I was lucky enough to attend both Jared and Jensen’s meet and greets at ChiCon, which meant double the thoughtful responses about the Show (and double the hotness). Both boys got lots of interesting questions, and I had one for each of them. Of course, as always, these are just a few tidbits from the meet and greets, and not a verbatim transcript, just from memory. (Though all the Supernatural actors are pretty damn memorable…)
Jared’s meet and greet was first, and as usual he turned the high chair around backwards and straddled it as he greeted the small group of fans.
He continued the discussion about blood types that was started in the morning gold panel, saying that he was once in the doctor’s office with the kids needing to know his blood type. So he texted his mom: What blood type am I? Hurry up and answer.
His mom didn’t respond right away, so he and Gen took the kids for a walk. Without their phones. You can see where this is heading, right? Yep. They came back to frantic phone calls from Mrs. Padalecki wanting to know what was wrong. Oops.
One of the funniest things Jared shared was his fanboy moment with Eddie Vedder. I love hearing fan stories from the people I happen to fan – there are lots of them in Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls since we kept asking the actors to share theirs.
Jared said that he and Gen were with Jensen and Danneel and were invited backstage. Jared was so infatuated he asked for a drag of Eddie’s cigarette – and he doesn’t even smoke! (How many of us have had a similar WTF moment with Jared, Jensen, Misha, etc? You know, that moment when your brain goes completely offline and you say something that doesn’t even make sense when they make eye contact with you? Yeah.) Jared took a drag and then offered it back, and Eddie was like ‘uh, no thanks.’ Even more amusingly, Gen had to tell him what happened afterwards, since he didn’t remember a thing.
Jared: I blacked out! It was Eddie f—king Vedder!
Fans: That’s exactly what happens to us in photo ops with you.
I always love Show questions the best, and fans always have excellent ones. Someone asked what Jared had learned from having to play all those different versions of Sam over the years – possessed, Lucifer, soulless, demon-blood addicted…. Jared said that he learned that he can get the job done. That he’s a reliable actor.
Everyone in the room: [nodding]
My question was about that painful and powerful scene between Demon!Dean and Sam when Sam is trying to cure him, which I still have not entirely recovered from.
Me: Jensen has talked about how hard it was to play opposite you when you weren’t the Sam he’s used to interacting with, but some other version, like Soulless!Sam. In that scene when Sam tries to cure Demon!Dean, was it hard to play opposite Jensen as not Dean, when you’re so used to playing against him as Sam and Dean? Was it as hard for you as it was for me, to believe that the real Dean wasn’t still in there somewhere?
Yes and no, Jared said. When Jensen was playing Dean with Soulless!Sam, it was more like a poker game. They were trying to figure each other out. Is he good, is he not? Because that’s how I was playing him, Jared said, so you weren’t really sure. Whereas with Demon!Dean, Sam knows he’s a demon.
Me: Was that important to you, that Sam was the one to save Dean?
Jared: Yes, because that’s who Sam is. That’s what the boys do, they never give up on each other. [He paused, quirking an eyebrow] Well, except Amelia!Sam…
Me: [shaking head emphatically] Nope. That didn’t happen.
Jared: [laughing] Oh right, that was the pain medication. (He had been joking about how the pain medication he had to take after the infamous shoulder dislocation incident affected his memory temporarily)
Jared went on to say, more seriously, that he had talked to Jeremy and Bob about wanting Sam to be the one to save Dean this time (and that Sam probably shouldn’t just go find a girlfriend…)
Me: [nodding so emphatically I probably looked like a bobble-head…]
Jared said that the writers are very receptive to them now, to their input. Of course, none of us always get what we want – not even Jared and Jensen. In fact, like most fans, sometimes the actors (who are also fans of the Show just like we are) want things that are mutually exclusive. Jared said that he had wanted more of Demon!Dean, but that he also wanted Sam and Dean to get back to being brothers. That he essentially wanted both — he wanted to WANT to see them get back to being brothers for a long time, to have that wanting go on for longer. But he loved the finale last season, when they realized it was about their love and their friendship.
