Taking the East Coast by Storm: Jared, Jensen and Misha at NJCon

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After the 12 hour flight to VanCon a few weeks ago, we were ecstatic to be able to actually DRIVE to NJCon – and the East Coast was ecstatic to have a con to call their own. Jared always asks how many people are con virgins and we’re always blown away by the hands that go up and the screams of joy that accompany them. There haven’t been many Supernatural cons on the East coast, so a whole new group of fans were treated to the awesomeness that is the SPN cast at a con.

The success of a convention depends on every guest there, and on the ability of Emcee Richard Speight Jr. and house band Louden Swain to keep the energy level up, and they came through with flying colors at NJCon. But the con’s success also rides heavily on the shoulders of Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins (and some very fine shoulders they are…) All three were in fine form this con, and I do mean that in every way possible.

They looked very fine. No surprise there. I mean, look at them!

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They were also in very good moods once again. It sounds clichéd to say that the guys love being there as much as the fans do, especially when it’s their job to be there and interact, but I doubt even the best actors could fake the kind of enthusiasm that J2M have at cons.

Jared and Jensen took the stage for the gold breakfast and looked blown away by the high decibel greeting they got – they get a similar reception every time, but it never fails to make them break into huge grins. This time Jared was so moved he had to jump around the stage, and Jensen climbed right up onto two chairs to show his enthusiasm right back.


The boys’ enthusiasm never waned through both their panels. Jensen was in such a good mood that he repeatedly burst into song, much to fandom’s delight — and to Jared’s! When Jensen started rocking out to Eye of the Tiger, Jared leapt up from his seat and literally fell on the floor, then jumped up to raise a triumphant fist.

“He’s doing it, he’s doing it!” Jared shouted, looking every bit as excited as the fans. It’s the joy they take in each other’s accomplishments – and each other’s goofiness – that make J2 so much fun to watch onstage.

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Jensen also sang El Paso, and the pleased look on Jared’s face was pretty much the same look I had on mine. When Jensen sings something soft and slower, it’s evident what a great voice he has. The band wasn’t exactly prepared to accompany him, so it didn’t go on for long, but it was beautiful while it lasted.

Rob Benedict: “Uh, we’ll have to practice that. We’re a 4/4 band and that’s a ¾ song. We’ll practice, Mr. Ackles.”

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And, as if that wasn’t wonderful enough, Jensen joined Rob Benedict and the band on the Outfield’s classic “Lose Your Love” to close their panel, which was amazing.

Long-time fans might remember that Jensen sang that same song during the first season of Supernatural at a club in LA (El Scorpion, for those of you who are curious – thanks longtime fans!), so it’s been a favorite of mine ever since. What a treat to have him sing it again, and with Rob. They both made it clear that the line “I don’t wanna lose your love tonight” was directed at the fans. Pretty sure there’s not much chance of that any time soon.

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Other than impromptu bursting into song, the rest of the panel alternated between heartwarming and hysterical.

The boys told the story of Jensen’s tweet of Sam and Dean in the Impala filming the last day of the 200th episode, tagging it “Sam and Dean sittin’ in the Impala where we belong”, thereby making fans all over the world reach for the tissues. Perfect tweet was perfect.

But it turned out the selfie has a story too. Jensen’s phone was broken (no selfie mode) so he took the picture with Jared’s, then texted it to himself so he could tweet it. Which seemed somehow completely appropriate. Also, apparently the first few shots weren’t aimed perfectly and ended up being crotch shots, along with an ass shot of AD Kevin Parks.

“You should’ve posted those,” Jared quipped.

Fandom nodded enthusiastically.

Jensen describes the crotch shot selfies
Jensen describes the crotch shot selfies

They read a Supernatural script together that I think will be auctioned for charity (correct me if I’m wrong), and made ridiculous faces as they told story after story. My face ached from laughing once again.

