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Keep Fighting For Each Other: Jensen and Jared Meet and Greet Tidbits from SFCon

January 21, 2015

j2 awwww

This past weekend’s Supernatural convention in San Francisco was special for a few reasons. First, it kicked off the 2015 convention tour; second, it was the first con since we got the amazing news of an early Season 11 pickup. It was also my birthday. It’s wonderful to be home and celebrating with the family, but I can’t think of a more joyous way to celebrate than being immersed in the SPNFamily. I caught up with some of my favorite fellow SPN fangirls over drinks and dinners and room service ice cream indulgences, and birthday hugs from the SPN actors almost made me forget how old I am.

Jensen: “27, right?”

Right. Oh, wait.

Actually I’ve been around long enough to be thoroughly impressed by both the talent this cast has, and by how much they care about their fans and the show. It has apparently become a well-known ‘thing’ in the industry, that Supernatural has a reciprocal relationship with its fans that is unique. I’ve said it before, but I don’t know how we got so lucky. I’m just glad that this is the show I fell for.

Random highlights of the con: Osric Chau being wheeled out on a luggage cart dressed as Ariel, and Gil McKinney’s reaction. Osric handed Gil a jacket and voila, he’s a prince! Also I have to say Osric made a breathtakingly gorgeous mermaid.

os gil 4

os gil x rated

os gil

Misha took his meet and greet attendees to a hot tub and sat on a cupcake, which has to be a highlight even though I unfortunately wasn’t there – but just hearing Misha describe it was a highlight! Especially dressed like he was. Shallow, I know, but that jacket was awesome. In fact, that entire ensemble was awesome. See?

misha 2

Even Mark Sheppard is impressed

Even Mark Sheppard is impressed

I enjoyed Misha acting out the surreptitious butt grabs that sometimes happen in photo ops, and was touched by his admission that when he’s feeling down, he gets out the GISHWHES photos and is like, ‘this is awesome’. Because it totally is.

misha 5

misha

Mark Sheppard, as snarky as he is, is often the one who makes me tear up when he gets serious. I love what he said about fandom and supporting one another – it’s about lending a hand, not making a fist. Also I learned that at fifteen, Mark played with Nico from the Velvet Underground (he corrected me when I mistakenly live tweeted ‘and’ the Velvet Underground, but holy hell, Nico? At 15? I’m damn impressed).

mark s 3

mark s 5

Mark Pellegrino was paired with Sebastian Roche, which meant we got a lot of Sebastian being his irrepressible self and Mark watching. For anyone wondering, yes, Sebastian can still shake it like nobody’s business. I continued my tradition of begging Mark Pellegrino to do a Rocky Horror Picture Show number again at the next karaoke. Fingers crossed.

mark p seb 2

mark p seb

Curtis Armstrong had some of the best lines of the weekend, including “Oh, I know what shipping is, of course. [beat] My dad was in the Navy.” Having just watched the new episode, I’m having trouble reconciling the sweet and adorable guy we’ve interviewed and chatted with and Metatron, who makes my skin crawl. That’s what you call brilliant acting I guess.

curtis

Felicia Day talked passionately about being creative and self expression, and how important both are, in fandom and in life – themes that run through ‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ and ‘Fandom At The Crossroads’ too. She was also candid about her own struggles with anxiety and dealing with people who are assholes on the internet.

fel 2

felicia

Tahmoh Penikett closed out the con, thoughtful as always. And handsome. He got a big fan reaction when he wondered aloud if Gadreel is really gone for good. After all, this is Supernatural

tahmoh

Richard, Matt and Rob have a dynamic when all three are onstage that always leaves my sides hurting from laughter. I have no clue how Richard stays so upbeat all weekend, never flagging as convention host and always ready with a zinging one-liner, even on Sunday afternoon when most of us are just short of comatose.

Here Rob does his imitation of Jared, at Matt’s request.

