Drake Rodger is a 24-year-old actor and model, probably best known for playing John Winchester in “The Winchesters” television series from 2022 to 2023. He has a towering height of 6ft 3ins or 1.91m and a net worth of about $300,000.
Drake Rodger was born on 26 January 1999, in Keokuk, Iowa State USA, but moved around the state during his youth. However, the UPI interviewer, Fred Topel, confused some fans in October 2022 when he stated that Drake was born in Idaho, and the actor didn’t correct him. He mentioned his older brother to Nerds & Beyond, and has shared pictures on Instagram with his younger sister, Hunter Nicole Rodger, who has an account under the handle hunter.rodger.
Drake liked imitating characters in his room, which he saw in movies and series, and said that he grew up in his make-believe world. Drake listed one notable example: actor Misha Collins, who played Castiel in the “Supernatural” TV series, because he had fun wearing a cream-colored trench coat and pretending to be an FBI agent. Similarly, he practiced speaking in Jensen Ackles’ voice, who played Dean Winchester in the series, because he thought it sounded cool.
In the interview with Pop Culturalist, Drake said that ‘finding their why’ motivated him and his family members to pursue their goals. He clarified that he found his passion, the love for acting, early, but unintentionally, as the circumstances were dire when he started. Drake added that working for someone other than himself, i.e., his family in Ohio, pushes him to be a great storyteller and artist.
Early education, source of career
According to Drake’s profile on the Backstage.com website, a platform for actors to find work, he started acting training in 2017. He attended the Performers Studio Workshop by Kathy Laughlin in Tampa, Florida, to study acting. Towards the end of the year, Drake attended the Cast Studio under the guidance of Shauna Bartel in Orlando, Florida, to further his education. In 2018, he traveled to Eugenie Bondurant, St. Pete, Florida, to take Meisner technique and improvisation classes at the Andi Matheny Acting Studios. The following year, he went to Sarasota, Florida, for private coaching under Todd Sheeler. At some point between 2017 and 2019, Drake found his talent agent, Susan Fronsoe, from the 22 Talent company in Orlando, Florida.
Drake’s Backpage.com page suggests that he moved to Los Angeles, California, USA in 2019, which he confirmed to UPI in 2022. He attended classes on cold reading and on-camera techniques during the Christinna Chauncey On Camera Training course. It’s unclear when, but Drake also found a manager, Peter Kluge, working for the Impact Artists Group out of Burbank, California.
Drake did his best to prepare for his acting success, as he got his driver’s license and a passport and listed that he was adept at riding motorcycles, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles. Moreover, he stated that he was an expert-level set medic, certified in EMR, AED, CPR, and lifeguarding. Drake also listed weightlifting, football, basketball and surfing under his skills and noted that he’s had firearms training.
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Drake Rogers started his acting career in Florida in 2018, by playing three supporting roles in films. However, the movies were released with a delay of two to three years, by which point he’d moved to California, confusing some fans. Drake played Zack Harris in the “Murder RX” horror movie, released in April 2020, and Dave in the short film “Terra Beach,” released the same year. His third movie entitled “Not Alone,” in which he played Conor and was possibly the first that he filmed, was released in October 2021.
Drake settled in West Hollywood, California, in 2019, and told UPI that he waited tables until 2022 while working on movies. After settling in, he landed a supporting role in the science fiction romantic film “The In Between,” shot in Georgia and California in early 2021, and released the following year. He portrayed Judd alongside actress Joey King, who played Tessa, a teenager who survived a car accident in which her boyfriend, Skylar, played by Kyle Allen, died, causing him to become stuck in a ghost-like state.
In 2022, Drake also had a small uncredited role in the short film “Hardcore”, and played Nathan Kamber in the psychological thriller “Mantra,” his first leading cast role, as an alcoholic addict who, despite his brother’s best attempts, relapses and wreaks havoc on the people whom he meets.
