As promised, I’m going to trickle in reports here and there as I can. Here’s a report of the Richard Speight Jr. panel which was the first fo the day. I managed to type this up during a two hour afternoon break. I really wanted to post this since it was a fantastic panel and so many good things were said about “Changing Channels.” Keep in mind I haven’t proofread this yet, so I apologize in advance for typos. The Jim Beaver panel just finished and Misha Collins is next, so plenty more coming later!
To kick off the day, there was a HUGE pleasant surprise. Fresh of the incredible “Changing Channels,” who should come on the stage but Richard Speight Jr. Richard was an emergency substitution for Jake Abel, who actually ended up getting a better gig. Hey, an actor’s gotta work. Richard was in Detroit yesterday for reasons disclosed in the panel summary. This is the third time I’ve seen Richard do a panel and each have been extremely entertaining. This is the best one yet, and yes, the on set story that I’m going to share later in the summary had TONS to do with it. It’s the best on set story I think I’ve ever heard.
Richard came on the stage all smiles. “Who saw this coming? Nobody!” Yes, he’s playing up “Changing Channels” thing in the entire panel as he rightfully should. He was here last year, it was his first convention, although looks what’s happened since then. There’s been a little plot twist. He was nervous last year “because I’ve never been to a convention and I was afraid of you people.” (big laughs). This year he embraces the madness and he’s thrilled to be back. He’s looking forward to having Purple Nurples tonight. He obviously forgets they suck in this hotel.
– He has slept at all. “Anyone at the karaoke party, we’re on the same time clock.” I did see several haggard faces this morning in the lobby.
– “Who knew?” He said in regards to “Changing Channels.” “I’m an angel baby. Was I surprised. I thought I was just a criminal. A clown, a pagan.” He’s treating it a promotion. “As long as I’m alive, I’m happy.”
– He’s becoming the Creation pinch hitter. He did this in Vancouver too. He joked about having a bat phone that rings every time he’s needed.
– What was it like filming “Changing Channels?” Shooting it was just as fine as we’d imagine it would be. He admires the details that went into it, like in the sitcom having “smeat” in the fridge. “It was really quirky fun. Eerily similar to an actual sitcom set.” Then he brings up CSI, which gets a big reaction. He called it the easiest show to mock in Hollywood. “I thought it was pretty brave to write a line ‘You know how wears sunglasses at night? No talent douche bags.’ Yes Mr. Caruso.” The director, Charles Beeson, was specifically mimicking these styles. It wasn’t just what the writer wrote, it was very was specific how three camera sitcoms are shot, about CSI and the pacing of the editing, the montage of the KITT car it was all very specific to those shows. The director and crew had to do their homework. It made for a very busy week. They had to watch a lot of bad commercials to get the genital herpes thing down. “The result is very clever.”
– He was watching “Changing Channels” with his wife and they’ve seen the show before, but it starts off with “Supernatural is filming before a live studio audience.” His wife was fooled by that and asked, “It is?” Some of his friends that hadn’t seen the show before didn’t get the opening either. It’s obviously fun for the big fans of the show. He loved the creative turn too when it went dark.
– What was it like going from a quirky character to a serious angel? He did have to become a different person. He had to go from the quirky fun of the Trickster to his real self, so he had to be the guy he was when he left the “family”. He was also aided by some great dialogue and great shots by the director. His purpose was clear in the previous episodes, but now, the reveal changes everything.
– Now that he’s Gabriel, how long does he think his life span will be? He has absolutely no clue what they’re going to do with Gabriel or if he’ll be back. “Let’s hope for a long, long life.”
– He thoughts about the Trickster’s motivation in “Mystery Spot” did change. As he said at other cons, he always believed that he wanted to bring the boys down a peg and make them see the harsh realities he himself sees in the real world. Now, he thinks it’s more of a driver’s ed, a preparation class. He was so hell bent on talking about in “Mystery Spot” how one of them will be gone, it’s the same themes he brings up as Gabriel in that one of them has to die. It’s very in tune with “Mystery Spot.”
– What was his action about finding out he was an angel and what is he being referred to now, Trickster or Gabriel. “Trabriel,” he jokes. He has a Facebook fan page there are “Trickster chicks” and “Gabe babes.” So it’s ladies choice. As for his reaction, he was surprised. Richard has mentioned at other cons that he doesn’t watch the show that much. He’s finally caught up with season one. He gets the script, reads it and goes “Wow, I need to do some homework.” So he calls Bob Singer (Producer, not characters) and tells him he needs background. He was put in touch with Jeremy Carver and the production office sent him a bunch of episodes to watch. So he got the whole back story like the demon blood drinking and Lucifer being let out of the box since there was so much in his episode that references those events. As an actor, this kind of twist is a blast. Research is what he wants to do and sink his teeth into something he didn’t expect. He loves playing the Trickster and would have been happy with a standard Trickster episode, but the sharp turn was even better.
– His two recent projects is a series for Showtime, four episodes out of an 8 episode series. He plays a very dark character. He was in Detroit last night shooting a film called The Crave. He has one scene where he plays a bad actor. “I’d like to think it was the acting job of my life.” He’s a bad actor in a crappy play, and he’s wearing a unitard and overly made up doing crappy Southern dialect.
– Someone thanked him for coming and be played that up. “Anytime a dude bails out I’m in. If Jake is watching this on YouTube, dude, I killed your cheese plate.”
– What was his favorite way to kill Dean in “Mystery Spot.” Same answer as the other cons, the taco.
– Which one was his favorite show in “Changing Channels?” Are any of the shows his guilty pleasures? No. He wasn’t even a big Knight Rider fan as a kid (that got a few groans). He wasn’t sure which sitcom they were spoofing but he is a big sitcom fan. “We’ve all seen terrible, terrible sitcoms where people are laughing and you’re thinking ‘who’s laughing at this’? What people did they get and how desperate are they?” He appreciated the way they used the laugh track and over the top jokes which is exactly what crappy sitcoms do. His favorite reveal though was the KITT car. They think it’s over, but it’s not over. Plus it had some great jokes.
– If he had to be stuck in a TV show, which one would he be stuck in. “30 Rock. If making TV is that much fun, I want in.” Or Judge Judy because he’d like to watch her yell at people.
– Where would he like Gabriel to go? He doesn’t know what they’re going to do, but he hopes he would land on the side of the boys and fight with them. (Cheers). “It would be really weird if I went to a convention and said, “I hope he kills the boys.”
– If he were playing a Superhero, which one would it be? “After spending an entire evening in a unitard last night, I’m not sure that’s my calling. If I were to blow into the joint in the middle of the crime in one of those ensembles, I’m not sure the crime wouldn’t continue at a faster pace.” First he said it was the Incredible Hulk since he’s a fan, but then again the Hulk doesn’t do anything but mumble. He then said Captain America.
– Did he do any research for the Trickster? No. He did afterward, including Neil Gaiman books.
There’s nothing he’s read that would change his approach
– What show did he do that he would like to see spoofed. Since it would be hard to spoof a World War II thing like Band of Brothers, the answer must be Jericho.
– The Maltese girl from the Cherry Hill con is back! Richard remembered her and made her again ask him a question in Maltese so he could answer with “la, la, la, la, laâ€¦” which means no. It’s the only Maltese he knows. She of course asked him if he was having a fun today. What was his favorite episode to film? “Changing Channels.” He was far more involved and became a part of the arc, but still got to do some great comedy. It’s a rare opportunity in a TV show.
– Is there someone that caused him to have a fan boy moment? “I can’t honestly tell you if I squeedâ€¦” He saw Michael Stipe (of REM) in a hotel lobby in Ireland. The other one was in LA and Keith Richards walks past. The woman said it was like kind of meeting God. “In a way, ff God smoked too much.”
– How did that being surrounded by fire scene go in “Changing Channels.” He praised the Visual effects team (lead by Ivan Hayden) which actually works on set. It’s very rare for a show to have a dedicated visual effects team like that. The ring of fire was all created by Ivan after the fact. They did run a small bar of gas flames get lighting from the flame and vapors into the shot to add some authenticity. As for prepping for the scene, Charles Beeson just had him and Jared and Jensen do their thing. His input was really minor. It was a long conversation with none of them moving and Charles just wanted to see what happens and adjust according. Afterward, he didn’t have to change much. They did their thing and it worked.
– The Trickster was always the angel Gabriel? Yes.
– Someone ACTUALLY ask him if Dean knew what he was answering in Japanese. Richard didn’t think he knew.
– Someone mentioned the Trickster was very mean to Castiel. Richard played it up and mocked “Sorry.” Then he called Castiel “A do-gooder running around looking like David Duchovny trying to help the boys all the tiem. He’s a geek. Yeah, like I know he’s handsome. Pretty boy angel and all that stuff. Come on dude, you’ve got a lot of power use it. ”
– Does the Trickster favor Dean or Sam? He doesn’t have a favorite. He knows that one of them is going to go down. He has a keen interest in both of them. He doesn’t have it in for one guy over another.
– What other job would he have if he wasn’t doing Supernatural and in the folklore Gabriel is only one of four angels that’s seen God how would he like to see God? Richard couldn’t believe the question. “It’s like ‘what’s your favorite food and define time’.” If he wasn’t an actor he’d probably be a lawyer. He’s glad he chose acting. As far as the God question, on a happy occasion, his birthday maybe. He was doing research about Gabriel and he called up Jeremy Carver and asked that in the bible Gabriel did blah, blah, blah. Jeremy Carver’s answer? “Yeah, we don’t so much go by that.”
Pranks question, and here comes the landmark story. This happened during the filming of “Changing Channels.” I’m going to transcribe the best I can (even though I know this is probably on You Tube by now).
“It’s not the dog story. I’m so glad something crappy happened on the set so I wouldn’t have to tell the dog story. It’s not necessarily a practical joke, although I thought it was. I’m doing the scene where I get stabbed. The officer, there’s a different guy laughing and it morphs into me. That actor, who’s name’s Gabriel by the way (laughing) was really nice and had a good time on the set and he said to me when he left “I’m leaving you a little thank you gift back at the base camp. I said great man, nice meeting you.
I go back to base camp and I go to my trailer and in my trailer is my stuff. Sitting on the counter in my trailer neatly folded up are a pair of pumpkin colored men’s bikini briefs. I thought ‘what the hell, what kind of a gift is that?’ I get dressed, without the bikini briefs and I’m going to sign out. I’ve got the underwear and I’m going to the production office to see Adrian and the guys to sign out and I go “you’re not going to believe what I found.” He interrupted me and said “Oh, by the way man that guy Gabriel he left these for you.” Inside was two beers and a thank you card. Well that makes sense. Who the hell put their underwear in my room?
I’m thinking ah, the tall guys. Ha ha, they’re lots of laughs. Leave underwear in the Trickster trailer, ha ha ha. So the next day on the set we’re doing the Dr. Sexy stuff and I say ‘lots of laughs guys’ and they’re like ‘what?’ ‘Pumpkin colored bikini briefs I’m wearing them right now. You’re killing me.’ They’re stone cold looking at me at this angle (looking down) going (blank face). And I was like, really? Underwear..my bad. Who broke into my trailer and but underwear in there? It’s weird. And it was clearly used. It had that wavy waistband. It had been washed a handful of times. It was clearly bizarre.
I did what anyone else would do, I signed my name to it and put it on the production trailer. What am I going to do with it? I find out the next day, somebody comes over to me and says ‘we know who’s underwear it is.’ I’m like really who’s is it?’ The guy pointed in the other direction andâ€¦it’s Misha. (room explodes in laughter). He’s like ‘That was my underwear.’ ‘Why is it in my trailer?’ (Misha says) ‘I spilled soup on myself at the warehouse all over my wardrobe and I had to switch wardrobes and I spilled soup down my pants, so I happened to have an extra pair of underwear and I put it on. ‘ I said ‘Pumpkin colored bikini briefs?’ (Misha) ‘It was the last pair I had.’ (Richard) ‘Why would you have that pair?’ He said ‘They were a gift from a fan.’ (Huge laughter from the crowd again).”
The rest of the story goes that the wardrobe department found them covered in his trailer and washed them and put them in his trailer not knowing who else would wear pumpkin colored bikini briefs. Richard finishes the story with this:
“So I went back to the production office, took them off the wall, turned them around and wrote on the back, ‘This pair of underwear smells like Cas.'” That’s his contribution to the production office.