‘The Winchesters’: Meg Donnelly Says There’s 1 Big Difference Between ‘Supernatural’ Prequel and Disney’s ‘Zombies’

The Winchesters star Meg Donnelly previously starred in three Zombies movies for Disney, but she’s about to embark on a role that could last even longer. The CW’s Supernatural prequel tells the story of how John Winchester (Drake Rodger) met Mary (Donnelly). Although she’s still dealing with the supernatural, Donnelly said there’s a big difference.

'The Winchesters': Mary (Meg Donnelly) holds a flashlight and pulls a lever
Meg Donnelly | Matt Miller/The CW

Donnelly was at a Zoom press conference for The Winchesters on Oct. 4 with series creators Robbie Thompson and Jensen Ackles. She discussed the differences between the Supernatural and Zombies worlds, and the producers discussed why they wanted Donnelly to play Mary. The Winchesters premieres Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

On ‘The Winchesters’ Meg Donnelly doesn’t have to look like a ‘Zombies’ dancer

Mary already holds her own against demons and creatures when John meets her in The Winchesters. Donnelly compared fight scenes with Zombies dance numbers, but acknowledged fight scenes can look messier.

“I think there’s definitely a lot of similarities,” Donnelly said. “It’s been really hard, though, because with stunt choreography, it doesn’t have to look really pretty and put together because you’re technically beating someone up. Memorization wise, it is very similar, but it’s been really hard to get out of the whole dancing technique, if that makes sense.”

Having seen the pilot, Donnelly’s dance skills translate well to kicking monster butt. But, she’s right, The Winchesters has a much grittier look to the choreography.

With ‘The Winchesters’, Meg Donnelly was ready to move on from Disney

Aside from Zombies, Donnelly appeared on an episode of Bunk’d and a season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series for Disney. The Winchesters is taking Donnelly in a more grown-up direction, and it could last a long time if Supernatural is any indication. 

“I’m so grateful for everything that Disney has given me,” Donnelly said. “But, coming into this new franchise and these amazing new characters, and it’s so dark, it’s been a really amazing honor to kind of step into Mary’s shoes. And it’s very different from everything I’ve ever done. So I’m really grateful.”

Jensen Ackles and his family were ‘Zombies’ fans

Ackles’s wife Danneel, who co-created The Winchesters with him, said that Donnelly came onto their radar through their kids watching Zombies.

Related

‘The Winchesters’ Is Filming a ‘Supernatural’ Cameo This Week, Plans for Jensen Ackles Too

“To be fair, we knew Meg very well, because Meg’s movies played in our house every day for like years,” Danneel said. “Well, every day through COVID, we watched her sing and dance..”

Jensen explained what he saw in Donnelly for the role of Sam and Dean Winchester’s mother. 

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I could probably sing just about any song that she sang,” Jensen said. “She exuded something that we were all very interested in immediately. She’s so strong. There was almost a Dean-esque quality to the way that she was playing Mary, which I felt the role really needed. And she was really the only one that was bringing that. With Meg, she’s just such a pro that any kind of like subtle thing that we said, ‘Oh, what if you tried this? Or what if you tried that?’ she just knocked it out every time.”