Continuing on from Day 1 …
Includes: Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, Billy Boyd, Daniel Portman, Finn Jones, J. August Richards, Amber Benson, Emma Caulfield, Michael Shanks, Cliff Simon and Ben Browder
Please note: I am just going off my memory so some details may be slightly incorrect. Also, some things may be from Day 1 but I try my best to remember the days clearly.
Day 2 included a full day of panels. And I do mean oh so many! I ended up not attending as many as I intended due to deciding to buy an autograph and photo with one of the guests. It was unexpected so things had to be shuffled around a little but it worked out well in the end – but hence why you may have seen some photos from panels which I was only in for a minute or two to take photos. Sorry about that.
Kevin Sorbo & Michael Hurst
Unlike Day 1 where Michael and Kevin sat amongst the audience to watch their intro video, this time they walked around the back of the audience. They then proceeded to run on stage and do poses (like flexing their muscles and things like that) Also, I’ve never seen so many cameras go up at once like they did for this panel. It. Was. Insane.
- Kevin said one of his favourite episodes is The Apple – and reciting how funny he found when Iolous is riding a plank of wood and Hercules says that that’ll never take off. Fun things like that.
- He also mentioned how weird it was when Michael was directing in his Widow Twanky costume in And Fancy Free.
- Someone asked them what the weirdest thing has happened to them at a con. Michael said that he had a woman tell him how she and her husband were having marital issues so they rented a hotel room to try and save their marriage. They were in the hotel room not speaking so they turned on the TV and an episode of Hercules was playing. Michael didn’t know the episode or any of the details but she told him that he saved her marriage. She returned to him at a con a year later and told him their marriage was still going strong. He then directed a play in New Zealand and the woman was in the front row at the first ten performances. She then sent him a bunch of flowers with a note that said something like ‘I want to thank you one last time for saving my marriage. You will never see me again’ and he never has since.
- Kevin (in relation to above) said that he was at Dragoncon and he could see three women in what looked like full costumes coming towards him. As they got closer to him he could see that they were wearing full body paint and his reaction was ‘there’s your vaginas’. They later asked for a hug but he politely declined. Haha.
- Kevin said he was up for the roles of Fox Mulder in The X Files and Clarke Kent in Lois & Clark. He said he sees Dean Cain from time to time but doesn’t complain because Hercules ran for longer.
- Both were surprised that there wasn’t another Hercules movie made. Kevin mentioned how the producers wanted an kiwi actor for the role of Iolous, and because they got along so well it worked out well. They also said that when first did the movies they both had a feeling it was going to be turned into a series.
- They also both mentioned how lucky they were to have made the series in New Zealand, because they’ve done series where you change one line and the whole production gets closed down for hours to check with the writers and people involved that its okay to change a line. Michael said that you also weren’t allowed to change a line in Legend of the Seeker, which he had worked on.
- Both said that Robert Trebor was just like his character. Kevin didn’t know if the character was written for him or not, but he is just like his character.
- Both said that working with Kevin Smith was intense. He was very hard on himself and if he screwed up a take he’d get angry and punch a wall or something. Same when he was golfing. He also liked to do push ups on set.
- Both said working with Bruce Campbell was great. Kevin has run into him at cons and still chats to him. Michael said he is about to work with him on Evil Dead.
- On who would they want to play their characters if the show was remade and they both joked themselves. Michael then pretended he had a walker. Although both said if the show was to be remade now it wouldn’t be the same – it would be more soft porn like Spartacus (which Michael directs). The show was more family friendly. They tried to stick to the myths with some creative freedom – like in the myth Hercules kills his family and “there’s nothing family friendly about that”
- They spoke of working with Anthony Quinn and how he would listen to screen direction for ten minutes before refusing to do something. Kevin said he learned a lot from working with him. Anthony would also like to change and ad lib lines.
- Michael spoke a little about acting. And as a director said that he doesn’t want actors to tell him how great they are, he just wants them to show him. He spoke a little about Marilyn Monroe how they’d ask for her on set and she wouldn’t show up because she wasn’t feeling it. And the response was to maybe make her act like she was up to it.
