Jared and Jensen at Jaxcon – Supernatural Cons Kick Off 2016!
The Supernatural Creation con circuit kicked off 2016 with a first time visit to Jacksonville, which turned out to be an awesome con! The Hyatt Regency won me over almost immediately by a) being right on the river, which was beautiful and b) proving themselves almost as big Supernatural fans as most of their guests were. Not only was Supernatural playing on TNT at the bar and the restaurant, but they had a gif of all the Supernatural title cards projected on the lobby floor! How cool is that??
It was a short walk to restaurants and I spent a lot of time hanging out with fangirls and conjecturing about what the second half of Season 11 will likely bring (with a mix of nervous anticipation, hand wringing trepidation, squeeful joy, and academic musings – as several of us study Supernatural as well as fangirl it). In fact, quite a few students from UNF’s Supernatural course were in attendance, much to the incredulity of all the guests.
Jensen: There’s a COLLEGE COURSE about Supernatural??? Of course there is!
Of course there is. Nobody can ever accuse fans of not being smart and analytical and ready and willing to dig deeper into canon and characterization than just about anyone. It became a running joke of the convention, with students stepping up to the mic to ask their questions for class and being met with guests’ priceless reactions.
Friday and Saturday were wonderful – and as everyone and their fellow fan knows by now, Jensen sang at the Saturday Night Special and brought the house down once again. I will NEVER get over that man belting out a song like that. More on that and the rest of Friday and Saturday in my next con post, along with the amazing photos that our collaborator Kim Prior shot for us at the con. Be ready to drool!
For now, a bit of Sunday, aka J2 Day. I was lucky enough to go to both Jared and Jensen’s meet and greets, which made for a very very fine Sunday indeed. These are just a few excerpts from my feeble memory, not a transcript, yada yada…
Both Jared and Jensen came into the meet and greet room and gestured at the picture window with the beautiful view of the river, asking why we weren’t all turning our chairs that way to enjoy the view.
Everyone: Better view this way.
Jared’s meet and greet started off with a question from the professor of that Supernatural class, who only got out the first part of her question before Jared excitedly interrupted.
Jared: I got it! I read the syllabus!
No surprise there. He had not only read the syllabus, but thoughtfully answered her question about craft versus storytelling. Jared said that he realizes that artistry can sometimes get in the way of craftsmanship, something he learned in part from Jensen. He also said that their craft is about seeing others, which comes with maturity.
Jared: I’m lucky, my craft mirrors life itself. You have to learn the way to tell a story that serves the story, not you.
Pretty sure Jared would snag an A in that class, don’t you think?
He also talked about filming that last scene in Sacrifice that affected all of us so much.
Jared: I got really into it, became too focused inward. There’s an old saying – ‘Give an actor 3 months to work on a script, he’ll use 3 months. Give him 3 minutes, he’ll use 3 minutes.’
I followed up that question by asking about the powerful scene in the last episode before Hellatus, where Sam ends up in the cage with Lucifer.
Me: You didn’t even have any dialogue, but you conveyed so much emotion – so much terror, just PTSD level horror – as Sam stared at Lucifer, and that one tear escaped.
Another fan: The OPT!
Jared: [smiling] We still call it that on set, even if it was renamed the Single Man Tear.
[Same in fandom, Jared.]
Me: I don’t really know how you do that, convey so much without words.
Jared: When I read it [that scene], the hairs stood up on my face. Know what I mean?
Jared: And when we filmed it, I remembered that feeling. It was an emotional feeling. I know what that’s like. I’ve been lied to and I’ve been betrayed. I’ve had the feeling of not knowing at all and then just being hit with the reality of it, like WHAT??
Me: Well, that really came through.
Jared: [laughing] I guess I’ve gotten better at showing what I’m feeling on my face. I wasn’t sure it came through, it was shot really dark.
Everyone: Oh it did!
A fan also asked about whether or not Sam still has demon blood in him. Jared said he didn’t know, but confided “I hope he does,” since it could make for a pretty interesting story line.
Someone asked about the atmosphere on set, pointing out that every single guest star always ends up raving about how different it is from other sets, how friendly and welcoming, and they always give credit to the two leads for making that happen. Was it something that Jared and Jensen had discussed?
Jared: It’s organic, we never had a conversation about it. We liked who we had around. And if people were jerks, they started falling off. It’s subconscious. And we have each other’s backs.
He went on to say that filming a television show is a lot of stress, and that maybe sometimes a guest actor wasn’t a jerk but just having a crisis or being under all that stress, and that he wanted to be understanding of that.
Fan: Well, everyone who guests on SPN says all good things.
Jared: [deadpans] Oh, so the payments are working.
Joking aside, it seems fairly obvious why the atmosphere on the Supernatural set is so different from others – especially others in their 11th season. In fact, the next story Jared told is relevant. He said that he and Jensen both had separate conversations with Clif about the Powerball when it was so ridiculously high. And they both independently told him that if they won, they would still show up for work the next day. No hesitation. (Though Jared did tell Clif that he’d totally understand if they never laid eyes on him again!]
Seems like that kind of enthusiasm has a lot to do with the Show’s unique atmosphere. Jared and Jensen are still clearly enjoying themselves, that’s for sure. On the Show and at the cons.
The next question was asked by a fan who is also a writer.
Writer Fan: You’re so eloquent, so good at storytelling; have you thought about being a writer?
Jared: Ask Lynn! I just sent her a chapter for her new book.
Me: And it’s awesome!
Jared talked about how much he struggled with writing it, though.
Jared: It’s not like when you give an interview, when I can qualify things. If people don’t like what I’ve said, I can explain. But writing – it’s so final. It’s just out there. It’s scary.
Writer Fan: We all feel that way.
Me: [nodding emphatically]
(Jared has put so much time and effort into not only writing it, but finding just the right photos too. He knew what he wanted to say and found such an eloquent and powerful way of saying it, but writing IS scary – for anyone who’s ever published anything, anywhere!)
Both Jared and Jensen have said several times that the story telling aspect is part of what they love about acting, and that’s obviously a big part of writing too. I spoke with Jared and Jensen a bit later in the day, and I think even Jensen was impressed with Jared’s writer side.
Jensen: We were on vacation with our families and he was working away. I was like, what are you doing? And he said go away, I’m working on my chapter!
Me to Jared: I hope you believe me when I say your chapter is fabulous.
Jared: [looks skeptical]. But you know, it’s not what I do. I’m an actor, not a writer.
Me: [cocks eyebrow] Well, you’d better get used to it, you’re going to be a published author.
That got me wide eyes and Jared backing up theatrically, but I’ll be surprised if this is the last thing he writes.
There was another question about Mark Sheppard’s hysterical little video of Jensen and Jared making fun of how long it takes Mark and Ruth to say their lines (which I have yet to see – someone please link me in the comments!) It was apparently filmed at a con. Jared said they constructed this huge long hallway for that walk through Purgatory, which left Mark and Ruth plenty of room to get their lines in.
[At this, Jared jumped up to show us, much to the joy of everyone in the room]
Jared: So I get to the end, and they weren’t done! And I was like, ‘say your lines, what’s going on here?’ Me and Bob Singer were on the floor laughing. I’d just stop at a certain point and say to the Steadicam operator, ‘they’re not gonna finish, we have to go again’. I was telling Ackles about it at the con and then…
So that’s how that happened. He also said that much of the hysterical stuff they did in the Mockumentary that Misha made was ad libbed. Nobody who’s seen these guys at a con was at all surprised!
I usually keep my excerpts here Show-related, but there was one little story that was too adorable not to share. Jared said that when he was home, he told Gen to sleep in while he made the boys breakfast. Supernatural happened to be on the television, and it captured Tom’s attention as a scene with Ruby came on. A few minutes later, Gen got up and wandered into the room.
Tom: Mommy, you work with Daddy and Uncle Jensen too??
Gen: [glancing at the screen and seeing what was now a typically Supernatural moment] What the hell are you thinking??!
Oops. We’ve all been there, Jared.
A little later, it was time for Jensen’s meet and greet. I was bursting to ask a question, which must have been obvious, since Jensen motioned for me to go ahead.
Me: I’m still confused about the whole Dean and Amara thing. Especially after the last episode we saw, where Dean spends most of the episode being so worried about Sam and makes him promise to call before he does anything about the Cage, and then he doesn’t answer his phone when Sam calls! Is he like in a trance or something???
Jensen said yes, it is sort of like he’s in a trance. He said we still don’t know exactly where it’s going or what’s exactly happening between them even in the episode they’re filming now (episode 16).
