Welcome to the third and final set of my Eyecon memories! This one includes the Q&A sessions with Jared Padalecki, Chad Lindberg, and Steve Carlson on September 28, 2008.
Nothing like being five months late with finishing something off ... sorry about that! Real life has been kicking my butt with deadlines and responsibilities. You've probably seen every video twenty times over, so none of this will be new, but I just have to finish what I started, so ... read if you like!
Jared Padalecki Q&A
This account is actually going to be shorter than most; my note-taking seemed to suffer, for some inexplicable reason ... *grin*
Asked to characterize the new season, Jared said that they had shot seven and a half episodes so far, and that the season’s theme for him was that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Earlier during the con, both Jim Beaver and Nicki Aycox had made teasing comments about being engaged to Jared, so someone teasingly asked which one of them Jared was going to choose. He debated their merits – “Nicki’s beautiful; Jim is a dude. Hmm. Jim has more facial hair. I think I have to break Jim’s heart and go with Nicki!”
Asked whether he and Jensen really are sharing a house, he confirmed that they are living together, and said that Jensen lives downstairs in the basement and he lives upstairs. He explained that Jensen had been renting an apartment from a buddy, a stuntman he’d met back on Dark Angel, and that he got evicted when the guy sold the apartment and the new owner decided to break the lease. Jensen apparently didn’t get much notice and was about to wind up with his stuff on the street. Jared said that he’d bought a house a year or so ago in order to have room and a yard for his dogs, and offered to let Jensen store his stuff in the basement while he hunted for a new place, so Jensen slept on an air mattress with his boxes. He joked that otherwise Jensen would have been living in his car, and he couldn’t let that happen! With the show’s shooting extending later into the spring than usual because of the strike break, however, and with both of them shooting films during the summer as soon as the third season wrapped, he said Jensen never had time to look for a place, and he never had the time to help him look the way he’d promised to, so one day he just asked, “Why don’t you stay?”
Asked who did the cleaning and cooking, he laughed that Cliff, their bodyguard, did the cooking and cleaning, but then amended that to say that both of them cleaned a little, and that “... luckily, Jensen’s a pretty clean guy!” He said that Cliff really did do a great barbecue, though, and would sometimes fire up the grill and cook for them when they got home after shooting. Asked how it was working out, he said that it was cool so far, but then laughed that they were only seven and a half episodes into the season, and after a few more months, he might have to buy Jensen his own house just to get rid of him! All kidding aside, he said that it really was working, and that sometimes when they got home it would be, “Hey, you wanna play guitar?” and they’d play games for five hours straight, but other times, if either of them was tired or needed space, it would just be, “Goodnight, Jensen,” and “Goodnight, Jared” and they’d go to their own floors in the house and shut the door. He said that Daneel Harris comes to visit with Jensen some weekends, and then the two of them hang out in the basement while he goes and runs with the dogs, and they all get together for barbecue. Jared had some amusing observations about the differences between himself and Jensen, particularly in the morning, because he likes to get up and go running with the dogs while Jensen hates getting out of bed!
Asked about his favorite part of playing Sam, Jared instantly responded, “The relationship he has with Dean.” He said that he really loved the relationship between the brothers and how close they are to each other, how much they feel for each other. He said that he loved the way it really came out, like in Heart, how much Sam having to kill Madison killed Dean, and how much Dean being hurt or scared hurts Sam.
Asked if Sam was sleeping with Ruby, Jared slyly observed that they were definitely doing something, but they weren’t doing it right now.
Asked to choose his favorite episode, he demurred because there were too many, so the questioner narrowed it down and asked him to choose between Bad Day at Black Rock and Mystery Spot. He observed that even that was hard, but finally concluded that BDaBR was more fun. He said that he really loved Mystery Spot, though, and that other episodes he particularly loved included Fresh Blood and the Christmas episode.
Asked to name his favorite book and to describe what he was like in seventh grade – an extension of an interview assignment that the questioner had used with her own students – Jared said that for a while, his favorite book had been The Great Gatsby, and that then he’d gone for The Fountainhead. Concerning the Ayn Rand book, he observed that when he first read it, he’d really bought into its philosophy, but that now, looking at it again, he almost believes the opposite, and that he’s intrigued by the change. Concerning himself in seventh grade, he said he was a chubby drama kid in The Three Musketeers and that he played basketball.
Asked about the scene in the bar between Sam and Jo in Born Under a Bad Sign, he said that they wanted a scene that would make you uncomfortable, and came up with the way Sam menaced her with his sheer size, seemed to possibly threaten rape, and then picked her up and bashed her against the bar. He chuckled that when they were discussing during rehearsal how to get the feeling into the scene, he just picked up Alona Tal, and “...she weighs about 30 pounds!”
Asked about his favorite monster outside the show, he talked about a show that was on when he was a kid featuring a monster called the “shadowman.” He was a little sketchy on the details, though, and it’s evidently not the same as the comic book or videogame of the same name.