- Kevin said that he used to go for auditions and did many pilots. He did so many that he ended up being able to skip going through casting directors and going straight to producers, so he knew people were interested in casting him.
- Michael mentions that he lives in Auckland but has a holiday house somewhere in New Zealand, which he bought during Hercules days.
- Kevin spoke of a part of New Zealand, where not many kiwis have even gone even though it’s a 45 minute drive from their city. He said he’s walked the path five times – once with his wife and the others with other women before he was married. He said as soon as his youngest child is 12 – the minimum age – he’s probably going to take the family to do it as a special trip.
- Kevin and Michael said how they both got hurt on set by accident. The stunt guys were great. But Kevin said how he’s had five knee surgeries and was going in for another soon.
- Both said there was a director they worked with whom they didn’t like but they didn’t mention who. I believe this is also on one of the Hercules DVDs.
- Michael said he got into acting when he was dressed in a costume and someone saw something in it and told him to audition for some role. He got the part and has been working ever since.
- They spoke a little about the movie Bitch Slap. Kevin said he only did a cameo. Michael said he played a truly disgusting character.
- Michael said he is always happy because he has no reason not to be.
- Kevin said how he always remember a quote that the way to success is to fail but keep trying again and again.
- Kevin said he’s been doing a lot of voice work lately.
Or as I like to refer it as, Billy’s comedy panel x2. Billy started the panel by saying how someone needs to fix the sole on Billie Piper’s shoe – and then went on to rhyme everything with the word ‘shoe’ like ‘your leggings are blue – that is true’ etc. It was funny if you were there – trust me.
- Billy said he caught up with Dom on time. Dom’s foot was in a cast for whatever reason. And Dom showed up the restaurant wearing a Batman (I think) t-shirt with a children’s cape. So they ate dinner together with Dom wearing a cape. He said affectionate things about it though and how that’s just Dom being Dom and you can never predict what he’s going to do.
- Billy taught us that ‘Jobby’ is Scottish for poo. Eww. Later he joked how he did a bit of a jobby in his pants. It was funny.
- He got the audience to try and name all the dwarfs from The Hobbit. This took a long time. He said that anyone in the audience who could name all nine from the Fellowship would win Billy’s water bottle and he’d sign it. One lucky lady got it.
- I have no real reason to mention this but at one point Billy took his phone out of his pocket “just in case anyone was wondering what that was”
- He spoke again of Space Milkshake and how he wants people to buy it so he can play the Captain again. He told people to buy it for $8 online, as people probably are spending more on a pair of animal ears at the convention.
- Billy spoke on his band Beecake and hoped people would buy his album. He said the best thing about the internet is how the album comes out say on March 1st and how it’s available for illegal download on March 2nd. He said he’d like to bring the band to Australia though to play some show.
- Billy spoke about his belt in LOTR. He said it kept falling down – which is a problem, but the belt is where you keep your sword.
- He also said one of his favourite scenes was he and Merry in Isengard.
- He said his favourite race from Middle Earth are Hobbits because they’re kind.
- He said he’d like to do a Middle Earth television show with him and Dom as Hobbits. Trying to steal carrots from Farmer Maggot’s garden and just getting up to mischief.
- He spoke a little about the scene in ROTK where Pippin doesn’t fully understand that he’s getting split up from Merry. They had originally shot it where he did know, but they reshot it so he doesn’t know and Billy said Peter was right to reshoot because it works so much better.
- Billy said how people are always coming up to him and getting him to sign merchandise with his face on it that he’s never seen before. He said you’d think he would get a cut of it. He said his son wanted him to buy him the Pippin Lego figure but he refuses to buy anything with his face on it because he joked how he thinks its fair that he would get it for free. So said if anyone in the audience worked for Lego to make that happen. He said he’d buy his son any of the other characters but wouldn’t buy himself.
- Someone was dressed as Snow White in the crowd and she got up to leave. Billy told her to sit back down and she made a run for it.
