OZ Comic Con Melbourne Write Up 2015

So, OZ Comic Con feels like it was a while ago – and to be fair, it kind of was, so I don’t remember as much as I probably should. But here’s a bit of a write up for anyone who is interested in panel tidbits and whatnot.

I’m going off memory so some details may be slightly off.

Includes: David Hewlett, David Nykl, David Wenham, Bruce Campbell, Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, Jewel Staite, Scott Patterson and Billy Boyd (with Dominic Monaghan).

I also just want to note, that throughout the weekend, I got to meet/talk to: David Hewlett, David Nykl, David Wenham, Bruce Campbell, Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, Scott Patterson, Billy Boyd, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Naomi Grossman, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson and Paul Blackthorne. I have so many warm fuzzy memories!

David Hewlett & David Nykl

  • Both David’s walked around the stage a bit like the characters do in the game Mindcraft.(Or at least I guess it was due to never having seen the game)
  • Someone asked about Hewlett’s sister being on Stargate Atlantis. He said he had no say in her being in the show. One of the show people saw a play (this story has been told before so I’m sure it’s on YouTube somewhere) with Kate in it and he saw that she had all the “Hewlettisms” that David had – without realising she was in fact his real life sister. But she still had to audition anyway. While making the episode, they got a note telling them to act more like siblings because they weren’t being nice to each other. David joked that who is nice to their siblings?
  • Hewlett spoke about the movie Nothing. He said the idea concept was thought up with his involvement but it was actually written by the Drews.
  • Nykl joked that he “invented” the ipad – because Zelenka used a similar looking device on Stargate Atlantis.
  • The David’s both turned around seeing themselves on the big screen behind them and joked about how they are both loosing their hair/going bald.
  • Hewlett mentioned that if he was ever in a scene in the background of Stargate Atlantis, he was trying to look busy but secretly reading over his lines.
  • Hewlett said that people still tweet him blaming him for blowing up a solar system. (Of course, this is in reference to an episode of Stargate Atlantis).
  • Nykl said if he wasn’t an actor he would probably be some kind of scientist. Hewlett said he would hate to be a convention organizer.
  • There was this guy dressed as a “cat” in the second panel. I can’t remember the character. It’s the character Rob Benedict is known for dressing up as as Kodpiece. Anyway, the “cat” was freaking them both out!
  • Someone asked them what superhero they would make up for each other. Nykl said he would give Hewlett the power to not speak. Hewlett said “Butler Man”. So it became “Mute man and Butler man.” So Hewlett would have to do a lot of pointing otherwise Nykl couldn’t do his job. It was funny!
  • Nykl spoke in his Czech accent for us.
  • Nykl spoke about being in the movie Tomorrowland. He said he saw it not too long ago because he only got the one page of dialogue/scene that he was doing. He wasn’t allowed to read the whole script so he didn’t know much about the movie until he watched it himself.
  • Hewlett said he is working on a documentary about a kid who is trying to turn himself into part android. He also said he is working on a movie with a similar concept of a world where disability is rendered obsolete because of technology. He has spoken about this before – I believe he also mentioned it last year in Melbourne. I’m sure you could find it on YouTube if you’re interested.
  • Hewlett spoke about how he appears in the TV show Dark Matter. He said he wanted to play the android but he understands why they went with someone else. He said if the show keeps going there’s a chance his character will end up on the ship – or at least, being seen in person, not just on screen.
  • He spoke of how he was friends with Vincenzo Natali who asked him to be in a movie when he was younger and he was all for it. So that’s how that relationship happened, developed and helped him get into acting, I guess.

Bruce Campbell

I find it so funny that Bruce does cons in full suits. It’s so rare for someone to dress up in a full suit at cons. For this, I appreciate it. His panel was like seeing a comedy show. He is absolutely hilarious! He was also lovely to meet as well. Just an incredibly funny man.

