The Supernatural convention in Dallas is always fun because it’s the closest we get to the boys’ hometown (until next year, when the con moves to their actual hometown, Austin!). That means they’re rested and have friends and family joining them and everyone is in a really good mood. That was the case for this con too! And it was equally fun for me because I had lots of friends there too.
I was excited to escape from the Philly winter to warmer Texas, only to arrive just as the giant Texas ice storm was ending. There were still piles of ice along the streets and slippery patches, and many people had stories of digging out their ice-encased cars that morning.
The convention center and the surrounding area was turned into a magical place, looking like a fairy corridor instead of a pathway through a parking lot.
And every branch or railing was a work of art if you looked closely enough.
Climate change, not fun. But really pretty for Liz’s camera to capture for posterity!
My intrepid friends came to pick me up at the airport anyway. #SPNFamily.
Friday was hosted by the lovely Jason Manns, as Fridays often are, in his comfy Mr. Rogers-esque sweater.
I caught some of David Haydn Jones’ panel on Friday – I love that he always dresses the part of wherever the con is, and this time was no exception. Cowboy David!
He’s working on a new song for karaoke, which is still a secret, but I’m looking forward to it.
He had only good things to say about Supernatural.
David: On my first day, Jared, Jensen and Misha were so collegial. Then they gave me a Bentley and a grenade launcher – I was a kid in a candy store!
What’s not to like? Well, actually the fire in that scene – which was real!
David: When you see that fire behind me, that’s real. Jared and Jensen were like, I’m outta here!
David is a great story teller. He told a hilarious story of that gag reel moment when he was attempting to say ‘chupacabra’ over and over, which was funny enough. But when he was saying ‘chupa chupa’ apparently in Spanish that means ‘sucky sucky’ so… very dirty.
David: There’s a whole fic on Ao3…
Also David, though I can’t remember context: You can always trust this audience for testicle humor.
David said that Ketch was originally conceived of as a sort of East End brawler – who sounds a lot like Billy Butcher on The Boys. He did have some more serious things to say too, including how being onscreen can exacerbate any kind of body dysmorphia someone might have. On the other hand, dressing up for a living is fun.
David: One of the fun parts of this job is getting to cosplay for a living.
Briana Buckmaster couldn’t be at the con because she’s filming a movie, but Kim Rhodes had her join the panel a bit through Facetime anyway!
Kim told the amusing story of her favorite memory from filming Kung Fu – which wasn’t actually from filming at all. Richard Speight, Jr. was directing, and they were walking back from lunch when a guy stopped Richard and asked for a selfie with him, proclaiming himself the worlds’ biggest Supernatural fan (and never noticing it was Kim there). As he walked away, Richard scoffed: “Not the biggest!”
They also apparently had a lot of fun on the Kung Fu set voicing the actor lobsters who were sometimes more well treated than some humans lol.
Like David, she had all good things to say about Supernatural.
Kim: I’ve been fortunate to work on shows where people who are at the top of the food chain make sure that no one gets fucked. Jared and Jensen were the same way. I’ve been so lucky to work with generous, lovely human beings. There’s not an atom less on Supernatural that it felt like my birthday.
She had kind words for the fandom too.
Kim: The greatest gift this fandom gave me is permission.
I love the way Kim greets fans, so full of joy each and every time.
It’s what she writes about in her chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, powerfully.
She also had a visit from a tiny but awesome fan who joined her onstage – adorable!
We all had a delicious home cooked meal at a friend’s house on Friday night (and some homemade cherry cobbler which, mmmmm) and then I collapsed like I almost always do on Friday nights at cons – which meant I didn’t get to go to karaoke. The problem with the con being at a convention center is that it’s a little difficult to get back and forth, so once I was dropped off at my hotel, that was it for me!
On Saturday, we had a panel with Smallville’s Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, which I’d really enjoyed at the last con too – this time they had a table, which confused me when I came in because it looked for a moment like I’d wandered into a conference instead of a convention. Michael played his guitar in between the two answering questions.