- There was also a running joke that Billy had a superpower that he could guess what people’s parents did for a living. There was also a joke on a woman who didn’t know if she was talking to Billy or Dom. “That was the other one” kept being brought up. Billy would look at her with a cheeky grin and tease her about it. He kept mentioning how he was in, hosts Wild Things and played Merry. It was really funny. This was the woman who stood up at the same time as another person, but got to go second. Billy apologized for her having to wait.
- Billy spoke how he and Dom went to Hobbiton in New Zealand where they have made the Green Dragon bar. They ended up getting behind the bar and serving tourists. The tourists were very confused and both of them joked that they were now working there.
- He also said how the person who owned the farm where they filmed Hobbiton only agreed if his farm was returned to normal after filming. So the set people grew all these fruit and veggies at this farm and build the doors to Hobbiton. It was all ripped down. After the movies were so successful, people would show up at the farm because they wanted to see where it was filmed. So when Peter and co returned to ask if they could film the Hobbit there, the guy agreed if they don’t take down the set this time. Now they do tours there but they only let a handful of people in so they take care of it.
- He said his favourite movie of the trilogy was Return of the King, but he also liked The Fellowship of the Ring as well.
- He spoke a little about writing songs for The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. Someone asked if he would sing it but he said he couldn’t without having a guitar with him. He said that The Last Goodbye was the end of an era, the last time we will ever see Middle Earth on screen.
Daniel Portman & Finn Jones
This panel started really late because the room was packed! People had to literally be turned away because there were no more seats available. Daniel and Finn remarked that they were just too popular. When all the cameras went up, Finn pulled a blue steel pose for the cameras – you can see it in my photo post.
- Finn told the story of their convention agent (I guess he would be called) Lawrence who travels with them on the road. They were allowed to take an extra bag with them so they packed a bunch of merchandise, but when they went to travel from Perth to Adelaide, they weren’t allowed the extra bag. They were told they would have to get rid of it. But Lawrence didn’t listen and went to the bathrooms and left it in one of the stalls. Then Finn and Daniel heard the alarm going off. Oops.
- Daniel whacked himself in the knee with his mic. Kind of funny. They both joked how they’d gotten an upgrade on Day 2 because they had been given a table to rest their feet on – you can see this in the photos.
- They said how they’d gone to the winery when they arrived in Adelaide. And then they’d also been to karaoke where they were kicked out of. Daniel said he couldn’t remember this. Finn corrected and said that Lawrence actually got them kicked out of karaoke.
- I also think it was Lawrence who carried Finn on his back into the panel. I’m not 100% sure of it. This Finn carried Daniel on his back when they left the stage … or was it the other way around? I don’t think it was.
- Someone mentioned to Daniel working with Gwend-o-line, which made everyone laugh. Daniel said that Podrick and Brianne can learn from each other. Brianne is used to being tough. Also he said that Podrick would have learnt a lot working in the castle so he has a lot of information. But he wanted to prove himself that he can fight when he needs to in that one scene (I want to say at Castle Rock but I’m not sure) when he stabs someone. I’m not too sure though – my GOT knowledge isn’t the best. Sorry.
- When asked what they would go to jail for – both themselves and their characters. Podrick said he would join the Nightwatch. Finn said Loras would be sent there for being gay. He himself would go for stealing. He pointed out a woman’s floral bag in the front row and pretended to dive for it. He joked and said he’d be much smoother than that.
- Someone asked Daniel if he’d sing but his voice was shot. Finn said that Daniel sung some Frank Sinatra at karaoke. He sang The Love Shack but advised no one to ever sing it as everyone thinks they know the words but everyone only knows the chorus. They also pointed out a woman at karaoke who sung the whole sung with her back to the audience.
- Daniel said he snuck on set to watch a scene with Arya. I want to say it was when she was learning to use a sword but I’m not 100% sure. He said that that was the only time. Finn said he’s never watched a scene as he’d be in the way.