One fan brought up the frequently-voiced idea of having the brothers encounter something that would cause them to switch bodies, and Jared laughed that if they ever did a body-swap episode, they’d be breaking each other up so much and having so much fun that they’d never get anything done. Then he said that he’d really want to be Jim Beaver!
Asked about the music he likes, Jared said that he loves singer/songwriters, and reeled off John Maher – whom he thinks is the future of blues – B.B. King, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, and Josh Kelly. He said that he really loves good guitar.
Asked about his craziest fan run-in, he observed that he’d mostly been lucky, but that there had been some butt-grabbers. He said that the good thing was that most seemed to be fans of the work, and that he loved meeting people who appreciated what he did.
He laughed that he loved A.J. and Travis, but hoped that they’d never be on again because all the whole company did was laugh when they were around!
Asked about pranks on set, he said that he couldn’t really talk about one the crew had pulled on him when he was staked out on the ground during Dream A Little Dream Of Me, because it was a little too off-color. He laughed that in season four (during Metamorphosis), their stand-ins got both Jensen and him with the oldest trick in the book, binoculars with carbon on the eyepieces so that when they lowered the binoculars after looking through them, they had raccoon masks around their eyes! He said that he couldn’t really remember a lot of specific instances of pranks because funny stuff happened all the time, but a lot of it was just funny in context, like Jensen sitting down in his chair and having it break.
He said that he loved some of the clothes in their wardrobe, and he asked if people had noticed that the costume department always tries to put Sam and Dean in different shades so that if one is wearing something light, the other will be in something dark.
Asked about his favorite cereals, he listed Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and Frosted Flakes, and then laughed about his addiction to sugar.
Jared said that he has a harder time doing humor than doing heavy emotion with Jensen, because Jensen always knocks it out of the park. Jared said that Jensen’s funny in person, but also funny on screen, and it’s really hard for him not to just totally lose it when Jensen’s timing and expressions are so perfectly hysterical. He noted that they had more experience with each other doing the drama. He said that he particularly loves the show when it’s involved with the through-line of the brothers’ story, and slyly grinned that it’s fun to cry.
Asked about a film experience he’d like to have, he said enviously that he would love to do something like Lord Of The Rings, because even though he was an actor and could look at it and think, “God, that must have been miserable to shoot,” at the same time, they must just have lived it, and the experience must have been extraordinary.
Asked if he’d ever had issues with any of the Supernatural stories, he instantly responded that he’d had problems with Houses Of The Holy and had been really upset with the script, to the point that both he and Jensen got on the phone with Kripke – but that in the aftermath of doing the episode, it had turned out to be one of his favorites. He said he loved the idea that there’s something greater involved, that it’s much bigger than just Sam and Dean.
He also said that he’d love to see the brothers clash in some way, shape, or form (so I guess he must be really happy with season four!).
Asked if there was any significance to the bracelet that Sam wears, he chuckled that, knowing the writers, they’d turn it into something. He said he can’t wait for all the loose ends to be tied up, including learning what Dean’s amulet does.
Asked his favorite car, he immediately named a 1967 Corvette. Asked to choose his favorite between Supernatural and Gilmore Girls, he pointed out that Supernatural was his show, and he gets to do so much in it, that he just had to pick it first.
Chad Lindberg Q & A
Chad gave his usual fun, open, and very revealing presentation, opening up to questions immediately. He led off by saying that he didn’t think Ash was really dead, because he was too smart and knew what was going down. He quirked his eyebrows and suggested that Ash might drive up in season five. He said that life and death scenes were really interesting to do.
Asked about upcoming work, Chad reported that he’d just booked a movie called Once Fallen with Ed Harris and Brian Pressman.
The question of what working on Buffy had been like produced some good laughs. Chad recalled that it was his very first job in Hollywood, and that when he looked at the title – Buffy The Vampire Slayer, on the WB – his immediate reaction was, “Man, no one’s gonna watch this thing!” Little did he know ... he laughed that he looked like he was 12 years old.
Asked to reminisce about his favorite and least favorite roles, he started out by saying that he appreciated them all for different reasons, and that while there were a few movies he wished would go away, all of them provided different experiences that helped him grow. He grinned that he even played a transvestite once.
He said that working on The White River Kid with Antonio Banderas was when he met Wes Bentley, one of the actors he later roomed with and another subject of the My Big Break documentary. He reported that Antonio is really funny.
Talking about his career, Chad said that he wants to do anything that challenges him, and that he’d like to get away from the computer guy and the drugged-out crazy – the kinds of roles that just seem to find him. He said he’d enjoy doing something like Powder, and that he wants to play an alien. And a vampire!
Asked if any of his roles had been hard to get into, he said that all roles are hard at first, but that it all falls into place.
Since most of the folk at the con had gone to the screening of My Big Break, one of the fans asked if he was afraid of a backlash from the revelations in the film, and he shook his head and said that he was looking forward to it, because if people were talking about you, that was good, and a little controversy was good. He added that he’d like to work with director Tony Zierra in a fiction movie instead of a documentary, and that he was looking forward to seeing where Tony’s career went. Then he turned the tables on the audience, and said that he’d heard that we’d left really awesome comments on the documentary that Tony was going to edit and put up on the web, so we’d be famous.
