(All pictures from Alice Jester - The Winchester Family Business)
Sunday for me was the day that wasn't supposed to happen. I went to Chicago con by car (a six hour drive) knowing I had to work on Monday, and all the Sunday tickets were sold out anyway. I bought a Saturday ticket from a fan and went there thinking I would only attend Saturday. While checking in Saturday morning though, Creation Entertainment, the people who run the US and Canadian cons, had some new Sunday tickets available. Seems they were able to make some extra rows on the ends. I could have a seat on the very end of row K. Sold! I guess it would be red eyes and double shot of expresso for me at work Monday morning.
I'm glad I stayed too, because while I had a great time Saturday, all of the panels were really flat. I think it's because almost all of the guests flew in that day, and they were tired. Misha and Jim were late because their flights were late. Poor Jim Beaver had uneaten McDonalds in his hand. Sunday was a different story. Everyone was on top of their game, including Jim Beaver, who actually got some sleep Saturday evening.
The first panel of the day was Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict. While they put on a great show, coming out dressed in their Danger Bottom and Cod Piece roles (something they've done recently for San Diego and New York Comic Cons), it was a "You had to be there" panel. There's just no other way to describe it. We were laughing pretty hard by the end. Yes, that is a "Hello Kitty" hat on Richard's head BTW.
Aside from the marquee Jared and Jensen panel, Jim Beaver was the last panel of the day. His was great too, but I had to leave before it was done. I did love one question, from a little girl who said she's been a fan ever since he was on "Deadwood." A shocked Jim looked at her father. "You let her watch 'Deadwood?'" No, probably not. Still, it was cute.
I will however give you the full breakdown of the Jared and Jensen panel, which once again managed to deliver big.
The panel as usual got off to a late start. Jensen had walked in with Clif on time, but a tall guy was notably absent. Creation covered by showing a few music videos, but Clif left again to go fetch Jared. After a few minutes of an anxious crowd waiting, moose arrived, and humored the crowd behind the screen by flicking his hair.
If anyone saw the breakfast photos from earlier that morning (and the photo ops), Jared was wearing a plaid shirt. At the panel he showed up in a black one. A reason surfaced a bit later.
After much applause to a standing room only house, Jared began polling the crowd. â€œHow many people are here because your flight is cancelled?â€ Jensen noticed the standing room only crowd in the back. He turns to Jared, â€œThis is a 3 hour panel, right?â€ He told them to keep bending their knees.
Jensen noticed the long line of people, and was ready to jump into the questions. â€œAs long as theyâ€™re all directed to me.â€
What do Sam and Dean visualize on their tombstone, when they die for good? Jared - â€œI want my tombstone to read, â€˜Never really died,â€™ or â€˜Look behind you.â€™â€ Jensenâ€™s answer was a bit more wordy. â€œHere lies the body of Dean Winchester, the older of two brothers, and actually the taller one.â€ He figured if theyâ€™re dead, how are they going to prove he wasnâ€™t. â€œWhat are they going to do, measure me?â€
The fan had a follow up question, what would the showâ€™s tombstone be? Jared - â€œAfter 45 seasons, and 12 recastings of Sam and Dean...â€ The crowd so didnâ€™t like the recasting part. Jared revised that to two. Still not good enough. Jensen - â€œAfter the boys go to a rest home.â€
Somehow after answering this question, Jared brought up the shirt topic. He asked if everyone noticed he had a different shirt on. Yes, many did. â€œSomeone threw up on me.â€ After a big groan from the crowd, and a presumption by many that it was Thomas, Jensen decided to cover. â€œSorry about that. Too many tacos.â€
Someone brought up how Jensen vowed he would never sing again, yet heâ€™s on Steve Carlsonâ€™s latest album, Angeles. â€œHa, fooled you,â€ Jensen joked. It took a lot convincing on Steveâ€™s part. He also commented on the great camera work on the video, which was shot by Jared. â€œIt was like artistry in motion.â€ Then he swore he would never sing again.
It should be noted, that sometime during this question, Jared fell out of his chair again (I believe after the â€œArtistry in motionâ€ comment). This time it didnâ€™t break. Iâ€™ve been to a few cons where Jared has broken his directors chair during a panel, so Creation has been bringing out the sturdy chairs this year. Thatâ€™s proving to be a very brilliant move.
Iâ€™m not sure what the exact wording of this question was, but itâ€™s basically what does Jared think about the evolution of Dean and Jensen think of the evolution of Sam. Jared went first. â€œHe needs to be taller.â€ After a nice crowd reaction, he went on to give Jensen tons of credit for knowing who Dean is and having a grip on the character since the pilot. He thought Dean would be more of a womanizer, but it turned out he got into saving he world. Jared was afraid the show because of the network they were on the show would turn into an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog, but it hasnâ€™t.
As for Jensen, heâ€™s stunned how well Sam turned out, since in the first season he was played by a different actor. (Yes, ballroom erupts in laughter). â€œSeason one, totally different person.â€ He talked about Samâ€™s plight through the seasons. â€œWe wonâ€™t talk about the demon blood thing.â€ The biggest shift heâ€™s found is Sam has gone from wanting to get out of hunting to being a good, strong partner for his brother.
