Sunday was going to be a more relaxed day for me. I'd got all of my autographs and most of my photoshoots on Saturday. There were two photos left for me, and they were scheduled first and last. So I figured I'd be able to spend most of the day in the main hall.
It didn't quite work out that way. I must be getting old :-) My energy was definitely lower on Sunday and I woke up with a headache which meant I wasn't able to dismiss the need for optional extras like food. If I don't look after my hydration and blood sugar, my headaches morph into migraines. The major down-side of holding the con in a location like the Hilton is the lack of options for stuff like that. There are places you can go to find grub, but nowhere very close to the hotel, so you either eat at the hotel or you miss stuff. And the hotel food is either crap or extortionate.
Anyhow...I still managed to catch most of the day's panels.
Richard Speight Jr
I missed the beginning of Richard's talk. I'm not sure how much I missed as I don't know if by some miracle they started on time. If they did I missed a lot. But here's what I caught:
When asked what mythical hero he would like to be, Richard answered Sasquatch, because he'd like to be huge and hairy (with the long hair and the beard, he already is). He then talked about something from Anasi Boys and said he'd like to be that...I'm afraid he wasn't very specific and I've yet to read the book so I have no clue what he was talking about.
He talked about filming Adrift; I think the question was whether it was more challenging in terms of acting to film in that way. Richard said the real challenge of the movie was physical. They were in the water, treading water, for three to four hours every day. He dropped twenty pounds while filming, the physical effort was so huge. There were also issues with the camera work and direction. He demonstrated this part on stage, showing how a director sets up a scene for a regular movie – start here, walk there, the camera will be here and pan around that way – but Adrift was filmed in the water, with a floating camera and that kind of specific direction just wasn't possible. It sounded like a gruelling shoot.
Richard's favourite childhood movie is The Jerk. He says its perfect as it is and shouldn't be remade ever.
That came up in response to a question about what movie role he would like if he could play anyone. After dismissing his favourite movie, he said he'd go for James Bond because “Boy, would that not work!” Then he did the Bond impersonation on-stage – you know, the signature bit where Bond fires a gun at the camera – and started to take his shirt off. The audience clearly wanted him to continue the striptease but he seemed to think his strip act wouldn't be too popular.
He loves 30 Rock and Law & Order SVU.
He also did a great impersonation of the GPS voice, explaining why it should always be a female voice not a male voice. Very funny...hopefully there's a vid of that somewhere.
He was asked his favourite episode of Jericho; he said it's the season 1 finale. (Again a show I don't watch.) He talked about the flashbacks in the episode and how moving it all was.
Lastly, when the Q and A was over this is how he left the stage: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for having me, I apologise about the beard and I'll see you next time!” Then he walked off with the James Bond theme blasting. Quite an exit. He was a great guest and I hope we'll see him at a future con.
Next up was Jensen, with Jason Manns acting as interviewer.
Jason started out by telling the story of an incident in their hotel the previous evening. He prefaced this by asking Jensen if he and Jared just automatically go into hero-mode when they're together. That's not exactly how he phrased it, but close enough. What happened, according to Jason, is an elderly woman had a bad fall near where the boys were hanging out in the evening. Jensen and Jared went to help her, carried her or helped her into the hotel (Jared rescued the flowers she had been carrying) and got some ice for her injury while they waited for medical help.
Seems to me like it's just something a decent person does – someone's hurt, you go help if you can, but Jason made it sound like a huge Sam-and-Dean style rescue. I'm betting it didn't involve shotguns or a cool car. (No, I'm not being disparaging about the incident; I think it's fantastic that the boys did a good thing. But I don't want to make more of it than it was.)
Next up, someone asked about the technical side of filming Dean's big death scene in No Rest For The Wicked. Jensen tried to give a serious answer, explaining the difference between visual effects (CGI) and special effects (where it has to look real to the camera) and that most of the death scene was the latter, meaning real fake blood and gore. They made a partial body cast of Jensen to create a fake torso which was filled with tubes of fake blood.
