February 28th - March 2nd, 2003
Doubletree Hotel Bellevue - Seatlle, WA
|Andy Hallett : Lorne - the Host (AtS)|
|James Leary: Clem the loose skinned demon(BtVS)|
|James Marsters : Spike (BtVS)|
Jen and I had $80 preferred seating passes, which entitled us to autographs
from both James Marsters and Andy Hallett. It was my first con and quite a
novel experience. It was pretty low-key and not all that crowded, so it was
a mellow event overall. Our seats were amazing, only seven rows from the front,
so we had a great view of the stage. I'm sorry to say that I still haven't
gotten around to developing any of the photos and (this is kind of embarrassing)
can't even remember where the film is.
The first thing we attended was the Q&A session with Andy Hallett (Lorne, AtS) and James Leary (Clem, BtVS). Those two were an absolute riot, the quips flying back and forth. Andy was especially irreverent. When a fan asked him whether he'd ever read any Angel fanfic, he said he'd only read one. A friend of his had sent him the link to a story and all that Andy would reveal is that it involved Lorne, Angel, a shower, a bar of soap and three fingers! Andy said that whenever David Boreanz gives him a hard time, he gives him the three-finger salute, LOL. I can't recall the name of the actor that plays Gunn on that show, but he and Andy go drinking all the time; Andy was going to play a drunken voicemail from this fellow but, much to the disappointment of the crowd, didn't have his phone handy. Another question was whether characters always had names. James Leary said that he was only known as the "Loose-skinned Demon" for the first episode or two he was on (he had much longer hair at the time and he joked that he looked more like a "Foreskin Demon"). Andy said that one of the characters from an upcoming script was simply known as the "Rich Prick", but refused to tell us more for fear of getting an irate phone call from another rich prick, LOL.
Hmm, what else did they say? I'm tired, so I'm forgetting a lot of details. Oh yeah, Andy is apparently becoming a regular. Poor James Leary doesn't have a chair with his own name on the back, but Andy's says "Old Green Bitch"; not only that, Andy gets to spend his 2.5 hours in the makeup chair watching DVDs while James only has his reflection to look at.
I had my camera with me – I'd been carting it around with me during Jen's visit, just in case she wanted to take pictures of anything – but unfortunately I ran out of film so I didn't really get any shots of the two of them on stage. This was a real shame, especially since we had such good seats.
After the Q&A session Jen headed off to try to get more film, while I stayed with our bags. The gift shop upstairs didn't carry the right kind, but did sell disposal cameras, so she returned with one of those in hand. Then I went to washroom and, on the way back, ran into James Leary. I told him how much I'd enjoyed his hilarious session with Andy, and he thanked me with a broad smile and a touch on the arm. I told Jen about the exchange and we decided to head over to his table where he was selling autographed photos for $20. He even agreed to pose for a picture, which I thought was really sweet.
By this time it was time to go back to our seats for James Marsters' Q&A. His session wasn't as entertaining as that of Andy and James Leary's. Part of the reason was that the questions he was asked weren't as interesting and we'd already heard most of his answers in written interviews or online video clips. Plus, of course, Andy Hallett and James Leary had each other to chat with, so they went off on tangents, while James was pretty focused. Jen laughed because he appeared in black, Michelin Man-style parka. (I had told her that it was warm out here, but she found it very cold and couldn't believe that the locals wandered around in cardigans or light jackets. So, every time she saw someone bundled up, she knew it was a fellow tourist.) He took off the parka to reveal a tight black t-shirt. There was a tensor bandage on his right knee. Later James told us that he had fallen off a fence while playing Spy Kids 2 with a "younger family member" (his son?) in his hometown of Modesta. It wasn't serious, but he was just favouring it a bit, but didn't anticipate any problems going back to work the next day.
The most interesting snippets were about whether there were plans for a spinoff. James confirmed that the spinoff was initially going to be about Spike and Faith, and that he was disappointed when those plans had to be abandoned when Eliza signed up for the FOX series instead. If there's a spinoff - and at this point that's a big if - Joss has told James that he would be a part of it. Any spinoff wouldn't get off the ground for six month to a year until after this final season of Buffy.
Another question to James was about why the writers didn't really go anywhere with the Cecily/Halfrek storyline. James said that the actress was playing two different roles and that no one thought the audience would notice. Immediately someone piped up about the fact that Halfrek had recognized Spike as William. James was quite surprised about this and confessed that he generally doesn't remember dialogue from the show, that he stores it in a part of his brain that gets wiped clean as soon as the shoot is over. When he's in a play, however, he stores the dialogue in longterm memory, which is why he can easily reel off scenes from MacBeth but can't do likewise for Buffy.
Hmm, what else? Oh yeah, it seems that James doesn't drink, although he doesn't mind when others imbibe. One girl asked him if he was single and he said that he was currently on a six-month break from relationships. He'd realized that he'd essentially been dating the same girl over and over again, so he wanted to take some time to figure out why. When asked about his plans post-Buffy, he mentioned wanting to go back to theatre but that he'd have to relocate to NYC, Chicago or Seattle, since LA's not a theatre town.
James wasn't all that hyper; I'm sure the knee injury slowed him down, but overall he still seemed much calmer than I'd seen him in interviews. He seemed like a nice guy, very charming and remarkably down to earth. He mentioned that he still cleaned his own toilet and tried not to be too affected by the adulation. Overall, I'd tend to agree with him, although I can't see how he could avoid letting it get to his head to a certain extent.
One last thing: Despite the fact that James was obviously in discomfort, he stayed until absolutely everyone in the autograph line was taken care of. I was very impressed at what a trooper he was.
So, that's it - I hope you enjoyed my report!