Jared Padalecki (left), Jensen Ackles (right) and other cast from the CW show "Supernatural" chatted and mingled with fans at Creation Entertainment's Salute to Supernatural this weekend. (Oscar Benjamin/Compassionate Wolf Productions)Link
During a press interview, Matt Cohen (right, pictured with Richard Speight Jr., left, and Rob Benedict) remarked upon the rarely-seen complexity “Supernatural” writers supply for guest characters. “The duality of the characters for guest stars on ‘Supernatural’ – it’s a lucky thing to be a part of,” said Cohen, who played both Young John Winchester and the Archangel Michael on the show. Speight’s character, the Trickster, was later revealed to be the Archangel Gabriel. (Oscar Benjamin/Compassionate Wolf Productions)Link
Jim Beaver (Bobby) shared his latest on-set prank story during his Saturday Q&A, revealing that Jared Padalecki has not changed his ways since filming season 3 episode “Dream a Little Dream of Me” – he was pulling on hospital-bed-bound Beaver’s toes again while shooting recent episode “Death’s Door.” “Being comatose with your toes being snapped off is really hard,” Beaver said. “Jared doesn’t always register his own strength.” (Michael Courtney/The CW)Link
But in reply to a plea for yet another prank story, Beaver (pictured above at the end of his Q&A) also said, “Contrary to popular opinion, we sometimes just act on the show.” (Anne Moore)Link
As explored in more than one episode, Sam Winchester is very afraid of clowns. (Above is one fear-inducing moment from recent episode "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie.") At the convention, however, Padalecki revealed he likes clowns but they creep out his co-star, Jensen Ackles. (Jack Rowand/The CW)Link
Rob Benedict, who plays Chuck on "Supernatural," told press during the roundtable that he auditioned for a role on “Revolution” – the pilot being developed by “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams (he’s worked with both before). “If you wanted to read the script you had to go and sign a non-disclosure agreement and read it, like, chained to a table in the office,” he said. Benedict ultimately didn’t nab the “very Chuck-like” part, but the actor promises that the show is “going to be great.” (Anne Moore)Link
During his Q&A with Mark Sheppard, Sebastian Roché (pictured above at AFI Fest 2011) confessed, “I’m addicted to ‘Downton Abbey.’ It’s like cocaine.” Then the boisterous actor clarified, “Not that I’ve done cocaine. Can you imagine me on drugs?” (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)Link
One fan remarked that Roché and Sheppard (pictured above in season 6 episode "Weekend at Bobby's") only encourage the slash fan fiction between their characters. It may be a fair statement – when asked if there’s any hope for a scene with both Balthazar and Crowley, Roché said, “We asked for a scene in bed, and we didn’t get one.” (Jack Rowand/The CW)Link
Asked what his version of heaven would be like, Rob Benedict (pictured onstage, left, with Rick Worthy and Matt Cohen) said, “I’m gonna go with ‘Supernatural.’” (Anne Moore)Link
Misha Collins (Castiel) joked about the scene when leviathan hands are reaching out of his stomach: “I had to eat several three-year-olds to do that," he said during his Q&A. (Oscar Benjamin/Compassionate Wolf Productions)Link
During the press roundtable, Misha Collins (right, pictured in the episode "The French Mistake") talked about his return to the show – as a new character, a healer – in the March 16 episode: “His attitude toward Sam and Dean is very different when he first returns. He has a sort of arc in his first episode that goes from being quite a bit more naïve than we remember him to being very contrite.” The actor added that the new version of the character is still “certainly infused with Castiel.” (Jack Rowand/The CW)Link
On Sunday at the convention, courtesy of the fans, Richard Speight, Jr. presented Jensen Ackles with a belated birthday cake. He and Jared Padalecki promptly face-planted into the cake. (Oscar Benjamin/Compassionate Wolf Productions)Link
In one of "Supernatural's" many meta episodes, the show spoofed its own conventions. Pictured above are Rob Benedict (left) and Jared Padalecki in season 5 episode "The Real Ghostbusters." (David Gray / The CW)Link
Jared Padalecki (left) and Jensen Ackles on "Supernatural." (Jack Rowand/The CW)Link
For most TV shows, the long days on set are where a lot of the bonding among actors happens, but for the CW show “Supernatural,” friends are made not just in Vancouver, Canada, where the series shoots, but all around the world at fan conventions.
