The First Evil (asta77) wrote in jamiebambernews,
The First Evil

Jamie & Mary McDonnell at Mega Con 2007

Wow. What a con. I debated whether it was worth going, but by Sunday afternoon I decided it was well worth the time and money.

I’d apologize for the length, but I’m assuming you want details. ;-)

Saturday Autograph Session:

Mary was to start signing autographs at 11:30; Jamie at Noon. Mary already had quite a long line formed. Jamie’s line had five people. This did not seem right to me. It’s not that Mary shouldn’t have a long line, but that they should have had equally long lines. Since Jamie was the priority I opted to get in his line first. It was a good decision for many reasons. The woman in front of me was friendly and wanted to chat. Her husband and daughter were in Mary’s line. After seeing how long that line was already she opted to get in Jamie’s (well, for other reasons too ;) to ensure they got both autographs. She was a relative newbie to BSG and to Jamie so I got to instill my knowledge and spoilage. She didn’t mind being spoiled and wanted a rumor she heard clarified.

Jamie showed up on time (Mary was twenty minutes late which made me think they were maybe eating together.) Personally, I think the earlier you got autos, the better. The actor is fresher and is more likely to be chatty since they haven’t had to talk to hundreds of people yet.

After the customary “Nice to meet you” and Jamie asking for my name I told him I had a request to make. He gave me the slightly fearful, “OK”, but I assured him that this was more embarrassing to me than to him. I went on to explain that, several months ago, I started an LJ community to keep his fans informed of his work, etc. The first thing out of his mouth and something I will never forget, “What’s an LJ?” Um, yeah, I enlightened Jamie Bamber as to what an LJ is. ::dies:: I explained that it’s short for Live Journal, it’s a blogging community, and that I started jamiebambernews to let people know what he was up to such as his appearance on Cold Case tonight and Ghost Whipserer next Friday. I then explained I had written him a letter, to be read at his convenience, in regards to the community. He took it and set it aside and asked me way I was embarrassed. I explained I just felt weird asking. Then I told him I’d appreciate him reading it or he could throw it in the trash, I’d never know. He said that, no, he’d read it.

After the awkwardness was over, I went on to ask if he had any other projects lined up since they weren’t due back for BSG until June and he said “No, but I’m hoping to do a film.” I don’t think he had a specific film in mind, just that he was hoping to find one to do. I then said something about the BSG renewal and there was a change in his body language and tone. Let me clarify, he had nothing but kind words about the show itself and the fans over the course of the weekend, but there seems to be some stuff going on behind the scenes that we are not aware of.

I mentioned that I had no problems with the shortened season if it meant a tighter, stronger season like season 1. He agreed with me, but he said they (Sci-Fi) were holding their arms behind their backs (he even demonstrated this) and they (the actors) weren’t sure what was up. At that point I asked what may be a stupid question and stated if I was being too personal please tell me, but “do you get paid per episode or for a season?” “Per episode.” At which point I said, for their sakes, I hope they get the full twenty.

Then he asked for my name again and after I said it, again, he was like ‘Oh, yeah, I already asked you that’. And for any of you who were with me during the James Marsters autograph experience, here I go again! He went to sign my rather dark photo with a black marker (side note – he forgot to bring markers and had to jump up at the start of the session to borrow some from Kevin Sorbo.) and I said “Um, I think it would be better if you used silver.” He pointed out that the silver wasn’t working well and “trust me, I have done this many times before, and it will work…see”. I apologized, said something about a tendency to be pushy, and he added that “black ink actually lasts longer”. I did not know that.

I thanked him for his time and taking the letter and he said he appreciated the effort to keep people informed about him and thanked me. :)

OK, Mary’s line was still HUGE, but at least Jamie’s had grown considerably. I opted to go off, make a phone call, and grab a snack since I hadn’t eaten yet. I brought said snack with me since I ate at the food court Friday and not a good experience.

When I went back in the main Con room, Mary’s line was much shorter. Both she and Jamie had taken off after signing for an hour. I guess they hadn’t eatan earlier. Anyway, I started up a conversation with the two guys in line ahead of me and again babbled on about BSG, Mary, Jamie, blogging, even fan fic, you name it.

Now, Jamie was willing to pose for a pic with you for $5, autographs were $20. (I did not get a photo with Jamie, I just have personal issues with posing with celebrities.) They had written on the board for their autograph sessions that Mary was not having photos taken. I thought that meant with her so I was happily snapping a few pics in line until her handler said “Mam, NO pictures.” Oops. But, in fairness, I think they should have made that more clear.

I didn’t talk to Mary long and actually asked a question on behalf of my mom. I said that Sneakers was one of our favorite movies of hers and my mom wanted to know what it was like working with Robert Redford. She said, “Just like you’d expect” and that he was nice and a gentleman. I then thanked her and moved along, but, apparently, she wasn’t done talking to me because I heard her say thank you and “Give my love to your mother.”

