Toronto Con is always an emotional convention, and this year was no exception. It was also Canadian Thanksgiving, which meant I had some wonderful nights out with Canadian fangirl friends over good wine and delicious turkey dinner. More on the convention soon, but for now, some meet and greet excerpts! I was lucky enough to go to both Jared and Jensen’s meet and greets, and there were some great questions at both. Here are a couple of tidbits from Jensen’s:
Random question first: he likes Penny Dreadful, and is mock jealous of Josh Hartnett for playing such a cool character.
Most of the rest of the meet and greet was all about Supernatural, which made me a happy meet and greet attendee indeed. The first question was about the similarities between Season 11 and Season 1, seeing as the new season is a bit of a throwback and getting back to the basics of the first season. How have the brothers changed?
Jensen: Has everyone seen the premiere?
One fan: Um, no.
Jensen (gesturing toward the door in mock fury) Get out!
Jensen said that the brothers have been a team for ten years now – in Season 1 Sam had been at school and Dean had been hunting with Dad. They’ve fought to keep each other alive and to keep others alive for ten years. Inevitably that makes the new season different.
There have been a lot of ups and downs for Sam and Dean, Jensen said. For example, Dean will always hold the guilt that came with the Gadreel situation, he’ll always feel guilty about tricking his brother.
Jensen: In my opinion, that enriches their relationship that much more, that they have this history. There have been a lot of bumps and decisions made that the other brother wouldn’t have agreed with, but at the end of the day there’s a strength and connection that no amount of rocky roads will break. There’s an emotional common denominator that these boys will always have. It’s unbreakable.
Me: (lamenting that I once again forgot to bring tissues to meet and greets)
Keeping with the theme of change over the past decade of SPN, someone asked the provocative question, are the Winchesters more villains than heroes now? (I wisely refrained from exclaiming ‘WHAT??’)
Jensen said they’re getting back to who they were, back to what they’re meant to be, and that feels right. There’s dialogue coming up, he said, that shows that.
Jensen went on to say that another difference is that the brothers also don’t have the tools they had in Season 1 – they don’t have Dad’s journal, or Bobby, or Ash. Cas is in bad shape. There’s no lore on the Darkness. They have to rely on only each other. And they’re not afflicted with anything in this season, so they’re not trying to save each other, they’re together again with a common target.
He said again that he’s excited about this season, that it’s along the lines of what Kim Manners always told them: give them what they want in a way they won’t expect.
Someone asked about his favorite season and episode. Season 11, he said, is shaping up to be one of his favorite seasons – Season 4 is another favorite (and my favorite season too!) Jensen also liked the Mark of Cain story line, which took Dean to a very dark place, darker than he usually is written. He felt that while Dean really went “down the rabbit hole,” that it was necessary.
But, he added, he’s glad to have the levity back in the Show and in the character.
I got to ask the season premiere question that’s been bothering me since last Wednesday.
Me: So, in the season premiere, I was a bit confused by Dean’s reaction to that pivotal speech Sam gave. Was he not clear about whether Sam was saying that he would always save him? Or did he interpret it as Sam will always save Dean, but that they also need to try to save as many people as they can, like those people who were ‘rabid’ or whatever?
Jensen: That, the second thing you said.
Jensen said that Dean did understand that Sam will always save him, but that instead of just mowing people down, they needed to try harder to save them – to go back to how they used to exorcise demons instead of killing the people.
Me: Okay, that’s what I thought. But Dean’s reaction sort of confused me…
Jensen said that the entire scene takes place in that triage room, and Dean just wanted to GO. It was hard for him, as an actor who knows Dean very well, to make him stay put and listen – he was just in battle mode, Jensen said, and he’s hard headed and he wanted to get going. It was a struggle for him to stay and listen to Sam.
Me: That makes sense. That’s the struggle I was seeing then.
He clarified that Dean was also trying to save people – thinking that maybe there were more of the bad guys coming and if he didn’t act now, the baby and all of them wouldn’t survive. He was focused on saving one innocent life who had a chance to grow up and live. Which (as I said in my episode review), I could also see as a valid point. That’s in part why Sam’s speech confused me.
There was a dad in the meet and greet with his 13 year old daughter (what a nice birthday and Christmas gift!). He asked Jensen about being a father and how it had changed him. Jensen said that it shut a chapter of his life and opened a new one, that he’s no longer the center of his own universe. I think most parents can probably relate to that – I know I can.
He also told a sweet story about JJ wanting him to nap with her. He thought he’d just lie down for a minute until she fell asleep in his bed, but she cuddled up to him so much that he was trapped. Oh well, I’m not going anywhere, he thought to himself – for the next hour and a half.
Later when I had a chance to chat with Jensen, I thanked him for making me all emotional about my own kids with that story (and making me miss them!)
Jensen (pulling out his phone): Oh, here, let me show you something.
Me: Noooo, you’re going to torture me, aren’t you?
Jensen: (nodding and smiling an evil smile)
Yes, it was just as ridiculously adorable as you can imagine.
Jared’s meet and greet also had lots of great Show questions, and Jared was in a great mood too; he swung his chair around to sit backwards as always, long legs straddling it easily.
