Jared Padalecki is changing lives.
The "Supernatural" actor has been open about his struggle with depression in the past, and he's never shied away from being honest with his fans. The 32-year-old worried fans when he suddenly canceled appearances at fan conventions in May and tweeted, "I need all the love I can get right now."
But after a surprise appearance at the "Gilmore Girls" reunion at ATX Television Festival last month, Padalecki looked recharged and refreshed at Comic-Con this past weekend. On Sunday (July 12), at the end of the packed "Supernatural" panel, fans in the audience held up candles in support of Padalecki's Always Keep Fighting campaign. And it was an emotional moment for the actor, who had no idea it was even happening.
He took to Facebook today (July 13) to express his gratitude. "A thank you," he wrote. "To anybody and everybody that had ANY part whatsoever in the Always Keep Fighting Hall H tea light event. As I travel back to Vancouver from San Diego Comic-Con, with my partners in crime Jensen Ackles and Mark Sheppard, the enormity of what happened is finally starting to sink in."
"I am beyond moved," he added. "I feel so blessed, and grateful, and honored to be a part of the magical Supernatural Family."
Longtime "Supernatural" fan and one of Padalecki's close celeb buddies, William Shatner, also participated in the #AlwaysKeepFighting candle ceremony. "Thanks brother," Padalecki replied to Shatner's touching tweet. "I am still deeply grateful and touched. I don't yet have the words."
Earlier this year, Padalecki launched his "Always Keep Fighting" t-shirt campaign through Represent.com to benefit nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), which supports people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. It’s a passion project for the actor, who's been open about his own clinical depression diagnosis.
"I, in the past, have had my own struggles of not (being) so happy with where I am in life," he told Variety back in March. "Maybe a lot of people don't know this, but season 3, we were shooting an episode, and I went back to my trailer to get changed and just kind of broke down."
"A doctor came to set and talked to me for about 30 minutes or 45 minutes and said, 'Jared, I think you're clinically depressed. I think I should write you a note and we can shut down production for five days and then we can take it from there,'" he added. "There's no shame in having to fight every day."
Well said, Padalecki. We're going to keep fighting alongside you.