It's Jensen Ackles' birthday today. He turns 33 years young! Everyone say Happy Birthday, Jensen!!
Three-- or some variation of it-- has always been my lucky number, and in many ways, a number that has connected me to Mr. Ackles himself. I was thirteen when I first met him...the first Supernatural convention I ever covered was when the show was in its third season...I could go on and on. But I won't. Because today is not about me but instead about the birthday boy himself! And how better to celebrate the man than by listing 33 things that make him awesome? And I promise they won't all be gratuitous.
33. He started his career as a model but wasn't content to just make a living off his looks.
32. Even if I didn't always love the shows he chose to be a part of, he has great instincts when it comes to knowing what will be a success and what will be the best use of his talents. He chose Smallville over Tru Calling, for example.
31. When Ackles goes for the gravel in his voice during specific "angry" scenes on Supernatural, he allows a little bit of his Texas accent to slip through.
30. He's a family man first and foremost, always going home for the holidays and taking any chance to work with his dad Alan, a fellow actor; the two appeared together in the independent horror movie DeVour.
29. He is a fan of the show he is on and admits to feeling like a kid in a candy store on getting to go hang out on set every day and watch the other actors work. Sometimes he gets so caught up in his "front row seat" for the performances he forgets to deliver his own lines, or so he jokes.
28. He has hobbies and interests above his work, making him a well-rounded person. Golf and photography top his list, two things which don't have a lot in common and make him all the more interesting because of their diversity.
27. He is proof that if you work hard and know what you want, you will make your dreams come true. He has wanted to direct for years, and he also always wanted to be a part of some type of gun-slinging western. And he has proven himself so smart about the work that the powers at be at Supernatural now trust his instincts and his influence and in season six are finally allowing both of those dreams to come true.
26. He considers himself a Christian, but he isn't preachy about it, and he never imposes his beliefs on others who may have different viewpoints.
25. We all know the man can act, and recently we've learned he has great instincts when it comes to directing, too, but he also has quite the musical ability! Though he says it's just a hobby that he dabbles in singing and guitar, he has doing it on the sidelines for a long time-- ever since his soap opera days when he was featured as backing vocals on Soap Sessions Volume 3: Beatles. He performed "I Saw Her Standing There" with Roark Critchlow then. Now he sometimes accompanies his friend Jason Manns on songs like "Crazy Love" and "The Weight."
24. Um, have you seen him? How have I gotten this far without mentioning his adorable factor? He's the boy next door but he can also have a bit of an edge. He can pull off everything from freckles to a full-on beard, and that is not something that can be said for most men!
23. He's a really good sport. About the ridiculous things that fans that ask him to do (like posing with my book or showing off "Blue Steel" at just about every convention), and about the sometimes ridiculous things his show asks him to do.
22. On that note, he has a really good sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously. He can also be quite goofy with his friends and family. Case in point? His short film "The Plight of Clownana."
21. He's extremely welcoming and helpful when others come on "his" show. For example, when Matt Cohen first took the job as Young John Winchester, he had an idea for how to play the character and did so in rehearsal. Ackles sat down with him after to work with him further on the character and to make sure he wasn't intimidated, stepping into a character that had been so clearly defined by another actor.
20. He can act opposite himself like nobody's business. He could probably act opposite a paper bag or a brick wall, too!
19. He has a voice that would make hearing him read the phonebook (which I still attest is an antiquated item and had no place in today's modern world) seem like the most exciting thing to do on a Saturday night.
18. He's a guy's guy who loves sports and often plays impromptu games of soccer and basketball during downtime, and he's very handy around the house, but he genuinely appreciates less-adrenaline-fueled moments, like movie nights, too. In other words, women want him and men want to BE him.
17. He doesn't like to steal the spotlight from his friends, but he is always out to support them. Whenever his buddies Jason Manns or Steve Carlson play concerts at conventions, or even at local spots in Los Angeles, Ackles will show up to be a friendly face in the crowd but usually stays in the back of the venue so that all of the attention can be (deservingly) paid to the man on stage.
