Neala Johnson, The Daily Telegraph, reports
At first, Supernatural actor Misha Collins thought fan conventions would be "creepy".
But when you’re a breakout cult figure on a cult sci-fi TV show - as Collins has become playing angel Castiel in the past four seasons of Supernatural - you’re almost obligated to attend such gatherings.
And that’s just what Collins is doing in Sydney on Saturday, joining Supernatural co-stars Jim Beaver (Bobby), Richard Speight Jr (Gabriel/The Trickster), Traci Dinwiddie (psychic Pamela) and Corin Nemec (Christian Campbell) at the All Hell Breaks Loose III event in Sydney and Melbourne.
“Originally the profession of acting was a very interactive one where you would get up in front of a live audience and you would have an immediate and gratifying response,” said Collins, in a state of near-delirium after logging some serious air-miles attending fan-cons around the world in the past few weeks.
“Now, most of the work I do is on television and in movies and you don’t have an audience that is responding to you personally, you don’t actually get to feel that.
"It feels kind of missing, at times.
"So being on a popular sci-fi show that has fan conventions where you get to go actually meet fans is actually much more rewarding than I ever anticipated, for exactly that reason.
“I thought that it was gonna be really creepy and that it was just gonna be a bunch of weirdos who lived in their basement, and it isn’t that at all.
"It’s actually a very warm and welcoming and gratifying experience.
"Plus, you have the added benefit of for a weekend you feel like a real rock star, which is nice.”
That Collins quickly built a devoted audience (he has almost 450,000 followers on Twitter and has mobilised these fans to help out his charitable organisation therandomact.org) is surprising in some ways, given Supernatural is already top heavy with, erm, hotties.
You would think wise-cracking, demon-killing brothers Sam and Dean (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) might be enough.
But when Castiel popped up Season 4 as an uber-serious angel of the Lord, fans were smitten.
“On the face of it, there’s these two underwear model-looking actors playing brothers, and frankly I am shocked that there’s any room for anyone else on the show that is a moderately good-looking guy,” Collins says.
“I don’t think that anyone really could predict how that all works out.
"I know that the network in Season 3 wanted to bring some women on the show and they mandated that the writers add two regular female characters.
"For whatever reason, the fans just didn’t go for it. It’s a men-only kind of environment, for whatever reason.”
In such an environment, it’s no surprise to hear that the set of Supernatural is at times riddled with boys’ locker room pranks.
“The biggest challenge for me working on Supernatural is not laughing while we’re filming.
"There’s a lot of harassment that goes on.
"Jared in particular likes to handicap me in whatever way he can while we’re filming,” says Collins.
“It’s not at all uncommon that just below the frame I’m confronted with someone trying to pull my pants down or something like that.
“Castiel has to be straight-faced most of the time. Unfortunately Misha is not very good at that, so I have probably ruined a hundred hours of film by breakout out laughing.”
Some fans were disappointed that Castiel went largely M.I.A in the first half of Supernatural’s latest season (the show’s seventh), but when the angel did come back, Collins was gifted some whacky scenes to play out.
“It was a fun return and a surprise to me, I certainly didn’t expect them to do it in that manner,” he says.
“Yes … Cas is crazy.”
With Season 7 just finished airing in the US, Collins is now waiting to see what might confront crazy Castiel in Season 8.
All he knows is that it will be … different.
“What I like about working on Supernatural is that it is always trying to break the mould.
"The characters are always going through epic changes, so as an actor you don’t have to do the same thing every day and that is a gift. It makes it interesting and fun to come to work,” the 37-year-old says.
“I think I would probably be bored to death if I was working on a procedural cop show where every week you’re interviewing Perp No.2 at the precinct house.
"It’s always something different with Supernatural, so it’s a lot of fun to work on the show.”
Hell Breaks Loose III is on at Sir John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW, High St, Kensington; Saturday May 26, 9am-6pm, $150, www.thehubproductions.com