Jensen Ackles Meet & Greet VanCon: Sam and Dean and the Calm Before The Storm
Jensen Ackles’ Meet and Greet in Vancouver stuck with what was a theme of the day with questions about both the actor’s newbie fatherhood and the Show that brought us all to the con in the first place. He joked about being sleep deprived and getting some rest this weekend (unlike most of the fans in the room, who by Sunday afternoon are always uniformly sleep deprived . . . but uniformly in a pretty damn good mood too.)
Since this is only my from-memory tidbits of the meet and greet and not a transcript, we’ll concentrate on a few of the Show-related things he mentioned. Let’s start with Lynn’s question, since she remembers that one — and since she couldn’t wait to ask it. Lynn doesn’t wait well. Ask anyone. Especially Kathy.
Lynn: I realize you’re only four episodes into Season 9, but what’s your take on where Dean is psychologically, after everything that happened at the end of Season 8? And how do you feel about where your character is at this point?
Jensen: Well, the brothers are back together in Season 9…
Lynn: (interrupts) YAY!!!
Jensen: (patiently) So they’re back together, and they made a commitment to each other in the finale, after not being on the same page during Season 8, and I really like that.
Lynn: (excitedly) Me too!!
Jensen: (still patiently) So Dean is sort of in his comfort zone. The brothers have each other’s backs, and Dean is ready to take on the world, with his brother beside him. And I like him being there.
Lynn: (nodding vigorously)
Jensen (starts laughing) Of course it won’t last! I feel like I’m in the calm before the storm right now.
Lynn: This is Supernatural, after all.
Another fan thought that Dean seemed a bit more morally grey last season, with the decisions he had to make about stopping the apocalypse or saving his brother. Jensen said that Dean would rather compromise and have Sam’s back than turn his back on his brother. (Actually that may or not be seen as morally grey. Putting his brother before everything else is the dynamic that hooked us on the show in the first place, and we were ecstatic to see it back so strongly in the S8 finale. So I guess we’re with Dean on this one.) Jensen and Jared have each other’s backs too. In fact, during their panel later that afternoon, Jared left the stage unexpectedly for a minute. This was Jensen’s reaction:
Jensen talked about Dean being the self sacrificing one, the one who’s like let me take it for you, let me throw myself in front of the bus. He’s the big brother, he’s protective. Jensen’s a big brother too, though he allowed that Dean definitely wins the most protective brother award. I think it’s safe to say Dean could take on just about any contender for that particular honor. We love hearing Jensen talk about Dean – he seems almost as protective of Dean as Dean is of Sam. He knows the character – as he put it, ‘the Dean who’s in my brain.’ In fact, he joked about how writer Robbie Thompson is always writing Dean doing nerdy things. Jensen keeps wanting to ask, have you met the guy?
Fans: But we love when Dean is a nerd!
(And speaking for ourselves only, we happen to love the way Robbie Thompson writes him.)
A fan asked about the spinoff, and Jensen laughed again, saying there were so many options. A spinoff starring Garth (hilarious), a spinoff starring Charlie, especially now that they’ve brought her into their world. That got a cheer from many of the fans. What about you, readers? Would you like to see a Charlie spinoff? A smart, strong, slightly obsessive, collectible-loving, geek girl hunter? Sounds like a heroine to us!
Who would Jensen most want to bring back to SPN? — John, in a heartbeat.
Apparently Jeffrey Dean Morgan keeps asking Jensen if they’ve found a way to bring him back yet, so who knows? Jared and Jensen would actually like to bring back all the guest actors they’ve gotten to know so well at cons too. Richard, Rob, Matt, Ty, Kim, Julie, Sebastian, Chad, Mark P – they’ve all become friends from traveling all over the world to go to cons. We’re picturing some crazy reunion episode where everyone they’ve ever hunted with or gone up against comes back. Or possibly the long-awaited and still apparently talked about musical episode.
Someone asked about the fight scenes in SPN, which seemed to be another popular question topic at Vancon. Jensen said that they actually have a martial arts expert on set. Jared and Jensen often spar between takes, but that kind of fighting is very close fighting, so although the boys are apparently very good at it, it doesn’t play well on film. (It plays really well in my head though. Just sayin’) Anyway, for onscreen they need the big, dramatic punches, what Jensen called the ‘haymakers’. He helpfully got up and demonstrated both kinds of fighting for us, which everyone in the room most definitely appreciated. Like, a lot.
Eventually the questions got serious again.
Fan: You seem like a serious person…
Jensen: (eyebrows raised) Do I?
Lynn: (unfortunately not silently) No.
Someone asked if it was difficult to support Jared with all he was going through in the S8 finale. Jensen said that it really was. In some ways, he felt like a third wheel, because Jared and Mark Sheppard were doing this amazing work, the two of them really going at it, and Jensen almost felt like an audience member, watching. Then he’d be like, oh wait, I have a line here! Jensen went on to say that after 8 years of working with Jared, it was so nice to see that he still has that drive and that passion for the work and the show.
Jensen again insisted he wasn’t really doing anything in those scenes of the finale, it was all Jared and Mark.
Fans: No way. You’re always doing something onscreen even when Dean isn’t talking.
(Fans don’t miss a trick, do we? It’s true, even when it’s some other actor’s coverage, Jensen is always right there in the moment, showing us Dean’s reactions to whatever is happening in the scene.)
Jensen laughed and possibly blushed, but he also said thanks and that he appreciated that we noticed. Editors have noticed too, and said that they appreciate being able to cut to Dean’s reaction shot if someone else in the scene is a bit off. They can cut to Dean even if he’s not talking.
Guest actors must sometimes wonder what sort of show they’ve ended up on. Once a guest actor was working on getting into character before the take began, and he turned to Jared and asked if Jared and Jensen wanted to start getting into character with him.
Jared: We don’t do that here.
Jared: *goes back to talking to Jensen*
When do the boys get into character? Jensen joked that sadly, it was often not until AFTER the “Action!”
Hey, whatever you guys are doing, it’s working. No complaints here.
One of the things that always warms our hearts at cons is how both Jared and Jensen take time to express their appreciation for the fans’ support and to thank us. The meet and greet ended with those sentiments. Jensen was up for a very big role recently, but he puts both SPN and his family first, so he couldn’t have done it (we’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about what that role might have been). What’s clear is that Jensen has priorities, and the things that are important to him are very important. We’re so glad that Supernatural – and its fans – are some of those important things. We’re still having fun, Jensen said. And it shows.
Hope you enjoyed these little tidbits from the meet and greet! Here are a few more photos that make it quite clear that the boys are indeed still having fun:
Check back soon for much more from VanCon, including chats with Jared and Jensen, SPN writers Robbie Thompson and Adam Glass, and more fun onstage and behind the scenes!