By Supernatural Seriously Awesome
I wanted to address the nickname controversy. (…)
I write this with the utmost respect towards the writers, creators and fans of Supernatural
As a Marine, there are so many things we are trained to do in times of war & combat. It is also very common for military men to give friends and enemies nicknames. Everything I brought to creating the character of Cole from page to screen was taken from my own military experience. It is a strong character choice to identify the people whom you are talking to with nicknames. There are so many reasons as to why one would do this but in the case of Cole and Supernatural, the reason behind “Sammy Boy & Deano” very simply put; is because it’s what the character would do. Cole has been tracking Dean half of his life. This is a man he witnessed killing his father when he was just a boy. Until it was revealed that his father was a monster, Cole had only one agenda and that was to revenge his father’s death. Upon capturing Sam, Cole would call Sam, “Sammy Boy” for two very specific psychological reasons.
The first reason is to make Sam feel comfortable, as if they were pals, and by giving Sam a nickname it would create a certain relationship between the two. Cole is not an evil character. He did not want to kill or harm Sam. Trust me when I say that there were so many other options to hurt and torture Sam. Especially when Cole brought out the hammer and could have crippled Sam for the rest of his life. Cole opted to create a fake phone call so that if Sam had not given up the location of his brother without serious injury, then Cole was going to use another method by dropping the keys and following Sam. Believe me when I say that if Cole wanted to truly hurt Sam he would have and he also would have tortured him to the point where Sam or any human being for that matter would have broken down and given the information. Well, everyone except Jack Bauer. Cole chose the most humane way to get to Dean through Sam and that is just fantastic writing by the creators of the show.
The second reason, this applies to his first meeting with Dean, nicknames can be used to degrade. (hence the several names that Dean calls Cole aka “Kungfu Grip or Sparky” etc…)
So when Cole first meets Dean, two things happen. One, he wants to degrade the man who killed his father before he kills him. Death is a release and there is peace in it. Words sting more and are more painful than death because you have to live with them so he wants to hurt Dean in any way he can prior to killing him. (or thinking he was going to kill him lol)
Also, Dean has been his primary focus for 1/2 of his life. So he feels like he knows him. Hence the way he does his hair and even speaks like him. You must study, learn and become your prey before you can kill it. So Cole feels close to Dean hence close enough to give him a nickname.
And we all know that once nicknames are given, then they stay with you the rest of your life, so even if Cole and Sam were to become best friends, he would still use those names. No longer to degrade or harm but now out of love and respect.
One of my closest friends in my life is Alex Martin. The grandson of the legendary Dean Martin. Recently, he and his wife Megan honored me with the title of Godfather to their unborn son who is due in 6 weeks. When I shot Alcatraz I honored my buddy and his family name by giving the nickname “paley” to my co-star Graham Shiels. Dean Martin use to call all his friends “paley” on a regular basis. So this time around it seemed fitting to honor the announcement of being named Godfather to Dean Martin’s great grandchild and heir to the Martin family name, by respectfully giving the nickname “Deano” to the great character that Jensen Ackles has created in Dean Winchester. I couldn’t imagine a bigger honor.
So when I see the fans having a problem with the nicknames I felt it was necessary to better explain.
As you all may have read recently the tweets between Jared and I about Stockholm Syndrome. It is a very real thing and because Sam, Dean & Cole have all now bled together and if history tells us anything, once men go to war they either come back dead, bitter enemies or friends. Hell the first time I met my best friend of 30 years when we were 10 the first thing we did was slug it out.
So all in all, I have heard and seen so many comments about giving the boys nicknames, but when you have been an actor for 15 years and you are asked to come on a show as big as Supernatural, you need to make strong character choices. This is not Travis Aaron Wade calling Sam and Dean Winchester nicknames. I have so much respect for this show, its creators, writers and the two men that been the face of this show for 10 years! Hell I am in disbelief that I am even writing this now and saying that I am forever a part of this show and the Winchesters story line. It’s why I don’t watch shows I audition for because I as well become a fan and a fan would never call Dean & Sam Winchester “Sammy Boy & Deano” BUT Cole Trenton would and Cole Trenton is a HUGE fan of Dean Martin and that era. None of this was done without the permission of the writers of the show and It’s now part of history so you don’t have to like it but you are going to have to live with it because it was exactly what the character would do and I am very fortunate to be working with incredible writers that are so intelligent and specific they allowed me to use it.
To close out, I want each and every fan to know that it is an honor to be a part of Supernatural. This has been an experience. If you look at the 4 episodes that I have shot, I hope you can all see the amount of hard work and care that I put into Cole Trenton. I wanted to give you all a character that you could love, hate or be confused about? lol The writers have done an incredible job with this characters arc so far and knowing them a bit, it’s just a tip of the iceberg. I have no idea what is next but I can tell you this much, I have come to love the character of Cole Trenton, The boys, the cast and crew and the entire production of Supernatural. Thank you for welcoming me to this very special family. You have my word that I will always put this show and the fans first before my own needs. It’s what military men do and if Cole Trenton is called upon again I will honor the writers, creators and the fans of this show with nothing short of my very best.
My own words on IMDb:
I love him more and more and more. I love the way he writes. And how compassionate he is about his character, the writers and the boys. I as a fan was niggled a bit at first. But what stuck in the back of my mind was that Sam didn’t even flinch at the nickname when spoken. Remember the Gordon Walker moment. ‘No one gets to call me that but Dean,’. Not even a remote annoying Sam facial expression moment. It was the word Boy at the end that was a bit low like he was demeaning Sam in some way. It felt wired because we hardly know Cole, if it had been a few more moments in I might have grown to accept it a bit more. I understood a while back it was through the military where a nickname is born which was still interesting and thought provoking to read. I think he is very genuine when it comes to the fandom, cast and crew. I hope we see you again and again Cole Trenton….
At first when we encountered Cole we didn’t know if he was the good guy or a bad one. He had an axe to grind with Dean and had got into the head of Dean for the last 15 years trying to track the man down. So had Cole more or less known at least Dean well enough to give him a nickname is more to my point. As I said on IMDb Sam didn’t even flinch when hearing the nickname. At least raising an eyebrow might have been appropriate. Its taken many years for characters to refer to the boys with nicknames. Crowley for example has had plenty of adorable nicknames for our boys. Including ‘Hello Boys’ does he not. So why this time have some fans been irked by these cute and cuddly nicknames. Was Cole trying to belittle and deliberately aggravate the boys, and provoke an attack. Or had the boys known by this time that Cole was a close comrade and were okay with the pun! Even though it is reserved only at times for family members and close nit friends. I do love Cole, and how he has integrated into the show. And what he’s bought. But even I felt a little on edge shall we say. Was it too close for comfort?
EDIT: I found out only this week that Travis Aaron Wade auditioned for the role of Dean? Coincidence? But I only thought Jared and Jensen went for the audition? I still think that Cole looks very much like Dean and Cole has Dean’s mannerisms down to a tee. I wonder what the show would have been like if Jensen was Sam and Cole was Dean? Answers on a post-card please ….