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The boys’ friendship is always center stage at conventions – anyone who has ever watched the two of them interact knows just how much they care about each other. Jared talked about how they have become brothers, about how family is constructed as well as born into (a real life message straight out of Supernatural).

Jared: This shorty behind me has become my brother
Jared: This shorty behind me has become my brother

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At Jared’s meet and greet, he told the gathered fans what most of fandom already knew – the Ackles family now lives less than a half mile from the Padalecki family in Austin. Not only do they feel like brothers now, while they’re working together and filming the Show, but Jared and Jensen clearly intend to remain brothers after Supernatural no longer graces our television screens. How often does that happen? It’s pretty extraordinary, and pretty wonderful.

Family don’t end with blood.

Later that afternoon, I asked Jensen how JJ was doing, and whether she was talking now and killing them with the adorable. He laughed and said that I should see the videos of her running around with Tom.

Me: I don’t think fandom can see those. We might all spontaneously combust from the cuteness. It would be dangerous.

I think even Jensen and Jared are in danger of being overwhelmed by the adorableness, frankly. Though in hindsight, I wish I’d responded to his “You should see the videos” with an emphatic YES PLEASE! I’d risk the spontaneous combustion.

One of the hysterical moments came when a fan stepped up the mike and said to Jared, “We all know you like to wear Saxx underwear” and alluded to its comfort. Jensen jumped in to express his agreement, thereby sending everyone’s imagination into double overdrive. The fan then continued: “So I wanted to ask, how long is your…”

Jared’s eyebrows flew up, Jensen’s mouth dropped open, and I think the entire audience gasped audibly.

“…average work day,” finished the fan.

Jared and Jensen couldn’t even answer for a few seconds, they were laughing so hard.

Jensen's reaction to the 'how long is your' question
Jensen’s reaction to the ‘how long is your’ question

Finally Jared pulled himself together and smirked.

“Ten or twelve…” he said, and then paused, while he shared a conspiratorial look with Jensen that made Ackles double over with laughter. “…hours.”

Whoever you are, you crafty fangirl, kudos from us. And Jared, nice comeback.

My favorite Jared quote of the day was when he reassured a nervous fan that she didn’t have to be nervous here, with the Supernatural family.

Jared: “This is the safest place in the world.”

Jared: This is the safest place in the world
Jared: This is the safest place in the world

We watched the Supernatural “mockumentary” on the Saturday evening of the con as it was passed around fandom like wildfire, which resulted in me being even more in love with this Show and this cast than I was before – which, if you know me at all, is REALLY saying something! How incredibly lucky are we to have a cast whose egos are perfectly fine with skewering themselves and each other unmercifully?? Who aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves or look unbelievably silly in front of the cameras just to say thank you to the fandom who has kept the Show on the air all these years. Excuse me while I reach for the tissues, I’m all emotional about these guys right now.

I’m usually dying to ask Jensen something about Dean in the meet and greet, but I couldn’t resist asking about the mockumentary this time.

Lynn: So the behind the scenes ‘documentary’ was pretty awesome. How much input did you and Jared have into creating your ‘characters’ for it?

Jensen: (raised eyebrows) You mean other than Misha says, ‘you’re going to be a tofu eating yoga master’, and I’m like ‘Oh, okay sure’?

Lynn: (laughing) Omg, I loved it so much!

Jensen: I wish we’d had more time, we shot it really quickly.

Lynn: well, it turned out perfect anyway.

Jensen: (teasing, in case it’s not obvious) Also it gives Misha something to do, he can come in and shoot a scene and then go off and make a documentary. And Jared got to exaggerate his character a little.

Lynn: Ya think?!

The entire time we were having this conversation, Jensen was laughing. Can you say eye crinkles?

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A few more tidbits from the meet and greet, which were less silly than my question. Someone asked whether it was difficult to play a character like Dean, who has so many walls built up around him all the time. Jensen said yes, and that he tries to find times when Dean would let the walls down a little. He puts them up or takes them down depending on who he’s with. A room full of strangers? Walls go up. With people he knows well – his brother, Bobby, Cas – the walls come down more.

Jensen said he tries to take them down when he can because he thinks that’s compelling, when you have a character who’s so walled up, to show him vulnerable sometimes. He does that with Dean’s humor, for example.

Just about everyone in the fandom is looking forward to Demon Dean – even more now thanks to the few photos we’ve gotten of the Season premiere and what Dean is getting up to. Once again, Jensen talked about how hard it is for Sam, because Demon Dean has the memories but not the humanity. Sam can be right there talking to Dean, but it’s not Dean. He paused and said ‘but it is Dean, I mean…’ Then he laughed and admitted, ”I’m still confused.”

Just imagine how Sam feels!

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There was a question about directing, and whether that sort of mindset stays with him after he’s gone back to being an actor. Jensen laughed and said NO, he snaps right back out of it once he’s done. “And slam the door,” he added with a laugh. “And have a whisky.” He says acting is much easier for him, his mind is clear – he can ‘clear the mechanism’ to quote a Costner movie. He knows his lines easily now, since it’s like a muscle and all these years of practice have made it easier. And he can slip into Dean like second nature. That lets him be available and present to just react, instead of having his acting be too rehearsed.

Two more quick tidbits – at Jared’s meet and greet, he told fans to ask Jensen to tell the wrench story. Apparently they were shooting a scene last week that required Jensen’s stunt double, Todd Scott, to run across a room and then get launched through the air fifteen feet and slam right through some kind of wooden structure (using an air cannon or something that sounded totally terrifying, frankly). Todd did it, it was fine, and then Jensen picked up the filming of the shot by hurling himself through the same wooden structure (which also sounded totally terrifying). He said okay, I’ll just barrel through, and did – without a scratch.

The next day, he was just supposed to hit something with a wrench and instead he caught his finger with it. OUCH!

Young actress standing next to him: OMG you’re bleeding! (Jensen portrayed her squeal quite well…)

Jensen: (deadpans) Yeah, that really hurt.

He then proceeded to aim the spray of blood gushing from the cuticle at Jared. Naturally.

Last tidbit, and my favorite of the day. A fan asked how he handled “the adoration” of so many fans. Jensen said that the security guy who had just walked him into the room had asked the same question. And he said it isn’t about ego, that’s not how he looked at it. That it’s about the opportunity he has to bring joy – real joy – to other people. He gets to play a part in bringing that joy, and there’s nothing better. In fact, a young woman in the photo ops had looked at him afterwards, with a big smile on her face, and just exclaimed, “I’m so happy!” To him, that’s what this is all about.

Fan: That’s exactly what Jared said.

I have to admit, I got a little teary listening to his answer. I realize it sounds cheesy, but there’s no doubt in my mind that what he said (and what Jared said) was genuine.

Both Jared and Jensen talked about “fame” when we sat down with them on the set to interview them for Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls. They had a very balanced attitude toward it even then and were already vigilant about becoming cocky or taking the idea of fame too seriously.

Jared: When I started Gilmore Girls, I was eighteen, fresh out of Texas…pretty naïve. And the fifth episode they cut my hair and the internet was kind of new and I was like oh, weird, they write about it? Cool! And so I read the comments and it was like oh, Dean has a new hairstyle and a girl was like, he looks ugly, he looks like a girl, and I was like, that hurts! …But even the good is bad, if it says he looks hot, even that’s bad, you get cocky or you get the false confidence or arrogance and you know, just start focusing on vanity, which I don’t want to do. — from Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls

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Jensen talked about fame too, and his reaction to being the object of attention.

Jensen: I’m not a household name across the country, but those few that recognize me [in a public place], then I have 35 other people trying to figure out who I am, and … I’m like, uhh, not really anyone. And then they’re like “no, come on, tell me, who are you?” So then I have to run down the resume, which is completely embarrassing….It’s those other people [not the fans] that are uncomfortable, like if someone makes a scene and everyone is looking at you, and I just want to hide, it’s like all of a sudden, I’m a zoo exhibit. — from Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls

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We talked to Misha about fame in Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls too. He was new to Supernatural then, and already struggling to come to terms with the “adoration” he hadn’t expected.