Tom answered a question about his role as young Clark Kent in Smallville, saying that he had the foresight to put it in his contract that Clark doesn’t put on the super suit.
Tom: At the end, we needed Clark to go, but we can’t go with him. Smallville was about a kid in high school trying to figure out his identity, not about Superman.
Interesting that he had that much creative control and felt so strongly about that.
Tom also told the story of when he met Keifer Sutherland and totally fangirled. Michael said he had Keifer on his podcast, advising that if you don’t know what to say to him, just ask him about his music!
Tom and Michael have a lot of chemistry ala Jared and Jensen – Tom also spent some time pitching that Michael should have his own talk show and Michael singing “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”.
We also, of course, had a Misha Collins panel, because it wouldn’t be a con Saturday without him!
For some reason, Misha told a funny story I’ve heard before, about the time he and Richard and Ruth were trying to cross the border back to the states from Vancouver – with a bottle of whiskey. We got some great Misha imitating Ruth moments out of that one!
Misha said that both he and Jensen went jogging that morning – and nearly broke a leg because it was still so icy in Dallas.
Apparently nobody was expecting ice, which makes it extra dangerous.
Con-goers were lucky to get a screening of his new show Gotham Knights on Sunday (which I had to miss for a meet and greet) and Misha had a chance to talk about it quite a bit at his panel. He said he’d just finished shooting his part of the finale, and now he’s got some down time while they wait for news on Season 2.
This was a playful Misha panel, which I always enjoy. A guy asked a question who was dressed as Castiel, and told Misha that his wife had asked him to dress up. Misha was equal parts shocked and fascinated – and naughty.
Misha: Oh…so, role play?
He then proceeded to act it out, with a breathy “Oh yeah, grip me tight…”
He has an adorable smile, and we saw it alot at this con. Another fan asked what Cas learned from the pizza man. Misha, without missing a beat, turned to the Castiel cosplayer’s wife.
Misha: Do you dress up as Meg sometimes?
He got some Supernatural questions too, including one about the finale. Misha said that the original version of the finale had tons of people coming back, and also Kansas (for that final scene in the Heaven roadhouse) – but in the pandemic that would have cost as much as filming six episodes!
Misha said he had a lot of fun playing Lucifer, joking that “he’s a little closer to my own personality…” And he loved ‘The French Mistake’ with all its inside jokes for both fans and crew of the show.
He said that at one point the idea of Castiel having a spinoff was discussed. He thought about a spinoff with Cas having amnesia and slowly remembering that he was an angel, so that he was something between human and angel for a while, and then became a mentor.
Misha: We did have conversations with the network, but I was ready to take a break then.
Saturday was jam packed – we then had the first panel for The Winchesters, with Meg Donnelly, Drake Rodger and JoJo Fleites.
It sounds like The Winchesters is following in Supernatural’s footsteps with a lot of fun on the set. Because Nida Khurshid (Lata) wasn’t there, her castmates got to tease her, imitating how easily startled she is on set.
Drake said they pranked Jensen with chair backs, just like they did on Walker when he directed that, including “Jensen Ankles” and “Bean Winchester” lol
I love that they’re keeping the Supernatural have-fun-on-set tradition going.
A fan asked what Supernatural characters they’d like to have scenes with.
JoJo: I’d love my character to have a scene with Rowena and Castiel.
If he ever gets to have a scene with Jensen, Drake said, he wants them to have a “smolder contest” – and he’d also love his character to have a scene with Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Meg: I’d love my character to have a scene with Sam and Dean.
Me: Us too!
Also, I love Meg’s shoes. She told the amusing bts fact that she has to walk on a pathway of apple boxes in any walk and talk scene with Drake because he’s SO much taller than her.
They also all were asked about their jewelry, and showed off what they were wearing – some of it from etsy, some of it actually found somewhere. Everyone was happy to show off what they had!
