The Supernatural convention in Dallas is always special – for one thing, this year it included a pig named Icarus who stole everyone’s hearts, including Jared, Jensen and Misha. Also, it’s in the state the boys call home, and that means Jared and Jensen are more laid back than usual. Just as the guest actors and crew have said many times, it’s the guys at the top who set the tone for the rest of the set, and it’s the same with a convention. If Jared and Jensen are relaxed and having fun being with family – both their actual families and their SPNFamily — it seems to make everyone else at the con relaxed too. And they were definitely having fun – look at those smiles!
Jared’s parents and Jensen’s parents, grandmother Dorothy, and brother and sister-in-law all came to join in the fun. We had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Donna and Alan Ackles, who somehow always remember that we write books on their son’s show, and the privilege of being introduced to Dorothy as she attended her first con. A newbie! She seemed to be having a lot of fun watching Jared and Jensen ham it up with the fans in photo ops and listening to Jensen do his meet and greet. Both the boys’ families seem very proud of their sons – and rightly so!
Here are a few tidbits from Jensen’s meet and greet – as always, not a transcript and not verbatim quotes, just Lynn’s more-or-less okay memory. This isn’t the entire meet and greet, but it’s some of what we remember, and a few of the things that made it special for us.
One of the great questions (fandom, you rock for your great questions!) was about Dean being a “pop culture nerd”. The fan asking the question wondered if pop culture was sometimes an escape for Dean from his indisputably difficult life. Fandom can sometimes be a healthy escape, whether it’s sci fi television, vampire novels, films, or football. Is Dean’s escape ‘Dr. Sexy, M.D.’?
Jensen laughed and said he didn’t think Dean was necessarily a fan of vampire novels or whatever (pick your pleasure…), but that he and Sam probably have a lot of down time between working cases, so they’re stuck in crummy motel rooms and Dean watches a lot of tv.
Jensen: (deadpan) Meanwhile, Sam’s probably reading War and Peace.
Sometimes Dean is also a mouthpiece for the writers’ nerdom. (Okay, and we admit we kinda loved hearing Jensen use the word ‘nerdom’. It was seriously adorable). Dean is a better character for expressing that than Sam, and Jensen finds it pretty funny.
Fans: (enthusiastically) We agree!
There were a lot of questions about the impact of Dean and Sam being Men of Letters and having a ‘home’ in the bunker. It’s been one of the biggest, most sweeping developments in the SPN universe in recent years, and fandom has been doing a bang-up job (as always) dissecting the implications of such a change. Apparently the cast and crew and writers have been doing the same, which is one of the things we love most about this Show. The ‘nerdom’ cuts across all parts of the ‘family’.
Jensen talked about how finding out he’s a legacy has changed Dean, who has always been something of a lone wolf. He relies on his brother, but that relationship is also a protective one. The Men of Letters has given Dean a renewed sense of purpose, one that impacts his identity, and a sense of belonging.
Random note: Every time Jensen couldn’t find the exact word for something he wanted to say, he’d exclaim, “Sorry, babybrain.” Oh yes, we remember those days.
There was a poignant moment when a fan asked if it was harder or easier for Jensen to let go of Dean after filming, now that he’s carried Dean with him for so long.
Jensen: Jared and I used to have to think about something else to get emotional, but now we’re so in tune with these characters. I know what Dean would feel if he lost his brother, or if he’s scrambling to save his brother’s life, so when we feel those emotions now we’re not even breaking character.
And that right there is why the acting on this Show almost never feels like acting. Dean is feeling as Dean, Sam is feeling as Sam – and it shows. No wonder we have to watch Show with an entire box of tissues nearby.
Jensen said that while he uses a lot of his own experience and his emotions with Dean, he can focus on the aspects that are not like Dean and separate himself more easily from the character when he’s on hiatus.
Jensen: At least I think I can. Then sometimes Danneel will say ‘Stop using your Dean voice!’
He paused after answering this question and wondered aloud what it would be like when the Show ends and he doesn’t go back to being Dean….to putting on the boots and driving the Impala.
For a few moments, we were all caught up in thought, wondering what it would be like for all of us when hiatus won’t end and we won’t have this Show to go back to. A few people in the room might have been a little emotional. Lynn might have been one of them.
Someone lightened the mood by pointing out that perhaps Jensen will bring one of the Impalas home with him, and he brightened immediately. Somehow we think that’s a very good possibility. You can’t separate ‘Dean’ and his baby.
Let’s lighten the mood even more with another picture of that seriously adorable pig, along with three seriously adorable Supernatural boys, shall we?
Lynn’s question was also about the Men of Letters.
Lynn: Someone – Bob Singer or Jeremy Carver, I think – commented that the bunker was a home for Dean, but a workplace for Sam. That was an interesting comment that has caused a lot of discussion in fandom. Do you think Dean and Sam feel differently about the bunker?
Jensen said that part of the difference is just that Dean and Sam have different personalities. He does think Dean considers it a home, and that he’s wanted a home – a place to decorate, to display his guns, a comfortable bed. For Sam, it’s more like the place where you have a store on the bottom and live in the apartment on top, which I guess means it’s a little of both.
Lynn: I think my psychologist explanation is that Sam’s life was disrupted so early that he doesn’t even remember having a home, but Dean was four when Mary died, and he’s always longed for the home he was old enough to remember.
Jensen: (throwing his hands up) You answered your own question! And you went to school for that, so let’s just go with your answer.
Everyone else: *throws up hands along with Jensen*
There was some discussion of how much input the actors have into the dialogue or the finished product that we see on our tv screens. Jensen said that sometimes even when the writing is great, what you see on paper doesn’t sound like actual conversation when spoken, so sometimes he changes things to be ‘more Dean-like’. Sometimes a scene as blocked doesn’t work in a location either – last week there was a new director who was trying hard to shoot a scene with Jensen and Misha as written that was logistically impossible, and they were rapidly losing daylight. Jensen was able to suggest a minor change that made it quicker and easier to shoot.
Fan: That’s your director experience showing.
Jensen: We’re all on the same team with this show.
He won’t be directing this year, but hopes to next year – if there is a next year!
Directing is something that Jensen he admits he puts a lot of pressure on himself, so he tends to be over-prepared. He looked up to the amazing director Kim Manners. Kim always told Jensen that he would direct one day, and promised that he’d be right there with him when he did. Jensen still feels that Kim is looking over his shoulder, so he wants to do it right. He compared it to cramming for a test, wanting to have the shot list completed before filming starts.
The hardest part of directing, he says, is casting. As an actor who’s gone through the stresses of the audition process himself, when you’re doing your best in front of an often tired and disinterested group of people, Jensen says he finds it heartbreaking when an actor is auditioning and the nerves take over.
Jensen also talked a little about the Impala’s new engine, which now actually sounds like an Impala. Apparently they used to dub in the engine sound of a 427 Shelby Mustang (we don’t know what that is, but he clearly does, and we’re betting a lot of fans do too). Jensen said he used to be embarrassed when fans would come to watch filming and he’d be driving the Impala and it wouldn’t sound anything like an Impala would.
We love how much the cast and crew really cares what the fans think, and want their experience of the show to be authentic and rewarding in every way. It shows, doesn’t it?
He also admitted to enjoying ‘punching it and doing 360s.’
Fans: are not surprised
Someone asked if after Supernatural is over (oh no, are we back to thinking about that?? Where are my tissues??), he might work with his dad again.
Alan Ackles (from the back of the room) I don’t know, he’s so difficult to work with…
Fans and rest of Ackles Family: LOL
It always seems like the allotted half hour is over in the blink of an eye, which we suppose says something good about how much fun we’re having. Jensen said his goodbyes with the heartfelt appreciation he and Jared always express any time they get to interact with fans.
Stay tuned for lots more from DallasCon, which will probably always be known as the con where Misha surprised Jensen and Jared onstage with a pig. More on that soon, with additional photographic evidence, as well as tidbits from Jared’s meet and greet and some in-depth conversations with two of our favorite people, Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr.
If you’re enjoying our live tweets and con coverage, you might enjoy our new book too – “Fangasm” takes you along on our wild and crazy roadtrip through Supernatural fandom over the past six years, from conventions to behind the scenes on the SPN set. Shipping now from Amazon!
29 thoughts on “Jensen Ackles at DallasCon – Meet and Greet Excerpts (and That Adorable Pig)”
Thank you guys, as always 😀 *hug*
Great write-up as always. I enjoy your style as much as the subject matter.
Gotta love Misha for crashing their panel with a cowboy get-up and a pig. 😉
Thank you! Great read.
You guys were sitting right down from me- wish I had known. I was B32. I would’ve loved to give you hugs and say thanks for the insightful, honest, and always interesting things you write about my favorite show. So many times topics are rehashed and questions re-asked without any real preparation behind them… one article/blog is just like the next. I always know that when I read y’alls writing(s), it comes from a place of love, respect, and careful thought. THANK YOU!! =)
WOW!!! I LOVED Lynn’s theory about the MOL for the boys.. It totally gets sense! Jensen is so thankful with the fans. He really knows, and demonstrates, what we mean to him. How is that possible to love this more even more?
Thank you!! Ordered your book this morning (and season 8 DVDs!!)
Wonderful reading as always!!
Good write up, thanks. But just FYI you don’t need to add ~and Jared~ in every sentence. It’s an article about Jensen M&G and I assume Jared will get his own article so, please, stay on subject.
? Annie, did you read a different text??
Thanks a lot, Kathy and Lynn! 🙂 Though I still don’t get why there was a pig at the con! 😀
A fan brought a very small pig to the con. lol. I’m not sure if it was a baby or a miniature. I had talked with her earlier and she has two of them. She wanted to get pictures of the pig with the stars but was afraid to approach Jensen. I felt it was Misha’s prank on him.
