The Supernatural Phoenix con was special this year – a lot of my friends were there, which always makes it extra wonderful. A bunch of us talked one of our friends into coming to this con, and then surprised her with friends coming in from all over since this would be her last con – yes, she’s over 80, but honestly she’s 80 plus years young! It was so wonderful to see how surprised she (and half of our other group of friends) was to see the other half, and to make sure that the guest of honor enjoyed every second of what will probably be her last SPN con (not that she’s going anywhere, but this is the local one for her!) It got me thinking that someday I’ll have my own “last Supernatural convention” and that made me need tissues. But it was also so much of what cons and fandom are about, making friends from all over who support each other all year long.
In fact, there are only a few “Official Supernatural conventions” left, including this weekend’s Nashville one and the long-postponed San Francisco con in 2023. It feels weird that the rest of the 2023 cons are not called Supernatural conventions, even if we’ll have Jared, Jensen and Misha at all of them and many of the ‘regular’ guests that we know and love. Change is inevitable, I know, but I don’t have to like it – or at least I get to be ambivalent about it! I am excited to meet the casts of Walker and Windy and The Winchesters and The Boys and Big Sky of course, I just want everyone who I know and love to stick around too. Good thing I’m not in charge of conventions, they’d have about a million guests…
Friday was a short day for me because I spent most of it either flying or having lunch with my friends. The hotel had an outdoor patio with trees and water and cornhole and it was absolutely lovely, so we grabbed a big table out there and just caught up. I made it into the convention center in time to catch some of Adam Fergus’ panel and hear his story about being scared of everything as a kid, including the werewolf he was sure he saw at night that turned out to be a hat and coat on the bannister.
Adam talked about how on Supernatural, Jared was surprised to find out he was Irish. He also said that recently he had to do a Texas accent for a role and wanted it to be believable – so he called Jensen! (Actually that was a joke – he said he always has a voice coach when he has to do an American accent)
Someone asked about his favorite episodes and he said that one of the reasons that Supernatural was on for so long was the great writing and the way they took risks, like Baby and Scoobynatural. So agreed!
Speaking of writing, Adam wrote a chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done all about his time on Supernatural and his appreciation of fandom that’s really interesting, if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Jason Manns was busy as the Friday emcee, and it was nice to see his smiling face.
Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster also did a panel, which started out with Briana channeling her inner Stephen Norton… Shhhh, don’t tell him!
Kim and Briana always have something inspirational to say, and this panel was no exception.
Kim: I am fucking allowed to feel good about myself!
A fan said that the character of Donna had meant a lot to her, and Briana said that the journey that Donna had on the show, she could also relate to.
Someone asked about their favorite episodes. Kim said she loves the Ghostfacers. Briana said she loves The French Mistake, especially because it stars many of her Vancouver friends portraying her Supernatural crew friends! Talk about meta….only on Supernatural.
Do not ask Kim a hypothetical question, btw. You’ll get this face.
But seriously, Kim has done so much to help people understand autism through sharing her own experience – and it is so needed.
Briana and Kim jointly told one of my favorite stories of their friendship – about how they met on on the set, which culminated with Briana screaming out the transport van window “Kim! It’s Briana!” while Kim was in the middle of filming a scene!
We also got a Ruth Connell panel, which was a real treat since I haven’t managed to catch a Ruth panel in a while. Someone brought up Outlander and Ruth said that she had some close friends on the show, and that she appreciated that the Scottish people on the show are actually Scottish.
Ruth: I actually talked to the producer of that show at a party – his kids love Supernatural!
Of course they do.
Ruth said that she loved Sam and Rowena’s bond on the show, as many of us do.
Ruth: They genuinely do mean something to each other.
Awww. She had equally kind words for Jared and Gen in real life, saying that when she first got the show, she was in the supermarket and ran into them, and they were both so warm and nice even though they barely knew her yet.
She had just as much love for Dean too – or, that is, Jensen.
Ruth: Jensen is so perfect, even his freckles are symmetrical.
Ruth: Both Jared and Jensen taught me a lot, and they set a tone that had a trickle down effect that I try to bring with me to other sets too.
Ruth said she learned all those spells that she had to memorize on Supernatural so well that she can still say them, which is pretty impressive actually. She also shared my favorite on-set story. Ruth was so proud that she didn’t break for six years, no matter how many shenanigans Jared and Jensen pulled. And then she was supposed to say something in Latin and somehow she said ‘vulva’, and Jared was immediately like, “what was that, Rowena?”
Ruth: And I just lost it. It was like six years of pent up laughter!
She also shared the good news that she’s headed to Vancouver to film Dead Boy Detectives – yay!
I love all three of these amazing women. Kim, Briana and Ruth all wrote inspiring chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood about what the show, their characters, and the fandom have meant to them – and how those things have changed their lives in significant ways.
I think that might have been it for Friday – dinner was at a great Mexican place across from the hotel that had outdoor seating with a big group of friends and then me trying to go to kakaoke but being diverted by a fire alarm. I went upstairs to wait it out….and, that was that.
Saturday is Misha day, and it was a special one at that because we got Misha in a single layer tee shirt, much to the delight of the fandom.
He said that a group of them had gone to see Elton John in concert the night before – there was a lot happening in this little corner of Phoenix all weekend!
Misha talked about the most emotional scenes he had on Supernatural.
Misha: Mostly Cas had limited emotions, so it wasn’t emotionally overwhelming for me. When Jimmy was reunited with his wife, or when Cas said I love you to Dean, those were emotional scenes.
Misha: I watched many emotional scenes get to Jared and Jensen. Sometimes Jensen would need a minute – like when he lost his brother. Again.
A fan asked about the relationship between Castiel and Jack, and Misha said that Cas did feel like a father to Jack. What father son activities would they do?
Misha: Maybe rebuild Heaven…
He said that his love of cooking came from good memories of cooking with his mom, so that’s why he enjoys it with his children.
He also talked about Supernatural ending and how hard that was.
Misha: Ending Supernatural was hard because the cast and the crew were really enmeshed, but it’s helped knowing that we’d see each other, like we do at conventions.
Misha loves to tease. He said he happens to know a ‘The Boys’ secret.
Misha: You said ‘butts’…. And there’s gonna be a butt buffet coming…
He had just spent time with Eric Kripke at the wedding of former Supernatural writers Jenny Klein and Ben Edlund’s wedding (how awesome is that?)
Misha: It was so great to spend a few hours with Kripke at Ben and Jenny’s wedding. He’s a twisted fuck and OMG I can’t wait!
Now neither can any of us!
Looking back on Supernatural, Misha said that he had been excited about the Leviathan story line, but that a lot of it didn’t land for him ultimately. (Me neither, Misha).
We found out recently that Misha’s new show, Gotham Knights, will begin airing on Tuesdays on the4 CW starting in March. Misha talked about the difference between that and Supernatural.
Misha: I wore a poorly fitted suit for Cas for two years. Now as Harvey Dent, he’s got fitted designer suits.
(Fandom will not be complaining.)
He also said that he’d put the costume on and he’d instantly be in character as Cas – different versions of Castiel were of course harder.
Misha said he hadn’t watched The Winchesters yet, but he plans to – right after he and his kids watch Supernatural, now that he feels they may be ready to see it.
And yes, Misha also wrote a chapter – about fandom – in Family Don’t End With Blood. And both books benefit his charity, Random Acts, as well as two suicide prevention nonprofits.
Both Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr. were at this con, which used to be a ubiquitous thing at every con but now is a rarity since Richard is often busy directing or Rob is busy acting in something.
They haven’t lost their amusing banter, which always makes me smile. So I was happy we got to have an R2 panel on Saturday.
Richard talked about his directing journey, which now includes episodes of The Winchesters, Walker and Kung Fu (with Kim Rhodes recurring). It’s all in the SPNFamily.
Someone asked what monster they didn’t have on Supernatural that they should have.
When asked about being God on Supernatural, Rob said that he thinks Kripke knew that with Chuck he was writing himself, before he thought about Chuck being God.
Rob: Kripke called me and said hey, you’re god, and I said, awesome, thanks. He said, so I have to kill you…and I said oh, that’s awful…
He was grateful to be relevant through to the end of Supernatural, though.
After a lovely dinner at a Mexican restaurant across from our hotel, it was time for the Saturday Night Special! Louden Swain played some new music, which was awesome – be sure you’ve picked up their newest CD to enjoy too!
Kim Rhodes joined in, introduced by Sebastian Roche.
Briana Buckmaster sang her heart out. (Check out her Jason Manns produced CD if you haven’t already!)
Jason Manns and Rob sang their beautiful harmonies on Hallelujah, with the audience singing our part as always. (Though sometimes not many people know when we’re expected to do that and I feel like I’m singing all alone for a few moments, which is definitely not something anyone wants…)
Richard Speight, Jr. joined the band to rock out, which hasn’t happened in a while either – always a treat! If you don’t have his Dick Jr. and the Volunteers CD, you’re missing out on some great music.
They ended with Hey Jude, with everyone – including the Speight boys who were there with their dad – joining in.
And then it was Sunday – J2 day!
The gold panel found Jared in black on black and Jensen in denim on denim and both of them looking gooooooooooooooooood. Just sayin.
I have lost all context for this, but…
Jensen: New photo op – Jared will lick your face!
I feel like this photo op will be popular.
A fan paid them a compliment and they both got adorably flustered.
Jared: He IS handsome…
Then that became a running joke. Jensen told a story about a fanboy moment he had, when he saw Robert Plant, imitating himself staring up adoringly at Plant.
Jensen: He probably said, okay weirdo.
Jared: But handsome…
Lol dude, you’re one to talk!
They talked about working together on Supernatural, a subject that they both light up when talking about, which warms my heart every time.