Does Jensen prefer Hell or Purgatory? He said the Hell scene was very painful, and he cursed Kim Manners for putting him through that. He likes Purgatory. He told the same story he did in Toronto, where he had the makeup people to make him look really dirty, dump a bunch of blood on him, thinking he was going all out for one scene. Turns out thereâ€™s a scene in Purgatory in just about every episode, so now he has to go through that every single time.
Fan to Jared - â€œHow long are you going to grow out your hair?â€ Jared laughs over that, dropping the mic. His answer, â€œForever.â€ â€œRapunzel?â€ the fan asks. Jared would like to keep growing it, but he had to cut his hair after the first two episodes because they had to be FBI agents. He also noted he hasnâ€™t had a hair cut in 8 years that wasnâ€™t for â€œSupernatural.â€
Itâ€™s the weird fan question of the day! What is their favorite pie? I think Jim Beaver got this question the day before (He said moon pie, then apple for you guys dying to know). Iâ€™m not sure we really got a real answer, but Jared started naming off some really random pies. â€œSour patch kids pie...Filet mignon pie...â€ I guess Jared beat Jensen in a pie eating contest. Jensen said he likes to savor his pie, while Jared confessed he plows right through it. â€œI Dean my way through pie.â€
The next person just wanted to tell Jensen that she loved him in season four of â€œSmallville.â€ Jared took that opportunity to poll the crowd for â€œSmallvilleâ€ fans. Yep, there were many (me included). Good to know.
The next person mentioned she lives in a haunting house. Jensen asked her whatâ€™s the creepiest thing that happened? I didnâ€™t hear the entire answer, but it involved pictures moving. Jensen - â€œDo you watch the show, because we tell you what to do...Iron, check, salt, check,â€ Jared - â€œDemon tattoo, check.â€ Jensen continued, â€œI spent the last 8 years training. You have to go through the laundry list here. Donâ€™t make us do it for you.â€ She claimed it was a friendly ghost. She also asked Jensen if heâ€™s encountered any strange occurrences. â€œThere are things that happen but I chose to ignore it. Itâ€™s easier that way.â€ So when he sees a spoon slide across the table, it didnâ€™t happen.
The next question was about the outfits theyâ€™ve had on the show. She mention the lederhosen. Jensen - â€œAnd I looked good.â€ (Mass audience applause). So what are their favorite and least favorite costumes? Jaredâ€™s is the Western wear. He also loved the gym teacher stuff Jensen wore in â€œAfter School Special.â€ The script actually called for â€œplum smugglers.â€ (The urban dictionary definition, â€œA male speedo swimsuit or banana hammock.â€) They wanted him in short shorts. Jensen said the rest was him. Had a coach in high school, â€œCoach Roach.â€ The outfit was fashioned out of what he wore.
A question about Halloween costumes was asked, and Jared said Thomas is Yoda for Halloween! He promised to share a picture on Twitter. Jensen does a haunted house every year. "I am one of those guys that loves to scare the crap out of little kids." He saw that the fan asking the question had a Sam shirt on and said he wears that to scare people. He usually wears a mask so people canâ€™t see who he is and comes after them with an axe. â€œIâ€™ve had multiple people on their backs.â€ Yes, he was smiling and very enthusiastic about this whole thing. No wonder heâ€™s on a horror show!
I LOVE this next question for Jared. What was it like making out with Alexis Bledel of the Gilmore Girls? Jared actually stumbled on his words a bit. â€œSince my wife is here.â€ â€œThis is the first time Iâ€™ve ever been asked.â€ Jensen - â€œAnswer the question.â€ Then Gen came out from backstage holding Thomas! Just to remind hubby the wife and baby were nearby. Jensen jumped right in to help Jared. â€œYou told me that when you kissed Gen you forgot all about kissing anyone else. I got you covered, buddy.â€
Jared managed to answer the question. That was the first time he had a kissing scene. It was awkward and not fun. He was too tall and he kept having to do odd poses to get it to work. Iâ€™m still shocked thatâ€™s the first time thatâ€™s come up.
What kind of episode do they want to do? Jared, wants to do a hangover episode. They wake up and go, â€œWhat happened?â€ Jensen would like to see a clip show type episode, where theyâ€™re sitting around reminiscing about old times. â€œRemember that scene...â€ and then they show it. Jared shouts, â€œThe hangover episode!â€ Yes, the two would tie in nicely, wouldnâ€™t they?
What would Deanâ€™s reaction be to seeing the unicorn farting rainbows? Jensen got up and demonstrated. His face was loaded with satisfaction. â€œI knew it!â€ Then Jared got up and demonstrated Samâ€™s reaction. He dropped his head. â€œDean knew it.â€
Why donâ€™t they do episodes in warmer climates? Jensen said they needed the long sleeves and jackets, because you canâ€™t hide knives and guns while wearing shorts and a tank top. Jared said the demon killing knife looks really odd in fishnet. You know, I think Iâ€™d like to see that anyway!