Ahhh! So she probably thought that Misha was quirky enough to approach him! ;D
(Hmm, is “quirky” the right word? Sorry, I’m not a native speaker… o_O)
“Quirky” is in fact a good word to describe Misha. 🙂 Here’s why she brought the pig to see him in particular. Apparently this pig is a Casgirl and rushes to the TV whenever it hears Cas, so she wanted to introduce it to Misha, and the pig did in fact react when it heard him doing his Cas voice. Of course, Misha ran with it and borrowed the pig to crash the J2 panel. And you saw the rest. 🙂 Also, she trains these miniature pigs as service/therapy pets, and being in large noisy crowds is good practice for them.
The pig’s name is Icarus, like Jensen’s dog. It was brought for 2 reasons: 1) she thought it would be fun to get pics of Icarus with the boys and 2) the pig is actually a service/therapy pig so the young woman thought that it would be a good experience for the pig to be around so much hubbub and noise. It was the CUTEST pig ever. =)
Icarus – the Caspig. Awesome. *lol*
Yup, he was astonishingly calm with all the noises and strangers around, and on Jensen’s arm….. probably much more even-tempered than anyone else in that room would have been. ;D
I was at the con. The pig was hilarious.
I love the story of how Jensen went with Lynn’s answer about why Dean wants a home.
Also, I loved reading fangasm and posted a review.
I always enjoy your write-ups, with the little asides that highlight the fangirls in you. Even when attendance at the con is not possible, just reading about the meet and greets and watching the videos and looking at the pictures helps me feel like I am there. Also, I’m about a third of the way through Fangasm and enjoying it thoroughly. Way to go!
I always feel like I’m right there in the room with you! Thanks so much for the write-up. I look forward to them after every con!
Thank you for the pictures and information. It is nice to be kept up on guys that I love so much. The show has helpen me by providing an escape from my husbands death daughters illness and my issues. So this show provides my sanity (what little there is) and provides me reason to go onl. I love it and love the actors very much so thank you for that
This is a profound comment. Wishing you well, from a fellow SPN fan, who also uses the show to soften a very difficult life. Take care!
We can always count on Jensen for an interesting M&G, and you to report it. I was moved by that idea that Jensen & Jared don’t have to break character anymore to get emotional over Dean & Sam.
Thank you for a wonderful write up and truly great pix from DallasCon. I feel very pleased to have found you ladies, as I now can relate more easily with this fun addiction. I hope to meet you soon at a con, where I can relay the curious story of my introduction to the show..if interested. Continued success… 😊
its great to know the boys had fun there,thank you for letting us know all about the dallas con,i always wanna find out what about the cons becoz i can’t be there,:(so thank you for all the informations,jensen and jared are the coolest stars i ‘ve ever seen,i’m sure all of the people attending that con also had a very great time with them,they share all about their lives,events and fun moments with us (fans) i am very grateful for that lovely attention they always give to us(fan).:) proud 2 be there fan:) love J2 and the WINCHESTERS.:)KEEP ROCKING THE WORLD.
Great memory. You even remembered BOTH my questions about the Impala! It was the shortest half hour in history! Also, the best half hour of my life!!
Do you think that Sam, due to his not having a physical home, feels more of a kinship with a job or a role? He feels at home being a researcher, being scholarly? He seems to have been the one who did most of the library research for his father and brother while they were on the road, saving people, killing things. Perhaps because he was for so much of the time the youngest and weakest part of the trio and it was safer. Hence, libraries and research became his home. So, first, college attracted him and now it’s the MoL bunker. Both are where he feels comfortable, where he feels belonging. But, it could be in any library, any research area – due to his nomadic childhood.
I’m not trained as a psychologist so it’s just an idea. Does it have merit, do you think?
Thanks for posting the article!
I think the pig is a Jensen girl!
Jensen is so adorable! Thank you so much!
Thank you for this report. I love reading Jensen’s thoughtful and insightful responses to questions. I love how he wants to make sure everyone gets to ask a question and how he laser focuses on the person asking the question (what a feeling that must be! LOL)
Jensen is such an amazing actor, very humble and very giving and complimentary to his co-stars. I find it interesting how Jensen is not one of those actors who only talk about his acting or his character; he mentions his co-stars and the other characters in the show. He almost seems to downplay his acting at times.
Jensen has deserved an Emmy since season 1 (Home, Faith), but there have, of course, been some amazing stand out episodes and moments (What Is and What Should Never Be, All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2, On the Head of a Pin, and The End to name just a few). On any other show and network, Jensen would have at least been nominated. It’s such a shame that his talent isn’t recognized by the industry, but, at least we fans do. At least, I hope people who see Jensen in person tell him how amazing his acting is, how he makes us feel what Dean is felling, how Jensen is the reason Dean is an iconic character.