Jared: We run lines together, and sometimes we even read each other’s lines. Once we changed them in a scene – with Bob Singer’s okay.
(That’s a great story, btw – with them demonstrating why it made more sense for them to be switched and grumpy dad Singer going Huh. Okay.)
Jensen: We run lines with each other and we use sides for that, but when we get to set, we’re off sides.
They talked about the different kind of scenes they did, from comedic to emotional.
Jared: It takes time to detox from the really emotional scenes. The barn scene in the Supernatural finale was really emotional for us.
(If you’ve seen the behind the scenes photos and heard them talk about how much they loved that scene and how much emotion they both brought to it, you know what he’s talking about. And wow, did they bring it!)
As always, Jared and Jensen did a lot of teasing, clearly happy to have a chance to hang out together.
My face aches from smiling during their panels, seriously. Well, not seriously I guess…
One of the cutest moments of the panel was Jensen proudly sharing a video of his younger daughter Arrow’s piano playing – she made Twinkle Twinkle Little Star into something scary!
Jensen: Proud papa moment for me.
The running joke about Jensen being handsome continued through the panel.
Jensen: When I’m in a bad mood, I just look in the mirror and…
That is a half hour that always goes by way too fast!
As someone on Supernatural rightly said, they look good coming…and going…
We got a Jake Abel panel at Phoenix too, which I was only able to catch a little of, much to my dismay. I am loving Jake’s character on Walker – so happy to have him as part of the SPN family AND the Walker family!
Jake: For years I wanted to do a Western, and now everyone is doing them. I was almost in Top Gun too – I really wanted to ride in a jet.
Someone asked who Jake’s favorite person to work with on Supernatural was, and this was his totally appropriate face in response. Are you kidding me?
The J2 afternoon main panel kicked off with the boys being alarmed at some of the city names in Arizona.
Priceless moment? Jared and Jensen do rock paper scissors, and after a tie (they are so brothers), unlike Dean – Jensen won!
I’m convinced this is actually his inner Dean celebrating.
Jensen: Winner winner chicken dinner!
gifs abordelimpalaIf you liked Jensen’s jacket at this con, btw, you can see it on Episode 7 of Big Sky this season. Shhhh.
Jared and Jensen reminisced about old times on Supernatural, and how their friendship became so close.
Jensen: Jared came to me emotional a few times in the early seasons – it was a shock to his system and he missed his friends and family.
I’m so glad they were there for each other. Now I need tissues.
On seeing themselves in an old photo op:
Jensen (wistfully): Remember those guys?
They both were offered movie roles but they turned them down, committed to Supernatural.
Jared: I don’t regret not taking them during Supernatural.
I’m so grateful that they were so loyal to the show, it made all the difference.
Jensen said he did kinda wish he could have pursued Deadpool – but then again his ex girlfriend was in it, so maybe that was for the best…
In answer to that favorite person to work with question:
Jensen: My favorite person to work with… (pats Jared’s shoulder)…was Rob Benedict!
They talked about how their friendship has stood the test of time, and what it’s like now when they get a chance to catch up.
Jensen: When Jared and I do get face time, it’s like ‘Bro! I have so much to tell you!’
Jared: Or we wave to each other at drop off… (at their kids’ school…. such dads…)
More seriously, he added: We know each other so well, we can just pick up where we left off.
Jared: Brothers have a built in best friend. I have it with my brother, and with Jensen, and Sam and Dean have it.
There were plenty of laughs, including at one point Jared exclaiming that someone was from Amarillo and Jensen saying indignantly:
Jensen: I just sang that song to you!
There was also Jared trying to explain who played Gadreel first, him or Tahmoh Penikett, to a very gumpy confused Jensen. Which was adorable.
Btw, you can read the whole story of who played Gadreel first and what that was like for them behind the scenes in the chapter that Tahmoh wrote in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done – links at the bottom of the page! (And yes, Jared and Jensen have chapters in both books)
WHEN Supernatural gets rebooted (which never fails to put a huge smile on my face when Jared and Jensen both say it like that), who would they like to see come back?
Jared: I’d like to see Ash (the awesome Chad Lindberg) come back.
Fan to J2: I hope this doesn’t make you feel too old…
Jared and Jensen:
The last question was about Radio Company, after a Last Question Robsen duet per tradition.
Jensen said they’d have a new album by January, and as far as more live shows after their debut coming up? Who knows…
And then it was the traditional fist bumps and butt pats and a thank you to the fans!
As I write this, I’m about to head out to that first live show – and the Nashville Supernatural convention. It’s the last con of 2022, and the last year of Supernatural cons. Not that there won’t be plenty of cons with our faves next year, but they won’t be ‘The Official Supernatural Convention’ and I am just nostalgic enough to feel sad about that. Which means I’d better celebrate like hell this weekend!
Stay tuned for all the happenings of Nashville and Radio Co Live coverage coming up!
You can read chapters from all the Supernatural
actors about what the show and the fandom mean
to them in Family Don’t End With Blood and
There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done – links
in the banner or at: