‘Supernatural’s’ rabid fans meet up with its playful cast

March 05, 2012 | 2:54 p.m.
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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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.

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In one of "Supernatural's" many meta episodes, the show spoofed its own conventions. (David Gray / The CW)

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.

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Jared Padalecki (left) and Jensen Ackles on "Supernatural." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

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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16 Responses to ‘Supernatural’s’ rabid fans meet up with its playful cast

  1. sherry says:

    I attended and enjoyed the heck out of the Con. For the record I had all my Rabies shots prior to the convention the Vet even gave me a tag to wear around my neck. On a serious note this was my first Convention the fans were not rabid at all in fact most was fun and easy going. Some bad apples can spoil it for everyone. I also had a blast!!!! What a great time worth every penny I spent.

  2. @kelios says:

    lol I thought Misha said decadent, not decorative, tho I could be wrong….
    Nice article! Every single person I've met from Supernatural has been wonderful–amazingly friendly, polite and personable. It's part of what makes the show so special.
    I've been to 12 conventions and a couple of shooting locations up in Vancouver and have not had a single bad experience with anyone associated with the show. I love these guys!

  3. David Bingham says:

    Loved the convention!! As a fan from the beginning, it's fantastic to finally see my favorite show actors in one place and to meet them. Like I stated in the interview, the Misha Q and A were strange indeed though I'm glad it wasn't like that for Jared and Jensen XD Had a great time can't wait for the next one!

  4. Micki says:

    Actually, the majority of questions at these cons are usually good. People were commenting about the unusual amount of less-than-stellar questions at this one. (As for Misha, he has such a wild, wacky and off-the-wall sense of humour–bacon dresses anyone?–I think it inspires weirder questions.)

    Also, I'm tired of the media's knee-jerk reaction of qualifying all devoted fans as "rabid." It has become an overused and hyoerbolic cliché.

    • Pam Watson says:

      I KNOW. Really, it suggests that we are deranged and out of control. I like to think we are devoted and have good taste in television.

  5. starshelle says:

    In the caption for picture 11 you incorrectly state that Misha Collins will be returning on March 16th. This would have been true, but CW changed their schedule, so Supernatural is returning with episode 7.16 "Out With The Old" on March 16th. Collins's episode as a healer will therefore be the following week on March 23rd as we're not slated to see him again until episode 7.17.

  6. Terry says:

    *the word that was automatically blocked out in the middle sounds like "indisputible." The correct spelling was censored. Silly computer, it's not a Spanish swear word when it's a perfectly legitimate part of a longer word.

  7. cindilouwho1 says:

    As a 50 something mom of 2 grown daughters, I find it ridiculous to be refered to a '"rabid"' fan of anything. The show Supernatural happens to have 2 hot lead actors, a cool story line, great music and supporting characters who you love and love to hate. I've been to several conventions and have loved every minute! I've made friends that I never would have met if not for our mutual love of this show.

    • shaws cove says:

      I absolutely agree1 .i am a mom of grown sons, and have followed a few series in the past, but have never encountered such enthusiasm. The show was magnetic from day one. I have been to the Vancouver convention and one location tour that was wonderful.

    • Lady Dedlok says:

      Oh, thank God! Another middle aged female fan! I thought it was best to keep quiet about my devotion to this show, because it seemed the majority of fans were about 14 years old, but you know what? That is one ultra-violent show! The boys are constantly being beaten up. Not to mention what they do to the demons and whatnot, so I worry about the kids who watch this becoming desensitised to it all. But oh well, at least I'm not the only old chick who watches it and thinks the boys are hot!

  8. Sandy Cremeans says:

    I think Supernatural is great its actors are hot, just wondering when they maybe coming to Ohio for a convention. I love to watch there shows. Just wish they lasted longer, it would be nice to have an all day Marathon. Good Luck, Your show is great!!!!!

  9. Evie says:

    I've been a fan of the show since I saw it back in season 4 on TV. I sadly had missed out on the previous seasons, so I went out and bought them and became a lifelong fan. Tell you what–conjuring up those box sets are somewhat difficult for a 14 year old girl with absolutely no income, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I really hope a convention is held in Arizona someday soon because I'd love to go but I don't have any transportation. I will, however, be able to drive next february so hopefully I can get my sister to ride shotgun and we can go together. That would be a dream come true.

    I don't find it hard to believe everybody stereotypes the SPN fanbase as "rabid." honestly, because not only do they not understand our dedication to the show, but they will never understand how we relate to it. That was one of the reasons I love the show, because I have an older sister who I've always been close to. I've been going through a really hard time in my life recently due to my own mother abandoning our now shattered family, and after music, Supernatural is my way of escaping the pain I have to go through. I love everybody who has taken the time to work on Supernatural and make it the amazing show it is today. I love the cast and crew and I really hope I get to meet at least one person who has worked on Supernatural in the near future.

  10. Jim says:

    You're all defensive about a word like "rabid" as if it were used in its serious form and not in its more innocuous Hero Complex way, and you wonder why we all look at you as nuts? I say embrace the nuts. Be nuts. You like Wincest, you like Destiel, we all think that's weird, accept that.

    • @jillyrulz says:

      I don't have any objection to being referred to as 'rabid' when it comes to Supernatural. I do object to your assumption that the entire fanbase likes Wincest and/or Destiel. I (and a number of my friends) find the concept of Wincest abhorrent, and cannot comprehend how anyone could get a kick out of it. I could get into a rant about that, and Destiel, but I won't. My point is, the Supernatural fanbase is large and diverse. Please don't lump us all into the same category.

      "Embrace the nuts"? I like that.

  11. Natalie says:

    I just want to say in regard to the goofy questions that the majority of us know the answers and don't want to be brought down with things already known and the guests are fun interesting people themselves so they get into the atmosphere to be in the Supernatural fandom is different from any other fandom!

  12. Miss Wendy says:

    My friend and I (we certainly aren't 14!) just bought tickets to go to the Las Vegas March 2013 Convention – from Australia!

    This will be our first ever convention and we are both so excited! I know we will meet wonderful people and have a blast – afterall, this is the most devoted Family (call it Fandom should you please, but it feels like an extended family…) *smiles* Will be a wonderful experience, I constantly hear how friendly, easy going and down to earth the boys are, as well as the whole cast…

    Come on news of Season 8 – we are waiting (impatiently!)

    Hey, and Jared is a DAD today! *woot* #PapaPadalecki

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