Jensen Ackles in Burbank – Why Dean Winchester Needs a Vacation!

Jared and Jensen Enjoying Themselves As Much As We Are

Just as many of us want to share the awesomeness (yes, that’s a word…) of Supernatural with friends, we wish we could take all of them along on our con weekends so they could experience the fun, frivolity and sense of family – it’s hard to describe otherwise. The celebrity guests feel pretty much the same, so many of them took advantage of the “local” LA location of the Burbank SPN con to invite friends and family. Richard Speight Jr. brought old friends, fellow actors and his proud father-in-law. Guy Bee brought Samuel Colt – or at least the talented actor who played him on Supernatural. And Jensen Ackles brought his friend Chris to the semi-private Q & A.

Jensen (taking his customary seat at the front of the room): My friend Chris will be auditing the class today.

Fans (silently as usual): As long as he doesn’t block our view of the prof.

Chris: (wisely takes a seat to the side)

Jensen joked about the need for a tram to get from one end of the hotel complex to the other, which he and the rest of us were using as our weekend exercise program. Phew! Then we settled in to ask some questions.

Fan: Out of all the seasons of Supernatural, has there been anything that’s shocked you?

Jensen (with zero hesitation): Bobby getting shot.

Fans (with zero hesitation): OMG us too!

Jensen: I was feverishly waiting for the next script, after the episode where he was shot in the head. I kept asking for the next script, asking ‘what happens??’ And they didn’t even email those scripts to us like they usually do. They hand delivered them to the producers and the actors, so I knew it was something big. They let Jim know, and Jim actually told us.

While he was shocked, and both he and Jared are clearly missing Jim’s presence on the set and Bobby’s in the Show, Jensen also recognized what a superb episode ‘Death’s Door’ was.

Jensen: Like Kim Manners would say, ‘give them what they want – in a way they don’t expect.’

Expected or not, it seems like Bobby’s death has impacted cast and fans alike. But of course this is Supernatural, so who knows what the future will bring….

The next question was about Crowley, one of our favorite characters. Mark Sheppard had cheekily noted that we couldn’t really be sure that Crowley was a demon, since we’ve never seen his eyes go black. Hmmm. A fan wanted to know what Jensen thought of that theory.

Jensen: (throwing up his hands in mock exasperation) Now why did he have to mess with things like that??! But then, demons’ eyes only go black when they show anger, and Crowley really doesn’t have to, so….

Fans (are pondering…)

Jensen: Then again, that would be a cool twist.

A fan then asked Jensen how often he made some changes to a script to “Deanify” the dialogue (which frankly we think is an awesome verb.)

Jensen: If it’s a line or action sometimes, if it’s a story point, rarely. We generally stay true to the story line. But I’ll doctor the dialogue to fit the character more sometimes. Especially when we bring on some new writers – and I think it’s a WGA (Writers Guild of America) rule – isn’t it Chris?

Chris: I don’t know.

Jensen: But you’re a writer!

Chris: (smiles winningly)

Fans: You’re fitting right in, Chris.

Jensen: Anyway, we have outside writers and then they’ll take the script and make it Supernatural, but at times I’ve doctored it to make it more Dean. In the scene where Sam finds out that Dean killed Amy Pond, it was straight out of a rom com, like ‘I need space’, so when Jared and I were in the make up trailer that morning to run our lines, I was like ‘so Jared, rewrite this scene, right?’ and Jared was like ‘yup, let’s do it.’ So they sounded like two guys arguing. And we called Sera (Gamble) after and said we changed this, and she was like, ‘okay’. I’m protective of the character and the show.

Fans: (can totally relate)

A fan then asked if there were some things that he wouldn’t do in real life, that he was called upon to do as an actor, and how uncomfortable that was (for example, hitting a female character)

Jensen: A lot of things I will allow myself to do as an actor, as a character that’s separate from me. It’s like my grandmother says sometimes – she’s very religious, and she’s smart and strong and powerful, and she doesn’t like that Dean cusses and drinks and womanizes, but she says “I know it’s up here (points to his head) and not in here (points to his heart)”. I’m telling a story.

And speaking of that story and where it’s going in Season 7, a fan characterized it as a sort of ‘throwback’ season, much like Season 1. She also expressed her worry about Dean and whether he’s headed for an emotional breakdown.

Jensen: It is sort of a throwback season, and I really like that. I think over time the show was skewed a bit from its original format. But Dean now is teetering, so much has happened, he’s not sure his brother is whole, and it was a big blow to him that not only could he not have normal, but it blew up horribly on him. It’s like a long dark tunnel with no light, and he should be headed for a breakdown. Dean’s a hardass though.

Fans: (nodding in agreement). So if Jensen were to give Dean some advice, what would it be?

Jensen: Take a vacation! Go to Hawaii. And oh yes, we should film that episode!

We’re always struck by Jensen’s empathy for the character he plays, who he seems to know so well after seven seasons. Does he have the same musical tastes as Dean?

Jensen: Oddly enough, Dean and I have pretty similar tastes, it’s been classic rock for me since high school, Metallica – add a little blues and country, and you have Jensen! Right, Chris?

Chris (nods, still smiling)

We’re not sure what Chris thought of the whole Q & A thing, but he apparently quite enjoyed it. As did we.

Jensen: I knew when I went in to read for this Show, “I can play this guy.”

He first read for Sam, and after the reading, he asked David Nutter if he could “read for the other guy”? They weren’t casting Dean yet, but apparently the reading that Jensen had done for Sam netted him the role of Dean instead.

A fan then asked Jensen if he was ever surprised by how well a piece of his acting turned out?

Jensen: (dramatically) ALL THE TIME!

Fans: LOL

So, the fan wondered, how does he know when he’s nailed a scene?

Jensen: Not so much with exposition, but in a heavy or emotional scene, there’s almost a sense of “that was it, that was the take” that happens. Jared and I both are attuned to that now. It’s where you get to the point where you believe it yourself.

We followed up with another rather serious question, asking which director he’s experienced the closest connection with and gotten the best direction from.

Jensen: Well, not when we have a new director. If they say, “I don’t think Dean would do that”, at this point I’m like, “really??”

He loves working with Bob Singer, with whom at this point he shares an almost telepathic connection. He acted out several examples of the (rather comical) facial expressions and gestures that Bob uses to communicate to him everything from ‘step it up’ to ‘do it again’, much to the delight of the room full of fans.

A fan asked about that heartbreaking fake smile that Dean so determinedly practiced a few episodes back, frantic to ‘fake it til you make it’ as he drove into the night with a traumatized Sam beside him. The scene, we think, turned out beautifully, but it was apparently one that put some pressure on the actor.

Jensen: That was scripted. And when it says exactly what they want you to do with your face, it’s scary. I get scared, like ‘am I doing what they want?’

Fans helpfully assured him that it totally worked, and in fact was an amazing piece of acting.

One of the fans who had been at Jared’s Q & A earlier asked about something Jared had mentioned – that they might ‘push the reset button’ if they get a Season 8.

Jensen: That was just conversation between me and Jared! I’m sure the writers will say no to us if we suggest it, because you know, we’re actors and they’re writers. Of course then they’ll be like (mimes a loudly whispered “secret”) ‘Why didn’t we think of that??’

Fans: (supportively) Exactly!

Jensen: Because we have Lucifer constantly telling Sam that this isn’t real, so…. And we could bring back Bobby, and Cas, and Rob and Richard, and all the guys – get the band back together!

Fans: Just like at cons!

Speaking of our favorite departed angel-in-a-trenchcoat, a fan asked about Dean and Castiel’s special friendship, and how that would turn out.

Jensen (deadpans) Special….because it’s so awkward??

Fans: Well, yes, there’s that….but how would they be after everything that’s happened?

Dean: There’s an underlying respect there. Dean doesn’t like to talk about it, but there’s a humanistic quality to him, Dean needs that, he needs that from his brother, from Cas, from his father, from Bobby. He grabs that person and hangs on. But he’s not very forgiving when he’s betrayed. So he and Cas would have to work things out.

Fans: (silently) But they would, right? Right???

Jensen also shared some of the upcoming gag reel content, which we’re really looking forward to. The scene where we get to hear some ‘Air Supply’ was short on the episode, but on the dvd it promises to be much – MUCH – longer.

Jensen: We had to cut what we used because the rights are like 20 grand, but John Showalter was like , “let’s just do it anyway”, and I just went full out (even though we weren’t going to use it). And afterwards, John was like, ‘we just cost WB 20 grand.’

Fans: (are cheering)

A fan asked the rather philosophical question, “What has been your best and your worst experience so far in life?” Once again, Jensen didn’t hesitate.

Jensen: Supernatural has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me.


Jensen: Not just the training, the nine months a year in front of the camera, but the lifelong friendships I’ve made and the sense of family. It’s extremely rare – every guest star that comes on always says it – we have focus pullers who could be camera operators on other shows, who have stuck with us because of this magic we have.

Fans: (at this point are nearly overcome with AWWW)

Jensen: Worst experience? Devour. If you haven’t seen it – don’t!

Fans (silently) Too late….

Jensen: They rewrote the script for the film as we were shooting it, so there were just so many loopholes and missed plot points. I still can’t figure out how it ends.

Fans: Yeah, neither can we. Sorry.

Jensen: Ten Inch Hero also has a special place in my heart, since it’s where Danneel and I fell in love.

Fans: (now completely and totally overcome with AWWW)

The last question was mostly for fun.

Fan: So do you love a giant rainbow colored slinky as much as Dean does?

Jensen: (deadpan) What do you think?

Fans: Ummm, that would be a no?

Jensen: I just tried to be as childlike as I could in that scene.

Fans: (one more time) Awwwww.

Jensen left the room, as he often does, with “Thanks so much guys, it’s always such a pleasure to talk with you.”

Ditto, Mr. Ackles.

Photo credit: Thanks to our friend Alice Jester – visit Winchester Family Business for more con updates!

63 thoughts on “Jensen Ackles in Burbank – Why Dean Winchester Needs a Vacation!

  • I really enjoy reading your posts. I am just wondering whether you will be posting any of your Misha Collins chats. At the end of posts on Jared and/or Jensen you have often said that such posts will be coming (e.g. the NashVegas post, the ChiCon post). I always look forward to them but they never seem to be posted. I am just asking in the hopes that maybe you forgot. I appreciate the reports which you do post and I really enjoy the tone of your chats with the cast.

    • Yes! We’re are woefully behind on posts, including our chats with Misha!! Sincere apologies — getting Fandom At The Crossroads out took up alot of our writing time. But that’s no excuse for not getting our blog posts up, so thank you very much for the nudge — and for your gentleness. This fandom rocks 🙂

    • We wish! We thoroughly enjoyed Jared’s Q&A last time. There were several bloggers going to Jared’s, however, so hopefully you’ve found some good coverage of his Q&A. In fact, we’re going to go search out some too!

  • As always you are the place to go immediately after a con – your write ups for Jensen’s Q&A’s are second to none. I love how you always put a special little spin on it, it makes me always feel like I am there.

    • That puts a smile on our face, since that’s precisely what we’re trying to do with all our fannish writing. Thanks so much for letting us know 🙂

  • Thanks for this, ladies; delightful as always! Can’t wait to get my copies of your books – the first one’s on order, due for delivery sometime this month. I’ll be looking for YOUR autographs!

    • And we’ll be looking for your thoughtful feedback, Mary! Nobody does thinky thoughts like you do, so we can’t wait to hear them. 🙂

  • woww thanks so much:)
    you know i`m very far from there & maybe never can attend this kind of convention
    but in this hellatus it`s nothing better than read convention & interviews
    again thanxx

    • Whatever gets us all through hellatus is a good thing! Very glad to be of help — and thank you for your lovely comment 🙂

  • Despite my desperate jealousy of you being with the boys I will say THANK YOU for posting this. I always love to hear/read what is on Jensen’s mind. He’s charming as always! Thank you for your faithful devotion to our show and to those of us who didn’t get to attend! 🙂

    • You’re very welcome — being devoted to this Show is a no-brainer! The boys really are quite charming, and we’re so happy to be able to “share” with you 🙂

  • Your reports of the private Q and As with Jensen have become one of the my favroite things about the cons, ladies. He always gives us something new; and the questions for him usually seem so intelligent and thought-provoking from this little group. Big kudos on that to all!

    Loved the question about his best and worst experience, and his thoughts on “Deanifying” things. It really is becoming very obvious that he knows that he is the foremost authority on the character now. Kudos to him for recognizing and believing in something that most of the fandom has long believed, too. And he IS SO!! empathetic when it comes to Dean, isn’t he?!- and that clearly came through in this interview, IMO. Love this guy. So much. Love that he, too, feels that “Dean is a hardass.”-because just…yeah… he IS! in many ways; and it’s such a contrast and complement to that the utterly caring/protective streak of his. I have never loved a fictional character as much as I love Jensen’s Dean Winchester.

    Thank you again for letting us “share” him with you all…*winks*… Oh, and your little silent asides are the BEST!! Looking forward to your next con report on this awesome actor and man already…

    • What a lovely thing to say, that these reports are one of your favorite things about cons — thank you so much! Fans really do come up with excellent questions, and Jensen never fails to give thoughtful answers. We love his genuine affection for the character he portrays so brilliantly — perhaps that’s WHY his portrayal works so well. Totally agreed, there will never be another fictional character like Dean Winchester 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this report from Jensen’s meet and greet. I could listen to Jensen talk all day long on almost any topic, but especially on acting, directing, Dean and the show. He is just so passionate and you can clearly feel the love he has for everyone involved, including and especially the fans.

    Aww, indeed, regarding his response about Ten Inch Hero.

    I agree with Jena “Looking forward to your next con report on this awesome actor and man already…”

    Thank you again!

    • You’re very welcome, so glad you enjoyed the report — the boys’ passion for the Show and their characters really does come through, and it bonds them and the fans together in some wonderful ways. Also, TIH was awesome 🙂


    So many questionable things if we follow the Jensen = Professor line of thought… Could I, for example, sit in the front row with LOVE YOU written on my eyelids, just like in Indiana Jones? XD

    Thank you for catching every little bit – I had forgotten the slinky question. As for Devour, well, let’s just say “the screencaps are the best part”.

    • Ah yes, quick we are!!! Absolutely you could sit in the front row like that. In fact, we dare you. Next Q&A, bring your magic markers….

      Also? Agreed about Devour 😉

  • Thank you so much!

    It’s always a pleasure to read your reports of the private Q and As with Jensen!Can’t wait for

    the next.

  • Thank you for not just writing these up, but writing them up SO WELL! They are a joy to read, especially because it warms my heart and makes me smile when the boys talk about things like the magical, family atmosphere on set.

    • You really know what puts a smile on a writer’s face 🙂 Thanks so much, we’re thrilled that the genuine emotions that are in the room come through in our reports.

  • p.s.

    As much as I am loving the Butch and Sundance theme this year, I would love them to hit reset for season 8. I think it’s a great idea.

    • We think we can safely say that EVERYONE in that room wishes the exact same thing! 🙂

  • I didn’t know you guys were going to be at Burbank! I was there too, although I was not fortunate enough to get into Jensen’s Q&A. Thanks for such a fantastic report, I always love hearing from them about the show.

    Personally. I heard the “it was all a dream” theory and I would hate it. They have been through so much and to make it all fake would be too much for me. A reset of season seven might not be so bad though, especially because we could get a lot of the cast back.

    • We’re sorry we didn’t get to say hello!! Glad you were able to experience the con, it was an awesome weekend 🙂

      Jensen did imply that it wouldn’t be a total reset, probably just back a season or maybe two, if my recollection is correct. We agree, there’s no way we would want everything Sam and Dean have been through to be fake — after all, we’ve been through it with them!

  • Thank you for your terrific report. Such a pleasure to read! Hearing Jensen’s take on his craft and character adds another layer to my enjoyment of the show.

    Not sure how I feel about the reset button too. It does have some advantages, that’s true.. But I’d hate to have a third year of Sam’s hellpain, in the same way I hope Dean’s depression reaches some kind of resolution this season too. Time to give the boys some new material to work with.

    Again, many thanks for all the hard work you put into these reports!

    • Thank you so much, we really appreciate your recognition of the effort. As Chuck says, writing is hard! 🙂 Actually it’s the shorthand notes that are really tough! But your comments make it very worthwhile, so thank you. Ambivalence about the reset button idea seems to be how most fans are feeling. Time will tell…. 🙂

  • This was enlightening. My infatuation with the behind the scenes details of the shows I watch is one of the best aspects of fandom for me. Especially when the cast is as entertaining as the cast of Supernatural.

    I only have one nagging question in my head now… Was the Chris who came to the Q&A with Jensen the infamous Christian Kane? It’s well known that they are friends, and seeing as how it was fairly close to Jensen’s birthday… If it was, I’m double jealous of everyone present for this particular Q&A.

    • We agree, the behind the scenes details are fascinating — you will probably enjoy our books too, Fandom at the Crossroads and Fangasm. The cast and the crew of SPN are thoroughly entertaining.

      No, definitely not Christian Kane — so no need for double jealousy 🙂

  • So great, thanks for giving us another great Q & A. Are you going to do Jared’s too? I’d love to hear what he has to say.

    • We loved doing Jared’s last time, but only were able to do Jensen’s this time. There were several bloggers there doing Jared’s though, so hopefully we’ll all get some good write ups!

  • hi there!
    once again, THANK YOU for taking us into the room with you. what a lovely, LOVELY meeting and i enjoyed every virtual moment. 😀

    • Hey there, good to see you! You’re very welcome, so glad you could come ‘along’ — and thank you for your lovely comment, we really appreciate that you take the time to tell us that you enjoy these 🙂

  • Thank you for this report on Jensen’s meet & greet. He seems like such a lovely, sweet and gracious man.

    I love how considerate he is; I’ve heard that he makes sure everyone has a chance to ask a question and that he looks everyone in the eyes and focuses on them when they speak. Guh! to be the focus of Jensen!

    I wonder if the Chris that sat in on this was Chris Dowling, the writer of “Clownana.”

    • No, I think it was Christian Kane the actor/singer who plays Eliot Spencer on Leverage. They’ve been friends for years, also another Texas boy. There are some good videos of Jensen and Chris singing on Youtube check it out.

    • Actually as soon as we left, that’s what we realized — that it was probably Chris Dowling of The Plight of Clownana fame (infamy??) Which makes us sad, because we LOVE that and would definitely have had a few questions for Chris. Damn! It definitely was not Christian Kane.

      Very true that when Jensen is speaking to you, he makes eye contact just about the entire time. Talk about intense 😉

  • Another lovely write up – you spoil us with these! That answer about Devour made me chuckle. It certainly was pretty much of a hot mess, wasn’t it? At the end when JA’s character is saying something about “Help me” I actually said in my out-loud voice, “Too late, dude – you already did the movie.” LOL I always figure with stuff like that – Hey, everybody’s gotta pay the rent! And honestly, if Devour is the worst thing Jensen ever does? He’s doing great.
    Just reading it, I’m overcome with AWWWW that he said SPN was the best thing (of course it is). Just adorable.
    Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    • That’s our nefarious plan – to spoil you with these and our books! 🙂 We love sharing, that’s what fandom is all about, after all. Also, your comment to the screen during Devour is hysterical. LOL

  • Fantastic write-up, thank you! Always love your Jensen Q&A. I have to say — that scene at the end of Adventures in Babysitting, when Dean was trying to fake smile, but kept failing? Epic. As in, I think Jensen is amazing, but that scene was one of the best I’ve seen in the whole darn series. Just heartbreaking — I was actually a little floored by how good it was. I’ll never hear Dear Mr. Fantasy again without picturing that scene.

    • We agree, that scene was amazing! Not even sure how Jensen managed to convey all those conflicting emotions without even any dialogue. Just one of the reasons why this Show is the best. Glad you enjoyed the write-up too!

  • hi jensen its a pleasure seeing u in supernatural….i dont miss one episode also….but franky speaking i realy luv ur character….wateva u do in dis serial…but in actualy life do u beleve in al dis dat der is a hell & god….
    do u hve a gf…it seems ur quite private abt it…em quite charmed by ur personality but no offence though i realy lke jared…..plz its an request gve my regards 2 him….may god bless u guys..

  • hi its an pleasure watching u guys kicking sum deamon butt……but in real life if u face wid such thngs actualy…do u thng u can manage well?..u guys hve gr8t personality n i realy luv u guys alot…esp sam no offence dean….ur both r same bcz widout the other it wil b no fun 2 watch….i relay lke those latin dialogue….my best episode was castiel episode…..
    u seem 2 b very quite abt ur personal life….i shud’nt ask u dis bcz its up2 u n u hve your own life…but r u single..?….hehehehehehehehe

  • jared & jensen its a request….guys plz cum 2 india for a tour cz thousand of fans r waiting for u guys!……lol….we indians jst luv u guys not only in america but in india also ur famous.plz plz….rest is up2 u if u cum 2 india definately cum 2 calcutta.

  • This answered so many questions for me about the show! I will always remain faithful, but at times I wondered what was going on.

    The “fake” smile — well, it struck me as creepy because he looked so MUCH LIKE JOHN WINCHESTER in Season 1!!! Jensen’s smile was the spitting image of JDM’s when the Winchesters were first re-united!!!

    One thing that has me wondering is if Dean’s issues with forgiveness is Hell-related. John, Sam, and Cas all came back from Hell, changed in a positive way. They were able to forgive themselves and accept that they did the best they could under the circumstances and in the end they had the best intentions. They did very bad things to protect those they love.

    When Dean came back, he lost whatever esteem he acquired in season 3. It may have been because he went from victim to aggressor for no higher purpose. He did evil things in Hell because he enjoyed it and nothing more. He wasn’t trying to protect or hang onto anyone. Maybe he can’t forgive others because he can’t forgive himself.

    And his relationship with Meg is interesting . . . I think he feels more akin to her than anyone else, given they were both tutored by Alistair and I’m sure there’s more to it.

  • I’m new to the Supernatural fandom so I just recently found your site. You do an awesome job! When I’m reading your articles, I can picture it all in my head. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Hi there! This book is our first book on Supernatural and its kickass fandom, Fandom At The Crossroads. We have two more books on SPN coming out soon – Fangasm in October, and Fan Phenomena: Supernatural coming out early next year. Fandom At The Crossroads is written both for SPN fans and people who are interested in why so many of us are fans – it has lots of interviews with Jensen, Jared, Misha, Kripke, etc. in addition to lots of interviews with fans. If you read, please let us know what you think!

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