Finally, someone asked about the wrestling that happened between Misha, Jared, and Jensen in Toronto. Misha brought that up in his panel, but I didnâ€™t get the whole story other than Jensen suffered some really bad rug burn on his chin and forehead. Jensen called it fight training. â€œMisha was known as the victim.â€ Jensen heard two distinct pops in Misha's elbow while that was happening. "Hey you're supposed to tap out," he told Misha. â€œYeah, good to know," Misha replied. â€œWeâ€™re dumb guys sometimes.â€
What kind of car does Jensen drive? He doesnâ€™t have one. He did have one, but it sat. He gets driven around in Vancouver because theyâ€™re tired after the 16 hour days and when heâ€™s in LA Danneel has hers. Jared called him a â€œhippieâ€ for not having a car. On a side note, I remember Jensenâ€™s car situation causing a mishap at the Burbank con this year. Jared sent his car to Jensenâ€™s house thinking he didnâ€™t have a ride, but that left Jared without his ride and he was late for the con.
What kind of car would Jensen get? Before he could answer, someone shouted â€œThe Impala!â€ Jensen smiled. â€œWell, Iâ€™m hoping. But that would mean the show would be over.â€ Jared said the show wonâ€™t end. Oh yes, another crowd pleaser.
Itâ€™s right around this time that Thomas started crying backstage. We all could hear him, but it was really distracting Jared. He was trying to answer and question and had to stop to assure his boy that he would be there soon. Jensen speculated he was hearing heâ€™s Dadâ€™s voice, but couldnâ€™t see him. Then Jared stopped the panel to listen, and went on. â€œI thought he had an opinion.â€
Jared turned on the â€œSupernaturalâ€ marathon that morning, which led to a great Jensen story. Jensen went to work out on the treadmill at the hotel. He turned on the TV and, â€œBoom! My face.â€ A woman was there and he slyly smiled, pointing that the guy on TV was himself. â€œShe was very confused.â€ Jared had a similar experience once with â€œThe Gilmore Girls.â€ He was at the gym chuckled when he saw it. A woman asked him, â€œDo you like the show?â€ He pointed out that was him on the screen, she thought he meant another character. He clarified which one was him. â€œOh my God!â€ she replied.
Thomas wouldnâ€™t stop crying, but he was interrupting Jensen this time. â€œHey Thomas, seriously, Uncle Jensen is trying to work here!â€ Then he broke into a full â€œtough loveâ€ speech. It started with â€œI love you buddy...â€ and that got everyone melting. He told Thomas that he wasnâ€™t afraid to use discipline, at least until, â€œ...when you get bigger than me, no doubt when youâ€™re 12.â€
Jensen carries on with his answer (I really donâ€™t know at this point what the question was) and Thomas interrupts again. â€œSeriously!â€ He shouts. â€œJust like your father.â€ Bwah! That gets everyone cracking up, especially Jared.
Somehow in answering the next question Jared got to talking about their ages. "He'll be 35 in March and I'm 30." Then the fan asking the question laughed. Jensen to fan, "Did you just laugh?" Then he started blasting Jared for making him 5 months older that he actually was.
The subject of their wivesâ€™ cooking came up. What meals do they love. Jared said that his favorite meal is a tomato soup with steak and a salad. Jensen raved that Danneel is a great cook. She makes these elaborate meals from scratch. He described a pork loin with sauce that she does thatâ€™s just out of this world. He asked why she was cooking, if they had guests or something. â€œNo, I just felt like cooking.â€ He wondered why she doesnâ€™t cook like this when he asks for his favorite meal. â€œYou wonâ€™t long for it.â€ â€œDanneel I love you!â€ a fan shouted. â€œI love her!â€ Jensen replies with objection.
What movie would they do? Someone shouted â€œ50 Shades of Grey.â€ â€œI wonâ€™t do 50 shades of any color,â€ Jensen answered. He said the â€œSupernaturalâ€ movie! They would film it in Hawaii and bring everyone back. Strangely, that was right around the time Jim Beaver walked in. â€œI would definitely bring that guy back.â€
That was the end. Jensen mentioned they had flights to catch (at least flights to Vancouver werenâ€™t cancelled) and Jared had to be on the set at 6:50 am. Ouch! They quickly went onto autographs and Jim Beaver came on next. While walking out of the room, Jared took Thomas in his arms and then held him up high for everyone to see. Given Jaredâ€™s height, he was up pretty high. Thomas looked really confused, but he didnâ€™t cry or get upset. His first taste of show business I guess!
All in all, it was another great panel! I really do hope someday we get that 3 hour one (hint, hint Creation!). That ends this yearâ€™s con season. Next one isnâ€™t until Las Vegas in March. Thank you Jared, Jensen, Misha, Jim, Richard and all other guests for all the great cons this year. The fans really do appreciate your dedication.
Below are my pictures from the day. I wasn't super close, but my camera did have some nice enough zoom where I got off a few shots. Feel free to borrow, just remember to give credit!