The worst thing about convention is coming home afterwards! And that’s where I am now, home after spending a whole weekend with the cast and fans of Supernatural. It was the Los Angeles con and it featured Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Fredric Lehne (the yellow-eyed demon), Chad Lindberg (Ash), Sandra McCoy (crossroads demon and the future Mrs Padalecki), the fabulous sounds of The Steve Carlson Band, Jason Manns and. . . hmm…oh yes, Eric Kripke was there, too in a rare convention appearance. (For the moment, I am including my AWFUL photography. I hope to have some much better photos from my fannish friends shortly.)
PART ONE: FREDRIC LEHNE
The weekend began with Fredric Lehne on stage singing a Supernatural version of Sympathy for the Devil. (Here’s a video of him performing the tune slightly differently at Chicago Con.) He went from songs to bunny jokes and he had the crowd right where he wanted them — utterly charmed. He talked a bit about Lost, saying he was supposed to have had more of a relationship with Kate but now who knows if he’ll be back. Later he told a very funny story about when he got the gig in the first place. His agent told him he was up for a job that amounted to “3 weeks unconscious on a beach in Hawaii.”
Says Fred, “I can do that. I’ve done that before.” But he soon realized that when you can’t roll over when you want, and they’re pouring fake blood on you and oh, did you know they have scorpions in Hawaii. It’s suddenly, not so fun!
He also laughed about the feud between “Lost People” and the “Super freaky Supernatural freaks.” He said he was about to do a Lost con and he wondered what had started the feud. He was told that it came from Lost invaded Supernatural’s time slot, to which he replied, “I feel like a child of a divorce. I don’t know who to be loyal, too.”
Of course, we all demanded that he stay with us!
For all the issues that came with playing the yellow-eyed demon, such as contacts that made it impossible for him to see, Fred thoroughly enjoyed the role as it allowed him to “Chew the scenery shamelessly and with impunity!” He said he spent the rest of his time falling down as all of his scenes required him to walk. . . a lot. . on roads with rocks. . .totally blind. . .
Fredric Lehne (the last name being German for armrest), has had a long and varied career in Hollywood which includes an early gig in the award-winning movie Ordinary People. Here he had the pleasure of being directed by Robert Redford and he recommends the movie to any student of filmmaking as it uses an unusual technique to set the tension level of the flick right from the start. From there, he says he played mostly priests and nice dads until he began to age to the point where he got “moldy” and thus began playing nothing but villains.
Not long ago, Fred was shooting an episode of Criminal Minds where he played a killer with a shotgun stalking a kid on a high school campus. The school where they were shooting was still in session and many of the students were hanging out of the windows to watch the filming. One of them yelled, “hey, that’s the evil guy from Supernatural!”
“I have a niche,” Fred proclaimed proudly.
When asked if the boys ever pulled pranks on him while on the set of Supernatural, he said then did not. Then, after giving it some thought change his answer.
“They may have played pranks and I didn’t notice. Huh, there’s a horse in my trailer.” He shrugs it off as if that happens every day. “Never thought of Jensen and Jared.”
From beginning to end, Fredric Lehne was poised, charismatic and comfortable on stage. He bantered easily with the fans and he had some great stories to tell about his many years in the biz. We miss him already.
“Kripke will be here later,” Fred says to the group. “Talk to him and use the word ‘spin-off’.”
Hmm, maybe the devil on Reaper can use a new henchman.
Come back later for more from the con.