At this point the explanations got a lot less serious, because Jason (who evidently really knows fangirls, kept interrupting to point out things like when they made that body cast Jensen had to be shirtless. Then Jensen went on to say that the scene took nine hours to film, and for about seven of them he was lying there covered in fake blood (“hot and sweaty” Jason added). [Aside: I am not an RPS fan at all, but seriously, why do folks pair Jensen with Jared when this pairing is ready made? Jason did everything but hump him on stage!]
The next question was an interesting one – if Jensen could choose any of the other characters he has played to be in a story/scene with Dean, which would it be? Jensen took some time to think about that, and eventually said that Alec (Dark Angel) is probably the only one who could match him...although Tom (My Bloody Valentine) has a few screws loose so it would be interesting. He dismissed Jason (Smallville) by saying he's a wimp: “Dean would take his lunch and then kick his ass!”
When he was asked about the changes in Sam and Dean's relationship Jensen seemed less keen on the conflict than Jared. But his reason was that he felt he'd spent too much time asking what was wrong with Sam - “Let's talk about Dean!” Which is weird because from my perspective S4 was totally The Dean Show; the biggest weakness of the season is they didn't spend time talking about Sam: just dropped an occasional hint and went back to the Dean story. I guess it really does feel different from his side of the camera.
Those red shorts from After School Special: Jensen picked them himself! According to Jensen, the script said Dean was supposed to show up in...I think he said “plum smugglers” but it's not a phrase I'm familiar with. Anyhow, the wardrobe department came up with regular shorts, and Jensen was pretty sure that wasn't what the writers had in mind. He went online and found the right pair! He said he remembered his old coach used to wear shorts like that, and it always made him (Jensen) uncomfortable, so he thought Dean should be wearing that.
Another question about the same episode: just how hard did you hit those kids? “Again,” Jensen said with the most amazing grin, “my idea.” He went on to say that wasn't in the original script, but Jensen thought it was something Dean would do. He ran his idea past Jim Beaver, who called the writers and got it added to the shooting script.
Someone asked Jensen if he'd do a cowboy movie. He said, “I would say yes, but then Brokeback Mountain came out.” He went on to say traditional Westerns don't do well (I wonder if he's heard of 3.10 To Yuma?) but he'd love to do something in a similar vein, like Legends of the Fall.
Jensen talked a little about MBV. He said the main difference between 3D and 2D filming is 3D uses a lot more long shots and fewer close-ups, so acting is less with the expression and more with the body, like stage acting. That seems odd to me, too, because when I saw it I thought the main weakness in MBV was over-use of close-up for the medium. *shrugs* But what do I know?
Someone brought Jensen a copy of Heat magazine (for those not in the know it's a crappy UK gossip mag aimed at an audience with IQ in single digits) in which Jensen was named “torso of the week”. Very complimentary. Jensen glanced at the photo spread and said “I hate this picture!” Apparently it's a candid shot that wasn't supposed to be taken, but that “somehow” got leaked out.
What would Jensen like to take from the SPN set as a momento? He said “Sam. And those shorts.”
Jensen was asked about the catchphrases on the show – I think the question was which was his favourite but really everyone just wanted to hear him say a few. So folks called out a lot, most of which he couldn't hear. Eventually he said he liked bitch/jerk, “...because I get to call him 'bitch'.” And there's something very sexy about the way Jensen says 'bitch'!
Someone asked Jensen if he has any pets. His first answer was, “Yes, Jared.” Then he went on to talk about his dog, Icarus. Daneel bought the puppy pretty much on impulse; Jensen related the telephone conversation when she told him about it – it was pretty hilarious. The dog is a “cockapoo” - a cocker spaniel/poodle cross. Then he pulled out his phone and showed us all a picture of the dog; it's very cute.
In Jared's panel, someone had asked who has killed more demons, Sam or Dean? Jared said Sam, and said he thought Jensen would agree. So naturally the same question was put to Jensen and of course he said Dean. He pointed out that Dean never stopped hunting, while Sam did.
IIRC, his exact quote was "Sam's too busy suckin' on demons - I'm killing 'em!"
I don't think I can top that, so I'll end there.
Part 2 tomorrow.