Richard: Is it me, or does Jared’s penis look like my face?

jp imitation peni

And what would a Supernatural con be without Rob Benedict and Louden Swain? I vaguely remember when we didn’t have a house band for the cons, but it’s hard to imagine what it was like now that we’re treated to incredible music all weekend. They keep the energy level up all weekend long.

rob 6

Carry On My Wayward Son

Carry On My Wayward Son

Saturday nights used to be a ‘dessert party’ back in the day, but now it’s a musical extravaganza – is there some kind of rule that says that anyone cast on Supernatural has to be able to sing too? So many amazing performances.

Gil McKinney blew us away with his voice once again – pretty sure he’s gonna take NY by storm!

gil

Osric sings Radiohead’s Creep with so much emotion that it’s clear he can relate, and I love that he wore his Castiel cosplay dress to the Saturday Night Special.

os 2

Most talented cast ever!

Matt Cohen belts out 'Blister In The Sun'

Matt Cohen belts out ‘Blister In The Sun’

Richard Speight brings a little country to the con

Richard Speight brings a little country to the con

Sebastian Roche shows his ballad side

Sebastian Roche shows his ballad side

Jensen sang too – and teased that he’d be willing to sing on the show to save them some money. Yes, please!

jensen sing 2

Love how Rob is watching him

Love how Rob is watching him

Jared and Jensen were in even better moods than they customarily are – and they’re usually in pretty damn good moods! They teased and hugged and cracked each other up and answered fans’ questions with their usual good humor and wit.

j2 2

j2 smile

j2 jp smug

Still having fun :)

Still having fun🙂

Jensen did a strip tease and Jared showed his appreciation. With five dollar bills.

Jensen unbuttons his shirt...

Jensen unbuttons his shirt…

strip 2

strip 7

A five down the shirt...

A five down the shirt…

strip 4

Shake it, Jensen

Shake it, Jensen

The time that they’re onstage flew by in a way that always leaves me wanting to protest, and somewhat suspicious about the accuracy of Creation’s clocks. No, not really. But do I always want more? Absolutely.

I was lucky enough to go to Jared and Jensen’s meet and greets. The rule is that you can’t share too much about the M&G’s, but some tidbits are okay, so here are some highlights. From memory, so not verbatim.

Jared’s was first – and can I just say that Jared was also looking like he stepped out of a fashion spread? He confessed to asking for help from a store employee. Whoever that guy was? Somebody thank him for me. Seriously, good job, whoever you are. (We had a chance to chat with Jared and Jensen a bit later in the day, and complimented Jared on his awesome scarf. Jensen: “You know who picked that out, right?” Right.)

Jared did note that his socks and belt weren’t from that outing – they’re Sam’s.

jp

Someone asked about the Padalecki and Ackles joint family vacation in Aspen, and Jared told a hilarious story about skiing with Jensen on a terrain slope that they probably should have steered clear of – but, as Jared put it, poking fun at himself, they tend to “think they’re tougher than they are”. Jensen took the lead and jumped over a hill, then slowed down and turned around (which Jared took as the universal guy code of “hey I did it, let’s see what you’ve got!”) Feeling like he had to outdo Jensen, up Jared went – and almost crashed into a ski school on the other side. He careened to the side to avoid them and ended up hurting his back, though at least no ski school attendees were harmed. Boys. Seriously.

A fan asked if Jared and Jensen wanted to go on and do other things, if we should “let you go to other roles”?

Jared (emphatically) No! I don’t know another character I would rather explore and would love more than Sam Winchester.

Entire room: (breathes a sigh of relief)

I can’t help but think that the passion these actors have for their characters is one of the reasons that Supernatural just got renewed for an eleventh season. Jared, Jensen, Misha, Mark – and all the recurring guest actors – they love the characters they play. They care about the characters they play. And that, I think, makes a difference.

Someone asked about the mockumentary, saying that Misha had said that they cut it back pretty significantly. I had a conversation with Jared about that a while ago, and he’d said that they all thought that was an odd choice. As Jared put it, cutting it back to make them not look like too much of a jerk doesn’t actually work. It ends up being less over the top, so it just seems like maybe they’re actual jerks!