There were a few random questions too that I can’t actually remember. At one point a fan asked, ‘which house would you be in Harry Potter?’ and then paused to say ‘wait, do you know the houses of Harry Potter?’
Jared: (indignant) Of course I do, how dare you?!
That was an adorable fanboy moment.
Speaking of fanboy moments, someone also asked what possessed him to crash The Vampire Diaries convention in Las Vegas. Jared said he’d known Ian Somerhalder since they were in a pilot together when he was 18, and knows “Paulie” from many auditions they always ended up at for “dark haired guy”. They apparently had no idea he was going to crash their panel and were genuinely surprised. The CW is a small world.
Another fan asked something about pranking Misha. Jared said that he and Jensen are fully expecting Misha to get them back during the last season with an absolutely epic prank. Start planning now, Misha!
And then there were the show questions, which are always my favorite. One fan asked about difficult scenes to film. Jared said he was very nervous doing that bad acting scene in The French Mistake, which I guess was actually very difficult to do – but it sure turned out wonderfully! He also laughed at himself for forgetting himself and leaping out of the way when the bowl of blood Sebastian was supposed to paint sigils with fell off the table during the filming of that episode.
Jensen at the time: Why didn’t you just grab it??
Jared: (sheepishly) I’d hoped that I wouldn’t react like that in that situation…
(I think we’ve all said that to ourselves at one point or another in life.)
I also got to ask Jared about that pivotal scene in the premiere.
Jared: (looking strangely wary) Lynn, are you gonna ask me a smart question? It’s too early in the morning, I’m on west coast time, unlike you…
Me: No! It’s not a smart question, honest. I’m too tired to ask a smart question. (sadly true)
Jared: (skeptical) Okay.
Me: I’m wondering if you could clarify what Sam meant in his speech in the premiere – will he always save Dean, or was he saying that needs to change?
Jared: (possibly relieved at my lack of smarts) He will, he’ll always save his brother, he’ll do it forever, even if it’s effed up. He’ll do whatever it takes for his brother, and to get rid of the Darkness.
He also said that while that scene was basically written as exposition, setting forth the theme of the season, that he and Jensen and Bob Singer all realized after they’d run through it once how important the scene was, and they tried to make that come through in subsequent takes.
Speaking of Sam and Dean, someone asked if he thinks it’s possible that the amulet might come back, even though Dean threw it away.
Everyone: (cracking up)
Jared said he thought it was possible that it would come back, much to everyone’s delight. He’d like to see it come back too, he said.
That same dad who was in Jensen’s meet and greet also asked Jared the same question about how fatherhood had impacted him. Jared answered, then added that fatherhood has also greatly affected Supernatural.
Jared: Now I get it, that Sam would do anything for Dean. I get it now, the depth of love and feeling and vulnerability, it’s almost tangible.
Jared said that with so much emotion, and once again, I lamented my lack of tissues. No wonder the feeling of family is so strong in this show – it’s all wrapped up with real life love and family and emotions, and that all comes through onscreen.
A fan asked what made Jared want to do Supernatural, way back when. He said that while he liked the genre shows on at the time, like Buffy, that wasn’t the story he wanted to tell. But he had an insatiable curiousity about things like archetypes, so he was drawn to that about Supernatural.
Jared: This became so much more than I could have imagined. The struggles are real in Supernatural and I like that.
Jared said that he’s in a good place now, but that life is hard sometimes, and that’s part of the show’s popularity. In fact, he said that he and Jensen and Misha were walking down Queen Street the night before and having that same conversation, about why the show has stayed so popular. They acknowledged the importance of Netflix, but felt that on a deeper level, that’s not the only reason it’s lasted. That a lot of what they deal with on the show is becoming less taboo.
Jared: We plow through. It’s like life.
He also said that the fans got the show to this point, to this tipping point.
Jared: There’s such a symbiosis and relationship with cast, crew and fans. It’s a legitimate relationship.
(He also said that when it’s all three of them out together, they get noticed. It’s like “Oh yeah, that’s definitely theose guys.”)
Another fan asked whether everyone got along from the start?
Jared: In the beginning it was me and Ackles, and yes, we got along. We had a lot of weird things in common, even our email addresses were similar. And we got them long before. And he and I were really grateful. When he bitched, I’d be like what? And vice versa. We just put our heads down and started working.
In other words, they have always grounded each other. That hasn’t changed; you can see it even when they’re onstage. A hand on the shoulder, a touch on the arm, always something to say “I’ve got your back.” In some ways, Jared and Jensen seem as close as the Winchesters, able to convey a whole lot without any words at all.
Is it hard to keep going, a fan asked, being away from their families, working so much of the time?
Jared answered very seriously.
Jared: Now is my time to honor Sam’s sacrifice with my own. Later I’ll value this time with Sam Winchester, and with you guys. It’s become sacred to me. I want to keep Sam’s sacrifice sacred.
He thought for a minute, and then found an expression that seemed to ring true.
Jared: The juice is worth the squeeze. It’s the same for Jensen.
And we’re all pretty damn grateful.
Here’s to an epic Season 11!
Photos by me
Edits by the wonderful @arkine13
For more of our chats with Jared, Jensen, Misha
and more of the Best Cast Ever, check out
‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ at the link
at the top of the page