- They spoke of Joffrey how he was just a bratty kid and it wasn’t until he was put in a power role where he became truly evil. They said they liked the special effects that were added during his death scene. The true fear in his eyes and how he looks into his mother’s eyes as he’s dying. Finn said that the actor who plays him is just lovely and is studying (I think it was) psychology or philosophy (something like that anyway).
- Daniel said it takes about 6 months to shoot a season – but the people behind the scenes often spend a year working on the show.
- Finn does a mean Jon Snow impression!
- Finn pointed out a guy who was wearing a floral shirt. He asked where it was from – he said Kmart. So Daniel joked how they had to do some shopping at Kmart.
- They said how they wanted to head to Glenelg before they left Adelaide. I think they said they wanted to see the pier.
- inn said he’d like to see a show that is a cross between Adventure Time and Game of Thrones, because they both have kings and queens and things, so it would be quite easy.
- Finn said he’s the type of person to sit and watch a show only watch. He doesn’t believe in watching something more than once. He said he will put on and watch an episode of Game of Thrones. Daniel says he never turns on the television to watch an episode because he doesn’t have time too.
- Finn says he Googles himself.
- Finn says that you should always watch Game of Thrones on a big screen to get the full experience. He said no one should watch it on their laptop but if they must, make sure you plug in speakers to at least get some of the experience.
- They spoke about takes and how it’s rotten when what they consider their best take in a scene isn’t chosen, but that usually comes down to other people in the shot or how it fits during the editing, so it is what it is.
- Daniel said he wouldn’t want to do anything with Tony Abbott.
- Finn does a mean Hunger Games whistle.
J. August Richards
J seemed like such a lovely man. I’m just sad that the only thing I know him from is Angel. Because my knowledge of such things is so small, some details about other shows he has been in may be wrong. That can’t be helped though. Sorry.
- J said he studied accents and would like to do something where he can display his different use of accents. He said he doesn’t care what it is but he’d like to work with Robert Downey Jr. His Australian accent attempt was actually quite okay – he kept trying to say ‘No’
- He said he hadn’t read the Angel comics but he had been told what happens in them. He said he’d like his character to become a vampire and then kill himself.
- He said that he loved the way Agents of SHIELD is done because it’s like a comic book, and how that had never been successfully done before in his opinion. He mentioned how in a comic the audience doesn’t get to see everything and how they have to fill in the gaps.
- He said he likes to keep something from everything he works on. From Angel, he has the watch he wore and some clothes.
- He said he had a hard time getting into his character for Angel. His first line was how he hated vampires. And so he had to think about his motivation – and remembered something that Meryl Streep said on The Actors Studio and used that. He realised how his character hated vampires because they had killed his parents but he sees something special in Angel that he’s not your regular vampire and that’s why he works with him.
- He said there was no bad guy he wanted to cross over to Buffy to fight. It wasn’t about that for him but he said he would have liked to do more with James Marsters who plays Spike. He spoke a little about his accent and how he mastered it over the course of the show.
- He spoke a little about Fred dying on Angel and how it was a big moment for him and Alexis on the show. I can’t remember exactly what he said as I can’t remember Angel to save my life, but he mentioned something about it being a big sad moment for the characters.
- He said that he asked his agent to find out if there were any suitable roles he could audition for in Agents of SHIELD but he was told nothing. When something did come up, he auditioned. He then sent Joss Whedon an email saying that if he saw anything in his audition video please consider him for the role and he’d work 110% at it. He got a call the next day to meet Joss at his office. So he quickly drove off. He thanked Joss and said he meant everything he said in the email. Joss asked, “What email?” as he never got it. But J had made that promise to himself so knew he had to deliver.
- He said how he wanted to get a photo in the big stadium of Adelaide (I’m not from Adelaide so excuse me not knowing) but he couldn’t make it happen. He said he was given some Adelaide Crows footy gear though while he was there.
Amber Benson & Emma Caulfield
I didn’t stay long in this panel as I just wanted to take some photos and then rush off to the next panel. So I only have a few details.
- Amber walked in first followed by Emma who spotted a baby in the front row. She scooped up the baby and brought it on stage. Amber said that she had been spotting babies all day.
- Emma said she had a bad memory. She started talking and then was interrupted and said she couldn’t remember the question. Upon being reminded, she mentioned how ironic it was that she failed to remember the question when talking about her bad memory. It was quite funny.
- Amber spoke about the musical episode Once More With Feeling … She said that the cast had received an CD with the songs sung by Joss Whedon and his wife as a demo. Amber said that she felt uncomfortable as some of the notes where a lot higher than she was comfortable with but she got through it.
- At one stage Emma lent on Amber’s shoulders, then she sat back up and her hair was a mess. She looked at the screen to see the back of her head and tried to fix the mess.
Michael Shanks, Cliff Simon & Ben Browder
This was the worst panel I’ve ever been to – not because of the guests themselves but having been at the other panel, the room was packed but not only that, because Billie Piper’s panel was on straight after, a lot of people wanting to view that panel came in to get good seats for Billie’s panel so there was a LOT of people on their phones, talking etc at the back of the room who didn’t care to be there. This was really distracting when you’re actually someone who wants to listen to what the actors are saying. I also think it is poor form and disrespectful. Just saying.
- Michael said the first scene of the show was in the gate room and the last scene ever was in the gate room. Went Full Circle, get it?
- Michael said how it wasn’t even half way through the first season and he gets handed a script and he reads it and it says ‘Daniel’s funeral scene’. And it was the start of the “who killed Kenny” kind of thing with Daniel’s character.
- Michael joked how he “disagreed with Daniel’s moral stance of not sleeping with the alien chicks”
- Ben said working on the show was different for him than Christopher Judge, Michael and Amanda Tapping – they worked on it for a decade and he worked on it for two years. He didn’t know how he’d fit in. He said the others were like siblings and knew each other so well it was like walking into someone’s family. He said was a really great cast. Cliff agreed and said he came on as a guest and came back a lot and really made friends with the whole cast.
- Ben said his favourite episode to work on was the 200th. Cliff said his favourite is Insiders. Michael joked his favourite was “the one where those space guys walk through that hoolahoop thing”.
- Michael said that as an actor you want to do something dramatic and then you want to do something different and then do something dramatic. But he said they’re all fun to play.
- There were a lot of jokes about Michael’s last name now becoming a verb and how people have been ‘shanked’
- Ben said when he first came to Australia he couldn’t understand what we were saying. He was the only American on set on Farscape. But he says he loves Australia and always looks forward to coming back.
- Michael said the writers enjoyed coming up with new ways to kill his character off and it became a running joke.
- When asked what’s the best experience they’ve had with a fan. Michael said when he was a kid he used to stick his tongue in a fan and his tongue would go numb from the spinning. Think about it. Ben said, “what happens at a convention stays at a convention” Michael added, “what happens at a convention stays at a convention unless its chlamydia as that shit goes home with you”
- Michael mentioned that if anyone thought that James Spader did a better job than him playing Daniel Jackson that they can “get the hell out of here” and some woman actually stood up and ran out of the room. It was hilarious! He said “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out” He said his reason for taking the role was “I knew I could show up that bitch” he joked. But he said it was fun. Daniel was meek and he’s glad they made him, I guess you’d say, able to take care of himself more as the show went on.
- Cliff said he auditioned for another role. Then they bought him back and said he was Ba’al. So he said they kind of wrote the part for him in a way.
- Ben said he went out with producers and they offered him the role. He didn’t have to audition. Michael said he had to audition.
- Some woman began talking on her phone during the panel and all three of the actors couldn’t believe it!
- Michael said that he was upset how the storyline with the Ori ended. He said it ended too soon with them finding a magical box and then it was over.
- Ben said that he didn’t know what else they could have done with his character and story lines considering how long the show had gone for. But he did wish that the characters had had more interaction and personal moments during the show.
- Ben said its about time for another Australian-made sci-fi television show. Cliff said that there’s too much reality television on TV and thinks its time for another Stargate movie.