There was a moving moment in the panel when JoJo addressed a non binary fan.
JoJo: Know that I see you and I love you. Never be afraid to be yourself, to claim your space.
Drake answered a question about his version of John Winchester being different than Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s version.
Drake: I tried to capture some of the more innocent John, like Matt Cohen did, before the darker more gritty, more drinking John.
I love that Drake really does know his Supernatural.
Drake: I watched Season 1 through 12 of Supernatural, and I was afraid of offending the fans (about canon), but Jensen put me at ease.
I’ve complained sometimes about the shoes the gang wears as hunters; JoJo acknowledged that Carlos doesn’t always wear the best shoes for hunting lol. They also said they loved being able to sing in an episode of the show (so we hope we get to have them sing at an SNS one of these days!)
Toward the end of the panel, the “kids” from the Winchesters got a surprise visit from the “dad” – Tom Welling aka Samuel Campbell!
I was only able to catch a little bit of the all kinds of adorable Rob and Ruth panel unfortunately, two of my favorite people.
Rob talked about when he had a stroke at a convention, and how the support of this family got him through. He wrote a chapter about that, taking you moment by moment through what happened, in Family Don’t End With Blood.
Ruth wrote a chapter in that book too, about how the support of the fandom helped her feel good about who she is and expanded her horizons.
Ruth: And this family brought me Rob.
They also both waxed nostalgic about Jared Padalecki’s farts on the set of Supernatural. I guess when you really really miss something, you miss everything about it!
Richard Speight, Jr. joined them for the end of the panel as they were talking about their characters’ endings. He said he wasn’t a fan of Gabriel’s ending.
Richard: I got killed so fast, because we didn’t have time to choreograph a fight scene!
Ruth on Rowena’s ending: I’ve only just begun…
Rob: I was hoping for an ending of me going like, ah, just kidding, we’re buddies! (With the Winchesters). Instead I got left in the dirt – one of my FOMO nightmares!
Saturday night some of my friends and I ordered Mexican from Uber Eats in their hotel room – which, when it finally came, had exactly ONE of our five meals ordered. Cue Alana and Lauren driving to the actual restaurant to bring back the rest of the food – life savers!
Then it was Saturday Night Special time. We were all honestly wiped out after the long day and the food debacle, but I never miss the SNS because I truly love Louden Swain, so I headed back to the convention center, albeit rather blearily. Most of that bleariness left instantaneously though, when I heard that Jensen Ackles might be joining the fun – and ALL of that bleariness left completely when he did just that!
Creation’s Stephanie Dizon joined Louden Swain, like she used to all the time back in the “old days” of the cons.
Rob and Billy and Stephen and Mike rocked out with songs old and new, which was awesome.
Kim Rhodes and Gil McKinney also joined in, Gil singing Harry Styles – so happy to have him back at cons and at SNS!
Jason Manns joined Billy and Rob for the traditional Hallelujah with beautiful harmonies and audience participation singing the chorus.
And then it was Mr. Ackles’ turn and the place went absofuckinglutely crazy. Because most people didn’t know he was going to sing, the reaction when Jensen came onstage was even more enthusiastic than usual (and that’s saying something).
I mean, I just…
When I watched the little videos I tweeted during his rendition of “Sonofoabitch” I was surprised to hear myself squealing like I was having the time of my goddamn life throughout. Unrepentant tbh.
People were jumping up and down and screaming at the top of their lungs, and it seemed like Jensen was having the time of his life too.
— Fangasm (@FangasmSPN) February 5, 2023
Look at him puttin’ his foot up on the speaker like the rockstar he is! (And yes, that is me squealing like I just can’t help myself)
— Fangasm (@FangasmSPN) February 5, 2023
When he threw that mic stand down behind him, Rob’s astonished and delighted reaction is all of us.
And dayum, he knows how to move those hips – and what it does to us.