Debuting as John
On 11 October 2022, Drake debuted in his best-known role as John Winchester in “The Winchesters” on the CW television network. It was a prequel spin-off from the “Supernatural” television series, which aired from 2005 to 2020. “Supernatural” followed two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who traveled the US hunting supernatural beings, including angels, demons, and monsters. The brothers eventually met God and Lucifer and went to heaven, purgatory, and hell, explaining the 15-year run.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith played John and Mary Winchester, Sam and Dean’s parents, who appeared sporadically in the main series. Therefore, showing how they met, fell in love, and eventually raised their sons was an expected step after “Supernatural” ended. Moreover, “The Winchesters” debut season finale involved a plot twist that allowed the planned second season to have cross-overs with other CW shows and characters from the original show.
Furthermore, Jensen Ackles returned, as Dean narrated the story. Moreover, he and his wife, Daneel, were executive producers of “The Winchesters”. CW also revealed that the first episode of “The Winchesters” was its most-watched series debut, with 757,000 viewers, according to Deadline.
In the Pop Culturalist interview, Drake said that he had been a fan of “Supernatural”, but clarified that he wasn’t a superfan. That’s because Jensen advised him to be careful with his wording, saying that the fandom would ask him for minute details and challenge his superfan claim if he couldn’t answer. Many fans feel that he was cast as John because he physically resembled Jared and Jensen. However, Drake revealed to Brief Take that the producers told him that his performance was the deciding factor.
Drake also commended Jensen and Robbie Thompson, the showrunner, for devising John as someone with a dark side who would turn into the character the “Supernatural” fans know through a five-season arch. He also said that Jeffrey Dean Morgan did a fantastic job, and that exploring John’s time in Vietnam, only mentioned in “Supernatural,” inspired him to audition. Drake also felt comfortable with the role by the end of the season and frequently improvised or suggested changes to Robbie.
Drake revealed that his favorite episode to film was the sixth, in which his character was possessed. They filmed it in five days instead of eight due to production delays, forcing him to do his best. Drake also told Metacritic that his favorite “Supernatural” episode is probably the 20th in the first season – it shows that John didn’t want Dean and Sam to be hunters and wanderers, so set up a college fund, wanting them to be parents and live regular lives. Finally, Drake admitted that he had to film one scene over 50 times because he and his co-stars couldn’t stop laughing. The scene is in the third episode and involves them having to say ‘Bori Baba,’ the name of a supernatural being. Drake also said that he struggled to film some scenes with Nida Khurshid, who played Latika Desai, because a mere look could make them laugh uncontrollably.
Leaving the series
Drake’s career was on the upswing, as Hollywood Reporter revealed that the Gersh agency took him on as a client in March 2023. Unfortunately, Drake’s dreams of having a career-defining role for years were shattered in May, because CW canceled “The Winchesters” after one season. The network representatives wrote that they ‘were re-imagining the new CW and had to make some tough programming decisions,’ according to EW. Other series, such as “Kung Fu” and “Walker: Independence,” were also canceled; the primary reason was that CW’s ownership changed hands. According to Variety, the Nexstar Media Group company acquired a 75% stake in the second half of 2022, and almost immediately began tweaking its programming schedule. Variety mentioned that they shifted to producing low-cost, unscripted content, acquiring foreign series and movies, and covering sports events live.
The casting and crew didn’t go down without a fight, and Jensen Ackles put in the most effort. He started the #SaveTheWinchesters campaign online, and Warner Bros. Discovery, which owned the licensing, attempted to sell the show to other companies as it declined to finance its revival. Sadly, both Netflix, which owns the streaming rights to “Supernatural,” and Amazon, which owns Jensen’s production company Chaos Machine Productions, also refused to renew the series, according to Screen Rant. Jensen reminded EW that the showrunner had a five-season plot outline and hoped that the series would return someday. Drake said that ‘starring in the show has been such an incredible honor, and that the fandom was so immense and passionate, accepting and supportive, and that it would be a shame not to continue exploring the world that they have built and grown to love.’
