Fans of the long running CW fantasy drama Supernatural showed their support for star Jared Padalecki in one of the most heart-warming moments of San Diego Comic Con 2015.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Padalecki’s private struggle with depression became public knowledge earlier this summer. During a series of fan-organized conventions in Europe, Padalecki returned home with little warning besides a tweet saying he was in “desperate and urgent need” of his family and asking fans to write him in support, most likely as he flew back to his family.
Padalecki was able to resume his normal schedule in June, just in time for a Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX Television Festival, but fans wanted to let the star know that they still supported him.
As the annual Supernatural panel drew to a close, the 7,000 fans in attendance raised LED candles to show support for Padalecki and his Always Keep Fighting charity campaign.
Padalecki described the moment from his perspective in an interview with E! Online.
“At first I didn’t know what it is. I thought people were holding up their iPhones or something. And then someone handed me the note explaining it and I found out what was really going on. It took everything in my power not to cry.”
Padalecki’s co-star, Jensen Ackles, also described the moment during an interview.
“I’m astonished at the support that these fans give Jared and give us on the show, day in and day out. And it just seems to keep growing, on both sides. Jared and I talk about it, Misha [Collins] and I talk about it, we all talk about this relationship that has formed between the fans and us.”
According to an interview in Vanity Fair, Padalecki was first diagnosed with clinical depression during production of season 3 of Supernatural.
“A doctor came to set and talked to me for about 30 minutes or 45 minutes and said: ‘Jared, I think you’re clinically depressed. I think I should write you a note and we can shut down production for five days and then we can take it from there.'”
According to Padalecki, he did go home, but he didn’t take the recommended five days off. Instead he returned to work the next day, and between production and appearance commitments, worked constantly every year since. Jared Padalecki and his representatives suggest that the hectic schedule Padalecki kept was to blame finally overwhelmed him in May, just as he was beginning his yearly summer convention appearances.
For now, Padalecki says his short vacation was just what he needed. “..it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ll probably do it every year.”
Supernatural returns for season 11 on October 7.
[Image by Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment]