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PaleyFest 2011: Supernatural, Part 2 The Panel 

Photo Credit: Kara Howland/TV Goodness

The Supernatural PaleyFest 2011 Panel Players 

Mo Ryan, Moderator
Eric Kripke, Creator
Sera Gamble, Showrunner/Executive Producer
Jared Padalecki, Sam Winchester
Jensen Ackles, Dean Winchester
Misha Collins, Castiel
Jim Beaver, Bobby Singer
Ben Edlund, Executive Producer/Writer/Director  The Panel

Disclaimer: I’m going by my notes and memory so please forgive me if I get anything wrong. My memory and my note-taking skills suck.

PaleyCenter put some clips up of the Supernatural panel

The French Mistake

  • “The French Mistake” — It was Eric’s idea. He and Ben talked about the call they got from the legal department concerning this episode. The suits weren’t sure if they were allowed to actually depict the behind-the-scenes of a CW show. “But we’re a CW show,” said Kripke. He also said something that validated my opinion over the years. When a show lasts a long time and is into the sixth season, they can pretty much do whatever they want. This show does that and more and you know what? They can get away with it because they do it well.
  • Jensen’s reaction to learning about “The French Mistake”: “Wait. What? You want to do what?” I’m happy to report that Jensen and Jared were consulted on all the particulars of “The French Mistake” — they were assured they wouldn’t actually be acting like their real selves. Jensen said he really didn’t want to play “Jensen” because “he’s not interesting,” to which Jared says, “He’s not.” Awesome.
  • Mo starts to ask Misha about the same episode: “I’m sorry to cut you off, Mo, but you’ve been talking a lot.” Anyway, he tells the audience that he called TPTB and asked them if they could make the Misha character a total douchebag. In the end, he tried to “douchebag” it up as much as possible.
  • I can’t remember what was being talked about at this point but all of a sudden Jensen was reenacting fake Eric Kripke’s death scene from “The French Mistake.” And it was hilarious. Eric was much appreciative of having fake Kripke’s death scene being done in such a manly way.

Favorite Moments

  • Love Jim Beaver discussing Bobby’s paralysis phase. About the wheelchair: “I showed up on the set and they said, ‘sit down.’ And a season later they said, ‘stand up.’ I’m a pretty good actor, so I did.”
  • Jensen talks about thinking there was a limit to how far this show would go until he was standing in ski boots on a Japanese game show (in “Changing Channels”). Hilarious. And true.
Photo Credit: Kara Howland/TV Goodness
  • Anything they’d do over? Kripke talks about the episodes he hates: “Red Sky at Morning,” “Bugs,” “Route 666.” He even brings up one of the exposition scenes in the Pilot that recently reran on TNT. I was laughing so hard here because I knew exactly what he was talking about. He says Sam and Dean were having a conversation that no one would ever normally have. Were they talking to some mysterious third party? He says it’s been six years and he’s still not over it. Jensen feels it’s nice to hear those exposition scenes are hard to write because they’re hard to act too.
  • Misha would pretty much re-do that voice he started in the very first episode he appeared in, Season 4’s “Lazarus Rising.” It was this kick-ass, window-breaking voice so he went with it and made his voice deep. And now he’s running into medical problems. He thinks maybe Cas needs to have a tank of helium around so he can talk in his normal voice. Jensen talked about that day and after that scene where he first heard Cas’ voice. He remembers turning to the camera department and saying: “What is he doing? Did he audition?” The way Jensen said it was beyond funny. Kara Howland calls this portion of PaleyFest her Moment of Goodness — you can read it here.
  • Mo asked about the amulet. I don’t think the writers realized how important that thing became to fans. Because they say there are no plans for it to return. Kripke does amusingly add that they are currently in contract negotiations with the amulet. “He’s actually doing a guest shot on One Tree Hill. We wish it well.” Sounds definitive to me — we won’t be seeing that amulet back. Part of me still wishes they’re just saying that only because they have a surprise in store.
  • While talking about why the media was slower on the uptake concerning Supernatural (NY Times finally wrote about the show), Eric goes into this voice Jared dubs Kripke’s dastardly voice. It’s rather cartoon-like in an awesomely villainous sort of way and Jared even does his impression for us. Cute moment.

Supernatural Talk

  • Sera Gamble talking about plot twists that blew them away — mentions Bob Singer (EP and director) pitching the Sam soulless story. “That was helpful for the the season.” Understatement. And also, Dean staying with Ben and Lisa for an entire year.
  • Any twists that made them think they can’t believe they’re doing this? Edlund’s fairies and leprechauns pitch.
  • Eric talks about the conversations they have in the writing room — it’s the biggest reason why he loves his job. There’s an amazing mix of high culture and low. They’ll go from discussing the true nature of souls to Texas Chainsaw Massacre to porn to French philosophy to “remember the movie, My Bodyguard?” I love Kripke for mentioning that movie.
  • Does Bobby miss Crowley and the romantic times? “Forty-two years in this business and on my tombstone it’s going to say ‘he kissed Crowley.'” Poor Jim. Although he does manage to say: “I’ve had better…not recently.”
  • Does Jared miss playing soulless Sam? He does. He really enjoyed playing that role. It’s been no secret that he likes to play darker so he really did enjoy the soulless story.
  • Is Dean getting back to himself now that Sam’s no longer soulless? It is a relief for Jensen. The first half was difficult to play and it took him out of his comfort zone to build a relationship with that character and then have that relationship severed and then to have to play that out. So it is a relief for him.

I can’t convey enough just how thoroughly I enjoyed the afternoon. Seriously, when Jensen, Jared, Misha and Jim were introduced and they walked out on stage, I just about died because they were all wearing suits. Could those guys have been any hotter? I don’t think so. And it was so great to see Eric Kripke, Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund on one stage like that. The fact that Eric still has so much excitement over the show in its sixth season is quite contagious. I loved the insight we got into Season 6 and especially “The French Mistake.” The guys had us all laughing hysterically for the entire session. Jared was such the jokester. He always keeps things light — I really appreciate that about him. Misha and Jim were just so beautifully feisty and funny. Jensen was at times serious but then he would let loose with some really cool (and hilarious) comedic moments. And did I mention the guys were wearing suits? Mo Ryan did a great job with the moderating portion of the program. She asked some really good questions that got us some really good answers. I have no complaints about Supernatural at PaleyFest 2011 except it wasn’t long enough. They could have kept going as far as I was concerned.

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