Misha Collins is working away on "Supernatural" Season 11, but in the weeks ahead, he'll be pulling double duty, as he hosts GISHWHES.
The actor's GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt In The World) kicks off on August 1, and the actor will host the competition, where teams from around the globe (including ones featuring celebs, who often take part) compete for a week on a series of challenges, many of which are aimed at doing good for others.
"We had an item a couple of years ago that was to get a certain number of people to pledge to commit a random act of kindness. … It ended up being like 98,000 pledges to commit a random act of kindness," Misha told AccessHollywood.com of the total.
"We got a letter from someone who participated in the scavenger hunt and was at Target, and there was… a large group of people, they were congregating around the entrance to Target and he asked what was going and someone said, 'Oh, well my daughter participated in this scavenger hunt and one of the items was to pledge a random act of kindness and so I came down here and I found a single mom and I am buying her kids school supplies for the year.' And he also got all of his friends to help participate in this act of kindness for this single mom and I thought that was just a lovely story to hear," Misha said of what GISHWHES has previously inspired. "We furnished the home of a disabled veteran as an item in the scavenger hunt, and it was really cool and we've done a lot of items like that and we're going to have more this year. One of the guiding principles for us is… to leave a message in the hunt that you can make doing nice things for other people a fun and playful experience for yourself.
"People not only do [the challenges], but they have a great time as the person that's doing it and they realize that they can have a great time while doing something for other people – that charity doesn't have to be a sort of onerous, boring undertaking. It can actually be fun and delightful. That's one of the things that we try to do," he added.
Through running GISHWHES, Misha has been able to donate proceeds from the scavenger hunt to his non-profit organization, Random Acts. This year, the actor is hoping, through Random Acts, to help fund the building of a school in an impoverished country.
"We are doing a project this year, which is to build a school in Nicaragua. We built a large school/orphanage in Haiti and now we're breaking ground on a free high school in Nicaragua," he explained of his Random Acts goal.
Running a scavenger hunt organization may not be the typical pastime of an actor, but Misha said his interest stems from similar experiences during his college years.
"The University of Chicago has this thing called 'Scav,' which is a long weekend every year where we basically all stopped doing any of our homework and participated in a scavenger hunt that was so much fun that I took it away [with me]," he said. "I left school not really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, but knowing that I wanted to do more scavenger hunts, and subsequently I found a few -- like there was one that was a day-long thing that was run downtown in Los Angeles that I participated in with some friends -- and this isn't about bragging, but I did win -- but it was just a day, it was an afternoon and it didn't have the same impact and it didn't sort of take your life over in the way that the University of Chicago hunt did [with it taking place over] a block of four days. [The Chicago one] was all consuming and we were so tired at the end of it and it was so much fun. So, to whatever extent possible, I tried to sort of replicate that experience with GISHWHES."
Running a scavenger hunt and being a series regular on "Supernatural" keeps the actor busy.
"It doesn't feel like I have a lot of leisure time, but I think I like spending my 'free time' doing the projects that I'm excited about, so I don't have a lot of space in my calendar, but I'm doing the things that I'm excited about, so it still feels like I'm having a good life. I may be delusional, there may be a point where I just break down and start crying, but until that happens, I'm doing the things that I'm excited about, so that helps," he said.
As for "Supernatural," Season 11 should be another big one for Misha's character, Castiel. As Season 10 concluded, Rowena cast a spell that left his character in a very different state.
"There's something similar to the Mark of Cain with what's going on with Cas," Misha said, referencing the mark that was on Dean Winchester's arm throughout Season 10. "He definitely has a very powerful curse at the outset of the season that was cast against him and he is under this attack dog spell."
But, "SPN" fans can expect Cas to fight it.
"It is a struggle. I think it's something akin to, but I think at the outset, more pronounced than the Mark of Cain was for Dean," Misha said, when Access spoke to him again at Comic-Con. "It's not such a gradual struggle, it's more he's fighting it tooth and nail from the beginning. But yeah, he is -- he's fading in and out of self-awareness under the effects of the spell."
GISHWHES registration closes on Sunday and the competition runs August 1-8. "Supernatural" returns to The CW October 7.
-- Jolie Lash