Yesterday morning I travelled up to the mighty metropolis of Bournemouth, for a combined Film & Comic Convention held at the BIC! As an aspiring comic book writer, I was trying to view it as a serious vocational research and networking opportunity, and hoping not to get too distracted by all the glamorous celebs who’d been coaxed down to the backwoods of Dorset… but as I entered the hall, the first door I walked through led directly past the area where Ellie Kendrick was sat waiting to greet her fans! Ack!! So, my wannabe-“professional” resolution lasted about five minutes, before I giddily joined the queue to meet her and get a photo signed. Thankfully the couple in front of me asked about her potential involvement in the next season of Game of Thrones, and received a polite “my lips are sealed” answer, which saved me the embarrassment of broaching the subject (Kristian Nairn, aka ‘Hodor’, was sat at the neighbouring table, and he’d hand-written a jokey little sign warning people not to “f**king” ask him about S6!).
Sadly, I’d had sod-all sleep the night before, and was basically just a brain-dead zombie running on caffeine and dry fruit… added to my generally introverted nature, and long-standing inability to talk to attractive women, this meant that I didn’t exactly paint the air purple with witty repartee… but Ellie, bless her heart, was very encouraging and amiable, asking questions and taking a genuine interest in her fans. I did manage to stutter out the question I pondered back in my post on GoT S4, regarding the parallel between her character ‘Meera’ hiding from the Wildlings, and her portrayal of Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis (in the eponymous BBC series)… apparently the connection hadn’t occurred to her before, because the stories are set in such different worlds and based on such different sources (i.e., one was historical while the other was fantasy), but at least it made me look half-awake!
She was also very accommodating when it came to taking unofficial photographs… after I asked if it would be okay to take a quick snap of her at the table with my own camera, she cheerfully offered to stand beside me for a two-shot, and even put her arm around me! Sadly I was using an old-school disposable camera, so I won’t have any proof that actually happened until the roll is developed… frankly, it happened so fast, and I was in such a daze, I barely believe it myself! A couple hours later, after I’d been around all the stalls and rehydrated my brain, I realised that it might be a good idea to get a snap of her by herself, just in case I looked too hideous/sweaty/creepy in the two-shot, and wanted a photo I could actually show people… sadly, by that point I’d completely lost the ability to form intelligible sentences, and was starting to feel like a stalker, so that was just a quick snap and a slightly awkward good-bye (reprise).
Later in the afternoon, there was a GoT-related Q&A, featuring Ellie, Kristian, and the annoyingly good-looking/charismatic Finn Jones (aka ‘Loras Tyrell’). I got there early enough to snag a seat, but the acoustics in the hall were pretty crappy, and I wasn’t always able to hear what the guests were saying. However, I did try to take notes, and can now reveal these exclusive tidbits: If Ellie could bring back any former GoT character from the dead, she’d resurrect the rabbits Meera hunted/skinned… but couldn’t think of anyone she wished dead in their place. Aw! Her fave characters on the show are Arya and Brienne, because they’re “baaad-ass!” (amen, sister). Given a choice, she thinks Meera would prefer to stay in the swamps and eat frogs than sit on the Iron Throne as Queen… but speaking for herself, she’d quite like to “sashay down to King’s Landing”, to enjoy the sunnier weather. As an actress she particularly enjoyed the fight sequences in S4, because there’s a set choreography to learn, and a definite “right” and “wrong” way to do things… whereas dialogue scenes can be played a million different ways, so there’s a lot more uncertainty involved. In fact, after a couple hundred takes, actors can sometimes lose the sense of the words they’re saying, and just start giggling over how silly they sound. Future-wise, she’d like to do more theatre work… especially if it involves old Billy Shakespeare (apparently there’s a DVD of her playing Juliet in a production of R&J filmed at The Globe, which I’ll have to check out sometime… along with the fifth series of Misfits!). Oh, and after one audience member asked the panel which GoT character they thought would make the best Terminator, she admitted that she’d never seen the original movie, to the astonishment of everyone. There were a couple answers I couldn’t quite make-out, and I briefly considered visiting her table for a third time, to clarify what she’d said… but I thought that would be pushing her hospitality a little (the White Stripes song “Take, Take, Take” kept playing through my head), so instead I just slouched on home to think about all the incredibly clever and funny things I *should* have said when I had the chance. Fun!
Note: It wasn’t just super-cute/super-talented actresses I was harassing… I also pumped John Wagner (legendary creator of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Robo-Hunter, among many other classic British comics) for writing tips. For some reason (possibly sleep-deprivation), I kept calling him “sir”, like I was still the same spotty schoolboy who used to trace 2000 AD covers to stick up on the classroom wall! Sigh…
* The stage had been shoved into the corner of a large open-plan hall, with no separation between it and all the dealers’ tables, where hundreds of people were milling around and chatting/haggling. Tch!