Last Con of 2015! Pascon Jensen Ackles Meet and Greet Excerpts
I feel like I start lots of con reports by saying ‘this con was special,’ but oddly, it seems like many of them do have something that sets them apart. Pascon is the successor to Burcon, which is the successor to LACon, which first happened way back in early 2009 (I think). That was the second Creation con that Kathy and I went to, and our (mis)adventures there are chronicled for posterity in a chapter of “Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls”. We got to know Richard Speight a lot better at that con, after meeting him at Chicon and enjoying our interview so much that we just kept talking, leaving the green room and going to the hotel restaurant for dinner. I’m sure exactly no one is surprised that Richard was that much fun to talk to.
Afterwards, there was a band playing a concert at the con, which was something Creation has done from the start of SPN cons. That night, it was Louden Swain, fronted by Rob Benedict, who Kathy and I had met briefly on our second Supernatural set visit (That chapter is a lot more MIS than adventures…). We were still talking to Richard, so we brought him with us to the concert, the three of us sitting in the back of the auditorium. We were all blown away by Louden Swain.
In a tiny way, I feel like Kathy and I had a tiny part in the beginnings of a truly epic friendship.
Now, of course, Louden Swain is a staple at Supernatural conventions – in fact, the very rare times they aren’t there to be the ‘house band’, the con really isn’t the same. Same goes for that rare time that Richard wasn’t there to emcee. SPN cons are one of a kind, and that’s partly because of the guys who anchor each and every convention.
Pascon was the anniversary of that night that we took Richard to a Louden Swain concert. Rob was sentimental about it just like we were, remembering the night that his life and the band’s life also changed and their epic world tour began. So yeah, special. It was also special because it’s the last stop on their 2015 US tour. It’s been a wild ride and I think everyone can use a break and some rest, but it was also an emotional goodbye for everyone at the end of the con who’s used to seeing each other every other weekend for months and months at a time.
Because we were (almost) in LA once again, there were lots of family and friends in attendance at the con. Richard’s and Rob’s families were there. Mark Sheppard introduced me to his youngest son, who stepped up to shake my hand unprompted and say how nice it was to meet me. So polite and charming! It was wonderful to finally meet Sarah in person too. Jensen brought his long-time manager, Lainie, to his meet and greet, introducing her as instrumental in the decisions he’s made in his career.
Fans: THANK YOU.
Jensen: She’s a big part of my life, and I wanted to show her the other big part of my life. You guys.
As always, the Show questions were my favorite, so I’ll try to remember some of them here. Just tidbits, not a transcript, not word for word, you know the drill (but I feel obligated to repeat it anyway…)
A fan asked if Jensen practiced his scenes as Dean in the mirror when he was directing, so he could see how it would look.
Jensen: (laughing) No, but I probably should.
He said he depends on the stand ins to block out the scene, so that by the time he goes in to do it, he has a good idea of how it will look. Having watched filming of Supernatural and some other shows, I’m always impressed by how hard working the stand ins are. It can take some time to get a scene blocked, so the stand ins are at the ready, stepping in and out, until they have it right. Only then do the actual actors come in to do the scene.
Another fan asked the question that I think was on all of our minds. What is Jensen’s take – and what is Dean’s take – on Amara?
Jensen: They’re very similar actually. Confusion, connection, whatever it is.
He said that they (TPTB) haven’t told him anything, and filming is not a lot farther ahead than we’ve seen, so as far as what he knows, it’s nothing that hasn’t played out.
Jensen: So I play it as confused because I’m confused. Which is probably a good thing.
I followed up with another question about Amara, this one about that scene in the last episode where Dean appears to be transfixed by Amara until Sam bursts in and Amara tosses him across the room like a ragdoll.
Me: Is that what pulled Dean out of it? The Darkness hurting his brother?
Jensen said yes, that’s what pulled him out of it, Sam being hurt. Not necessarily in the sense of it being foreshadowing – that it will be Sam being attacked that will wake Dean up – but in the sense of his brother being tossed across the room, that’s something that Dean knows what to do about, instantly.
Jensen: There’s another scene coming up where I’ll snap out of it again because of something else.
I had a chance to have a lovely chat with Bob Berens, who wrote that episode, on Friday – of course I asked him about that scene too.
Bob also said that yes, seeing Sam attacked was what snapped Dean out of it. Part of it was shame, too. Dean was ashamed for his brother to see him just standing there.
Jensen agreed. I guess that was fairly clear in the ending scene, where Dean reacts to Cas and Sam asking him what happened with a lot of bluster (and more than a little denial).
A few bits and pieces from non-Show related questions:
A fan said that she loved the Hillywood Show Supernatural Parody (who doesn’t? It’s already a staple at karaoke).
Fan: Hilly played Dean so well!