The actors were never worried that they’d look bad – they were all on board with the mockumentary the way Misha conceived it, because they know and trust their fans.

“We know the people who are going to watch this,” they told The Powers That Be. “We’re not worried. We know them, and they know us.”

Everyone is hoping that Misha is able to do a director’s cut – count me in with everyone! And not just because I’m hoping for more footage of Jensen in short shorts. I love that this cast and this Show can make fun of themselves – and of us. It’s a tradition since the Kripke era, and a risk that few shows have taken. Few shows, after all, can count on a reciprocal relationship like Supernatural has with its fandom.

jp 2

The last thing I’ll share a little about (without any personal details) was a conversation about a much more serious subject – depression and suicide. As a psychologist, it’s a subject that I know is important, and important to talk about, but it’s also difficult. Jared shared his own personal story of loss, and some of the fans in the room did as well. We talked about the powerful and confusing emotions after such a loss, and everyone in the room supported each other. We talked about the struggle many of us have had with depression; Jared shared his own story, and also how he was able to reach out and let himself be helped, and how Jensen was there for him. As hard as that is, it’s what saves people – reaching out and asking for help, and having someone on the other end be willing to give it.

One of the reasons such a strong fan community has formed around Supernatural is that the themes of the show resonate with so many of us. Especially when things are tough.

Jared: That’s why I love Sam so much. We all have our demons. The show is about pushing through and fighting and keeping going.

Fan: This show is like therapy, it literally keeps people alive.

Jared: It’s a symbiosis. We care about each other, like the brothers care about each other. We’ve been through stuff, like they’ve been through so much. The message of Supernatural thematically is ‘try!’ And this show, this exists for a reason.

Every head in the room nodded, and more than one person reached for the tissues, including me. It’s what we wrote about in Fangasm, and what I’ve tried to explain (probably without much success) to people outside the SPNFamily who don’t get it. This Show is important, and it’s done so much for so many of us. I may criticize a plot twist or wish for something different to happen in canon, but at the end of the day, I love this Show. I love this community, this – as Jared put it – symbiosis.

Jared: We’re all a bunch of misfits. The relationship between Sam and Dean, we connect with it. Everyone wants a Dean to their Sam.

I don’t think anyone has summed up why I love this Show better than that.

Before Jared’s meet and greet ended, we got a surprise visit from Jensen, who walked into the room, spun on his heel dramatically and walked back out.

During Jensen’s meet and greet, Jared did the exact same thing. I got the feeling it was some odd sort of competition. Boys.

The boys being in sync

The boys being in sync

Jensen also told the skiing incident story, complete with an imitation of him going over the hill and turning to Jared like, “your turn” and then seeing the ski school and being like “Oh no, here comes Jared!” in dramatic slow motion.

Someone asked about how much creative control Jared and Jensen have over the show’s story line, and Jensen said none. He said he could probably give feedback that would help shape the story somewhat, but that’s the writers’ domain. They’re also so far ahead of where filming is – they’re breaking the last episode now and the actors are filming episode 15.

Jensen: The character is a collaboration between the writers and what I do with it. Eric Kripke incorporated nuances of what we did from the beginning, like Dean eating so much.

Fan: I bet you regret that one!

He said that the writers do defer to Jared and Jensen now when there are character issues, since they’re the ones who have lived with them. The writers know how much they want to protect the integrity of those characters.

Someone also asked about the Dean and Cole fight scene earlier this season, and Jensen talked about working with Travis Aaron Wade on that scene. Travis was really getting into it, he’s a very emotional actor, and Jensen was a little nervous that he’d get hit for real.

Travis: I’m trying to keep the mood.

Jensen: I’m trying to keep my teeth.

They ended up choreographing it with the help of their stand-ins, and I think we all agree the final scene looked phenomenal. Also, I appreciate that Jensen jumped up and acted out some of that scene for us. A lot.

ja 4

My question was about Sam saving Dean, which is something that feels important to a lot of fans. We got that, sort of, when Sam cured him of being a demon, but not entirely. I wondered if that would continue to be a theme for the rest of this season?

