Image Source: Getty / Albert L. Ortega
If you're a fan of either Gilmore Girls or Supernatural, then you no doubt have strong feelings about Jared Padalecki. The 34-year-old actor has left quite a mark on Hollywood with his various roles over the years, and his personal life is just as intriguing. Did you know he's actually incredibly superstitious? Or that he's kind of a school nerd? On top of all his quirks and charms, Jared is also a devoted family man: he is a loving husband to actress Genevieve Cortese, and together they have three beautiful children, 5-year-old Thomas, 3-year-old Austin, and their newborn daughter, Odette. Keep reading for even more fun facts about him.
- Yes, he's really that tall. Jared is actually 6'4" in real life!
- He's a total brainiac. While in high school, he won the National Forensic League championship in duo interpretation alongside his debate partner, Chris Cardenas. And during his senior year, he was a candidate for the Presidential Scholars Program, which is extended to students who demonstrate "exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts."
- He's technically a former Disney Channel star. In 2002, he had a starring role on the Disney Channel original movie Ring of Endless Light, based on the novel by Madeleine L'Engle, alongside The O.C.'s Mischa Barton.
- He skipped college to play Dean. Jared was originally going to attend the University of Texas, but changed his mind when he scored the role of Rory's love interest on Gilmore Girls.
Image Source: Netflix
- He had an uncredited role in Cheaper by the Dozen. He had a small part as a football jock that bullied Tom Welling's character, Charlie Baker. He originally auditioned for the latter role but backed out to film a pilot for Young MacGyver, which never got picked up.
- He almost played Superman. Jared almost played the superhero before Henry Cavill. He was in the running to play Clark Kent in director McG's Superman: Flyby, which sadly never took flight.
- He once romanced Mary-Kate Olsen — on screen. In 2004, the two played love interests in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's New York Minute. It was the twins' first theatrical film release since It Takes Two.
- He's incredibly superstitious. Pretty ironic that the Supernatural star is actually incredibly superstitious in real life. He reportedly kisses his finger and taps the roof of a car whenever he drives under a yellow light.
Image Source: The CW
- He was engaged before marrying Genevieve Cortese. Before building a beautiful family with his former Supernatural costar, Jared was engaged to longtime girlfriend Sandra McCoy, whom he met on the set of Cry Wolf. They confirmed their breakup in 2008.
- He uses sign language with his kids. During a fan convention for Supernatural, Jared and his costar Misha Collins revealed they teach their kids sign language through the PBS show Signing Time!.
- He helps raise awareness for mental illness. Jared has been very open and candid about his struggle with depression. In 2015, he launched his Always Keep Fighting campaign through Represent.com to to help destigmatize depression.