Saturday Q&A

Good thing I’m sneaky. The conference rooms for the Q&A’s are tiny. The one for the Farscape panel was not much larger than my mother’s living room. The BSG panel was scheduled in the larger room, but, still, it looked to seat around three hundred people. I didn’t see a line up outside the room, but I decided at 4 (their Q&A was at 5) to sit in on the Star Wars costume building workshop. There was some interesting tidbits and seeing a working R2-D2 come into the room was pretty cool. Anyway, after that wrapped up about half the people there stayed behind. I wasn’t the only one being sneaky. ;) I ended up being able to move up a few rows and grabbed a seat on the aisle (it helps when you are short).

The nice people sitting next to me said they’d save my seat while I ran to the bathroom and when I went outside there was a massive line outside to get in. I didn’t know how they would seat everyone. I almost didn’t get back in accept the nice colonial marine doing security (yep, they had colonial marines doing security) said he remembered me just coming out. After mentioning to the folks next to me that there was a huge line outside, one of the Con people asked some people against the wall to move over since they were removing the wall between the conference rooms (they seemed clueless that Jamie and Mary would be so popular). Of course, those of us with good seats then went into panic mode because would they move the stage? There could have been a riot. Fortunately, they couldn’t move the stage and they were just opening up the second room so people could watch/listen. Phew!

Jamie and Mary came in, a little late due to the reconfiguring, and were as perplexed as we were that they had set them up on either side of the podium. Mary and Jamie took it upon themselves to start moving stuff so they were on the same side of the table and Mary made a joke about the two of them being the tech people on the set.

OK, here are the highlights as best as I can recall. Between taking pictures, taking notes, and thinking Lee and Laura are right in front of me it’s a bit of a blur.

• I can’t recall what triggered it, but they started referencing lyrics from the song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and, of course, people encouraged them to sing a little of it. I think Mary was game, but Jamie commented he can’t sing.

• There was a question about Jamie’s flawless English accent and I admit I took photos and tuned out the answer because we’ve heard it so often before. I will say, he doesn’t think it’s flawless.

• Someone asked about Laura’s relationship with Adar and how she came up with the idea (someone knew their back story well). Again, I’ve heard her address this before, Laura being a woman of a certain age, being in a certain position, but she went on to say she felt Laura had a great deal of respect for Adar, but there were areas that they disagreed on and one of those occurred right before the attacks. She also felt the relationship had been going on for years.

• Can’t recall the exact question, but it was similar to what I wanted to ask – what happened to Lee and Laura? Mary turned to Jamie and asked, “Yeah, what happened to us? We use to talk.” Then she lamented that they aren’t even in the same room now and Jamie mentioned that she put that piece of paper with Olympic Carrier written on it in her pocket and that was it.

• Oh, thank God, I just deciphered my short hand on this one! There was a question regarding what their favorite line on the show was. While Jamie was pondering, Mary said, “Laura, I love you.” ::dies:: Jamie laughed, then offered in his best EJO impersonation “You gotta role the hard six...whatever that means.”

• Talking about how they came to be offered/get the roles. Mary said this is such a cliché and it really NEVER happens, but she was eating lunch with her agent at Spago’s when he brought up that they wanted her for BSG. Her response, “Oh, good, how much?” When he told her she said “that’s nice” and then asked what it was they wanted her to do. Jamie said he wasn’t asked, he had to audition. He was in LA looking for work since he was starring on a horrible show over in England at the time (He didn't say it, but it was 'Ultmiate Force'). Mary chimed in (bless her) that he had to come over for an audition with her. Jamie replied (bless him) that he had to go over to her place with a Domino’s cap and a pizza. ::dies yet again::

• Jamie was asked about how he felt about all the changes Lee has gone through and the corners he’s turned (Side note – I have to say I was really impressed with the questions that were asked. It was a room full of smart people.) Jamie said he’s always asking for more corners and he enjoys playing the various aspects of Lee. Even Fat!Lee. The latex limited his facial expressions and he found it challenging to find ways to show what Lee was feeling. Oh, and he was talking about wearing Sharon’s pregnancy belly. He noticed one day, after they started filming this season, that there were two pieces of padding hanging up. He asked what the other was and they said, “Oh, that’s Sharon’s other belly.” That’s when he realized they were using the wrong one. He had worn the smaller one in the season finale and her seven months pregnant one in the third season.

• Asked about how long it is between filming an ep and it airing Jamie and Mary believe the one airing tonight was filmed back in November. Mary said that with post production, eps are not ready until a week before they air. Then Jamie put a plug in for Cold Case, which drew surprises from many in the audience, and that he had just filmed that in January and it was airing this weekend.

