Our roundtable interview with Jensen at San Diego Comic Con was the longest one we had all day, clocking in at just under six minutes. He talked with us about his working relationship with Jared and this new Demon Dean arc plus the difficulty of switching gears to that new role while trying to direct the episode. His hair is longer too, which makes watching this footage rather pleasing. Below the video is the transcript if you can’t make out what he’s saying because you’re too entranced with the pretty.
Oh, and, SPOILER ALERT!
Having to be so close with Jared in the show, how did you transition in that “business only” relationship with him, you separated as brothers for a bit. How did you pull that off?
The story kind of dictates a lot how we play certain things. We’ve been playing these characters for a long time. We’re very comfortable with adapting the character to the situation. This just happened to be a situation that we were dealt. The fact that Sam said some things that Dean was surprised he’d say, just gotta let him process that and figure out what that does to the relationship and then you obviously saw that because the writing pointed it out. But oddly enough, doing a scene where it’s strictly business and we’re not paling around like brothers as in a previous season as soon as they yell ‘cut’ we’re exactly the same than either one of those certain story lines. So the working environment doesn’t change, the working relationship doesn’t change, it’s just when they yell ‘action’ the way the characters related to each other, that’s your piece.
Back in season three, Dean was heading towards being a demon, possibly going to Hell. As an actor, were you thinking about how you might play that? Did you think it might happen and does it differ from what you’re doing now with the character?
I didn’t really give a lot of thought as to how I would play it back then because I knew that I wasn’t going to have to. You play it right up to the point that you need to and then you sit back and wait for the scripts to come in and be a fan myself. The fact that they didn’t take him down that road I never had to invest in how I was going to do that per se. That being said, this particular version of Dean that we start with in season ten is, and I said this at the panel, it’s not that Dean is possessed by a demon it is that his own soul is actually twisted enough to where it’s become demonic. I basically took what Dean was doing last season, which was really kind of tortured and brooding…it was a tough season for ole Dean last year. He was going through a lot. The fact that he betrayed his brother, the fact that he feels like he lost his brother as a brother, and that he didn’t have that motivating force of protecting Sammy like he always had and he was on a crash collision course.
I wanted to take all that away, all the weight of the world, all the heavy heart, the guilt, just all of that stuff, remove all that because Demon Dean does not care. So that’s where I went with this character is that he is Dean without a care in the world. It’s not comedic, it’s almost scary. I think that he cares so little for anybody and everybody and he loves it. I think that’s scary.
Is it weird to reinvent that like this after doing it for so long?
Very. Very weird. I don’t know if you saw the little sizzle reel they did in the panel but just Jeremy and I talked and he’s like, ‘Maybe you do your hair a little different’ and I’m like ‘alright.’ So they cut it quite short so it gives me somewhere to go like when I get back to regular Dean I can shed that portion of that facade. Yeah it was, to answer you question, it was really difficult. It was also difficult because I was introducing the character and also directing that episode. They shot my episode first so that I could prep without working blah, blah, blah, technical stuff.
So, I had to really, really prep. I mean, it kept me up nights for eight days. I got it to a point where I knew that I could set it to auto pilot once I got to the set so far as the directing because I’d homework it so much, and that way I could focus on bringing this new character to life which was nerve wracking. Am I making sure I’ve got the coverage I need for Jared’s side of the stuff, oh wait, I need to be focusing on the lines that I’m about to deliver because I’m not doing it like regular Dean which I could just snap into, I’ve got to think about this whole other mindset.
And dual role.
Absolutely. It was a tough challenge and I like to challenge myself and that’s where I get the gratification.