  • Bruce did an impromptu costume contest with all the Ash’s (from Evil Dead) in the audience. I feel like this was kind of a way to get him out of answering questions as it went on for a long while, but gosh it was funny! So a bunch of people came on the stage and he looked over their costumes. There was one kid who was talking about how his Mum had made the costume and she had a bucket of fake blood at home. He then decided to call his Mum on the phone and he said something like “I have your kid. You will never see him again” on the answering machine. Anyway, it’s a long story – I hope it’s on the DVD because it actually was hilarious!
  • One of the kids said that he had to be up at 4am to work on his costume. Bruce said he has to be up every day at that hour to make Ash vs Evil Dead.
  • Bruce spoke about doing movies that seem right “at the time”. I thought it was very interesting. He said all movies are done “at the right time”. There was one movie he spoke about, I’m not sure of the name, but he said he did it because he was going through a divorce and he needed the movie. So it was the right movie to do “at the time”
  • There was a guy in the audience with a huge Mohawk. He spoke to him a little while about how much hair spray he has to use and stuff. This story is also funnier hearing it live – I can’t do it justice. Get the DVD.
  • There was a girl in the audience from Adelaide – who I thought was drunk – who kept insisting on asking a question and talking non stop. He made some jokes about her during the panel. Which are also funnier live.
  • He spoke about how he was doing a stunt how he had a tube down his shirt that was meant to fire blood everywhere. And the blood went all over everyone and he was perfectly clean. He also mentioned how much work his stunt people are doing.

David Wenham

  • David said that Orlando Bloom will be in the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but he had not been on set when he had been there.
  • He has a film coming out at the 2015 Melbourne Film Festival called Force of Destiny.
  • He said he enjoys flying.
  • He said he was a fan of Peter Jackson’s work before being cast in Lord of the Rings.
  • He said that his horse on Lord of the Rings didn’t like him – but I think he may have said that it was in pain or something and that’s why. I can’t exactly remember the reason, but I remember him saying a horse didn’t like him.
  • He said that there’s a trend in actors and right now it’s Scandinavians that are being cast in movies. He also said that he didn’t expect the “trend” for Australian actors to still be in demand.
  • He also said that somebody in the business said that Australian male actors are manly, whereas American male actors are boys. Like if you look at Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth etc.
  • David said he was offered a role of Game of Thrones but he had to decline because he didn’t have the right visa to be on the show. They’ve now changed the rules and you no longer need said visa to be on the show – but his agent has told him not to do the show. The reasons, I’m not sure why.
  • He said that if he didn’t play Faramir in Lord of the Rings, he would have liked to play Sauron. His favourite character otherwise is Sam.
  • He said he enjoyed working on the movie Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman. He said Hugh is a lovely guy. The director, or maybe the people involved, wanted it to be mostly an Australian cast. He said this has happened on another movie – I forget the name – but the director only wanted to hire actors that he’d get along with.
  • He said his role on Moulin Rouge was a lot bigger. Baz Luhrmann made them rehearse it like a play. He was told that his character was too distracting so it was largely cut. Nor did he have to audition for the role.
  • He said he did a movie with a much younger Keira Knightley and he predicted that she would have a big career. He was right.
  • He said he started off doing plays and him getting into television and movies was by coincidence. He did a play called The Boys which was then turned into a movie, which he was asked to be a part of, and that was, I guess you’d call it, his big break. He said he enjoys television and movies more than plays, but he still does plays every couple of years.
  • David said that he was on a movie set where he character was meant to get shot numerous times. He was wearing this jacket covered in squibs but someone on set tripped a wire which made them go off all at the same time. He said it made him deaf for (I think he said) three months (maybe weeks). He was doing a play and he could hardly hear what the other players were saying. He said it was difficult.
  • His tip to aspiring actors is to email people in the business that they want to work with and ask if they could come on set. He said you’ll find that a lot of them will say yes because people don’t usually email anymore.
  • David said he did many scenes on Lord of the Rings that were cut – including the wedding scene. He mentioned hours and hours and hours of footage.
  • He said he is good at riding a horse.
  • He said that on Lord of the Rings, he and his brother Boromir never had a scene together, until Peter called them in for re-shoots.
  • He joked that he wished he was still as ripped as he was in the movie 300. Less kebabs was the joke, I remember.
  • David said he chose all his clothes for Gettin’ Square from an Op Shop.
  • He spoke of his role as Diver Dan on Seachange. He said that he can’t actually dive because it causes him pain. He said he has to have an operation because of this every couple of years. (I can’t remember the exact terminology – but I know it was to do with smaller tubes – like around his eyes.
  • He spoke of playing Jerry Springer in Jerry Springer The Opera. He said he ran into Jerry but didn’t speak to him, although he wanted/wishes he had.
  • He mentioned he goes for the Sydney Swans in AFL.
  • He said he thinks Nicole Kidman did an amazing job in their new movie Lion. (It also sounds like a really interesting movie!)
  • He said he enjoyed his role in Gettin’ Square. He also spoke about his latest Banished.
  • David said the biggest difference between doing a big movie and a smaller movie is the catering.

Adam Brown & Stephen Hunter

  • Adam said it the costumes were sometimes annoying when you wanted to have an actor moment to yourself before a scene but a make up person would have to come fix your fake beard or makeup or something like that.
  • Stephen said the make up was hard to show expression. You really had to over act but some actors had fake forehead pieces which made it hard for them to move a lot. Peter kept telling them to do more acting but they literally could not move their faces.
  • Adam is currently filming Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • They both said they most enjoyed filming the barrel riding scene.
  • Stephen said that his fat suit wasn’t as heavy as some of the other actors who had to wear more armour.
  • Adam said he liked that his character had a slingshot. He thought it was quite cool and distinctive, but then into shooting when everyone was doing cool things with their swords and weapons, at the end of the day – he still just only had a slingshot which you can only load and release.
  • Adam mentioned how he auditioned for Bilbo.
  • Both said that the food at Bilbo’s table was real.
  • Stephen said it was a mistake eating a full egg during shooting (I can’t remember the scene) because he had to do it over and over again during takes.
  • Stephen said he was not a morning person and would like to sleep in the makeup chair in the early mornings. But costar Jed Brophy would come in and be all loud and jovial in the mornings so it made him difficult for him to sleep. It’s a good example of a morning person vs not a morning person.
  • Adam and Stephen said the goblin cave scenes were hard to shoot because the stage was really hot. The people playing the goblin’s (before they became CGI) would pass out and were barely able to see in their costumes. (There’s footage of this on the DVD special features)
  • Adam said he would introduce himself to all the extras playing the orcs because there was literally no way of telling who was who under all the make up. They both agreed that watching the orcs eat at lunch was off putting.
  • Adam said there was a scene where he had to throw rocks near the camera. The camera guys were wearing a helmet so if the rocks hit them, it wouldn’t be a problem. But Adam threw one and it went under the bottom of the helmet, hit the guy in the face and broke his nose.
  • Stephen spoke a little about character development. I don’t remember much but I know he mentioned that he thought his character would look up to Bofur (which he looked up to the actor as well) – and he would feel like he had to be productive of Bifur, as well.
  • Stephen said he now lives in Sydney.
  • Someone asked if they were happy with the differences from the book in the movie. Both said that they understood why Peter did it. Stephen mentioned that in the book it might say “they fight” and that’s it – whereas that wouldn’t work in a movie because you have to show the actual fight. So he was happy with it. Tauriel, the elf, was also brought up. Stephen said even if there was no mention of her in the books, it is likely that a female elf would have been present. He also mentioned that it was about time that we see more strong female characters in movies.
  • Adam spoke about being at “dwarf camp”. They learnt to walk like a dwarf – even though Stephen said that having all the costume on, it was hard not to automatically walk like a dwarf anyway. They also mentioned that Peter Jackson fell ill during dwarf camp so the camp went on for longer than planned. But all the guys got to bond before shooting began.
  • Both said that they don’t really get recognised outside of conventions. Stephen said he gets recognised in New Zealand more for an ad he did than The Hobbit.
  • Someone asked if they were worried about being typecast and if the role in The Hobbit was good for their career. Stephen said he wasn’t very worried and yes, The Hobbit has opened doors but it hasn’t been as helpful as some might think. He did say his agent said, “you didn’t say anything and no one can see your face.” Adam said that he has played a lot of (I think he said) waiters and nice guys. And once you get to that age, the only other place to go is to play the creepy janitor. He says he knows that time is coming.