• Did Mary know, since Laura had cancer, that her role would be extended? Turns out she knew all along - but couldn’t tell - that Laura was not going to die of cancer. Ron told her that she could potentially struggle with it over the five year run (yep, there is a five year run planned), but she wasn’t going anywhere. Though, she said with the way things are on the show, she could die.

• Mary talked about being the president and how she wanted to see her get stronger as the show went on, deal with things more head on and she asked herself what kind of president will she be?

• I can’t recall the context, but there was a comment from Jamie about getting into things and Mary pointed at him. ;)

• Jamie discussed a scene in the final two eps totally out of context so I’m going to say it’s not a spoiler. Plus, it’s so cool! Jamie feels (and I have to say Jamie feels because I got him to clarify later) that at the end of the season Apollo gets back to the original idea of Apollo. Lee ends up being put in a corner and it drives him to spew forth what he really thinks about everything and everybody. It’s a purging. And he goes back to being the vipor pilot, the person you can rely on. Mary chimed in at this point to say that she was on set the day he filmed this scene and that it was “an astonishing moment” – everyone was blown away by Jamie’s performance. No one could hear it, but Jamie shushed her and Mary said, “Don’t shush me.” He then finished up by saying that Apollo comes back together again.

• Mary was blown away from the start of the series; Jamie not so much. He still feels the mini is slow, but also admits that you need that to set up the show.

• Jamie was asked about Lee/Dee/Kara/Anders and how he felt about it. Brace yourselves; he thought it was a “fantastic” idea. Actually, it was his doing and if we didn’t like it, his apologies. He discussed interpersnal and extrapersonal relationships, how he thought it was important to focus on inner struggles after focusing on the outward struggles, and that it was interesting to explore how all these important people to the fleet were dealing with this mess they had created for themselves. Then he mentioned how soap opera exists in personal relationships, but this wasn't that.

• Mary was asked about her relationship with Adama and before the guy asking could finish she said, “Which Adama?” I think it was at that point that Mary said she was making Jamie blush so he’d match the color of his sweater. The questioner said “Admiral Adama” and Jamie interjected in this mock angry/bratty tone. “One day I’ll be admiral, just you wait.” And Mary replied, “And I’ll be ninety!” Mary finally got around to answering the question, and it was nothing she hadn’t said before - how Laura and Adama’s relationship has evolved and grown professionally and because of that they have grown closer. But it seemed clear to me she was talking strictly about a professional relationship and a friendship; there was no indication of them going further or her wanting it to.

• Jamie loved ‘Taking a Break from All Your Worries’ though he said it’s a ridiculous title. They saw a rough cut that ran one hour and twenty minutes and it was sensational. Jamie said it played like a movie, but then they had to cut it down to forty-four minutes. Oh, I think this response came about after someone asked about how much footage is cut and how it affects the episodes. There was a mention of the Lee/Dee relationship and Jamie admitted that a lot of that unfortunately was lost.

• Favorite episodes – Jamie said he thinks 19 & 20 of this season are the best they’ve done. Mary still says ‘33’ is her favorite.

• There was talk about the show opening the door for older actors and not just focusing on the younger cast members. Also, Mary being the president as opposed to the wife or mother.

• Jamie was asked about meeting/working with Richard Hatch for the first time. Jamie was a wee bit nervous since he had heard Richard hated them. He didn’t blame him though since he had worked for years to see his own BSG project brought to screen and then not have it happen. But he said he was very nice and generous and it’s been wonderful working with him. It helped Jamie to focus on the differences between the Apollo’s. His Apollo has his own name, Lee Adama, and he concentrated on the strained relationship with his father.

• Jamie was asked what was up with the sweater? (see photos) Considering some of his previous con wear, I didn’t think it was bad and pink is in! Turns out it was a Christmas gift from his mom (insert, Awwwwwww) and he thought it brought out the blue in his eyes.

• He wouldn’t name names (damn!) but BSG was his first American TV show and a recent guest starring appearance showed him that on other shows you are allowed zero input. For instance, you can’t even say “Um” in front of the line, you have to say it exactly as written.

• Asked if they were all friends off the set because they all seem to get along so well, they said that they were all quite close. Mary sited Jamie and James in particular. Jamie said they both have young families and have an “extended cult tribe” thing going. He was serious and Mary agreed with him. ;) Mary said that shooting in Vancouver rather than LA brings you closer together. They don’t hang out a lot off set, but they often will pick up a phone and call one another if they get a script and see something they don’t like. They all watched the World Cup together which got an enthusiastic response from Mary’s son in the front role. Mary mentioned that she has a really nice trailer (Jamie agreed) and discovered that it is equipped with an outdoor flat screen TV so they would all pull up a chair and watch the games together. Jamie is still trying to figure out why you would have a TV at tire level? Is it to entertain those next to you held up in traffic?

