Hot off the heels of The boys season three, Jensen Ackles appears to be at a high point in his career. While it’s unclear if he will return in Season 4, he is currently set to star as the main character in big sky and will narrate the Supernatural spin-off series The Winchesters.
2022 looks like a great year for the actor, which says a lot considering the wealth of roles he’s played over the past 25 years. While most fans will remember Ackles for his 15 years as Dean Winchester, he also got the chance to play a clone and voice Batman.
10 Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 (2021) – 7.2
Based on the comics by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 Jensen Ackles’ Batman faces off against Holiday, a serial killer who has started murdering members of the Falcone crime family. With almost no leads to work with, Batman must use his wits to uncover Holiday’s identity and stop the killer before a crime war begins.
As the titular caped crusader, Ackles gives Batman a sense of uncertainty and confusion as he is relatively new to crime fighting. He’s still a competent fighter and thinker, but he’s still not the world’s greatest detective, and Ackles sells his inexperience tastefully while still committing to the character’s gruff attitude.
9 Ten-Inch Hero (2007) – 7.3
released during supernaturals creativity peak, ten inch hero sees Jensen Ackles play a different kind of character as a socially awkward cafeteria worker named Priestly. Her world is turned upside down when a new girl starts working at the diner in search of her lost daughter and threatens the stability of her career.
Although Ackles is relegated to a supporting role in the film, he makes the most of it and milks the role for all its comedic value. This is most evident in his conversations with Tish (Danneel Harris), who always seems to have him tripping over the language. They’re an unlikely combination, but the chemistry between the two stars (who would later marry in real life) absolutely sells this subplot.
8 Black Angel (2000-2002) – 7.3
Dark Angel it’s often overlooked compared to James Cameron’s blockbuster movie projects, but at the time of its release, the show was a big deal. The series starred then-promising Jessica Alba as a genetically enhanced super-soldier who goes on the run in an effort to lead a normal life.
In addition to making Jessica Alba a household name and launching her acting career, Dark Angel also proved important to Jensen Ackles. Starting out as a guest character, Ackles quickly became a main character during the show’s second season as the obnoxious know-it-all Alec McDowell, a role that solidified him as a legitimate actor rather than a soap star. The writing may have stayed on the wall for Dark Angel by the time he became a main character, but that star was on the rise.
7 Smallville (2001-2011) – 7.5
Before Jensen Ackles took on the role of superheroes like Batman and Soldier Boy, his first foray into the genre was as Jason Teague during smallvillefourth season. During his time on the show, he became an adversary to Clark due to his romantic relationship with Lana.
While it largely relied on the laid-back charm that Ackles had developed in his previous roles, the role of Jason Teague also gave Ackles some meaty material that allowed the actor to lean into his dramatic sideburns. This dichotomy between the nice kid next door and the violent killer would eventually open doors for Ackles to take on bigger roles.
6 Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) – 8.0
One of Jensen Ackles’ first forays into voice acting, Batman: Under the Red Hood see him play the pivotal role of Jason Todd, Batman’s former sidekick who was brutally beaten and murdered by the Joker. After being brought back to life, he takes on the alias of The Red Hood to purge Gotham of all crimes.
Despite being Ackles’ first voice acting roles, he plays a crazed, tortured vigilante who wants revenge on the person who hurt him. For most of the film, he gives Red Hood a cold but angry demeanor, but when the hood is taken off, the character can emerge in one of Batman’s most painful scenes put into animation.
5 Still life (2003) – 8.1
An ill-fated TV drama that was canceled before it even aired, Dead nature would have focused on the lives of the Morgan family as they deal with the loss of their eldest son Jake. Jensen Ackles would have played the role of Jake’s brother Max, a man searching for his identity after Jack’s death.
Despite just one episode of Dead nature was produced, it is evident that Max Morgan would have been a prominent role for Jensen Ackles, given the character’s contemplative nature. This would have allowed the actor to take on more “respectable” and dramatic roles instead of the soap operas and genres that previously dominated his filmography.
4 Wishbone (1995-1997) – 8.2
One of the outstanding children’s programs of the 1990s, Wishbone centered on the fantasies of the titular dog as it enters the works of classical literature. It was also the first time that Jensen Ackles made a television appearance, having participated in the season 1 episode, “Viva Wishbone”.
Although Jensen Ackles only has a small role in “Viva Wishbone,” the way his character is spoken makes the show’s main human character, Joe, jealous. Of course, when Jensen Ackles finally appears at the end of the episode, his charm is able to smooth out any existing tension and resolve the central conflict.
3 Reis da Con (2016-2017) – 8.3
Not to be confused with the similar title Swindler by actor Alan Tudyk, Kings of Con was a short-lived show centered around fictional actors Rob Bennet and Richard Slate as they roamed the convention circuit. Jensen Ackles guest starred in the show’s final episode as a parody of himself named Justin Angles.
Though he only appears in a single episode, Ackles makes the most of his screen time, increasing his personality and jumping from his Supernatural co-star Jared Padellecki. It might not be the most flattering role for the actor given how close it is to his real life, but Ackles seems to revel in the opportunity to poke fun at himself and play a disgruntled celebrity.
two Supernatural (2005-2020) – 8.4
The project that will forever be linked to the name of Jensen Ackles, Supernatural saw him play Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester’s older brother and a demon hunter. Although the show was originally supposed to end after five seasons, the network kept Supernatural going on for another decade due to its consistent ratings and strong cult following.
Because of supernaturals longevity, Jensen Ackles was able to show his range as Dean Winchester. He got to play the brooding loner, goofy brother, uncontrollable hothead and all. Together with Supernatural co-star Jared Padalecki, he helped create one of the most iconic duos in all of television history, and it’s a testament to his skills as an actor that Dean’s role never turned into a parody.
1 The Boys (2019-present) – 8.7
One of Jensen Ackles’ more recent performances, his time as Soldier Boy in The boys proved to be crucial to the success of Season 3. Unlike some of his more famous roles, he plays a scoundrel who gives Homelander a run for his money and struggles with the trauma of his captivity under the Russians.
Despite Soldier Boy’s obvious moral depravity, Jensen imbues the role with his usual charm and carefree attitude. It’s a choice that makes Soldier Boy a difficult character to hate and helps explain why he and the other heroes of The boys are loved by the public.