— Drake Rodger Updates (@drodger_updates) April 10, 2023
Parallel to his acting career, Drake has been a model for several photographers, though he hasn’t modeled for well-known brands. He worked with Emi Morell, a photographer based in Los Angeles, and has done a mix of photoshoots in a studio, showing jewelry and leather jackets and outdoor clothes, mainly in suits or white dress shirts. Drake also posed for photographers and stylists Abigail Gorden Photography, Brad Everett Young, Martin Honore and Marcus Wendler Hersh. Moreover, from 2019 to 2020, he appeared in several modeling shots for the Flash and Film studio, operated by one of his best friends, known as @firoozeh on Instagram.
Rumored girlfriend, actress Meg Donnelly
Drake Rodger might have started dating actress Meg Donnelly in August 2023. What sparked dating rumors was Drake’s Instagram picture from 24 August, in which they lay in a close embrace on a sailing boat. Meg posted a peach emoji followed by an emoji of two eyes looking at the picture. Moreover, he posted a picture of a cat on his shoulder on 11 July of that year to Instagram – he wore a sleeveless white shirt, and was in an intimate setting, likely Meg’s home, and wrote that the cat is ‘man’s second-best friend.’ Meg commented that the cat was watching her, almost confirming that they were together. Fans quickly discovered that, according to CelebrityPets.com, Meg has two cats, and the cat in the picture resembled one. Fans also noticed that Drake lovingly said that ‘falling in love with Mary’ was one of the benefits of playing John during Popverse’s The Winchesters Panel event in March 2023, after which he looked at Meg, prompting her to smile shyly and laugh.
Neither Drake nor Meg have confirmed their relationship, but admitted to having excellent chemistry. Moreover, the J-14.com news website speculated whether Meg was dating Noah Zulfikar, her “ZOMBIES 2” movie co-star.
Drake told Collider that it took him two and a half weeks to book the role, that he met over 20 Mary Winchester candidates before Meg, and that they instantly clicked when they saw each other on a video call with the producers. He described her as ‘awesome and a homie’ and said that he sensed that the producers intentionally stopped talking on that video call to see whether they would continue interacting, which they did effortlessly.
Another source of the dating rumors is that they were almost inseparable in 2022 and 2023. However, Drake explained to Metacritic that the producers wanted romance to be prominent early, so he and Meg decided to spend as much time as possible. He said that they ‘fell in love as friends who developed a banter that eventually grew into constant flirting on set.’
- Drake likes dogs.
- One of his best friends, Brayden Myrick, is also an actor in Los Angeles.
- His favorite Girl Scouts cookie is Thin Mints.
- Drake puts pineapple on pizza, and thinks that others should try it.
- His favorite childhood cartoon was “Toy Story.”
- If Drake had a lightsaber from the “Star Wars” movie franchise, he’d want it to be black.
- He would love to be directed by James Gunn and star in the DC Universe movie; he was obsessed with the character Nightwing for years.
- His favorite holiday is Christmas.
- Drake’s favorite word is ‘fuck!’
- If he weren’t an actor, he would have joined the military.
- He asked Jeffrey Dean Morgan for advice on playing John at the New York Comic-Con2022; Jeffrey told him to ‘have fun, as it isn’t worth it if he doesn’t.’
- Outside of “Supernatural,” his favorite CW series is “Arrow,” which ran from 2012 to 2020.
- Drake considers Jansen Ackles a mentorand role model as a person, actor, and businessman.
Drake Rodger has dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and an athletic physique. He’s 6ft 3ins (1.91m) tall and weighs about 190lbs (86kgs), according to his Backstage.com profile.
Drake Rodger has an estimated net worth of $300,000. Despite “The Winchesters” having a large fan base, it was a spin-off from “Supernatural” with a modest budget and without the original cast. Therefore, Drake couldn’t have received a high salary, confirmed by the fact that Drake worked as a waiter in Los Angeles for a time after the series premiered, according to his Brief Take interview. He pointed out that he did the catering in the same hall three months before he attended the “ZOMBIES 3” movie premiere at the SAG Awards in February 2023. Instead of being discouraged that he couldn’t quit his catering job immediately, Drake relished that he was being catered to, and saw it as a sign of career development.