over $30,000 for charity this year and the money has gone to help run three orphanages in Haiti. Now he’s getting even more serious: on Sunday 5 September he’ll be running a marathon or two (or three, if he can manage it) to raise funds for his new charity, Random Acts , which will spread the money raised between causes in Haiti and Pakistan and to help fund random acts of kindness around the world.
Check out video above for more info (including a Castiel voodoo doll, urgh) and then read on for our exclusive Q&A, in which he wonders if his Supernatural co-workers might throw things at him and why Manchester freaks him out...
“I was talking about that all the way back in November? It takes a while for these things to come together, I guess! But you’re exactly right – this is my attempt to find a productive use for my Twitter followers. Which is not to say that they don’t engage in productive activities on their own.” [ Ed’s note: see Castiel voodoo doll for proof ]
Tell us about Random Acts. What’s your manifesto?
“Well, our mission statement is to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time. That sort of plays on the paramilitary language thing that seems to have evolved on my Twitter feed [laughs]. I don’t know who this person is that I’ve created on Twitter, but anyway... this overlord is trying to do something right, I guess. Hopefully if there’s a bunch of people paying attention to this online, we’ll get it to spread virally. Perhaps taking over the world is a bit ambitious, but, you know, set your sights high.”
And you’re running a marathon to raise money...
“I’m going to be running in Washington State, which is the Pacific Northwest of the United States which is on the continent of North America, in case you’re not familiar with it. I’ve charted out a course which is about 100km and I will run as much of that as I can on Sunday. I’ve never run more than a marathon distance, which is 26 miles, which is 40-something kilometres, to put it into units which might be more familiar to your readers. But I have no idea how far I’m going to run. Which kind of makes it fun.
Aren’t you a little bit scared? You could hurt yourself running 100km!
“Oh no, I KNOW that I’m gonna hurt myself. I’ve just come to embrace that.”
Okay, so as long as you know you’re going to hurt yourself, you’ll be prepared.
How much training are you doing at the moment? Are you running from morning till night to try to get up to speed – literally?
“Well, I have been trying to do as much running as I can but I keep hurting myself, spraining my ankle, things like that [laughs]. Which puts a little bit of a damper on the training experience. But I am running, I’m not anywhere near the condition I would like to be, and we’ll see how that plays out next Sunday.”
Do you have to go to work the next day? Will you be limping around the Supernatural set?
“No, that Monday – the 6th – is a holiday. I am guaranteed to not be on set on Monday, which is good. Otherwise there would be this very sort of hunched over, wincing, limping Cas, which wouldn’t be a good idea.”
Are the Supernatural team behind you on this? Will they come along and support you?
“To be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t yet told them! I don’t think anyone on set knows about it yet [laughs]. So I don’t know. I suppose I’ll let people know this week, but we’ll see. I have a feeling that I’ll be harassed by them. That they’ll throw things at me from moving cars and things like that. There’s a playful, ‘trickster’ kind of vibe on the set, but I’m sure everyone will be fine... Whether just to sabotage me or not, I’m not sure, but one way or another I think they’ll be there.”
So if you had to give a message to the readers of SFX telling them to perform a random act of kindness, what would you suggest they do?
“Oh, wow. Um. You know, that’s a question that I don’t really have an answer for, but I think that just thinking a little bit outside the box, doing things that people don’t quite expect, things that they can’t see coming, makes a huge difference. If it’s something that’s quite out of the blue and surprising, I think it has a much greater impact on people.
Little things that I’ve noticed that make a difference in people’s lives that I’ve done... There was this one time where I was working on my house and there was a guy that I hired from the Home Depot parking lot. Didn’t speak a word of English, he was in his fifties, had been an accountant in El Salvador. He came up here and was hard up, looking for work, and hadn’t seen his family in a few years. He worked for a few days on my house and then I invited him to come to Thanksgiving at our place because he didn’t have any family. So he came to Thanksgiving and he brought a little camera and took some pictures. And then I saw him a few years later and he pulled out this photo album that was his only photo album – and it was just full of pictures from this one day!
“And I think we all forget that these relatively tiny gestures that we can do in day-to-day life CAN make such a big difference to people, especially when there’s something that is unexpected and surprising. So... yeah. That’s a very saccharine little story! But I think that kind of stuff makes a bigger difference in the world than you’d think.”
So, to wrap up... we’ve heard you have a lot of fans in Manchester. Why is that?
“Yeah, what the f**k is that all about? I recently opened this Facebook fan site and it shows the demographics of where everyone is that, quote-unquote, ‘likes’ you on Facebook, and the number of people from Manchester is bizarrely disproportionate. It’s like there’s some weird cult there! I have NO IDEA what that’s about. Maybe there’s some other Misha Collins who has done stuff within Manchester and there’s some identity confusion. I don’t know.”
And now the important bit: you can pledge money for Misha’s marathon by clicking HERE to go the Random Acts Home Page .