That was a magical moment in the ballroom, the whole band rocking out with Jensen – and the entire audience too.
Look how beautiful it all looks from Liz’s perspective…
They all got some air on the jump!
Jensen set the poor mic stand back up at the end, suddenly turning little boy sheepish.
Jensen: Sorry I broke your shit…
Louden Swain killed it too, ending with ‘This Is How’.
Can you even imagine the cons without the Saturday Night Special? It changed so much when they made that a regular part of the conventions, and Louden Swain the house band. I’m so glad!
I went to bed really happy on Saturday night, just sayin.
And Sunday was, as always, J2 day! Jared and Jensen came onstage for the gold panel and immediately started making fun of their photos on the screen behind them. Jensen gestured at Jared’s expression.
Jensen: What’s with this picture?
Jared: Well, you can’t see Jensen’s left hand….
Jensen, grinning, mimed pinching Jared’s (very small) … appendage? I feel like I’m writing fanfic here.
Jared jokingly pulled Jensen’s hand in the direction of re-enacting whatever he had purportedly been doing in the picture, which Jensen of course allowed because they are always on the same damn wavelength.
Jensen: Most action you’ve seen in weeks…
Jared: I’m married, it’s been years!
Yep, ten seconds in and things are already taking a turn for the naughty. Clearly this was gonna be a good panel!
They did give some serious answers too, including talking about how they came to understand what Supernatural meant to fans and how that kept them going when there were long filming days and seasons away from friends and family. They both write about that in their chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done – the fandom made such a difference to them, just as they and the show made such a difference to us.
They, like all of us, took some lessons from some of the Supernatural episodes too – most of us, and Jared especially, the “Always Keep Fighting” message.
The last conventions have made me smile every time Jared and Jensen talk about how much they want to return to playing Sam and Dean and to doing more Supernatural, because I want that so much too.
Jared and Jensen: We’ll be back…. When we get the call to put the boots back on…
Me: Yes please!!!
Someone asked what their favorite Sam and Dean “kills” were on the show.
Jensen: When we bested God.
Jared: Rowena. Because it was so difficult, because of the dynamic between Sam and Rowena (which was special).
He’s right, that one really hurt – in the way that means that’s some damned good story telling.
It’s always clear that Jared and Jensen understand each other very well, but Jared talked a little about how they’re alike too, including the fact that (perhaps surprisingly to some) they are both introverts.
Jensen agreed, and said that another similarity is that neither of them take on projects just for what they think the impact on their career might be.
Jensen: We’re serious about what we do.
At one point, Jared had to calculate something, and quickly did the math in his head.
Jensen (impressed): You’re so fast at math!
I love that they still appreciate each other so much.
That was, as I suspected it would be, a great gold panel!
Before the J2 main panel, we had a Walker panel with actors from both OG Walker and Walker Independence – Jake Abel, Mitch Pileggi, Matt Barr and Justin Johnson Cortez. I watch both those shows, so it was great getting to ‘know’ the Windy guys for the first time. If you’re not watching it, Walker Independence is a gorgeously filmed show with a cast of fascinating characters (many of them painted in intriguing shades of gray).
Mitch was still a little traumatized from the last con and all the nipple talk.
Mitch to Jake: No discussion of frozen nipples!
Matt and Justin understand their fan base quite well.
Matt to Justin: I was shirtless constantly on Walker Independence – and you never were!
Justin: Season 2…
Everyone: Yes please.
Justin helpfully checked Matt for any glitter still on him after finding out that he was a glitter covered male stripper on Walker.
The two had some good times filming. Matt said he loved the scenes of him and Justin on the horse.
Matt: They were like, don’t go too fast – and of course Justin was like, we’re gonna haul ass!
When Matt said he’d like to play the bad guy, Jake made a face.
Jake: I don’t know anything about that…
Hmmmm is that a Kevin reference? I kinda like the character, but I’m also afraid he is indeed the bad guy…
Mitch had such wonderful things to say about Walker and the set.
