Last week, the networks brought their stars to Pasadena to talk with TV journalists at the biannual Television Critics Association press tour. Because The CW loves us, the network lined up five of its handsomest men to talk about the challenges of playing sexy badasses on TV.
The panel consisted of Kristoffer Polaha (Henry, “Ringer”), Wilson Bethel (Wade Kinsella, “Hart of Dixie”), Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester, “Supernatural”), Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass, “Gossip Girl”), Joseph Morgan (Klaus, “The Vampire Diaries”) and Shane West (Michael, “Nikita”). Spoiler alert: They’re all hysterical. And hot. Very, very hot.
Here are our eight favorite quotes from the most enjoyable half-hour of Jan. 12, during which the word “badass” was uttered 91 times.
Ed Westwick answers his first question in his native British accent.
Polaha: Hold on a second. You’re British?
Padalecki: Are you from Jersey?
Westwick: Australia. There’s actually no difference.
Where does Sam rank this season in terms of badass-ness?
Padalecki: Well, you’re familiar with the internationally standardized badass test?
Polaha: There are degrees of badass-ness.
Padalecki: You go from badass-ness to badass-dom.
What is your favorite part of your character?
Westwick: The money.
Padalecki: The hair.
How do you channel your inner badass?
Polaha: I’m being serious because there was a school … Ed and I went there together. There’s a school in New York City that’s, like, an affiliation with NYU. And it’s a school of badass?ness, and they teach you how to get ?? like as a method actor, how to become a badass actor.
Bethel: A lot of Steve McQueen.
Polaha: There’s a lot of work in the face with being a bad?ass, which is, like, sort of a steely ?? and if someone talks to you ??
Padalecki: Thousand?yard stare?
Padalecki: Thousand?yard stare?
Polaha: Yeah, you don’t really answer right off.
Padalecki: There’s a posture.
Westwick: It’s all in the posture.
Polaha: That’s all bad?ass stuff. So there’s a school ?? there’s a whole school on how to be a bad?ass, and we take it pretty seriously.
Polaha offers $20 to the panelist who can use the word “badass” the most in one answer.
Bethel: If we have a pretty loose definition of what “badass” means — if “badass” just means pretty cool …
Padalecki: Oh, you’re cheating.
Bethel: … then badass ?? I mean, well, “badass” can mean all kinds of things. “Badass” could be great. It could be ?? “badass” could be bad. But I think the more important thing about “badass” is that it’s really just doing something you love. When you approach “badass” with that kind of badass?ness, ultimately what you’re doing when you look in the mirror is seeing a badass.
Polaha: I think we have a winner.
An audience member asks about Bethel’s poetry-writing.
Bethel: Ooh. Hey, guys, she’s making that up. Ha-ha-ha. I only write poetry while I’m riding my motorcycle.
Padalecki: With your shirt off.
Bethel: Smoking weed. Chasing rattlesnakes.
Morgan answers a question about Klaus being both sympathetic and an evil villain.
Morgan: I think that it’s possible to have someone who is sort of an antihero who does tear hearts out and break necks and still you can kind of relate to him on a certain level. I do worry…
Padalecki: …there’s going to be a hair contest?
Morgan: This [Klaus’ flashback hair] was actually modeled on yours.
Padalecki: Puts me to shame.
And, presented completely out of context:
Padalecki: I can’t think straight with this hot, naked man right ahead of me.