Valentine’s weekend was pretty special this year for Supernatural fans. Not only did we get to spend the weekend with Jared, Jensen, Misha and company, but there were Valentine’s cards throughout the Hilton’s lobby, some of them SPN centric, so nobody was without one. Courtesy of the Supernatural facebook group, it was the sort of gesture that makes me all warm and fuzzy about fandom – and especially this particular fandom.
The con itself was a dizzying mix of maddening and glorious (the maddening being one of 55 rooms kicked out of the con hotel and booted to the Marriott down the road. WAY down the road). Shuttles really don’t cut it when you’re trying to live tweet, take photos and do interviews all at the same time. Not to mention spend time with your fangirl friends and also with your family! If I was looking harried and flustered, that’s why.
On the other hand, it was really hard to be in a bad mood on Sunday when Jared and Jensen were in such ridiculously GOOD moods. Their panels were so much fun, I could barely stop laughing and smiling long enough to tweet anything, and both meet and greets were equally fun. More photos and favorite moments from the con panels soon, but for now, here are a few of my favorite moments from Jared and Jensen’s meet and greets – from my fallible memory, not a transcript, yada yada. You know the drill.
Jared’s meet and greet was first up, as usual. Most of what I remember is Show-related, but one tidbit that isn’t was pretty adorable. Someone asked Jared what was the most challenging part of the Tough Mudder that he did with Jensen, Rob, Richard, Osric and Jason. Jared said that it was the monkey bars, because near the end there was a very long reach for the last bar. He got near the end and couldn’t reach the last bar, because his shoulder that was injured doesn’t rotate, so he was just hanging there.
Jared: I yelled ‘SPEIGHT!!!’ And Richard quickly came across the monkey bars and gave me a kick. Otherwise, I’d just be hanging there like, ‘someone kick me!’
He helpfully acted this out, which was both amusing and very very nice to watch. It did not, however, make me any more eager to do a Tough Mudder.
The first show-related question was about the keepsake box that Sam has, and what was in it. Jared said there were photos, something from John’s journal, a note that he didn’t read so he doesn’t know what it said, and the amulet. The musical amulet.
Fans: Not the real one??
Jared: Not yet.
Fans: (silently) YET!!!!!
I think Jared and Jensen are hoping it’s in there as fervently as we all are.
Another person asked about Jared’s portrayal of Soulless Sam back in Season 6. What kind of direction did he get?
Jared said that he didn’t get much. He went to see [showrunner] Sera to ask about Sam in Season 6. The conversation went something like this:
Jared: What’s up with Sam?
Sera: He’s soulless.
Fans listening to the story: [blink]
Jared: Right! It was just like that!
So he spent a month thinking about how to play Sam without a soul, eventually thinking of it like a sociopath, not inherently evil, just logical.
I loved this story, simply because I love hearing about how seriously these actors take their work and how much they care about the characters that we all love.
Someone also asked about the new Gilmore Girls project. Jared said he was surprised to find that there were GG fans everywhere. One of the crew came up to him last week and asked about set visits.
Jared: (confused) Um, but you work on this set…
Crew guy: No, the Gilmore Girls set.
Jared: Oh, for your family?
Crew guy: Nope. Just me.
They’re already filming, and Jared was set to film for them today.
Okay, back to Supernatural. A fan asked about unleashing Misha to play Casifer. Jared laughed and said that he thought Misha was doing a great job – in fact, Jared and Jensen don’t even prank him when he’s in Casifer mode! Now that’s really saying something about how well they think Misha is portraying the devil. (it’s Casifer in the script, btw, though I still love Lustiel).
Jared: I love his Mark Pellegrino! But I think Misha’s just glad he can stop doing the voice.
There were lots of questions about Season 11, which made me a happy fangirl. Someone noted that Sam seems to like himself more this season.
Jared: (considering) Maybe because Jared likes himself more.
Fan: I’m glad.
Jared: (soft smile) Me too.
I might have gotten a little sniffly at that moment. I keep saying I’m going to bring tissues to meet and greets and then forgetting to do it.
The fans in the meet and greet – and most fans in general, I think – are loving all the genuine communication that’s going on in Supernatural this season. Someone said that she loved that they finally talked about the season of Sam-hitting-a-dog and that Sam and Dean actually talked about it too and cleared the air between them.
Fan: Give Robbie Thompson a fruit basket!
Jared talked a little about the PACK fund, and how he and Jensen and Misha talked about it a long time ago. They didn’t know if they’d raise any significant money, but now that they have, they’re excited to contribute to organizations like TWLOHA, AIR and Random Acts. They’re also excited about the Fan Crisis Support Network, because it’s something by the fans and for the fans.
Jared: Because that’s the meaning of Supernatural. We help each other. So it’s fitting.
My question was also about Season 11 — about the most recent episode, and especially that last scene in ‘Love Hurts’ where the brothers actually TALK to each other. Jared seemed just as excited about it as me.
Jared: I prefer when Sam and Dean are on the same team. When you love someone so much, you don’t want to see them suffer. Sam loves Dean, so he wants to take that burden. But Dean also loves Sam, so in a way it’s more of a burden knowing that Sam’s taking it on. Sam is resigned – accepting of it, and not in a negative way.
Me: I loved that scene, loved what Sam said to Dean about not judging him, that it wasn’t his fault. It struck me as a fitting parallel to the work that you and Jensen and Misha are doing in ‘real life’ around mental health issues. So often people get blamed and judged for things that aren’t their fault.
Jared liked the idea of a parallel.
Jared: The way the Show mirrors the fandom, it’s a relationship. It’s hard to know which is the chicken and which the egg, which came first, after eleven seasons. Are Sam and Dean like this because of Jared and Jensen or vice versa?
He went on to give credit to the writers, who know these characters and how to write them.
Jared: We trust them, and they trust us.
We both agreed that this is unique; something that’s not going to happen again. Not all of this.
Talk about warm and fuzzy feelings, that’s a hell of a way to leave a meet and greet.
A little later, it was time for Jensen’s, which was kicked off by a question that I asked about last time but am frankly still wondering about. So I’m glad someone else asked it again.
Fan: I don’t understand what’s going on with Dean and Amara – I’m so confused!
Jensen: Me too!
He went on to say that the writers were at first going down a path of attraction and desire, but that didn’t make sense to him – it made more sense that Dean would be confused.
Jensen: It’s something he’s unable to put a name to. In a scene coming up, I play it like he’s in shock and awe, like he’s powerless. The script said desire, but luckily it was Phil and he agreed with me – it’s not something you can put a word on like that, it’s not lust or desire.
Everyone in the room: Thank you!
Jensen also said that Sam feels like he has to protect Dean now. Because of the situation with Amara, Dean is more helpless than he has been before. [Personally, I’m A-OK with some protective Sam!]
My question was similar to what I asked Jared – about the scene in last week’s episode where Sam and Dean finally had an actual conversation. I reiterated what I’d said to Jared, that Sam’s refusal to judge or shame his brother was a nice parallel to their real life AKF and YANA campaigns encouraging the same thing.
Jensen: I hadn’t thought of that, but yes, that’s true. That’s interesting.
I also wondered about Jensen’s take on what Dean was thinking in that scene, because after Sam said “I got this, Dean,” he didn’t really respond.
Jensen: They didn’t linger on Dean too long…
Me: No, like not at all.
Jensen: … Because I got up and left!
Me: Oh – because Dean was so uncomfortable with the conversation?
Jensen said yes, that Dean was very uncomfortable with having to ask Sam for help, with actually saying that he couldn’t do it [kill Amara].
Jensen: It was so hard for him, he just wanted to get it out there and not linger.
Me: Was it scripted?
Me: (smirk) Thought so.
Damn you, Mr. Ackles and your fabulous acting instincts and the way you know this character inside out.
Someone asked if he ever wanted to do his own stunts, and Jensen laughed and said all the time. He told a story about his stunt double Todd Scott which involved him having to throw himself on the car’s windshield and break it. He had to use ‘quick ramps’ which he ran up at breakneck speed and threw himself onto the car. Except the car was a convertible and instead of hitting the windshield, he hit the frame! Jensen said he knew Todd was hurt, but he wouldn’t admit it and went again, even harder this time. This time the windshield shattered. But Todd ended up with three broken ribs. Ouch.
Another fan asked what it was like to shoot that scene where Dean is scooting backwards on his (lovely) ass while firing at one of the Steins. Jensen said that it was difficult because he was concerned about shooting the cameraman, who was right in there with him.
Jensen: Brad and Rosie have been with us since the beginning, and they’re like family. But they trust me, they said they wouldn’t let anyone else point a gun right at them. But I worried, I would feel awful if they got hurt.
He also said that because the guns are shooting blanks, there’s a great deal of blow back. That’s why you’ll often see him blink when he fires. [Jensen helpfully got up and demonstrated some of this, which we all really really appreciated.]
Fan: Was that the weirdest position you’ve been in for the show?
Jensen: [with a smile] No, I’ve done a lot of weird positions before…
A fan said, in a very emotional and heartfelt way, that she was struck by this fandom’s support of each other and love for each other.
Jensen: Me too. Jared and I talk about this all the time. Eric Kripke said to us, listen guys, this is on you. We were 27 and 23, and that was a lot of responsibility. Even though we really didn’t’ have to try, we knew we had to get along. In Season 1, he stormed off set and I was like, oh crap. We hashed it out like bros do, and we made a pact – we’re teammates, brothers. Now we’re like, ‘this is way bigger than us’. And we have a responsibility. We’re proud to be a part of this. It’s an honor.
It made sense that the conversation stayed with the theme of family. A fan asked about the closeness between Jared and Jensen, and what was the most impressive thing that either of them had done for each other’s families.
Jensen thought for a minute before he answered.
Jensen: Being there for each other.
He said that last summer when Jared had a hard time, Danneel was there for Gen, and she and Jensen were there for both of them.
Jensen: Just last night we had dinner at their house, and we said cheers, love you guys, love you too. I said [to Jared], ‘this is why we do it, the long hours and the flights home – our kids playing together and our wives with a glass of wine in the kitchen’. It’s pretty amazing for two guys who were essentially forced to work together. And now it’s all of us – we love each other. And we love you guys too.
Everyone: [perhaps a little choked up] And we love you.
Once again, I left the meet and greet wishing for tissues, which is something I will apparently never learn. What Jared said about this being unique and never likely to happen again, not like this? Yeah. A million times yeah.
Stay tuned for much more from Houscon, including exclusive interviews and photos!
Photo edits by the talented @arkine13!
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