Most recently, the talent behind the horror show now in its seventh season (about two brothers who hunt ghosts, demons and all manner of beasties) got together at Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural convention, which took place Friday-Sunday in Burbank.
Matt Cohen, who plays young John Winchester, the father of lead characters Sam and Dean, has never been in an episode with fellow guest stars Richard Speight Jr. (the Trickster) or Rob Benedict (Chuck). But they “now have become my buddies,” Cohen told the media during a roundtable interview at the convention. “We do Q&As together, and I just think [about] what kind of chemistry we would have doing a scene together. It would be great.”
The world of “Supernatural” conventions was certainly different from what Speight expected when first invited to a fan gathering for the show.
“When somebody called and said, ‘Would you do a convention for the show?’ I thought, ‘Lord, no.’ I’ll go and [a sign will] say ‘Richard Speight Jr.’ and people will shuffle past… It never would have occurred to me that an episode of a show I did a year before would still be relevant to the fan base. That just didn’t compute,” said Speight, who has appeared in four episodes of “Supernatural.”
He and other stars soon became regular participants in the conventions, which Creation Entertainment hosts in multiple cities across North America, including Chicago, Nashville, Toronto, Dallas and Vancouver, Canada. Other “Supernatural” conventions bring the actors to such countries as Italy, Australia, Spain and Brazil. More than 1,000 fans attended each day of this weekend’s event at the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.
Speight’s outlook on the convention scene now is that “we’re throwing a party.”
Indeed, the event shares more traits with a party than most genre conventions. A goofy, loose vibe rules each onstage Q&A session, where fans ask all the questions.
That was a surprise for David Bingham, 22, of Simi Valley, who attended his first Salute to Supernatural convention this weekend.
“Most of the questions don’t really direct toward anything from the show itself, which I found kind of disappointing. The fans will ask some strange things sometimes,” Bingham said of the event’s differences from other fan gatherings he’s attended, such as San Diego’s Comic-Con and Gallifrey One, an annual “Doctor Who” convention.
As if to prove Bingham’s complaint, one of the weekend’s questions was for Misha Collins about what kind of cheese his character, the angel Castiel, prefers. “Probably, like, a triple cream goat cheese,” Collins said. “He doesn’t actually eat, so his favorite cheese would have to be something purely decorative.”
A question for Sebastian Roché and Mark Sheppard’s Q&A preceded by the disclaimer “My question’s kind of serious” provoked an actual groan from the crowd.
But that doesn’t mean things ever got dull. The pairing of Roché and Sheppard, who play two of the show’s most mischievous characters – the angel Balthazar and the demon Crowley – had the actors bouncing from impromptu singing to showing off high-pitched voices to a “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” quote-off in the span of about a minute.
When Collins was later queried, “If you were a wasp, who would you sting?” he deflected it with a story about a bee sighting in Griffith Park, but not before addressing this trend in goofy questions head-on: “That fits into the same category as cheese. You realize that, right? It’s not a good question.”
Perhaps non sequiturs and silly questions are what fans have come to see as the fastest road to entertainment with actors like the quick-witted Jensen Ackles, the wisecracking Jared Padalecki, the constantly deadpanning Collins and the boisterous Roché.
Even so, there were the occasional onstage moments that shed light on the show and its production. Check out some of those, as well as revelations from the roundtables and a few other responses from the “cheese category,” in the gallery above.
For the most part, the fans that Hero Complex caught up with in the halls of the hotel were struck by the stars’ devotion to them at these events.
“The actors are very personable and very down to earth,” said Venessa Stewart, 28, of Houston, who has been to about eight Salute to Supernatural conventions.
Emma Marcus, 14, of Los Angeles, who was attending her first convention, said, “It’s just really great that they are willing to interact with fans and not hiding from us in fear.”
Indeed, bravery in the face of rabid fans just might be the No. 1 requirement for actors venturing into these genre conventions.
“Supernatural” returns to the CW from a four-week hiatus on March 16 with the episode “Out With the Old.”
The next Creation Entertainment Salute to Supernatural is in Parsippany, N.J., in August.
– Emily Rome
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