Supernatural’s Sam Winchester wasn’t fooling around when he called up a crossroads demon in hopes of saving his brother, Dean, from an eternity in hell. He made his demands and when she wouldn’t make a deal he shot her with a bullet from the demon-killing Colt.
For fans it was a shocking moment, to see sweet Sam gun down a pretty girl (demon or not) in cold blood like that. It was even more shocking since most fans knew that the pretty girl in question was Jared Padalecki’s real-life ladylove, Sandra McCoy.
And while Jared was quite amused by the prospect of “killing” his girlfriend on TV, Sandy had quite a different feeling about the scene.
“Oh my goodness,” (I like her, she says ‘oh my goodness.’) “He’s going to hate me for saying it, but it was the worst experience I had professionally, ever!” Then she’s quick to explain. “I’ve never been so nervous in my entire life! I’m very tied to the show. I really love it, and I respect it, and I know what it means to [Jared] so I didn’t want to go there and screw it up and have people be nice to me because I’m the lead actor’s girlfriend.
“I wanted to be the perfect guest star in every way for Jared, for that crew. I’ve never felt so much pressure in all my life. I just didn’t want to let them down. And to have a scene with him! He tries to help me with sides for auditions and I can’t even do them with him because I’m so worried about what he thinks of my acting.”
But her acting ability was the least of her problems when the cameras began to role. Think Vancouver in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter, and Sandy in nothing but a sleeveless, short dress.
“I was freezing. I don’t think we started shooting until one or two in the morning and I was trying to be a trooper. I asked them to not put the jacket on me between takes because I wanted to get used to [the cold]. It turned out I couldn’t move. I was pinching my thumb just so my teeth wouldn’t chatter when I was trying to do my dialogue. And Jared felt so bad for me, he was looking at me during the scene thinking, ‘she’s going to freeze to death!'”
And then of course, there was that gun aimed at her head.
“People ask about that all the time, but the truth is I was nowhere near him when he pulled the trigger and he was nowhere near me when I reacted to getting hit with the bullet. We performed both of those straight to camera and we were at least thirty feet away from each other at the time.”
Still, getting shot and killed by your boyfriend on national TV can be disconcerting.
“Oh no,” says Sandy. “That was fine. Just thank god we didn’t have to kiss on camera because no one wants to see that!” (Hmmm, not sure I’d take that bet.)
If Sandra McCoy’s life had gone off as planned, she would have been finishing up her PhD in Psychology all those months ago instead of staring down a demon hunter on a cold Vancouver night.
“I never planned on being an actress. I just moved down to [Los Angeles] to take a break before going to grad school after college and I fell into doing commercial work.”
Sandy’s more recent commercials include ads for IHop and Old Navy and the very funny Bud Light commercial with the bored guys at the Opera. But Sandy’s real claim to fame came when she landed the lead role in the NSYNC “Pop” video which led to her being cast in dozens of videos including her most recent, “You Never Take Me Dancing” with Travis Tritt.
“The Travis Tritt one was so much fun because I got to dance without having to be choreographed. I like doing choreography, but I’m just too old to pick it up like I used to do. It was fun to dance and flirt with the camera. And Travis was incredibly nice and the sets are so relaxed. You know it’s just one day, so you take it for all it’s worth. And as long as they’re not making me do backflips anymore, I’m fine.”
Even though she’s worked as an actress on TV shows such as Veronica Mars, Two and a Half Men and The O.C., it’s dancing that really calls her back time and time again.
DANCING FOR JOY
“One of the dance jobs I used to have was for Wayne Brady. Before he had his talk show, he had a variety show and we shot 14 episodes in front of a studio audience and that was INCREDIBLE,” she says, her voice dripping with wow. “It was a TV show, but we were pretty much on a stage doing all kinds of dance. I love being on the stage, nothing compares to it at all.”
Sandy’s other live performances include dancing with NSYNC on the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards and with Destiny’s Child at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards as well as backing up Los Lonely Boys on Dancing with the Stars.
“I have to be dancing in some way, shape, or form or I’m not okay,” she says with the utmost sincerity. “I [even] have a dance tattoo on my back. It’s my life and I do plan on teaching in a studio one day. Jared and I plan on owning a center for performing arts where we focus on everything, but I would like to [teach dance].”
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
Plans for the future come up often as Sandy talks, her speech peppered with ‘Jared’, ‘us,’ and ‘we.’ It’s clear that she’s a lady in love.
“Nothing we achieve or accomplish, good or bad — it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have each other to share it with. We both are very open, emotional people and I think we compliment each other perfectly. To be honest, I don’t know if anyone else could deal with either one of us!”