Misha: I had a moment when I first got on Supernatural, when I was like “Ohmygod, people are paying attention to me and I have fans, maybe I should cultivate an image and like try to seem really cool.” … It took me maybe a month to realize no, this is just not fucking who I am and I don’t wanna behave that way…And then I started being like, “Here, here’s a picture of me in drag, fuck it,” which is much more liberating and relaxing. — from Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls

That’s the same healthy attitude that inspired the mockumentary — I’m so glad Misha hasn’t changed! We love him for his willingness to go against “normal” and for the creative ways he encourages us all to do the same. His big brain is as fascinating as his pretty blue eyes.

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We were thrilled when Misha wrote a chapter for Fan Phenomena, writing about his evolving understanding of fame and fandom, and how to harness the ‘power of fandom’ as a force for good in the world. We chatted with Misha for a few minutes on Saturday.

Misha: Ah, it’s the writers!

Us: We could say the same back to you – you wrote a chapter for this book too.

Misha: (grinning) True.

He wanted to know how the book was doing and what fans thought of his chapter. If you haven’t gotten the book yet, there’s a link at the top of the page to check it out – and please let Misha know your thoughts. Writers need lots of reassurance.

Fans did give Misha a lot of reassurance onstage. In fact, one of my favorite Misha moments from NJCon was his flustered almost-blushing reaction to fans’ heartfelt shouts of “I love you Misha” as he took the stage for the first time. He seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the welcome he got, which was frankly adorable.


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Misha also upped the adorable quotient by sharing a video of daughter Maison, who had for some reason started saying “Misha Collins” over and over again and then cracking up – without knowing what it meant at all. He walked to the back of the ballroom and held his phone up to the camera so we could all see.

Entire ballroom: Awwwwww.

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One of my other favorite Misha moments didn’t involve him being onstage at all. When it was time for his panel with Mark Sheppard, Misha was nowhere to be found. Richard Speight, ever the resourceful emcee, began a song called “Where’s Misha?” and soon Rob and the band joined in, with Rob answering the refrain with “I don’t know” or “Don’t ask me”. As the minutes went on and the impromptu song got funnier and funnier, Mark joined in too, playing the shaker and answering the title question with an emphatic “I don’t care!” By the time Misha got to the stage, the entire audience was laughing. These are the moments that make a con – and Richard – priceless.

The rest of the Misha and Mark panel was pretty priceless too. Here they take a moment to cuddle, and then wonder out loud if fandom will make it into a painting. Anyone?

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I wish I had seen the mockumentary before our chat with Misha, because I want to bow down before his brilliance now that I’ve seen it — his willingness to go out on a limb, and the wit and creativity with which he does. I love that Misha and Jared and Jensen and Richard and the entire cast and crew are all on the same page, so close and comfortable with each other that they’re not afraid to slather their handsome face with mud and put cucumbers on their eyes, or lampoon their own much-adored beautiful long tresses, or play with the “series regular, new guy, who’s the fan favorite” dynamic that fandom grapples with all the time (with a lot less good humor perhaps). Or play the out-of-work actor dishing up the lunch! Insecurity be damned, these guys just went there. That was for us, fandom.

I had a chance to chat with Jared a bit about the mockumentary too – he said there was more shot than what ended up on the doc. The expression on his face when he said that made me wish I could see the footage that didn’t make it. Can you even imagine?

Between the con antics, the gag reel and the mockumentary, it’s like Hellatus is finally coming to an end – with a bang! So go out and grab the S9 DVD set, and maybe a copy of Fangasm or Fan Phenomena Supernatural, and celebrate Season 10 – it’s not far off now!

Stay tuned for interviews and more from NJCon!

