(Photos by Alice Jester)
With Jensen coming to New Jersey this year, I was fortunate enough to attend meet and greets for both him and Jared. I decided to write about them in one article, because with Creation Entertainmentâ€™s new rules, both of these accounts will be shorter than detailed reports would have been. So, per these new guidelines, please be aware that this report does not contain any exact quotes and is not a full representation of the topics covered. Also, of my own volition, Iâ€™m not going to include any personal stories Jared or Jensen told out of respect for their privacy.
Jaredâ€™s meet and greet was in the morning, but got started later than originally scheduled because the boys were stuck in Manhattan for a time. Jared came in upbeat and animated wearing a cute hat (he took it off once he sat down) and ready to answer fan questions.
Someone asked if the heavily emotional storylines or scenes (like hallucinations of Lucifer or the trials, for example) ever stay with Jared, and Jared agreed they sometimes do, during season four and this year during the shooting of the last few episodes. Along those lines, a fan asked if Jared could tease a bit about the last two episodes, and – VERY MINOR SPOILER ALERT – basically it’s going to get a lot more intense (which we all knew anyway), there will be more to do, and the boys will have to figure out if they are willing to continue down this road.
Someone asked Jared for advice for a new actor, and the gist was to be yourself and not necessarily try to fit in to what you think you should be, as your experiences are solely your own and make you unique, and to believe in yourself.
A fan asked how often Jared recognizes people he previously met (from cons or such) and the answer was its basically random, but a very funny story followed.
For my question I mentioned that Jared and Jensen had previously said they wanted the series finale to have Sam and Dean go out in a â€œButch and Sundanceâ€ kind of way, but now that they have the Men of Letters legacy did it change his thoughts on that? The gist of Jaredâ€™s answer was with Mark Pedowitzâ€™s support and Jeremy Carverâ€™s (and his teamâ€™s) fresh ideas, it has opened up new kinds of stories (that can have new kinds of endings), and has given them the ability to go off in various directions.
Someone asked about a Supernatural movie, and Jared and Jensen are open to it, and someone gave their thoughts about the trials purifying Sam of demon blood, and without giving anything away Jared did let us know something big is happening with Sam. The discussion ended with talk of many different good books.
With that the meet and greet ended, and Jared, smiling and blowing us kisses, left the room. He was fully engaged in both the questions asked and the answers he gave. He keeps eye contact, laughs, and talks animatedly while he answers, making you feel comfortable. He just makes the 30 minutes fun and enjoyable.
Jensenâ€™s meet and greet was early afternoon, and he strode in smiling warmly. The first question was about what makes good acting, and Jensenâ€™s general answer was that itâ€™s about believability. You have to believe the story that actor is telling, and feel the feelings he or she is portraying.
I asked Jensen once he gets his scripts, what his thought process is in order to prepare for each episode, and the gist was that he makes notes on his script that have to do with how heâ€™ll say a line and what heâ€™ll do while heâ€™s saying it, but he and Jared are so comfortable with one another that they can both just be present in a scene and let things unfold, even if it ends up a little different than how they originally thought it would. And if youâ€™ll allow me to digress for a moment- Jensen addresses each answer to the person who asks the question (just as Jared does) which is very nice and allows each fan to feel heard, but all I can say is you end up making unbroken eye contact with the man for a couple of minutes, and while you are nodding your head, actively listening and attempting to look unfazed, simultaneously, somewhere in the recesses of your brain, youâ€™re desperately trying to hold back the fangirl who wants to squee out very, very loudly (at least I was).
Along those same lines of unexpected nuances of a scene, a fan brought up the example of the Dean and Benny scene (in â€œTaxi Driverâ€) that Jensen has previously discussed in another setting. Jensen agreed that particular scene with Ty Olsson surprised both of them with the emotion of it.
Someone asked if certain costumes (like the one worn in â€œPac Man Feverâ€) help Jensen get into a particular scene. We learned they do, and even with Dean, as soon as Jensen puts on Deanâ€™s costume, (layered shirts, jeans and boots) he becomes Dean, and that sometimes stays with him even once the cameras stop rolling.
A question came up about Jensen directing next season, but he will have a newborn if he did the first episode shot (and had to go to Vancouver early to prepare), so he wonâ€™t be doing that, and he didnâ€™t know about the rest of the season, as they would already be immersed in shooting episodes.
Somebody asked how Dean might be dealing with seeing whatâ€™s happening with Sam and the trials, and the general answer was that itâ€™s been hard for Dean, as he feels like he should have been the one to do them, because he wants Sam to be safe and have that happy ending.
As the meet and greet came to a close, someone asked about Felicia Day. Jensen talked of how much fun they have on set with her, and that she has great comedic timing, but can do the emotional material as well. It was then time for Jensen to leave, but he smiled, waved and thanked us before walking out the door.
In 30 minutes it becomes apparent that Jensen cares deeply about his craft. Heâ€™s very engaged and thoughtful in his answers, which actually brings unexpected depth to your own questions.
Iâ€™ll close by saying that I respect Creationâ€™s rules, and of course I want to protect the integrity of the meet and greets. I also believe, however, that fans who are unable to go to a meet and greet, or even a convention (due to lack of finances, a disability, work or family responsibilities, and for many other reasons) seem to appreciate getting a peek inside these events. So my hope is that through reports like this, and even without all the details, those fans feel like they also get to be a part of these memorable experiences.