Jensen: Yes.

Me: Oh, good!

Dean, predictably, wants to be like ‘I’ll deal with this myself, not drag Sam into it’, but Sam is having none of it. He’ll continue to pursue finding a cure for the Mark even if he has to do it a bit covertly.

You go, Sammy!

There was a question about his favorite episode as a director, which is Weekend at Bobby’s. He also really enjoyed directing ‘The Girl Next Door.’

Jensen: I got to direct a relationship we’d never seen before, between Jewel [Staite] and Jared. I’d worked with Jewel before, and I know her. And I hoped they would trust me and listen to me, and they did.

The conversation in Jensen’s meet and greet also touched on depression. A fan asked if there were times that Jensen didn’t like Dean, and he said that last year, Dean was in a very dark place, and it started to get to him. So much so that he called “down south” and said I need to know where the light [at the end of the tunnel] is.

ja 3

Bob Singer thanked him for calling them and not just keeping it to himself until he had a breakdown on set or something – again that theme of reaching out and telling someone when you’re feeling close to the breaking point.

Jensen also didn’t enjoy playing Dean opposite Soulless Sam, though he acknowledged that many viewers enjoyed that version of Sam.

(Or at least enjoyed the fact that he had a propensity for doing shirtless pull-ups…)

Jensen: Jared did a great job, but selfishly, I didn’t like it because I couldn’t play Dean as he relates to Sam normally. Their relationship is the constant in the show. And it was like, I want my brother back.

Both Jared and Jensen seem happy with where they are right now professionally. Like Jared, Jensen said he feels like “where I’m sitting now is pretty great.”

Mm mm good

Mm mm good

He went on to say that Supernatural has spoiled him, because he loves the crew and he loves the character.

What does he hope for, for his character?

Jensen: My ideas are never as good as what they come up with, but I’m excited at the thought of seeing what they come up with for Season 11.

Everyone: Us too!

Jensen: I would love to see Dean be cured, but I’d love to make it a predicament that they’re now in, like you have to give the mark to someone else, a sticky situation. But I still want Dean as Dean… and everyone has a soul, nobody’s drinking demon blood… just Sam and Dean cruising down the road in the Impala.

I don’t think Jensen had a clue about what Jared had talked about in his meet and greet, but like the running joke during their panel, Jared and Jensen are often on the same wavelength. He echoed what Jared said in his meet and greet when he went on.

Jensen: The brothers both have big scars, but the moral of the show is “Never give up, keep fighting for each other.”

No wonder Supernatural has been an inspiration for so many of us.

end friends

SPNFamily hug

SPNFamily hug

end

— Lynn
For more on Supernatural and the SPN Family,
Check out our books on Supernatural at the links
At the top of this page!

28 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2015 6:20 am

    Reblogged this on makare's obsessions and commented:
    I absolutely love this. I am always torn between my joy at finding this fandom, and regret that it took me so long.

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:18 am

      But hey, you’re here now! #SPNFamily🙂

  2. Katharine J. permalink
    January 21, 2015 10:35 am

    Thank you for the write up. It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! These articles/interviews are always so amazing. I wish Creation wasn’t so forceful about the rules. I understand rules are rules, but sharing experiences at conventions is part of being in a fandom and connecting with other fans. Alas….

    I’m happy that you were able to attend both J2 M&Gs. I was surprised to hear about Jared sharing about his depression. He is always talked about as this really happy carefree joker. I’m glad that he was able to reach out for help. My curiosity is peaked I must admit. No one on the show has ever hinted (except some twisted fan rumors from season 5/6) that Jared had struggles on the show. I think the closest I have ever seen of anything slightly hinting that Jared had trouble was when Sam was really dark in season 4 and Jensen helped to get him out of that mindset. But that kind of leads into what Jensen was talking about struggling in season 9. He has talked a lot about how much he struggled with some of the darker story lines like Soulless Sam and the Mark of Cain. For the first time last season, he seemed really bitter about the story’s darkness/sadness during the Podcast he did. He called Sam selfish among other things and I always thought that was so out of character for him like he was latching out and blaming Sam for not fixing it right away. While I am sadden that Jensen was in a dark place, I’m glad he spoke up. (Although, I do wonder if that is part of the reason why the writers decided not to have the demon Dean plot last longer, but only they know.)

    I do hope they get a season like the one Jensen describes here. Dean cured and human, Sam human, and the brothers working together hunting things. I think Jensen deserves to get it.

    I sometimes worry about how some of these really dark and depressing plots impact them. I’m glad that they have a strong support system to use, but what is even more significant to me is that they are using it. I guess that is part of the reason why I love that they are open about this to their fans, and why I wish Creation would allow for some more openness. I think both of the guys (really a lot of the actors on the show) have amazing strength, but the fact that they talk about their struggles and getting help or asking for help is such an important part of that strength. While Sam and Dean (and the show) teach fans to keep going and try, it is the actors who can teach fans to open up and ask for help. Like two sides of a coin!

    Thank you!

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:20 am

      Exactly, and both messages are so powerful. I’m inspired by both the show and the way the actors have genuinely shared with each other and with fandom. It’s pretty special🙂

  3. January 21, 2015 12:10 pm

    Reblogged this on jaiwhirl.

  4. January 21, 2015 12:55 pm

    Is the SPN family, cast and crew aware of Stephen Amell’s latest facebook campaigns? (veterans/rescue dogs;suicide, bullying and depression) It would be amazing to see the impact both fandoms could have on these issues. I know Stephen and Jared are friends, so I’m sure Jared is aware, but to see these two fandoms come together and put some Incredibly positive messages back out in the world. It would “sincerously” be extraordinary.

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:21 am

      Agreed. I’m so glad that there’s an awareness now of the impact that both celebrities and fan communities can have in helping get people talking and supporting each other.

  5. Caroll permalink
    January 21, 2015 1:49 pm

    Thank you Lynn! Awesome as always! Actually I wait for for your wrap up after every convention. I was so happy to meet you briefly at Burcon last November. My next convention will be Rome! Can’t wait…..

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:21 am

      I’m so envious – wish I could go to the Rome con! Wishing you a fabulous fabulous time🙂

  6. marie helene permalink
    January 21, 2015 3:06 pm

    Tnak you Lynn, as always you yet allowed me to understand many things that I am unable to understand in the videos. Thank you.

  7. January 21, 2015 3:14 pm

    “Everyone wants a Dean to their Sam.” Well put. This really is the essence of the show.

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:22 am

      I admit it made me tear up a little…

  8. Penny Jaime permalink
    January 21, 2015 5:15 pm

    I LOVE “HAPPY” JENSEN AND JARED! THE VIDEO CLIPS ARE GREAT! WISH CREATION WOULD COME TO LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY!! THEY SHOULD FILM THE BREAKFAST AND J2 PANEL. I WOULD BUY EVERY ONE FROM EVERY CON! THOSE TWO BRIGHTEN MY DAYS!! THANKS AGAIN FOR SHARING

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:22 am

      You’re welcome – the cons are great, and the videos really show it🙂

  9. Laura permalink
    January 21, 2015 8:21 pm

    I’d like a Cas to my Dean, actually.

    • spnfans permalink
      January 22, 2015 12:24 am

      Also a wonderful thing to aspire to, someone who watches over you and cares about you – enough to rethink what it means to be a ‘monster’ or a human — or an angel. And who cares enough to transcend the differences and find the similarities🙂

  10. January 22, 2015 2:30 am

    Being so new to this fandom, I’m always amazed at how sensitive the actors are to the fan response to the show. I’ve been in other fandoms where actors keep their distance and seem a little put off and even frightened by fannish enthusiasm, and to watch Jared and Jensen seem so accepting — so understanding — of their fans is truly unique. To hear Jensen say he knows his fans is positively startling. And Jared sharing personal loss and depression with his fans? Wow. Okay, that’s different.

    I hope they never lose that willingness to open up to and accept their fans. It’s a real gift.

  11. January 22, 2015 2:50 am

    Dear Lord, why do they let Jared do anything dangerous anymore? Seriously!! He needs to be wrapped in bubble wrap during off set time. lol. Thanks for the recaps! I love them!

  12. Nightsky permalink
    January 22, 2015 3:48 pm

    I couldn’t read your article fast enough! I kept skipping ahead because I wanted to hear it all at once! I am very very encouraged to hear Jared say that they don’t want us to let them go. I am happy to hold onto them for a long long time.

  13. January 22, 2015 8:08 pm

    Lynn,
    This is a fantastic article, in fact I believe it to be one of your best. I’m constantly falling in love with the entire cast over and over again in response to different things they do, and just when I think my heart is full, they do something so supportive of the fans or each other, that it makes my heart swell anew. Hearing that Jared has had his own struggles with something I deal with on a daily basis reinforces the fact that I’m not alone, and that depression and suicide don’t discriminate; that anybody can be affected, and as silly as it seems, it gives me hope for brighter days ahead. On this note, I’m wondering why you didn’t mention the reasons behind Jensen wearing Misha’s Random Acts shirt? I wasn’t there, however am I correct in thinking that Jensen wore it to show support for Misha and at the same time stressed how proud he was of him and his charity? The faux strip tease was all fun and games, (as we usually expect from our boys!), however don’t you think that the deeper meaning of support, love and friendship among ALL the boys deserved a mention? I mean, doesn’t Jensen’s display of friendship just reinforce exactly the theme of the show and cast…? i.e. supporting each other and the SPNFamily through good and bad times. I’m so sorry, please understand that I am really, really not trying to criticize, I’m just sincerely curious to know your thoughts, whether what I’ve heard and briefly seen was correct, and what your thoughts are. You seem to know the boys well (lucky bugger!), so if I’ve been misinformed, I’d love it if you could let me know, just so that I have my facts right. I love these crazy, wonderful men, all of them. And I find them all (J2M2, AND the rest of the irrepressible dirtbags) so very inspiring, they are not just sensational actors, but are amazing, loving, generous and wonderful human beings as well and are always striving towards making the ofttimes dark world we live in a brighter, kinder place. We are so very lucky to have them in our lives – however remotely – and I hope that one of these days I will get to meet them and tell them personally how they’ve changed my life for the better. But for now I’ll be content to live vicariously through you girls, hang on your every (very talented) word, and hope that they can feel the love I’m projecting at them. Thank you again, for what you do in bringing the cons and our boys to life for those of us that can’t be there. I appreciate you guys so much I can’t even explain it. Sorry for the rambling comment, I kind of get all word-vomity when it comes to these beautiful bastards.
    Lots of squishy hugs,
    Brea x

    • spnfans permalink
      January 27, 2015 5:21 am

      Yes, absolutely I think that Jensen wore that shirt to show support for Misha and Random Acts. Sometimes I feel like that is such a part of who they all are, how much they support each other, that I don’t think to mention it! But yes, absolutely. I love how they all support each other, always. And I totally understand getting all word-vomity when it comes to these, as you appropriately say, beautiful bastards🙂 I do it every time I sit down to write!

  14. NixHaw permalink
    January 23, 2015 8:14 am

    “Everyone wants a Dean to their Sam.” Ain’t it the truth.

  15. ParadiseHeat permalink
    January 23, 2015 6:49 pm

    I guess no one really wants a Sam to their Dean do they?

  16. January 24, 2015 3:48 am

    THIS MADE ME SO EMOTIONAL

  17. April 10, 2015 4:06 am

    Reblogged this on noacheinthesoul and commented:
    SPN Family!! SO much love! :*

  18. April 10, 2015 4:10 am

    Reblogged on http://noacheinthesoul.wordpress.com

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