I have to admit, I dismiss a lot of what's written about "Supernatural" at Zap2It. A lot of the so called "journalism" is twisted to create controversy and bolster site hits. This latest article, Have Dean and Castiel Been Acting Out of Character, is no exception. It sounds like Carina MacKenzie took some quotes from the panels at the Jus In Bello convention this weekend in Rome and twisted it out of context to serve an agenda. An agenda that hints an outright rebellion against a script and she has the exclusive right there.
This kind of talk at cons recently has been nothing new. I know, I've been at the last few here in the US. We've been raising the issue all season long about the inconsistent and out of character writing this season on this site, but we found the actors have mostly been defensive of the creative process. Jensen at his meet and greet at Chicon in October said this about how he dealt with out of character moments involving Dean and Sam:
Next question: Is there ever a time when you read a script and you say to your character, â€œDean! What are you thinking?â€
Jensen: â€œAll the time. Seriously, I would say more specifically usually itâ€™s just certain lines. We get new writers. Iâ€™m not quite sure what the number is, but I know that every year they have to take at least one outside submission, so basically itâ€™s someone who has never written for the show. I mean obviously they understand the show because their script got picked, and itâ€™s a good script, but itâ€™s just that sometimes the dialog isnâ€™t really true to character. So Iâ€™ll either sit down and rewrite the lines to fit it to Dean or just call Sera or Bob and say â€œHey, this particular scene doesnâ€™t sound like Dean at all. What do you think of this? Thatâ€™s happened maybe twice this year. One of the scenes was between Jared and I, Sam and Dean, in fact I think itâ€™s the next episode, itâ€™s the end scene. We have like this falling out. We have an argument. And I kid you not; the scene was like straight out of a romantic comedy. It was like a break-up between a woman and a man. Right out of a romantic comedy. (Laughs from the fans) And Jared and I were in the make-up trailer that morning and I hadnâ€™t really read the scene before then, and I was like â€œDude, we gotta change this! This whole thingâ€ So he and I sat there and rewrote the scene to make fit it, to make it closer to our characters. And we didnâ€™t even tell the producer. And then it happened again two episodes later, there was another scene and we were like, â€œWhat is happening??â€ And that time we finally called Sera and said weâ€™re changing the scene. Actually weâ€™re changing the entire scene but it all says the same stuff. Itâ€™s just a different way of saying it. I think one of Jaredâ€™s lines was when I go to move toward Sam and he goes â€œDonâ€™t! Just donâ€™t! I canâ€™t even look at you right now!â€
The Zap2It article seemed to be digging specifically at outgoing showrunner Sera Gamble and her gender, using comments from Misha Collins (which cannot be taken seriously at cons) and jokes by Jensen Ackles. Jensen in every interview I've ever read, and the one that I got to do with him, had nothing but total respect for Sera and the creative team. Here's a serious quote about scripts taken from Jensen at his meet and greet in Rome, the very same con:
Fan: Have you ever had problems with a script that you don't agree with and how to make it work for Dean?
Jensen: Not really. It would be less like trying how to make Dean do this, like directly changing the script to make it *be* Dean. When we come against a scene or dialog that doesn't sound right, we change it and make it proper to the character. So I'll never had a hard time figuring out how to make Dean do something because we will just change the script if it doesn't feel right.
It probably isn't shocking that there was a problem with that Dean/Castiel scene in "The Born Again Identity." However, it also sounds like it's nothing new and they worked out the dialogue like they traditionally have and had a few laughs doing it. I know Jensen in the past has made lots of comments about how he'll give suggestions to the directors, especially ones like Robert Singer who he's worked with for a long time. I still smile in recalling how the big hug at the end of "Mystery Spot" was Jared and Jensen's idea and wasn't in the script.
During day 2, both Jensen and Misha mentioned they thought the scene from episode 7.17 where Dean gave Castiel his coat back was a little ridiculous. But a fan brought up the scene again today during their panels again today. Jensen said: "Misha and Bob Singer, who was directing that episode, we were crying-laughing at how ridiculous it was that I had his jacket nicely folded in the trunk of the car...and not even the Impala, but a stolen car. There was no reason for the jacket to be in the trunk of that car. And Bob was like 'just do it, alright?!' Then we started saying the dialogue out loud and it...it was so bad. There was a line [Misha] said that he couldnâ€™t get out because it was so ridiculous, so we changed it. [The trench coat] was so perfectly folded with the tie and the collar and Bobâ€™s like â€˜can you present it so we can see what it isâ€™ and I was like 'no! No, I canâ€™t!' Know that we have problems shooting scenes sometimes."
Later, during the joint panel, Jensen explained that the line was "so out of character", they couldnâ€™t get it out. The dialogue would have basically indicated that Dean petted the coat. They had to completely change it. "We asked ourselves how we could have changed it around to make it more believable for these characters." They think that two men probably wouldn't have gone on like the conversation did.
Notice how there's no digs in there about Sera Gamble being a woman? I'm hoping that someone who actually attended Jus In Bello con can tell us if Carina MacKenzie is indeed going for sensational journalism or if she raises a good point. In the meantime, this sounds like nothing more than an amusing story that can be told at cons being once again taken out of context from the wrong purpose. This isn't the first time it's happened from these cons, and it won't be the last. For now, consider this to be another cautionary tale. Don't believe everything you read.
Edited: Here's the video of the whole thing (Thanks GeordieGirl1967). Judge for yourself, but Jensen's comments were DEFINITELY taken out of context. Seems that only half of the story was told in the Zap2It article.