Asked about his favorite time period of manner of death in a film, he opted for a Western, and something OK corral-style or walking into a saloon. For his favorite on-screen death so far, he picked having been hit by a cab while playing a transvestite. He laughed that so far, he’d been burned, shot, hung, overdosed, and hit by a car, but hadn’t been stabbed, so he’d need to work on that.
Asked about skills that he brought to acting or learned during films, he chuckled that The Rookie was funny because he doesn’t like sports and can’t play them, and that’s why he’s an actor. They trained the actors for their roles in the movie, and he said that they got a good laugh when he got on the field because he was so inept. He also said that after The Fast And The Furious, he has a better appreciation for cars, but he can’t work on them. As an aside, he observed that Ash wouldn’t be in a car; he’d be in an open Jeep so his hair could blow!
Invited to name shows in which he’d like to guest-star, he picked Lost first (“It’s Hawaii! I love it!”), and then Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters, saying that if he wasn’t an actor, he’d like to be a ghostbuster. Asked about actors he admired, he named Ed Norton, Leo DiCaprio, and Ryan Gosling.
Asked about Ash’s mullet, Chad said that he’d never personally rocked a mullet himself, but that once that hair went on, Ash just came out. He said that it took about an hour in the makeup trailer to get the final Ash look, and that it was itchy. He chuckled that they did end up giving him the hair after he died in the end – that the makeup lady slipped him the hair, so Ash is all packed up and waiting to return!
Having seen his experience through My Big Break, I asked if he had any advice to aspiring actors, and his immediate response was “Don’t do it. Really, don’t do it. Unless it’s what you really want – then go after it 110 percent.”
Asked about the role he was most proud of, he said that The Flats was very close to his heart, because his dad played a cop who arrested him at the end.
One fan asked about his tattoos, and Chad started naming them and showing them off. He has a breast cancer ribbon celebrating his mother’s survival on his right forearm; he said that the whole family got tats. His right shoulder sports the Chinese character for “courage,” and there’s a teardrop on his left waist and a scorpion on his back. He said that his next tat would be a hummingbird, because they’re ethereal and whenever one comes by, it’s someone saying “hi.”
He said that they reshot Ash’s introduction scene in Everybody Loves A Clown because the first time around, he was much more drunk and bumbling, and they reconsidered that. He said that he was called back a month later to tone it down on the reshoot. He laughed that he had a really tough time keeping a straight face the day he opened the door naked to Sam and Dean in Simon Said, and that Jared and Jensen couldn’t manage it, either. He laughed that there was always a little bit of him in every role.
One fan asked if playing a role as dark as the one he had in Punk Rock ever messed with his head, and Chad said that the movie did drive him a little crazy. He said that when you’re crying or screaming all day long, you can’t turn your mind off at the end of the day. Shooting a long scene outdoors and half-naked in the winter cold on Punk Rock, he said he got hypothermic and delusional, and wound up being taken to the hospital. He observed that working in Hollywood is different from most jobs because even when you’re sick, you have to keep going to work; too much is riding on the shooting schedule for it to get disrupted. As he put it, you can’t call in sick to Hollywood; they don’t care.
Asked how he got his start, Chad said that he started acting in high school. One of his classmates was Jim Caveziel, and he saw Jim get a role in Wyatt Earp. He saw an ad for a talent agency in Seattle, an hour away from his home, so he went, auditioned, got taken up as a client, was promptly sent out on an audition, and got the very first role he tried for. He said that he was pretty consistently working, but observed that you always feel like your last job may be your last job; the uncertainty is endemic. He talked a little about having had to declare bankruptcy – an experience described in My Big Break – and said that it was scary and that he went home to get his head together.
Asked to name his most fun film experience, he went back to The Rookie, not for the role itself, but just for the whole experience of shooting in Austin. He grinned about having worked with George Clooney on ER long ago.
His parting comment was that Jared and Jensen really were the sweetest guys in the world, and very humble.
Steve Carlson Q & A
I wasn’t taking notes during Steve Carlson’s combined Q&A/impromptu concert session; I was just watching and enjoying. But there is one moment I would like to share. I asked Steve how it came about that Jensen has a couple of shared songwriting credits on Steve’s most recent album, Stripped Down. Here’s his answer. I apologize for the early bobbles in the video (hey, my tripod was my knee), and I hope you can hear although the sound isn’t the greatest. The long and short is that Jensen invited Steve to move into his house when Steve got flooded out of his place three or four years ago. Steve objected that he was kind of a hermit, but Jensen said that he was almost never home anyway, so Steve agreed. Jensen would come in while Steve was working on songs. He’d chime in with harmonies – Steve noted that Jensen’s father had taught him to harmonize back in his church choir, and Steve loves harmony – and make suggestions about music and words. Steve observed that the music was a release for Jensen, something he could relax with.
Eyecon Fun and Games, Part One
Eyecon Fun and Games, Part Two
And that's all, folks! Well, until I manage to post photos ... even later than now.