I attend FanX, a cross-fandom convention held in Salt Lake City, Utah, every year (usually twice). This year, Mark Pellegrino and Samantha Smith from Supernatural appeared at the convention in April. They did a panel together - they worked so well together on stage! I’ve seen a handful of Supernatural actors at other cons, including Mark Sheppard and Osric Chau, but this was my first time seeing Mark Pellegrino and Samantha Smith. My group even did a photo op with them!
Enough about that! I’m here to tell you the highlights from their panel!
After showing off his #OnlyLove shirt, Mark jumped right in and explained that Samantha had punched him in the face backstage. This led to an entire discussion regarding the many times that Mary has punched Lucifer, including Mark’s favorite:
Where she’s loading guns, or cleaning guns, or doing something with guns, and I walk by like, ‘Hey, did you miss me?’ and she’s like ‘POW’!
Not too long afterward, Samantha described Lucifer as the most “punchable” angel, which I loved!
Mark praised Mary as a character because she’s “fearless.” She was never afraid of Lucifer. On the flip side, Samantha described Mary as treating Lucifer like a petulant toddler.
A fan asked them what their favorite aspects of their respective characters were. Samantha loves that Mary is a fierce and fearless fighter. She specifically loves that Mary can fight...and punch (continuing with the punching theme.) Mark loves that Lucifer had no real rules. He described Lucifer as mission-oriented, while Mary is principle-oriented. Mark specifically noted that he would like to deter everyone from going down the path of moral anarchy!
After a fan asked about on-set pranks, Samantha admitted that neither Jared nor Jensen had pranked her or Mark because they don’t prank people they fear. However, Mark told a behind-the-scenes story from "Swan Song" (5.22) when Lucifer draws a pitchfork on the iced-over window.
Of course, this was an instance of Jared farting on set. Mark described it as a “complex fart” with many nuances. He believes that is the take that made it into the final cut. He mentioned that during that scene, he was talking in “Jared’s fart cloud” which is a horrible thought. Props to Mark and all the other actors on Supernatural who manage to work through Jared’s fart clouds! Mark and Samantha teased an outtake that will be on the season 14 bloopers of Jensen “dying” after being hot boxed in the Impala by Jared. Mark loves that Jared is unashamed of his ability to fart in front of others. I’m also impressed (and disgusted) by the fact that Jared announces his farts and the crew applauds. Mark admitted to Samantha that in a couple of their scenes together, he was farting. She retaliated by telling him that’s why she punched him.
Samantha was asked how she felt about returning as Mary after so many years of not playing her. She explained that it was weird, but that since she had come back a couple times as “Nightgown Mary” and “Scary Mary” it wasn’t too hard. “Nightgown Mary” and “Scary Mary” are my favorite distinctions ever. Samantha thought that her return for the season 11 finale was the end of the series. Then she was completely shocked and excited to find out that she was coming back.
As an aside, Samantha mentioned that she always wanted to be Lara Croft and that, coming back as Mary, who was a fighter, was her chance to do that. I was so excited to hear that because Lara Croft was (and still is) my favorite video game character. But Samantha was not a natural fighter and couldn’t figure out the initial fight move that they wanted Mary to do. After she finally learned the move, the director switched it up on her when she went to set, and she was definitely worried about learning a new move on the spot.
Mark addressed that “epic fight” (cue the eyeroll) at the end of season 13.
He describes it as looking like “Superman 1980.” He then explained that he couldn’t do the original airborne choreography because of his inner-ear disease, which prevented him from doing cool spinning fight moves. Instead they ended up with boring and basic 1-2 punches. I’m glad the actors hated it as much as we did.
Samantha was asked about “Lebanon” from season 14.
While they were filming, Jared, Jensen, Samantha, and Jeffrey could not stop crying. It was so powerful for them to all be back together as a family. She described it as feeling like “lost family.” Jared and Jensen think of Samantha and Jeffrey as Mom and Dad, and Samantha and Jeffrey think of Jared and Jensen as their boys.
Mark explained the #OnlyLove campaign.
(image courtesy of Represent.com)
I love that he admitted that growing up he was on both ends of bullying. He made a bargain with himself and the Supernatural fandom that he would never “meet aggression with aggression.” I’m incredibly impressed by that. It takes a lot of self-control. I wish more people were aware of #OnlyLove. Mark pushed for blocking and unfollowing the people online that bring you down, and Samantha threw in that you can do that in real life, too, which is amazing advice.
On weird fan reactions: Samantha doesn’t really have any, but she’s had people come up and ask if they can call her, “Mom” which I think is really sweet. On the other hand, Mark explained an instance when Jared and Jensen got a book of Ken dolls modeling a detailed story of Wincest. Just talking about it made the two of them relatively uncomfortable.
Favorite behind-the-scenes moment: Samantha doesn’t have a specific favorite, but she loves the entertainment factor on set. Jumping back to “Lebanon,” Samantha talked about another outtake in the gag reel where Jared and Jensen were rolling on the floor laughing and she couldn’t stand up straight she was laughing so hard. It’s really just a family on set. Samantha describes it as a “feeling of safety and love.”
On the show finally ending: Samantha thinks that Jared, Jensen, and Misha are brave and strong about deciding to end it. They want to finish strong. Mark agrees that it’s brave to go out on their own terms. My favorite bit from Mark about this was,
I know that everything has to come to an end. But there was something in me that thought, ‘not Supernatural.’ This is the one thing that will never end. Even if the universe ends, it’s gonna find a way. . . . And I was wrong.
I love that. I think we’ve all thought that at some point. It’s gone on for so long that we just always felt like it would be there. But even though the show ends, we still have this amazing SPNFamily.
Samantha’s advice for making acting decisions: “Don’t ask permission, just do it.”
Favorite scene to film: This question had already been asked in multiple ways and Samantha and Mark were a bit put off about answering it again. Samantha had mentioned before that she loved filming the family scene in “Lebanon” but that she didn’t think she could choose. Samantha explained how that’s a hard question to answer, and I wasn’t really moved by what she said, but how she said it. Her explanation was so motherly. She didn’t want to offend or hurt the girl that had asked the question, but she wanted to help her understand why she wasn’t able to answer that question exactly.
On Mary getting brainwashed in season 12: She wondered if there was a little piece of Mary still left inside, or if she completely gone. Ultimately, they ended up doing it in a more “robotic” way. Samantha doesn’t like when the boys are mad at her, “even for fake.”
I loved seeing Mark and Samantha. I’ve never been to a Supernatural con (I can’t afford it), but I’ve still seen my fair share of Supernatural actors. They’re all amazing and they bring so much love to their fans. Our photo op was over in less than a minute, but Mark took the time to compliment each of us on our Supernatural apparel. I loved meeting them and listening to them riff off each other during their panel.
I can’t wait to see which Supernatural actors will come to Salt Lake’s FanX in September! Stay Tuned!
You can read about and see pictures from more appearances of Supernatural's actors at conventions (such as Eric Kripke's recent solo panel in Ohio) by perusing WFB's Convention Reports!
I'd love to hear your experiences at your local conventions, or any times when you've seen Supernatural's actors. Please share your thoughts below!