JoJo Fleites is not only one of my favourite actors on The Winchesters, they are kind, funny and thoughtful as well. Please enjoy my delightful interview with the wonderful human being who plays Carlos!
So tell us about being cast as Carlos.
Oh my gosh. Being cast as Carlos let me tell you -- I never thought in my wildest dreams … this was my TV film debut and I never thought I'd be making it as a demon hunter joining the Supernatural legacy. It's just a complete honor. And the audition process was so surreal. The fact that they were taking to me so well was such a surprise and I was just so grateful. And it's been a great ride. Playing Carlos has been beautiful and has taught me so much, and it's just been absolutely incredible. It's so generic to say that, but it's just so [hard to] encapsulate everything. It's just incredible. Really incredible.
Well, you are amazing as Carlos, the character, and you are beloved by a lot. I asked on Twitter some of the questions I should ask you, and someone said, what's it like being the best character?
I'm just, wow. Wow. That's insane to me. And I'm just so happy that people are connecting with Carlos and people are just enjoying the show and enjoying what we're bringing.
It's an amazing, amazing show. But the thing is, JoJo, is that you cannot discount yourself because a lot of the reason why Carlos works so well is because of you and your personality.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Thank you.
So what characteristics do you think you and Carlos share?
Ooh. I think the thing that I love playing about Carlos -- and I'll start this off by saying that I really feel like when you're taking on a role, especially when you're originating something that no one has seen before, you really have to marry yourself with the role. I'm becoming who Carlos is, but there's also parts of me that I bring to make him relatable, not only to myself, but to others around the world. So some things that I just find in common is that we are both very authentically who we are and we don't shy away from that. We both can't really afford to shy away from who we are in a way. We kind of just wear who we are completely on our skin, completely to everyone. And I love that so much about him and about myself.
We both have a deep love for music. Carlos is very, very passionate about music, and you'll see more of that kind of come up throughout the season. He has some rough patches with his past in regards to music, but now it might blossom again. We don't know, but he's gonna show that appreciation very, very soon. Gosh, what else? I mean, the clothes, we both very much wear the same style of clothes. I tend to walk around and people often look at me and they think that I walked out of the seventies. So those are definitely just a few things I can probably go on. But those are some really key things. We both love our hair, we take care of it, we gotta look after it. But yeah, I think that's some stuff there.
So the music actually conveys perfectly into my next question. Are there any current plans for you to showcase your vocal talent on the Winchesters?
I don't know. You'll have to wait and see.
Love that. What is your favorite genre of movie and what is your favorite movie?
Oh my gosh. My favorite genre of movie. I am a sucker for any romance films. I have a deep, deep love for romance films or anything that, I don't know how you would classify this in a genre, but anything that also taps into really asking deep and thoughtful questions about humanity, about heart, about mind, about anything that just really makes you think, and anything that really captures you and talks about the human experience and such of that nature. One of my favorite films of all time is Good Will Hunting.
I think it's just such a beautiful masterclass of just acting and heart and pain and soul and everything that you could just bring to a project, and it's just so beautiful. And speaking of another project that just impacted me so much, that had me sobbing, was recently a film that just came out, Everything Everywhere, All at Once, which was just so gorgeous, literally did all the things that I'm passionate about. It made you think it had heart, it had love, it had everything. It just had everything all at once. I hope that's a good enough explanation, but I absolutely love those two films.
Amazing. Very, very cool. So speaking of Carlos's outfits, what has been your favorite so far?
It's asking me to pick my favorite child ..
Oh my gosh good Lord. What could be my favorite outfit? I will say there's some real fun ones in episode eight. So people look out for that, and that's gonna be a fun one. There's some pretty good ones in that. For the episode so far, I think my favorite look in the episode ... it was very short and very small, and you literally didn't see it very long. But it was actually at the end of episode four when I'm sitting in the therapy circle, and I'm wearing this all black number, this coat that is black, but it also has some hints of dark yellow and browns, and it's just very earth tones -- it's long all the way down to my legs. And it's just so gorgeous and beautiful and I absolutely fell in love with that. I would say that look, and probably lastly the look for episode two at the very, very end, when I slap pizza down on Latika’s books. But yeah, definitely that I have this gorgeous purple coat along with this fun, bright blue top in jeans and it was amazing. Just so fun. So much fun.
Yeah. Well, purple is my favorite color, so I agree.
There you go.
So have you always worn your hair long? And how do you make it so pretty?
No, I have not always worn it long. I started growing my hair out, maybe I wanna say about three, almost four years ago. So this has been a journey, to be honest, I took good care of my hair throughout all the years. I really learned how to take good care of it when I got to the show. Well, I will also say prior to the show, I always did this thing where I didn't fully embrace the curls. Funny enough, as soon as I got outta the shower, I would pull my hair back into a tight bun and it would mainly straighten with just some curl at the bottom. And it always just didn't look like a fully complete thing. The hair team just told me you have just this great natural look, embrace it, own it. And I was kind of shy to do that. But then ever since I started playing Carlos and I started owning the hair, it's just taken over and now I don't want it any way else.
No, it's just, it's awesome. It's just you. I love it. Yeah. So Tuesday night's episode, Carlos, not flirting was the most adorable thing in the world …
Literally. But hey, sometimes not flirting is flirting.
It was adorable. So Carlos's character has brought a lot of sweetness and light to the Winchester's, but a lot of emotional depth as well. How do you prepare for each type of scene?
Well, I think for me, it kind of all ties back to something that Jensen actually told me prior to starting the show. And something that I was learning as I was on the pilot, considering it was my first time taking on a new role very quickly and being on a film set for the first time. Something that I took with me very strongly was from Jensen was to “just be.” And so I find that just being and existing in the moment and just reacting to things as you naturally would sometimes just gets you there. I will say though, of course for scenes where it gets a little more emotional or we're having some real heart to heart moments, I like to prepare a little bit for that. I like to, especially if it's with somebody on screen, I like to connect with them, I like to make sure they're okay. And it's not a hard thing to do with this cast. I mean, we all have such a great connection and we all are there for each other a hundred percent every single day that we are filming. And it's really, it's a dream. It's truly, truly a dream and a great process. And yeah, that's how I tend to handle it.
Well, the set itself seems like an awesome place to be. I've heard of road trips and Beyonce dancing.
It's so much fun. It just goes to show how much fun we have on the set. It literally is a great environment.
And I absolutely love that for you because I mean, I know that Supernatural was a wonderful set. I was lucky enough to be on a close set once and it's just like everyone is just having fun and laughing. And it sounds like Jensen has created that kind of ambience and feeling for you as well, which is really cool.
Yeah, he really, let me tell you, he and the whole team just know how to really bring what was on the mothership, but to this brand new show and its own new way, it's really kind of crazy. And it almost seems like fate because I've gone back and I've seen episodes of Supernatural and I've also seen moments of behind the scenes in blooper and gag reels ... . It's just amazing how that kind of just transpired because we're all a bunch of goofballs and everybody on there was a bunch of goofballs, but they didn't know that about us. But we just naturally all are that, and it's just so so crazy and beautiful how that all just comes together and how the universe makes that work. It's amazing.
So obviously you're familiar with Supernatural. How would Carlos fit in with Sam, Dean and Castiel?
Well, I imagine he would be older ... . I like to think that Carlos would be a really great influence. I'd like to think that he'd be a wonderful influence especially if they grew up with Carlos. I feel like Carlos would've been the cool uncle figure that they went to get all the things that they need or maybe some of the illegal things ..
I imagine that he would've been a good influence. I mean, obviously heads would've butted. There would've been a lot of sassy fights here and there as there have been with Carlos, even on this show. But I'd like to think that he would've fared well with Sam and Dean and had been a positive influence. And it's amazing also how they write these characters. I feel like all of us on the show, John, Mary, and Carlos, we all kind of in a way are a beautiful as a group combination. If you combine all of us in a way, we all bring something that Sam and Dean had on the original show.
We all have the isms because, and I love that. I'm already seeing it on Twitter. People are commenting, for instance, with the whole Carlos not being able to flirt. They're like, well, looks a lot like Dean when Dean couldn't flirt on Supernatural. And I'd like to think that that's something that definitely Carlos maybe had a relationship with Dean about that and tried to talk about it and stuff like that. It's amazing how it all just comes together in that way.
Very cool. So what would you tell the queer people who are watching their show and see themselves represented by your character?
Man, I think I would definitely say I have this kind of mantra that I go by in day to day life. That means a lot to me. And that has made me, in a way, come into this world in a very strong way. Something that I really go by is take up space. Basically saying that you, as a queer person in this life, deserve as much space as anyone else at the table. You deserve to have the same rights as other people do. You deserve to have the same love, the same care, the same attention, and your life just matters. And your voice is valuable and you're precious. You're valued, you're worthy of so much. And so, especially in light of what just recently happened in Colorado Springs, it's just all I wanted to do.
When I saw that article and I saw, of course, the heart and the pain that everyone was going through, and of course acknowledging it. I just wanted to remind the queer community that those people that we lost, unfortunately, as much as we should not have lost them, they wouldn't want us to shy ourselves away any less because of what happened to make others comfortable or to just conform to these horrible things and to people that don't see eye to eye. I just think it's important to continue to show up and show out and just be yourself.
Because at the end of the day you are. And that's a beautiful thing. And there's nothing wrong with that. And so if you see yourself in Carlos, I love you and I'm glad you see yourself in this character, and I'm glad that I could be a positive influence and I'm glad that I could help you feel more seen. And if no one, and this is just a personal note from JoJo, if no one has told you that they loved you or that you feel you haven't felt seen by anyone, just know that I love you and I see you.
That's amazing. And you're about to make me cry. No, and it's really, really cool to meet someone and talk to someone that's at the beginning of their journey of being well-known and famous where and a lot of people, a lot of celebrities will start out warm and caring and that sort of thing, but as they become more and more famous, the ego gets hold and they just don't care anymore. But honestly, I don't see that happening for you. You're too warm and cuddly.
Thank you. I really try my best when it comes to, I don't know, maybe I'm just too grounded for my own good. I like to stay close to the ground and I like to surround myself with people that are close to the ground and that keep me rooted. And I find that a lot in just my community of queer people and also my community of just artists. And I have been around people that might not be as close to the ground. And I certainly didn't love the way that I was made to feel when I was around them. And I wouldn't wanna make anyone else feel that way. So I think it's important to stay connected to your roots, stay connected to everything that you are or where you came from, and you'll be golden and you'll be respected and loved.
Awesome. Yeah. So how surreal has it been, basically going from being JoJo who not really love few people know to being Carlos, when you've basically been thrown into this large pool of fans, how surreal has it been?
I don't know. Yes, it has been surreal, but I don't even know if I've really haven't had the time to process it yet. It just doesn't feel real sometimes. There's moments that I think that it felt, of course, the most real, when the pilot aired, and then social media was going crazy and people were commenting about it and talking about it. Yeah, it has been surreal. And just, again, it all goes back to staying grounded. It's just trying to keep grounded with everything. And I'm trying to thank my lucky stars every day for this opportunity and the fact that I get to impact people and that I get to tell a story that people resonate with and I want to keep doing that. But yeah, so surreal. So surreal ..
So Tuesday night’s live stream by Jensen and the rest of the cast was wonderful. Jenson is an old man when it comes to social media and it's hilarious…
Literally. And I was right there ready to help at a moment's notice.
That was so funny. Are there any plans for something like that during future episodes?
Oh, I hope so. I will say we happen to have that as a very lucky thing because Jensen and Danneel were visiting for this week, and it was sort of a not really planned situation. We kind of just decided it on the day. And we even decided to all go over and watch it that night and such. Cuz of course we're filming, it's busy. We don't know anybody's schedules, but we all happen to get off at a good time together on that day. And we kind of just started getting in a group chat about it, and we were like, so what do we do? And Jensen was just like, all right, well just come over and we'll figure it out.
He came over and then we of course sat there on the couch and he wasn't kidding. It was discussed in the moment. So I hope eventually they get to come back soon. I think that if anything, it would be great if we did more lives. But yeah, don't know. But fingers crossed that we can.