This was one of those times when my mouth kept talking even though my brain wasn’t giving it permission. That happens to me a lot – just ask Kathy. Or read Fangasm.
Me: [blurts out] OMG, me too! But in this last episode, we were so cheated out of a hug!
Jared: [laughing] That’s true, we were. I’ll give him a hug this weekend and make sure it gets photographed.
Everyone: [approves of this plan]
And yes, Jared keeps his promises. See?
I feel better now.
What’s to come in Season 10? Of course there were no spoilers, but Jared gave us a few teasers. He said that in this season to come, we’ll see Sam and Dean both struggling with a lot of guilt. How can they right those wrongs, while still fighting for each other?
Jared: He’s out of the woods but not yet home.
Ooooh. Ominous. And Jared using the word ‘home’ made me all emotional. Which, as you know, doesn’t take much when it comes to SPN.
Jared also had some nice things to say about fandom, as he often does. A few times during the meet and greet, he started to say something was ‘weird’ when he was talking about the Show or the fans, and he’d stop and use another word, saying he didn’t want to use the word ‘weird’. [Presumably because that might carry a negative connotation and that was exactly what he was not saying. And can I just say that I love him for his sensitivity and how protective he is of the Show and the fandom and the SPN Family? And how sexy it is that he really understands the power of language? Sorry, tangent. Anyway.]
Near the end of the meet and greet, Jared had some heartfelt words about what Supernatural means to him, how because of the fans, it’s not a job but a passion. Usually it’s just the opposite with acting, but with this Show, he said, it’s never been a them and us, not ever. Instead, this is special – it’s a family together.
Me: [silently, while sniffling] Guess I’d better start bringing tissues to meet and greets…
Next up was Jensen’s meet and greet. Unlike Jared, Jensen always sits on the chair facing forward. I love that they’re both predictable like that, and sort of weirdly complementary even in this.
Jensen got some great Show questions. Someone asked about his and Jared’s input in the Show and for their characters, and Jensen said that he and Jared together have rewritten some bits of dialogue. They’ll get a script and he’ll see Jared in the morning and say, ‘you read the script last night, are you on the same page as me?’ And Jared will say ‘oh yeah, we’ve gotta change this’. And they’ll sit down together and rewrite those lines. Then they’ll call “down south” to Jeremy and ask him if they can make the change. Not in the sense of hey, we’re demanding you do this, but ‘here’s what we’re thinking, what do you think?’ Not ‘I have a problem, fix it’ but ‘I have a problem and here’s a solution.’ Sometimes Jeremy says no, but not “no, just do it as it’s written.”
Most of the time he trusts them. It’s a healthy working relationship, Jensen said – a collaborative relationship between them and the writers. Sometimes if something isn’t Dean, Jensen said, instead of adjusting Dean to fit the material, if Jensen thinks he’s right, they can adjust the material to fit Dean. There’s such good trust and collaboration that if something doesn’t feel right to Jensen, they’ll usually listen to him.
Jensen: It’s a unique thing that the writers and the cast collaborate together and trust each other to do what’s best for the Show.
Just one of the million things that makes Supernatural unique. Everyone we’ve ever interviewed for our books has talked about the collaboration that characterizes the Show – the cast, the crew, the writers, the producers, the showrunners. Even Kripke himself. Supernatural is always a collaboration, in so many ways.
For instance, Serge Ladouceur gave Jensen a book on cinematography, which helped him direct the cat and mouse scene between Sam and Demon!Dean that we all loved so much, including having the protagonist walk to the right and the antagonist to the left as they came closer and closer together. That scene was influenced by both Hitchcock and Truffaut.
Many of the questions were about Season 10 and Demon!Dean, of course. Someone asked about the relationship between Dean and Crowley. Jensen said that he didn’t think that Crowley was trying to replace Sam, but more that he wanted to make Dean what he wanted him to be. Sort of like his “star player”.
Jensen: But Dean Winchester can’t be controlled.
Me: [shivers] Is it hot in here??
And that Jerk/Bitch comment?