Mitch: Walker is the only show where you call cut and people don’t wanna go home.
Jake said he loved the scenes in Supernatural when he had to play opposite himself (as Adam and Michael), then tried to explain it to Mitch.
Jake: There was an archangel who came inside me…
Mitch: So you loved to play with yourself…
Mitch was undaunted – all the props, Mitch!
Jake is fandom savvy, which partly explains why the panel eventually was all about everyone wanting to read some slash fiction and Matt and Justin teasing fans with a little much welcomed PDA.
They all had lovely things to say about working with Jared too.
Mitch: I tell Jared, I’m playing Bonham some way – and he says no, Bonham is playing you.
Mitch is also an artist, and drew a portrait of Jared holding Odette from a favorite photo. Jared said that Odette’s eyes are his favorite, and Mitch captured them.
What would they tell their characters?
Justin: I’d tell Calian not to be so hard on himself.
Matt: I’d tell Hoyt to take a bath.
And then it was the J2 main panel!
Jared and Jensen leapt onstage even though Jared probably shouldn’t with his newly repaired ACL, but boys will be boys. At least they did some stretching first!
— Fangasm (@FangasmSPN) February 5, 2023
Then they noticed that a lovely little table with two water bottles on it was on the stage. Between their chairs. UH OH.
Both stared at it, clearly offended that something was trying to get between them.
Jensen: What is this???
Jared: I’m gonna get this outta the way.
He carried the table to the side of the stage, barely pausing to toss the water bottles right off it.
Jensen: Ohhhh I thought he tossed it!
They pushed their chairs closer together, then Jensen bent down to angle the fan on the stage toward his friend.
Jensen: Look at this, pal, there you go.
Jared: You are magic.
Jensen: I gotcha, I gotcha.
I swear sometimes they ARE Sam and Dean.
They once again talked about doing more Supernatural – and about working together again.
Jensen: He and I will always be open to doing projects together…whether it’s a reboot or whatever.
Jared: I’d love to work with this guy again.
Me: Awwwwwww. Also, yes PLEASE!
Jensen: We’re proud of the tone we set on Supernatural, and now Jared is a great leader on Walker.
Me: More Awwwww.
They were asked about scenes that were hard to film and that were favorites, and talked about the ‘barn scene’ in the finale.
Jensen: The barn scene was hard to film, but so beautiful and so earned. Some of the crew had to leave the set, because it was watching Jared and Jensen say goodbye to Sam and Dean.
I love that they love the ending and are so proud of it – it took Jensen a little while to get his head around his character dying (not the way he would die, but simply that Dean would die), with Dean so so close to him, but he came to see it like Eric Kripke did – the only way the brothers could finally have peace was to be, quite literally, done.
The endless quest for a rim shot from Norton when Jared makes a dad joke continued, with Jared at first using a tiny rim shot machine that my friend got for him onstage to give himself one – and then to Jared finally earning one from Norton!
The Jared-wants-a-rim-shot bit is clearly endlessly amusing to Jensen, who always watches with a fond exasperated look on his face, and who invariably looks every bit as happy as Jared when he finally gets one!
They also reminisced a lot about filming Supernatural, which I think is their favorite thing to do – and mine.
Jared said that in Yellow Fever, when a frightened-of-a-cat Dean jumped into Sam’s arms, that was actually Jensen jumping into Jared’s arms – they didn’t tell him that they were rolling! Their moments of goofing around on set made the show’s gag reels priceless – I just wish we had even more of them.
Jensen made a cryptic announcement that put the internet into a tizzy, saying that he’ll be announcing something new career-wise “soon” – and that it will “move the needle.”
Jared: Yeah, you’ll see Jensen’s ‘needle’ move…
Jensen: My mom is right there!
Jared: (unrepentant) Hi Donna!