Scott Patterson

I wish I could remember more of his panel but I’ve never watched a full episode of Gilmore Girls and as a lot of his questions were about the show, I can’t say that I understood too much of it. Sorry! He was a really nice guy though. He told me that his Day 2 panel was a lot better than the first day, which I attended. So sorry about that too! I was at someone’s panel at that same time ….

  • Scott said that he hated shooting in the town hall because it was such a hot set.
  • Scott joked that he has “padded” his resume a little in the past.
  • He mentioned that he sometimes got notes to talk faster on Gilmore Girls.
  • He said he knew Melissa McCarthy was going to go far, and she’s just as funny and nice in real life as it comes across on screen.
  • Scott says he enjoyed working with Milo. He also mentioned Jared Padalecki and knows that recently he has been going through a hard time. He respected that Jared knew he needed to take a break and spend some time with his family.
  • He said that he kind of new that Gilmore Girls was filming its last episode before the cast was told. It had something to do with someone not being signed on for another year. I also believe he said he still had time on his contract so he worked on a couple more shows on the network (I THINK! Don’t quote me on that)
  • He spoke a little about his Seinfeld episode – the one with the sideburns. He said he had to audition with Jerry. Jason Alexander kind of took him under his wing. And Michael Richards was always pacing working on his material.
  • There’s also been talk of some new Gilmore Girls stuff. But he didn’t confirm nor deny any rumours. It seems unlikely though.

Jewel Staite

  • She spoke about how the catering on Stargate Atlantis was so good! And they started making the cast their favourites, so if you look between season 4 and 5; Jewel, David Hewlett and the rest of the cast were larger. She said she went into wardrobe to ask them not to wash her costume in the machine, but rather hand wash it because she thought her costume had shrunk because it was a tad snug, and they said they were dry cleaning it. She said David also struggled to do his jacket up sometimes.
  • She says she loves working with Joss Whedon and would again.
  • She says she lived in LA for a while but felt lonely. So she moved back home to Vancouver. She says she got more work in LA living in Vancouver than she did when she lived in LA.
  • She said Nathan Fillion loves Firefly and has a tonne of merchandise. I believe she said the show was taken off the air because no one was watching it – but clearly people still love it.
  • She said she has gotten a lot of weird gifts from con goes. Amongst them was bruise cream (the person made it herself), moonshine (her con handler drank it and got drunk during the day) but now she receives a lot of baby clothes and gifts.
  • She said she was pretty exhausted having done three movies back to back – so she was happy to get pregnant when he did because it meant she no longer had to walk and could take a break. She also said that she doesn’t really need the work so can be more picky with projects that she wants to be a part of.

Billy Boyd

I’ve mentioned before how attending Billy’s panel is like going to see a comedy show. I saw his panels on both days but I remember the least for some strange reason.

  • He did mention Space Milkshake, his band Beecake (even pausing the show so everyone could get on iTunes and buy the new album), writing The Last Goodbye, and the Lego story again – details are in my Adelaide right up. It was pretty much the same, so go read that lol.
  • He had a bit of a cold again (as in Adelaide) so he couldn’t sing for us.
  • Billy’s panel was the last one on the Sunday so he said we should all party and have a BBQ.
  • He had a bit of a contest on the stage. The winner would take home a copy of the new Beecake album. He asked how many steps it would take it to walk across the stage. It took 18.
  • Someone asked him who he looks up to and he joked that he looks up to most people because he’s only 5’7. Then he said Dominic Monaghan, spoke a little about his show Wild Things and called Dom on the phone (he was in Portugal, I think). Dominic spoke a little about Billy’s new haircut, the new Beecake album and a lot of other funny stuff. So good!
  • Billy spoke about how he got some new pages for LOTR which mentioned he and Merry up in the tree and then they fall out naked and embrace. They called the official offices are were told that they were official pages. He said he believed it – but it was just a practical joke.

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