— Lynn
Links for more info on Fangasm or
Fan Phenomena Supernatural at the
top of the page

33 thoughts on “Taking the East Coast by Storm: Jared, Jensen and Misha at NJCon

  • I loved your recap. It made me wish it was Saturday morning so I could do it all over again. This was my very first convention but I was so lucky that it was mere minutes away from my house, so how could I resist. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have taken better advantage of my moments with these amazing men. I can’t imagine any other cast having this much fun with their fans…with their very own house band to boot! I meant to find you ladies and buy one of your books but I was with my kids and time certainly flies at these events. Keep on writing…

    • Every time a con ends, I wish it was starting all over again 🙂 So sorry we didn’t get to meet you at the con, but so glad you had a wonderful time! Let us know what you think if you get one of our books on amazon, we love feedback!

  • I’ve been waiting for your recap since the Con ended! I just love the way you tell your own experience. It makes me feel Like I’ve lived It Too, Like i was actually there. Is nearly imposible for me to attend to a Con ( Too many countries between :p ) so thank you so much for your articles and your books 🙂

    • You’re so welcome, we’re so glad you enjoy our books and articles – and we fervently wish that one day you get to go to a con (maybe one that’s a bit nearer!)

  • It would be fantastic if you could encourage fans to buy your books and everything else on Amazon through the Amazon Smile program. If people buy your books through AmazonSmile, and make Random Acts their chosen charity, Random Acts will get a donation on mosteverything they buy.

    Here’s how to register for AmazonSmile:

    Go to https://org.amazon.com/

    Click the “Register Now” button

    Choose The Art Department Inc. (which is Random Acts’ alias) as your charity

    and start shopping.

    Almost anything purchased through the AmazonSmile website will give Random Acts a donation.

    Please note: You have to choose AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com every time you go to Amazon or Random Acts won’t get a donation. Unfortunately, it isn’t automatic.

  • Always enjoy your Con reports. After being an obsessed with Supernatural & the Js fan for 10 years, I’m going to be the nervous, excited newbie at the Phoenix Con come February. A small part of my brain always cautioned me that they can’t possibly be as warm & gracious as they appear at these Cons, that somehow the illusion might be shattered when faced with the reality. After ten years I have no fear of that, they are what we see and as nice as they are talented. I’m still going to be an emotional wreck simply from the awesome, but I have a feeling it is going to be a good meltdown!

    Any and all questions you can pose to the boys on how they do their craft and how they make it so emotionally true and real thrills me. I love hearing them talk about their love of acting and then how they do it. So carry on with the reports!

    Thanks again and maybe I’ll see you in Phx?!


    • Alas, we won’t be in Phoenix (academic conference conflict) – so we’ll be depending on you to give us some reports of that con! I have no doubt you’ll find the boys every bit as genuine as we do – and that you’ll have a blast!

  • Truly appreciate Jared’s humble attitude and the way he interacts with fans and reassures them that they are indeed family ( SPNFamily ) ! He’s such a nice and down to earth guy and it’s so impressive and refreshing to see from a Hollywood star!

    • You are so right, Jared genuinely respects and appreciates fandom. The time he told me that reading our books had helped him understand fandom better and appreciate it even more was one of the best things anyone has ever said to me. When he says SPN Family, he means it 🙂

  • As always, thank you for your recaps and willingness to share your insights and photos from con events. 🙂 I was absolutely thrilled to attend NJ con this year – my first convention & in drive able distance! The guests were wonderful, and I was happy to meet so many other fans and of course, to discuss & celebrate Supernatural for an entire weekend! Thanks to you and Kathy for taking a few moments chat & sign my copy of Fangasm. As I mentioned to you, reading it brought me back in touch with my inner fangirl from years ago. Con attendance was my 50th birthday present to myself and I made many wonderful memories. Hope to attend again in the future.

    • Hi Laurie! It was so nice to meet you, and made our day to know that reading Fangasm put you back in touch with your inner fangirl. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your birthday – and you! *hugs*

  • Kudos to you being able to remember SO much more from the m&gs than I did. I was the one who asked Jensen about breaking down Dean’s walls in different scenes.