16. Somehow he managed to make guy-liner, a facial piercing, a blue mohawk, and a kilt look attractive (in the independent comedy Ten Inch Hero). All at once.
15. He is a true artist and a genuinely smart actor who actually thinks about the work. He pays attention to his dialogue and blocking, sure, but also camera angles and lighting techniques so that he can understand the whole process, the whole art form. He's not just there to show up, read off a page, and collect a paycheck; he actually cares about what he is doing.
14. He appreciates the simpler things in life, like the smell of shampoo in a girl's hair, Gummy Bears, and the old Thundercats cartoon.
13. He's extremely protective of his loved ones, and he commands respect because of it. When staff at a particular convention were rude to his then-girlfriend (now wife) Danneel Harris at an event, he stood up for her and spoke to the higher-ups to let them know that if she wasn't going to be treated well at such events, he would no longer be participating in them.
12. He's good with kids, and he genuinely enjoys being around them. He's not only very welcoming to young guest stars but he is also very hands-on as an uncle, and he has been known to constantly ask after his co-workers' kids. Now that Misha Collins is a dad, he spends even more time over at his house.
11. He was the fans' choice for Captain America, and those are some pretty big...well, tights to fill!
10. He took the character of Dean Winchester, who quite a few times has been called a dick, and made him seem anything but. He dares you not to love him!
9. He's all about the work, not the fame. He admits he doesn't really like doing red carpets and usually gets annoyed at the paparazzi because they distract from his true job at hand: to tap into a character, and situations, emotionally. He is a private person and doesn't understand the need to see your name in a tabloid (or on a blog, I would guess) every week.
8. His talent is overwhelming. He commands attention in every scene but still manages not to pull focus when the moment is not about him. He can make you laugh, make you cry, make you want to hug him, and make you want to slap some sense into him-- all within mere moments of each other.
7. He is always gracious to his fans, whether he meets them at conventions, on the set, or at the airport. He has been known to stop and sign autographs, even after a long flight, for everyone from airline employees to those who stand at baggage claim with the hopes of a glimpse of the heartthrob-turned-thespian.
6. He is a sucker for a good YouTube video, such as the failed streaker, which he encourages us all to check out. In that way, he is unintentionally supporting the unknown and indie artists of the world.
5. He's a huge animal activist, even if he is a bit more private about it. When his new puppy was diagnosed with Paget's disease, he not only rushed home from a vacation early to be by the dog's side, but he also told the vet to do whatever it took, surgery-wise and medicine-wise. Most people just put the dog down in that situation, but Ackles knew that this dog was with him for a reason; he had the means to afford the care, and he saw the dog as a true member of the family and was not willing to just give up.
4. He's a true southern gentleman, even after all of his years in Hollywood. When working on love scenes, or even simple kissing ones, Ackles' priorities are to make sure the female guest star is as comfortable as possible. He always asks for a closed set, which means that no one is allowed to be in the area unless they are essential crew personnel, like the director and the camera operator and the boom guy. And he's always sure to suck on a mint or some fruity candy first for pleasant taste experiences.
3. He was nominated for an Emmy for the first time at only age twenty. Though he never won, he is currently the only lead actor on The CW network to ever achieve such high accolades. The network is known for their pretty faces, but Ackles is helping to ensure it's known for actual acting talent, too.
2. He was smart enough to know that he didn't have to go to college but that he always has to keep learning. When he was younger and first moved out to Los Angeles, he kept up, intellectually, with his friends in universities, by constantly reading, and it prepared him not only for life but also to be able to play parts more complexly.
1. The crowd around him may have grown (in number of bodyguards and number of adoring fans), but he is the same down-to-Earth, sweet, warm, and inviting guy that I met thirteen years ago.
What do you think? Did I leave anything out??