SANDY CRIES WOLF
The couple’s four-year relationship goes back to the set of the movie Cry Wolf where Jared and Sandy played private school friends involved in a game that gets way out of hand.
“We [filmed] in Richmond, Virginia during the fall and it was so gorgeous. A lot of us had never been to the East Coast and to be in Virginia in October. . . ” she sighs, recalling the beauty of the spot. “We were in a dormitory the entire time. Jeff (director, Wadlow) thought it was very important that we stay connected to our characters and the game that was the essence of the movie; the ‘wolf’ game or ‘Mafia’ as some people call it. The three girls in the movie, we shared an apartment, and the cast and crew would come up on the nights we wrapped early and we would play that game constantly. The director had us use our character names to keep us focused. It was a lot of fun. We really did feel like we were in the movie as we were shooting it.”
Cry Wolf was the debut film for director Jeff Wadlow, who recently helmed the mixed-martial arts movie Never Back Down. (Where Jared and Sandy were seen walking the red carpet!)
Sandy gasps and I fear something has happened to Harley, Jared’s oversized pup, who was begging for Sandy’s attention as we talked. “Oh my goodness! It’s Beau Bauman’s birthday today and I have not called him. I’m awful.”
I sigh with relief as she berates herself for forgetting. People are important to Sandra McCoy. With her naturally bubbly personality and selfless concern for others, it’s easy to see why people gravitate to the sweet young star.
“I’m ridiculously smiley. I can’t not smile or laugh pretty much at all times,” which makes her very good at playing the wolf game which has become a party tradition.
“I have an unintentionally good poker face being that I look guilty all the time! We’ve gotten all of our friends playing it. We played it over Christmas with [Jared’s] family. We’re really, really addicted to it and it’s dangerous. Sometimes divorces have almost happened and there were times where married couples wouldn’t sleep in the same room after.” She laughs. “Yeah, that game is still very much a part of our lives.”
As are horror movies in general. Sandra herself has starred in several horror flicks including House of Fears, Lost Signal (due out on DVD in December) and Nite Tales: The Movie. Jared Padalecki, of course, stars in Supernatural and also appeared in the movie House of Wax.
“He’s making a career out of it and now he’s going to go make another one that I’m going to have to go see over and over again!” Sandra whines, referring to the recent news of Jared taking the lead in the next Friday the 13th flick.
Trouble is, Sandy is a self-proclaimed chicken when it comes to horror.
“Jared and I TIVO Supernatural so I can I watch when I’m with him. I cannot do it on my own. Even when I read the script, it’s not enough. I still don’t sleep that night. And you would think shooting horror films myself, that it would start to desensitize you, but I still jump and cry and hide from. . . I don’t know what. My own imagination, I guess. You know, where the fear doesn’t just stick with what you’re watching, it’s what you’re thinking about and what you’re interpreting the things around you to be, and I can’t control it and it sticks with me for days afterward.”
Still, Sandy wouldn’t turn down a chance to watch anything Jared performs in, even if it is the kind of stuff nightmares are made of.
“I’m happy to watch anything he’s in, I think he’s brilliant!”
Apparently the feelings are mutual, because not only does Padalecki talk up his ladylove in interviews, she credits him with single-handedly boosting her confidence level.
A perfect example was her performance on the very first Search for the Next Pussycat Doll. Sandy spent a week and a half filming the reality series making it through round after round, but eventually her lack of confidence in her singing voice got the best of her. That and a bout of the flu that downed more than a few of the contestants.
“I wish I could have done that show now instead of back then. I’m pushier now!” she jokes, “thanks mostly to Jared’s coaching.”
Though she had a good time filming the episode, she was surprised by the final edit that made it to air.
“It was a very interesting portrayal of a lot of the girls. It was edited. . . things. . . sentences. . . words together and man, that’s scary. That’s your name and your person that’s being altered. But it’s very entertaining.”
It’s a new day and Sandy’s preparing to Tango for an audition and Jared’s back in Vancouver filming the last of four episodes of this season of Supernatural. With the show being picked up for a fourth season, there’s another nine-month separation in their future but it doesn’t bother Sandy.
“It never once felt like work to stay together through the distance, it just added some flights in between, but it never even was a deal for us. We didn’t have to sit and discuss how it would be. We don’t know life or want life without the other so we make it work. I think it’s that simple.”
Want more? Sandy McCoy has the wolf game and we have our Absurd Questions! Hear what she can’t live without, a secret about Jared and the last word on Johnny Depp.