We’re still not 100% sure what he was referring to, though it might be the video game trailer that Jensen filmed that was just released – or is it something Radio Company related about the upcoming release?
They also did their third or fourth re-enactment of the infamous time that Dean fell into Sam’s arms after killing Cain and Jared kneed the knife that was in his hand – so that it actually stabbed him!
Dean falls into Sam’s arms, Jensen 100% committed to showing just how out of it Dean was, how affected he was by the fight with Cain, so that he just fell like dead weight onto his brother.
You can see the level of acting commitment here even better in Alicia Barr’s amazing photos of the re-enactment.
It’s clear they welcome a reason to get back into “character” and be Sam and Dean together again, so we’re treated to these re-enactments from time to time and I absolutely cherish them.
It took a minute for Jensen to look down and realize that the prop knife was actually embedded in Jared’s leg.
Jensen, looking down: Oh yeah, that’s in there…
But Jared was determined to finish the scene anyway, so Jensen followed his lead.
Jensen: I gotta give it to my boy, we kept going!
And finally, after they called cut, Jensen kept his hand protectively over Jared’s knife wound. Ouch!
I love that neither of them is hung up about praising the other or talking about their relationship.
A fan asked which was their favorite character that the other one played.
Jared: I’ll always love Dean. They’d clear out and call action and I’d think, oh, Dean was a living, breathing human being who was fully fleshed out. So even though he’s been great in a lot of things, I’m gonna be partial to Dean.
And his worst?
Jared: His worst character he played was those brick pants.
Jensen: That wasn’t a character!
Jared: Oh no, just call it a character…
— Fangasm (@FangasmSPN) February 5, 2023
Jensen told the hilarious story of trying to watch Jared in Flight of the Phoenix – and then being really upset that Jared’s character died.
Jensen: He talked about it, his time in Africa and I thought, this is gonna be awesome. Then not 30 seconds into the movie, he’s the first to die and I’m like well, there’s another hour and forty minutes left to this movie, is he gonna come back from the dead?
I love that he watched it just to see his friend in it lol.
— Fangasm (@FangasmSPN) February 5, 2023
All too soon it was last question time, which I can’t for the life of me remember – the question, that is.
And then Jared and Jensen signed off – with their traditional fist bump and the traditional butt pat.
I always find myself emotional when their panel ends, as they stand there with arms around each other looking out at the fans with gratitude. Parasocial relationship, I know, but I do think it means alot to them, having had the fandom’s support for so many many years.
I caught a wee bit of Ruth’s panel as the con was ending.
Ruth loves that Rowena was Crowley’s mother, not his romantic interest – and that it annoys Mark Sheppard lol
As for her head canon of how Rowena is doing now? Hell is very organized, lots of guys working hard…
I can picture it.
Ruth and Rob sang the traditional ‘End of the con as we know it’ song, and then SPNDallas was a wrap!
I got to say a quick hello to Jensen’s dad but never managed to be at the same place at the same time as his mom or Jared’s parents unfortunately, which was sad because this is usually the only time I get to chat with them and I missed this con last year (Jared’s mom said a facetime hello from the con which was lovely). Next time!
My roomies and I had a nice breakfast from our hotel’s free buffet, managed not to set off the hotel smoke detectors (yes, that’s a joke, but also yes, we did do that once inadvertently, no we weren’t smoking anything…) and then I headed to the airport. My flight back home was luckily without incident, and the icy weather didn’t greet me when I got back to the East coast, so I consider that a win!
There are multiple conventions on both sides of the pond coming up in the next few weeks that I’m sad to miss, but I look forward to all the great coverage from the lucky fans who are there.
Thanks to Alana King, Liz Madsen and Alicia Barr for permission to use their beautiful photos! (Please don’t remove the watermarks on the photos – thanks!)
You can read all about what it was like to
bring Supernatural to life in the chapters
by the actors in Family Don’t End With
Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are
Done – it was and always will be something
very special! Info and links at: