Meet and Greet Tidbits: Jensen and Jared at VegasCon 2015
VegasCon has been special from the beginning – a whole extra day, the first con to have a ‘house band’ in Louden Swain, the only con that takes place in a casino hotel with about five miles of hallways between the guest rooms and the convention center. But this year’s VegasCon needed a new adjective. Special just doesn’t cut it. We’ll have much more on the con and the Saturday Night Special that was off the charts, but for now, some tidbits from the Jensen meet and greet (and a few Jared meet & greet tidbits from our friend Lorri).
Jared, as I’m sure you all know, wasn’t feeling well at the con. In his meet and greet, he said that the night before he’d been queasy, and then there was that feeling of uh oh, and that was it (there was more description, I think, but I’ve blocked it out so I can eat lunch while I type this). Gotta say, I give him a ton of credit for coming to the con anyway even after being so nauseous and sick – I’m pretty much incapable of even getting up off the couch when I feel that way, let alone getting on a plane or entertaining a room full of thousands of people. These boys have stamina – and they care. I think they’re probably fully aware of the heartbreak that ensues when they have to cancel an appearance. We all get that real life sometimes intervenes, but cons are the only place where fans and cast get a chance to interact in person, so there’s a great deal of anticipation leading up to a convention. Thanks for coming, Jared.
I had a chance to chat with Jared on Saturday in the vendor’s room after he’d spent some time sitting at his sister Megan’s book table to sell her children’s book Big Mo. By the time I got there, they were sold out – which I guess is a very good thing. If you haven’t seen the book, it’s adorable!
I shared with Jared some of the powerful stories we’ve been privileged to hear about fans’ response to his #AlwaysKeepFighting campaign and its important message. The stigma associated with depression, anxiety and mental health challenges is unfortunately widespread; when someone like Jared speaks up and shares his own experience with depression, it can be an opening for others to do the same. He’s passionate about making change, and I love seeing how devoted he is to the Represent.com tee shirt campaign – but I also love watching him relate to individual fans, listening to their stories and reaching out physically and emotionally with genuine caring. It makes a difference.
Sunday I was lucky enough to go to Jensen’s meet and greet. Unluckily, I wasn’t allowed to even jot down a few notes, so this is entirely from my (not exactly photographic) memory. Someone started off the panel asking if Jensen had gotten his headphones that Jared had promised to buy him for his birthday yet.
“No!” he answered indignantly, then laughed and said he’d had to use Mark Sheppard’s for the Saturday concert, now that the band is all high tech. We spent a while just telling him how much we loved and appreciated his rockstar performance, which was pretty much the understatement of the weekend.
We were all still feeling even more passionate than usual about the Show and the fandom, so the first question was about the phenomenon of Supernatural cons. Do Jensen and Jared talk about what the cons have become?
Jensen: We talk about it all the time.
He went on to say that when they come back from a convention, they share everything that happened with the crew. They talk about the fans and their interaction with the fans and basically say how great the whole experience is, so of course everyone wishes they could come too.
Jensen: We hear your stories when we’re here, and then we take them back to the crew, so they can hear what a difference this has made too.
For VegasCon, they had the opportunity to bring someone, so one of the crew came with them to experience it for himself. Jensen said he was blown away, and that now everyone will want to come.
“I wish we could bring them all,” he said, and clearly meant it.
Someone asked about Demon!Dean (no, I will not say Deanmon). Jensen has said several times that he wished he got to play that version of Dean longer. Was there a particular storyline he wished he’d had a chance to play?
Jensen said no, nothing in particular, he just wished that Dean was a demon longer, and that they had to work harder to get him back. I think every person in the room nodded.
Jensen: But I’m not a writer. In fact, there are several writers in this room, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Another fan asked if he had any advice for her, as she was about to embark on doing some directing. Jensen said that he hadn’t had the opportunity to go to film school, so he watched the directors on Supernatural closely and tried hard to learn from them. When he directs, he focuses on trying to get the best actor performances he can, instead of going for the flashy visual shots just to stroke his ego. He also said that he lives by three words that Kim Manners gave him on how to be a director: Homework, homework, homework.
Jared was also asked about directing and if he’d ever want to. He said that they always offer him the opportunity to direct when they offer it to Jensen, since they keep things even on the show. But he isn’t interested in directing right now; instead, he enjoys sending Jensen photos of him on vacation while Jensen’s up there early prepping.
Jared: [laughing] That always gets a response.
I bet it’s a colorful one too.
I got to ask Jensen a question I’d been wondering about since the beginning of the mini-hellatus that just ended.
Me: I have a Show question, of course.
Jensen: [nodding and smiling because yes, I’m predictable]
Me: The last episode we’ve seen was The Executioner’s Song and ohmygod, what an amazing – and emotional – episode. It seemed like something really broke in Dean, when he finally confronted Cain and when Cain told him that there was no cure, that his worst nightmare would come true. He looked so devastated as he fell into Sam’s arms. What was going through his mind? How is he feeling now, at the end of that episode?
Jensen said that before that confrontation with Cain, Dean had been holding onto hope. He thought he could be like Cain, that he could live with the mark. He so desperately wanted Cain to tell him that he could live with it, and he didn’t. So now, he feels completely hopeless.
Me: Ohgod, but that’s so dark. He’s so hopeless, and yet he’s trying to keep going. It’s heartbreaking. I hate it, and yet, it’s such good storytelling. I feel like as a psychologist I should just be horrified, and I am, but I’m also so intrigued and so caught up in the story they’re telling. I mean, that’s okay, right? It’s fiction!
Jensen: It is dark, and I’ll give you a little teaser…
[His eyes twinkle mischievously]
[Everyone leans forward in their seats]
He said things will get even darker, like they got darker before. I don’t know what that means, but clearly it ain’t good!
Jensen said he spoke to Jeremy Carver about S10 a little while ago.
Jensen: I said to him, this is how I see it going – just what you said – and he was like, I didn’t think about it like that, but yeah.
I’m going to stock up on tissues now.
Another fan asked him why, if the season is getting so dark, has he said several times that he’s enjoying this season more than the last. Jensen said again that last season was hard for him, that Dean was in such a dark place that it translated into darkness for Jensen too.
Jensen: And this season, it’s more fun to play it – Dean as a character is more nuanced. In S9, he was just flat, just dark. But in S10, on the outside, now that he’s given up hope, Dean is like happy go lucky – or he seems like that on the outside. And it’s sad, it’s tragic, because inside we know he’s not. And he’s not even aware, but we are.
As much as that’s clearly going to break our hearts, Jensen said he likes playing that more than the flatness of S9. Now that we’ve seen The Things They Carried, what he said made even more sense. Already Dean is putting on that “I’m always okay” front, trying to convince Sam to let go of his hope like Dean has. It was heartbreaking seeing Dean tell Sam to give up; asking Sam to just be there beside him (for the little bit of time he has left). Oh, boys…
There is an up side, though. Jensen has said before that he’s glad the brothers are working together to solve this. In his meet and greet, Jared said the same.
Jared: The boys are ready, they’re ready to deal with this.
Let’s just hope fandom is ready too!
Stay tuned for lots more from VegasCon, including some incredible photos.
For interviews with Jared, Jensen, Misha and
many more SPN cast, check out our books on
Supernatural – links at the top of the page!