Jensen: (laughing) I know, I was jealous! Those girls are so talented.
Another fan made the mistake of mentioning the Vampire Diaries parody that Hillywood Show has done, and Jensen gasped.
Jensen: (in Dean voice, pointing to the door) Get out!
He also said that Hillywood has done the Supernatural parody live, and advised us all to go watch it on YouTube, because it’s awesome. Jensen is good PR, Hannah and Hilly! (And I totally agree with him)
Someone commented that Jensen seems a lot more comfortable with performing as a singer at the cons these days. He agreed that he’s not as nervous now.
Jensen: It’s like, you push the rockstar button. It’s like playing a part.
Somehow I don’t think everyone actually HAS a rockstar button, Jensen. But I’m damn glad that you do.
He also said that he now gets the appeal of the whole being a rockstar thing.
Jensen: At the concert at Vancon, I came offstage and I was like, ohhh, now I get it. It’s like a high.
For us too, Jensen. For us too.
In keeping with the theme of the weekend, he also talked about the evolution of the Saturday Night Special, and of Louden Swain.
Jensen: I mean, Louden Swain used to be like playing at their LA shows. Now I’m expecting pyrotechnics!
(Rob? Is this what we have to look forward to??)
Apparently Mark Sheppard is wanting Jensen to sing some Bad Company at an upcoming con. I think we have more Jensen Rockstar Ackles to look forward to, fandom!
Someone asked if he or Jared was the more sensitive. Jensen said that neither of them would probably consider themselves sensitive, but that Jared was probably more emotional. Jensen’s more calculating about showing emotion, or at least he tries not to be too emotional.
From the back of the room, his long-time manager snorted. Apparently he’s more emotional than he lets on, and one of the nicest guys she knows.
One of my favorite stories from this meet and greet was about the outtake video “The Other Way”. During the filming of ‘Baby’, it was often just him and Jared in the car, and this was one of those times.
Jensen: I had a line that was something like “There’s always another way,” but I messed up and said “There’s another way.” Jared and I, we know each other so well — not a lot of people can do this, but when we mess up, the other one just goes back and feeds the line again.
Apparently Jared threw him the line again, Jensen messed it up again – -and again – and then Jared was just like ok, now we’re gonna make it a bit.
Jensen: We do that a lot… It was during Richard’s episode, and he didn’t yell cut – probably because he was like, what are they doing?? – and then it was just us being stupid.
“That also happens a lot,” he added wryly.
Of that I have no doubt. But how great is it that we get to SEE it this time?
Fan: Will we ever see another perspective of that 180? From outside the car?
Jensen said that Todd, his stunt double, was actually hiding in the front loader that you can see in the background, filming it. The Impala is quite heavy, especially in the front, so at first Jensen did more like a 270. Then he did the 180, and then insisted “I can do better!” So he ended up doing it three times.
That poor actress!
Hopefully we’ll see that footage too. Jensen said he’d try to get it. He was also surprised that they didn’t use Dean’s “Get outta my car!” (a Jensen ad lib, I believe) during the epic fight scene in the back of the Impala. Sometimes, he said, he loves all 55 minutes that they shoot of an episode, but something of course has to be cut.
He also gave us some background on the “cat scream” in Yellow Fever. Phil Sgriccia asked him to “go bigger”, and then to make it “comedic bigger”.
Jensen: I said, ‘okay, you asked for it!’
He smirked, then added, “Jared and I do that a lot.”
He jumped up to show us, which was quite a treat.
Apparently, when Phil came back, he was red faced from laughing so hard. He still asked for another take, and Jensen said he finally had to stop or he would have had no voice for the next scene, when Dean and Sam talk over the Impala (You know who does that? Crazy people!) If you watch that scene, his voice is extra deep – even for Dean.
Jensen says that the episode that Richard directed is one of the funniest they’ve ever done. The guest star was phenomenal, and Jensen was especially glad that Richard was directing.
Jensen: He knows when a joke lands, and he knows when it doesn’t. It’s like a Saturday Night Live episode if it turns out to be as funny as we think it is.
A funny SNL episode, that is. We’re ridiculously excited about Richard’s episode of SPN – we sat down with him for some scoop recently, which we’ll run here when that episode airs. We also had the pleasure of talking with Matt Cohen about his return to the Show, so look for that too!
And tomorrow? It’s Briana Buckmaster’s turn to come back to Supernatural. Pretty sure most of us came back from Pascon with a big crush on Briana. Can’t wait to see Sheriff Donna back on my tv!
Check back for lots more from Pascon with Jared, Jensen, Misha and more. Plus our exclusive interviews with Richard and Matt, and a guest blog from Denvercon too!
Photos by me
Edits by the ever patient and talented Arkine13
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