Jensen said that at first he thought that Dean was sort of enamored of Amara – and so he played it that way.
Me: That’s how it seemed.
Jensen: [laughing] Oh, well good, I succeeded then!
Then he thought no, this doesn’t seem right, so he met with Jeremy Carver.
Jensen: And then I understood it more like she’s Kryptonite.
Me: Okay, that makes more sense.
Jensen: And Dean really doesn’t understand it, doesn’t know what’s happening. That’s why he’s been so secretive with Sam. In fact, in an upcoming episode… Have you seen the scene where…
Excitable non-spoilerphobic fan: Yes! We have!
Me: Not too convincing if you don’t wait for him to say WHAT scene!
Jensen: [laughing] Nice try!
Jensen: No real spoilers, but Dean does tell Sam that he might need to do something he doesn’t do very often – put Sam in the driver’s seat, because he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to perform. It’s like, I might have to sit this one out on the bench, though it goes against everything he wants to do. That’s why he’s been so secretive with Sam, because he doesn’t know how to talk about it. It’s a mystery for a while longer.
As big and sinister as the Darkness story line is, Jensen said he gets a chance to do some physical comedy again in an upcoming episode, which he enjoys. He likes these mid season one offs, which is what they’re filming now.
A fan complimented him on something Dean says in Spanish in one episode.
Jensen: [not taking the compliment] No, I don’t speak Spanish….
He did say that he has an ear though; if he hears it, he can mimic it. Camera operator Jose Manzano helps him with pronunciation.
Jensen: I say, “Jose, Andale!”
Just that little bit of Spanish sounded pretty good to me, actually.
Someone asked about bringing some of the fandom’s beloved guest characters back, which Jensen enjoys too. He said he’s glad that Robbie Thompson likes to write those kind of episodes, to bring back characters we’ve lost.
Jensen: And it’s not easy. Because they’re dead.
Jensen: Bringing those characters back adds a quality and a layer and depth to an already great show. It feels like having an old friend come to dinner.
To us too, actually.
Jensen also talked more about the family dynamic that is Supernatural, and how important to him the camaraderie and teamwork on set is, especially with a crew who has been with them for 11 years. For example, one of the camera assistants has a daughter who was born in Season 1, so now she’s 10 and she runs in and comes up and hugs him when she visits the set. The other day Jared had his boys on set, Jensen teasing and carrying them around. It really is a family!
A fan asked him if he watches the episodes, and he says he’s seen every one. He did a hysterical imitation of himself trying to live tweet an episode, which had us all laughing.
Jensen: It’s hard! I can’t keep up, I’m like, oh no I have to change that ‘to’ to ‘too’, and oh no, now something else is happening, ahhh!
Fan: You need Periscope. Ask Clif to teach you.
Someone also asked about his favorite episodes, and he talked about ‘Death’s Door’ as one of the best.
Jensen: [wryly] Bob Singer directed an episode about when Bobby Singer dies. Kind of ironic…
He also really liked the Season 9 finale, when Dean opens his eyes and is revealed to be a demon.
Jensen: Even though you guys were all like ‘oh I saw that coming’. But I didn’t! When I read it, I was like ‘oh no they didn’t!’
A fan also asked about the Purgatory story and Dean’s relationship with Benny. Jensen said that Dean and Benny didn’t have a Sam and Dean kind of relationship, like brothers in arms sort of relationship exactly, but more like Cas and Dean. They may not always be together, but they have each other’s backs.
Somehow this led to a tangent about Leonardo DiCaprio, who Jensen agrees is an excellent actor.
Jensen: But I just can’t take him seriously as a leading man – he looks like a boy!
The other day the hair and makeup person on set showed him a photo of Leo in ‘The Revenant’ covered in mud and blood, to disprove Jensen’s contention.
Jensen: Well of course he looks manly there, he’s covered in mud and blood! I looked manly in Purgatory covered in mud and blood! In fact, get me back there!
Pretty sure no one in the room needed any convincing of his manliness, but hey, Purgatory was a good look on Dean, not gonna lie.
Then again, most things are…
More soon from Jaxcon. And now it’s time to end this Hellatus – with a brand new episode!!!
ETA: Which I just watched and I’m still shaking. OMG. Stay tuned for our episode review and more from Jaxcon!
For more of our Supernatural adventures, check out
‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ and ‘Fan Phenomena
Supernatural’ – links on this page!