• They both rooted for Italy in the World Cup. Jamie said something about the “Frenchies” which gave me a ‘Hornblower’ flashback and that while he likes France, no, they didn’t need to win again.

• The ratings are up on Sundays. Woo Hoo! However, Jamie seemed genuinely saddened that the show with the move, the buzz, and everything else is not a break out hit at this point. He really expected it to be.

Caprica – Jamie heard that Sci-Fi had commissioned a script, but Mary was under the impression the project was dead.

• They were both really good about not giving away spoilers. Actually, they were both warned not to. They were asked about Baltar’s trial and Lee’s role in it. Jamie asked, “You all know about this, right?” But when he asked the audience about Lee’s role and got multiple answers he backed off. He and Mary did offer some tiny bits of info, but I’ll refrain. ;)

Sunday Autograph Session:

I debated going back on Sunday. What excuse could I come up with for needing more autographs? But when am I going to get these two in a room together again? And I was beating myself up over a couple things. Like noticing how blue Jamie’s eyes were (sadly becasue of crappy lighting they looked more grey) or not being able to tell Mary about how much I was geeked over her love of Lee and Laura. So, I went back and sooooo glad I did.

Again, I started off with Jamie. I only had to wait about forty-five minutes in line for him, but, sadly, had no one to chat with. When I got up to the head of the line I said “I’m back again” and it didn’t freak him out. ;) I told him how much I enjoyed his talk and what he had to say about Apollo and since I was spoiled…

Jamie:”You’re spoiled? How are you spoiled?”
Me (hoping he was talking about the show): “For the rest of the season.”
Jamie: “But how do you know what’s going to happen?”
Me: “Uh, the internet and, actually, you. I’ve read some of your interviews in European magazines and you tend to give stuff away.”
Jamie: “I do? I have to stop doing that.”
Me: “No! Please don’t. We appreciate it.”

Um, so after that little debacle, I told him, again, I appreciated his comments about Apollo in the Q&A and I’m glad he confirmed that Lee was getting back to who he was in season 1 and early season 2 because we missed him. That’s when he said he didn’t really know what direction they were going in, he was assuming some things, and that it wouldn’t be season 1 Lee, but season 2 Lee. I said he was more often right than not and he said, “No, I’m not.” Why did I feel as if I was about to get in an argument with Jamie Bamber? Fortunately, it amused me.

As I gave my thanks and goodbyes I mentioned I was the one who had talked to him about the Comm yesterday. He said, “Yeah, I know, I read your letter last night.” Luckily, I am not a fainter. But my “REALLY?!” and “Thank you so much!” was a little fangirly. So, let me just say that Jamie knows about the Comm and there is a small possibility that *maybe* down the road he might do something here. Apparently, it’s not entirely up to him. But he read the letter and he didn’t say no. So, the more traffic and positive word of mouth we have here then we increase are chances of who knows what?

After some internal squeeing, it was on to Mary. First of, Oscar nominated Mary McDonnell complimented me on my jewelry. Jewlery that I will never, ever be getting rid of, thank you. Following my, “Thank you!”, I said how much I enjoyed the Q&A and that I really appreciated her talking about Lee and Laura since their relationship was one of the things that got me hooked on the show and how I really miss it. She was like, “I know!” and said how much she loved them together and working with Jamie and then like after, “what, the third episode?” they forgot about them.

It’s here I decided to push the subject a little and said that myself and many people I know would love to see the two of them together, as a couple, on the show and find it more interesting than Lee/Kara or Lee/Dee. She, too, thinks it’s an interesting dynamic, and the problem is they have all these young, male writers who just are unable to see the dynamic between the two and won’t write it. I said that most of my friends are around my age and can totally see it. She says her younger male friends can see it to, but not the writers. Then she lamented TV and how they have this stringent view of what plays and what people want to see. I said I know she was teasing Jamie a bit, but I really appreciated hearing her talk and joke about it. She said it was all intentional on her part – she wanted to see how the audience would take it and was very happy with the response she got. And, honestly, a good percentage of the audience did applaud at her Lee/Laura remarks during the Q&A. So, I wrapped things up by saying that I wanted her to know that many of the fans support the idea of them together and she was thrilled to hear it and she said, “Well, you never know!” Seriously, I think she may convey some of this to the writers and while it probably still won’t happen….OMG, I TALKED TO MARY MCDONNELL ABOUT LEE AND LAURA! ::dies some more::

And because it took me forever to upload here is the link to the album of Con photos. I loaded all the ones I thought turned out reasonably well and a few that didn’t, but amused me. Sorry about the bad lighting in a few, but I, in some cases, I didn't want to set a flash off in their faces.

And here is a teaser:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Aren’t they adorable? :)

And that wraps up the BSG portion of the Con report. Ask questions and please feel free to link and credit jamiebambernews because we need Jamie’s people to be watching! ;-)
Tags: convention: mega con, photos: convention

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