    You mentioned that Jensen has sung that Outfield’s song back in s1. When? Do you mean on the show or at another con? Totally agree about the sound of his voice during slower songs. I really can’t wait for Jason’s collab album!

    BTW, I kept forgetting all weekend to come over to you guys to ask about your latest book. I was in A35. You probably saw me around. I was the fanvid winner for the video Love Man that played Friday. 🙂 It was so funny to see your faces in person after reading so many of your articles!

    • Oh yes, hi! And congrats on your vid win, that was awesome! So sorry we didn’t get to say hi in person :/ The new book, Fan Phenomena Supernatural, is available on amazon, and we’re always happy to sign it at any con we happen to be at. Misha loves signing his chapter too 🙂

      Jensen sung that song at a club, not at a con or on the show. I can’t remember which one – maybe Hotel Cafe in LA? It was a spontaneous thing but made me fall in love with that song. The boy can sing 🙂

  • Thank you! This was a really entertaining account. Someday I’ll make it to one of these things, darn it!

    The 200th episode is supposed to be a “love letter to the fans,” but I think the mockumentary was one, too. Big kudos to Misha for coming up with this and writing it and to everyone else for having a sense of humor (I loved the wardrobe lady!)

    • Haha, loved the wardrobe lady too! I agree, the mockumentary was definitely a love letter to fandom – and an awesome one 🙂

      I hope you do get to a con someday – it’s an experience like no other!

  • Thank you again for this story, I can not thank you enough for sharing with us these Supernatural moments. Tanks <3

  • L, I don’t know why, but this NJCon report had been going awwww…. more than normal. Made me smile all over. 🙂 Sounds like it was a great con. The boys are on a roll. 🙂

    • I found myself going awwww again and again at this con – even more than usual! The boys are definitely on a roll 🙂

  • Thank You!!!
    One of my all time **Favorite** reads from a ♡Supernatural♡ con!!! Awesome detail, made me feel like I (almost)was there.

  • This was so beautiful I started crying!! I live vicariously through your twitter and that’s how I managed to keep track of NJCon and VanCon and I can’t thank you enough. I live in a country where conventions are novel and don’t happen that often or people don’t understand them so, I can’t wait to move and have the opportunity to go to a Supernatural convention and hopefully run into you guys 🙂

  • I love your recaps. I appreciate the details that you give. It is 43 days until Chicago. I can’t wait. I just hope that Jensen is in the singing mood for that one too.

  • HAI family,,, thank you so much for your articles. Always got the atmosphere from it. cause, it’s maybe impossible for me to attend a Con 🙁 i’m from a too far away country. And read this was really made my day. *tearing up* *hugs*

  • I was sure that Jensen and his family live in LA! News about Austin totally surprised me. But in so positive way 🙂 Do you have maybe any clues since when they live in Texas?

  • Thanks for the report. I love how Jensen provides such thoughtful responses to questions. Jensen is such a sweetheart and just an amazingly nice and down-to-earth and humble guy. He thinks so much about the fans, like in his meet and greets, wanting to make sure everyone gets to ask a question and he gives that person his undivided attention. He’s been in this business a very long time and yet it’s so great to see how he doesn’t have a “celebrity” attitude. He certainly could have such an attitude, I mean look at how many people folllowed him after he got twitter, in less than 2 weeks he had over 500,000 followers, that’s just completely crazy and basically unheard of.

    I love when Jensen gets asked acting and directing questions. His passion for acting and directing and for his character always come through. I could listen to him talk about that stuff all day long!

    I also have to say that I love how he is singing so much. He knows the fans love it, but I think it also speaks to his friendship with Rob Benedict especially. I know you guys have reported on how Jensen, Richard and Misha were there for Rob during his stroke incident and how Rob and Jensen wanted Jensen to play a part in Rob’s movie (unfortunately, filming for SPN conflicted).

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