Jensen: That was a little extra knife twist for all of you.
I’ll say. It’s still smarting.
Jensen said that when he saw that in the script he thought ‘ooh, that’s below the belt, you can’t use the brothers’ saying like that, that’s how they describe their bond.’
He so gets it. That’s exactly what most of us thought.
Another good question was whether Jensen used any particular physical mannerisms to play Demon!Dean.
Jensen said no, that it was more of a frame of mind that he put himself in, not a particular way he wanted his face to look. He can snap into ‘regular Dean’ instantly after all this time, because he knows him so well, but he had to go through a routine to get into being Demon!Dean. In the ending scene when he switches back into regular Dean, it was easy to do that, comfortable.
So what can we expect for Dean in the rest of Season 10?
Jensen said that Dean has still got the mark on his arm, and as much as he’s trying to forget what he did as a demon and think of it as a lecherous night or whatever, he’s got that mark to remind him. It’s an itch and he’s afraid to scratch it, afraid that if he does, he doesn’t know what will happen.
Jensen: He’s better but still contagious.
Between Jared’s ominous description and Jensen’s, I feel like we’re in for a wild ride, fandom. Buckle up!
I was still sort of upset about Demon!Dean’s hurtful comments to Sam during the cure, so I wanted to know what it was like for both Jared and Jensen to film that scene. Knowing how close they are in real life, and the often-strained-but-always-close bond between their characters, how difficult was it for Jensen to deliver those lines?
Me: Demon!Dean said some really hurtful things to Sam.
Jensen: Yeah, he did. But there have been a lot of times the brothers have said pretty hurtful things to each other over the course of the series. I was just watching an episode the other night where the brothers had that big fight in the fancy hotel room and Dean’s on the ground and says if you walk out of here don’t come back – and Sam walks out.
Me: [silently] I love that you watch Supernatural reruns just like the rest of the fandom… Also, thank you for saying Demon!Dean and not Deanmon.
Jensen said that both Sam and Dean are sort of looking at the hurtful things that Demon!Dean said as knowing that was the demon talking. He wasn’t himself, so they’re not taking those things so seriously.
Me: Yeah, but where did he get all those things?
Jensen: You’re right. And maybe deep underneath, there are resentments. But at the end of the day, even when the brothers are angry at each other, or at whatever – their bond is unbreakable.
Me: That’s why we watch the show.
Jensen: (smiling) Exactly.
Okay, next time I really am bringing tissues to the meet and greets. I should be taking out stock in Kleenex at this point.
ChiCon was an emotional weekend (I’ve been having a lot of those recently). We had a table in the vendor’s room to sell our books and were able to sign copies and take pictures with many of you who came by to tell us how much Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls meant to you, and to pick up a copy of Fan Phenomena Supernatural. We heard such heartfelt and moving stories about discovering this Show and this fandom and how reading the books felt like ‘coming home’ or ‘finding my people’. We can’t express in words how much hearing that means to us – it’s exactly why we wrote Fangasm.
It was an honor and a pleasure to meet every single one of you. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. We’ll have a table in the vendor’s room with our books at BurCon in two weeks and hope to meet many more of you there. Come by and pick up a copy of the books at a special sale price, or bring one you already have and we’d be honored to sign it for you.
It’s been a rough few weeks for me personally, dealing with a significant family loss. Once again, as so many of us have discovered, this Show, and this cast, and this fandom, are a great support. I had a conversation with Jensen at the con about loss and remembering the people who have been supportive to us in our lives after they’re gone. He shared some memories, and his words helped. And I was absolutely overcome with gratitude by the tweets of support from my fellow fans when I explained why the con coverage would be delayed. Thank you so much. That’s what it’s all about, really.
And now I’m off to find those tissues. Stay tuned for more con coverage, lots of photos, and exclusive interviews with Lauren Tom, Curtis Armstrong and The Green Cooler himself!
And have a few more photos, just because. Damn, they’re so long and lean and just plain gorgeous…
To get your copy of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls
or Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, click the links
at the top of the page!