Yeah, cuz that was very cool. What has been your favorite part about playing Carlos? Now, you may have covered a bit of this already …
My favorite thing about playing Carlos, there's so much. I think the best thing about playing Carlos has been collaborating with Robbie Thompson on the role. Cuz the beautiful thing that I love about Robbie: one, Robbie is a beautiful, beautiful soul and a kind and lovely human and an amazing collaborator. But I remember when I first met Robbie and I got to Nola, he and I, we got lunch together just to talk about Carlos. And immediately the first thing he said to me was, all right, we sat down and he was just like, all right, the first thing before we dive into Carlos and we talk about his story, I want you to talk to me about your story. And he was so lovely about wanting to get to know so much about me so that it could help inform who Carlos is.
We had a beautiful talk about my background, representation, my feelings about these things in life and those things in life. And then we dove into Carlos and I began to talk about how I think Carlos would feel about certain situations and how he would relate to me if I was in a certain situation. So the beautiful thing about playing Carlos has just been playing with Robbie on where he goes. And Robbie is so open to feedback and to questions and concerns and to thoughts. There were things that was written for me in one episode where I was like, oh, I'm not sure if Carlos would do that. And I right away talked to Robbie and he was like, absolutely, totally makes sense. And so it's a back and forth, and I think him and I collaborating has created who you're seeing now, and I think it's really beautiful. And so I think that's been the greatest joy about playing him is the collaboration on creating him with Robbie.
Well, Robbie is an amazing writer. He wrote some of the best episodes of Supernatural hands down. Definitely. Do you have any behind the scenes stories you can share?
Oh, behind the scenes stories, there's one that comes to mind, I think. I may have already talked about it before, but it's just the instant thing that comes to my brain is on the pilot, as you know, Supernatural is notorious for it's pranks. So, there was one time that we had we as a cast, we, as soon as we all joined the show, of course, we do our research, we learn about the show, we learn about its history and what it was loved for. And of course, something that me, Nida, Meg, and Drake all have in common is that we love pranking each other or we love pranking people. We just get a kick out of it and it's so much fun. But my favorite prank that we've done so far, aside from me scaring Nida -- I scare Nida all the time. It's a great joy.
One of my favorite pranks that we ever pulled was on Jensen in the pilot when he came by was our final night on set. And we were like, we need to do something. We need to just have a little moment. So there is a poster that exists of Jensen, and I'm not sure what the theme is, but it's a great shot of him just screaming into a camera. It's just his face super close up, and his teeth are wide open, his mouth wide open. He's just screaming like crazy.
And so we just thought it would be a fun idea to order some face masks with a printed version of his mouth just screaming. And so we would just put them on over our face and just catch him at a moment. But the thing is, it wasn't just the cast. We gave it to Robbie, we gave it to Danneel, we gave it to some crew members. So all of a sudden Jensen walks away to go, I don't know, go to the bathroom, go to the food truck, get something, and we all are like, is this the moment? This is the moment. It was our last night. It was a couple of our last shots.
We all got the masks out. We started passing them out to everybody like mike, camera operators, everybody. Everybody just starts putting the mask on. Everyone's kind of facing away from Jensen as he's coming this way. And then all of a sudden as we go and we sit, as he sits down, we all just kind of turn slowly towards him. And he is just shook beyond belief. He's just like, I don't even know. He didn't even know at first what he was looking at. He was just like, what are all these faces? What's going on? And then he realized, and we all just died laughing. And it was just the best prank I think we've done to date. And it was just a joy. We were initially trying to do it in a take when he was watching where we wanted to get a take, where all of a sudden the camera pans away from us. And then we pulled him out super quick, and then it panned back to us, and then it was on us. But because we were so pressed for time and we were trying to get a lot done we couldn't get that. But that the prank still was a success, and it was amazing.
Amazing. Yeah. So what can fans with the Winchester's look forward to for the rest of the season?
Oh my gosh. It's go, it's gonna get crazier. Let me tell you. I think the first couple of episodes were really about getting to know the characters. And I love that we took our time with that. But now it's going after the Big Bad, which is the Akrida, and it's about to get more wild deeper more intimate. We're gonna meet some new characters as well some new, and some also that you might recognize from the mothership, but it's really about to get wild. Mm-hmm. Like there's a lot more action happening, more monsters, more Akrida, like I said, and just more of the core four coming together and really taking on these threats more and more.