Bad-Ass Boys of The CW - Jared Padalecki, Joseph Morgan and Shane West
Bad-Ass Boys of The CW - Jared Padalecki ("Supernatural", Joseph Morgan ("The Vampire Diaries") and Shane West ("Nikita") at the TCA's in January 2012 ©2012 The CW Network

Last year the CW brought the Kick-Ass Girls of their network to the TV critics tour. So it was only fair to the female journalists that the Bad-Ass Boys would turn up this year, and they did.

Jared Padalecki (Sam, Supernatural), Joseph Morgan (Klaus, The Vampire Diaries) and Shane West (Michael, Nikita) took the stage at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena to reflect on their kick-ass-ness!

Jared, where would you say Sam is on the scale of his bad-ass-dom?

Bad-Ass Boys of The CW - Jared Padalecki
Jared Padalecki (“Supernatural”) at the TCA’s ©2012 The CW Network

Jared: You’re familiar with the internationally standardized bad-ass test? You go from bad-ass-ness to bad-ass-dom!

In all seriousness, I think Sam this year is trying to keep his wheels aligned with the road, so he’s not in charge of his own faculties enough to really be as bad-ass as he was when [he was soulless]. I kinda liked doing the bad-ass bit.

Joseph, do you ever worry that there might come a time when you can’t be as bad-ass and villainous on The Vampire Diaries as you want to be?

Joseph: Yes. I worry about them making him softer. I think they can make him more human and more relatable without necessarily taking away any of his bad-ass-ism.

I think that it’s possible to have someone who is an antihero, who does tear hearts out and break necks, and still you can relate to him on a certain level. But I do trust them and I think they’ll keep him as bad-ass as possible.

Would you consider your series bad-ass?

Shane: With Nikita, the entire show is bad-ass basically. It’s based off of the action, the guns, the cars, the stunts. It’s like being a kid again.

Bad-Ass Boys of The CW - Joseph Morgan
Joseph Morgan (“The Vampire Diaries”) at the TCA’s ©2012 The CW Network

Joseph: I came into Vampire Diaries late at the end of Season 2. And what was so bad-ass about it for me was how everybody just completely welcomed me into it. They could have been really standoffish.

There’s no reason why I needed to stay on past the four episodes that I did at the end of Season 2, but everyone was so welcoming, like a big happy dysfunctional family. That’s why I love it.

Jared: What I love about our show is that Jensen (Ackles) and I get to play these action heroes that fight for what’s right, even when the odds are stacked again them. So I get to be a hero every day, and I get to do what I love. So I think that’s pretty bad-ass.

It seems like you were having more fun playing the soulless Sam, can you talk about that?

Supernatural, 7.16 - Jared Padalecki
Supernatural, 7.16 “Out With The Old” – Sam (Jared Padalecki) ©2012 The CW Network

Jared: I was really just trying to look cool when I played a soulless version of myself! When you hear somebody call somebody soulless, it’s usually because they’ve done something logically more than emotionally, so I tried to just think of pure reason, pure logic, and totally cut out emotion.

With Supernatural, I guess it’s more intense for me. We kind of have no boundaries. I’ve died. I’ve been to hell. I’ve been Lucifer. It’s been pretty fun.

We have a very forgiving fan base, so we’ve done everything. Our fans are the best, and they stick alongside us and forgive us and support us. It’s like a vaudeville act. We do anything we want to, and they forgive us.

Who would win in a fight, you or Jensen?

Jared: Seeing as how he’s not here to defend himself, I’d kick his ass!

Shane, how much training did you have to do for Nikita?

Bad-Ass Boys of The CW - Shane West
Shane West (“Nikita”) at the TCA’s ©2012 The CW Network

Shane: I’m faking it! No. It’s embarrassing how good Maggie Q is at what she does.

You kind of have to live up to those expectations. She’s gotten us into a bit of yoga. I can’t stretch worth a damn, but I try.

We spend a little bit of time in the gym, a lot of time on the gun range, thankfully everyone that was cast on the show has some kind of athletic background so there’s something that we can pull from, but we’re still answering to Maggie, and that’s always pretty difficult.

What’s your favorite part of your character?

Nikita, 2.18 - Maggie Q and Shane West
Nikita, 2.18 “Power” – Nikita (Maggie Q) and Michael (Shane West) ©2011 The CW Network

Shane: The depth of the character of Michael, also the history of Michael with Luc Besson’s film, the original series with La Femme Nikita, there’s been a lot of great actors that have played him.

So for me, it was an honor to have this shot at giving my take on Michael in that lore.

I think it’s the fact that he’s just consistently confused, and it’s just something that is always fun to play as an actor, because there’s a lot of places you can go with that. I loved Roy Dupuis’ work in the original series, and I wanted to be able to have a chance to put my stamp on it.

The Vampire Diaries, 3.18 - Claire Holt and Joseph Morgan
The Vampire Diaries, 3.18 “The Murder of One” – Rebekah (Claire Holt) and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) ©2011 The CW Network

Joseph: For me it’s the sociopathic nature of the character of Klaus, the idea that you can be in a room with him and you never know what he’s going to do. He could kiss you or kill you, and it’s all the same to him. That’s really where the danger comes from.

That’s the interesting thing for me as an actor. One moment to the next he can completely switch moods and emotions and not be aware that he’s done it, or not be aware that that is anything abnormal. That’s really the part that fascinates me.

Who would you consider to be a bad-ass living now?

Jared: I hope it doesn’t sound like a pat answer, but I’ve got to say our soldiers keeping us safe around the world are pretty bad-ass in my book.

Nikita episode 2.18 “Power” airs Friday March 30, 2012
Supernatural episode 7.18 “Party on, Garth” airs Friday March 30, 2012
The Vampire Diaries episode 3.18 “The Murder of One” airs Thursday March 29, 2012

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Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.