More from NJCon soon, but for now, I thought I’d share what I was able to go to – so here are some excerpts from Jensen’s meet and greet. Jensen and Jared both were in a great mood – they had mentioned a few weeks before that they’d planned to go see Book of Mormon on Saturday, and apparently they really enjoyed it. (There are a bunch of great pictures with some lucky fans who spotted them in the Big Apple.) That good mood carried over to Sunday as well, which made for a fun meet and greet.
A fan kicked off the conversation by asking about Jensen’s propensity for playing sarcastic self-hating heroic characters, like Alec in Dark Angel and Dean Winchester, and whether he sought out those roles or they just cast him in them.
Jensen (wryly) I don’t know… Maybe it’s me!
We all laughed, and he told the story of how he got the role on Dark Angel. He guest starred as Ben in the episode Pollo Loco the first season of the show, and everyone was impressed with his performance. So when they wanted to bring in another male character, everyone was like “What about Jensen? We like Jensen.” Too bad that Ben had his neck snapped by Jessica Alba at the end of Pollo Loco.
Execs: I know! We’ll clone him!
Problem solved. And that’s how Jensen got the role of Alec. Jensen said that he gravitated toward the role of Dean Winchester from the start, including liking the comedic aspects of the role.
“I knew I could do it,” he said, “Because of playing Alec.”
[If you haven’t watched Dark Angel, what are you waiting for? Alec is an amazing character, and Ben broke my heart. The Vancouver woods and several guest stars will also look familiar]
I asked Jensen what his favorite scenes to film, either as an actor or a director, have been. I actually meant in Season 11 so far, but somehow those particular words didn’t make it out of my mouth.
Jensen: Wow, that’s a big question.
Lynn: (silently) Oops, I don’t think I asked all of it, that’s why. My bad.
Jensen: I’ll answer for directing. My favorite scene to shoot and direct was Demon Dean chasing Sam through all the hallways of the Men of Letters bunker. The way it was set up, and how we made it look like there were many hallways when really there are only two.
Lynn: (recovering the power of speech and some semblance of being articulate) How about in Season 11? I mean, you don’t have to give spoilers obviously…
Jensen: (evil grin) Well, maybe SOME spoilers….
Lynn: (nodding eagerly) Okay, maybe some vague ones…
Jensen: One of my favorite scenes this season – and I think Jared would say the same thing – is in the ‘Baby’ episode.
Other fan: Is it a BM scene? A brother moment?
Jensen: (smiling) It is a BM scene, but not at the end of the episode to wrap up like it usually is. It’s just the two of us in the car, going to sleep. Me lying in the front seat and Jared in the back. And there’s no movement, it’s just two brothers talking about the past. It was like four pages of dialogue, just talking. I always wonder why they don’t do more of that.
Everyone: So do we!
[If I get any more excited about the ‘Baby’ episode, I’m going to spontaneously combust, I swear!]
Someone later shared that her favorite scene in the Show was when Dean reminisces about sneaking into CBGB’s as a teenager. I think we all love those glimpses of the Winchesters when they were young – so much of fanfiction tries to fill in those gaps in what we know about these characters we love so much. Jensen agreed that those scenes are important and special.
Jensen: The writers know that’s the heart of Supernatural.
Hear that, writers??
Also apropos of the Men of Letters bunker hallway scene discussion, Jensen at one point was talking about the scene in that episode when Demon Dean is breaking through the door. One time he actually broke right through the door panel, so they had to shore it up with crossed panels. They wanted something “Shining-esque”, he said.
And they sure got it!
A fan asked if Jensen thought, in hindsight, that John Winchester was a good father. Jensen said that he certainly wasn’t a typical father, but he did equip his sons to survive in the dangerous world they found themselves in. It was sort of tough love, since John felt they couldn’t be soft, that they needed that hard outlook on things. Jensen said that if circumstances were different, however, that John would’ve been a really shitty father, that he failed in equipping his sons with love.
There were some serious moments. Someone asked how Jensen would want to be remembered in one word. He thought for a minute, then answered ‘selfless’.
He also talked about moving out to LA to consider acting, and how concerned he was because the business can eat people up and everyone is so fake. It was two years of acting before he finally made up his mind and said to himself, okay, I want to do that.
His love of directing hasn’t waned. He said that a script is “a puzzle you have to take apart and then put together,” in a way that made it sound like he really enjoyed that challenge. He wasn’t so enamored of essentially having a 9 to 5 job during the time he was prepping as a director though, so maybe he chose the right profession.
There were also some funny moments. A fan asked how they decide what items get destroyed when there’s a scene like the one in which Mark of Cain-afflicted Dean destroys a motel room, and then later Sam comes in and finds the destruction (and the key to the Impala).
Jensen said that they let him pick the props that he wanted to destroy, then set the room up. But they had to shoot Jared’s scene first, so they had Sam coming in and finding the destroyed room before he even got to destroy it! In that shot, the painting on the wall happened to be tilted.
Then they shot the scene where Jensen destroys the room, which he said they shot about three times. In one shot, he grabbed something and threw it behind him, and by a complete fluke it hit that same painting!
Jensen: I was like, YES!!!!
And the set dec guy was like: OMG!!!
Maybe he really is Batman.
Jensen laughed and said that destroying a room like that is probably too much fun.
There were some great Show questions this time, which I always love. Someone asked about Dean being protective of Sam, sometimes more like a parental figure than a brother.
Jensen: Eric Kripke wrote it to have Dean as the authoritative figure. He was older, he stuck to the “family business.” He was like John Jr. basically. So it was natural for him to step into that role. The older sibling often does if the parents are gone.
He said that Kripke wanted Dean to step into that paternal role with Sam, and that it is a huge defining characteristic of Dean. He mentioned that scene where they’re arguing about who will do the trial of killing the hellhound, and Dean tells Sam to stay back, that he’ll do it, that Sam is gonna live and keep going and have a family. Jensen said that Dean was saying, I will always sacrifice myself for you.
[I should bring tissues to the meet and greets, I swear.]
The fan who asked the question followed up, asking if Jensen liked that aspect of Dean.
Jensen: I do. It’s great characterization. I like it because it tees up a lot of emotion between the brothers, because there’s that protectiveness and love. Sam and Dean are so multi-layered. People ask, aren’t you tired of playing the same character for ten years? No, because Dean has so many layers, and you slowly peel them back.
A fan asked a great question about whether a Supernatural spin-off was a viable idea – is it possible to have a SPN spinoff without Dean and Sam?
Jensen said that if it were to work, you have to have investment in the characters to want to see their story.
Jensen: It’s not an ensemble cast. It’s not Buffy. Angel worked because that was an ensemble cast and Boreanaz had a big following.
He said that maybe it could work if it was to be about Cas going to heaven, or Crowley going “down south”. But he too allowed that people would miss Sam and Dean if they weren’t there.
There followed a bit of discussion about spinoff possibilities, including Wayward Daughters, and Jensen musing about one with Ellen and Jo. At one point, Jensen suggested that if one brother died, it could be the other brother…
Entire room: NO!
What the hell, Jensen? You can’t have Sam without Dean or Dean without Sam. Those are the fanfics that destroy me emotionally and keep me needing extra tissues for a week. Don’t go there!
I think we eventually agreed that Supernatural will just go on forever, and everyone was happy. After that amazing production team promo the other day? Cleary it’s the best show in the history of ever — even in its eleventh season!
That’s all from NJCon for now – stay tuned for more as we head into premiere week!
Photos by me (my camera is clearly in love with Mr. Ackles…)
Edits by the awesome @arkine13
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Fan Phenomena Supernatural
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