My main birthday event happens in a week & a half when I go camping/biking. I did go out for a nice dinner last night and this weekend was also Polaris Con! Behind the cut: Wil Wheaton; more Michael-pics; Neil Grayson & Aaron Douglas chat about Smallville....
Wil Wheaton came out and announced exactly how the panel would go: "I am going to tell you two funny stories about my wife; then I will read an excerpt from my book on Star Trek and then we will have questions." And he proceeded to do just that! He was funny & engaging; the crowd loved his ST memories. My favourite story: WW said a man had shyly told him how much he liked his role on BBT as "evil Wil Wheaton." WW: "Thanks!" Fan: "You play a jerk really well." WW: "Thanks!" *pause* Fan: "But I'm embarrassed that I can't remember your name…" WW was enormously flattered that the guy thought "Wil Wheaton" was a fictional construct from the BBT universe!
Neil Grayson was "Douglas Fargo" on Eureka for many seasons.
Here's my favourite moment of Neil's panel:
Fan: "Did Douglas become more like Neil over the years?"
Neil: "For Douglas to become like Neil, he would have to think a LOT about cats and have cats and hold a cat up in the air and say "WuzzaKITTY!!!!"
Here's Neil demonstrating his onset napping technique.
Neil also had a tiny role on SV, as a victim of the youth-sucking cheerleader in "Redux." When I went up to chat, I asked about that. He said working on SV had been like a reunion because he and Kristin "grew up together". However, he couldn't remember the name of her character on SV! (In a panel question from a SPN fan, he also couldn't remember whether it was Sam or Dean who hugged him in "Tall Tales" and said "You're too precious for this world." It was Sam!)
However, he had some vivid memories of his SV scenes. When the cheerleader kissed him, he "morphed" into an older version of himself, played by a different actor. The older actor was so nervous about the kiss that he overdid the breath spray; it suffused the set and everyone's eyes were watering. The morphing was also awkward because NG had to pause, mid-kiss, tongue protruding.
He also did not like having his chest waxed, for a scene in the school pool (but actually filmed in a hot tub!) The wax did not completely finish the job so the hairs had to be manually plucked & he can still remember the "click – pop" of each hair being extracted and the accompanying pain.
Me: "If they had to shave Michael Rosenbaum's head every day, couldn't they just shave your chest?"
Neil: "That's what I said. But it was the WB. They had an "no body hair" policy. An official no body hair policy!"
(This conversation seemed to have awakened bad memories; when Neil was asked about SV in panel the next day, he retold the waxing story!)
Aaron Douglas was not booked for the Con and yet suddenly there he was! I've met Aaron once before, very briefly, & he was lovely so I went up to say hello and praise his SV episode.
Me: "Traveller was a popular episode with fans because the stakes felt genuinely high. Your character isn't a super-villain. He's a guy determined to do his job…"
Aaron: "And that's the scariest guy of all."
I mentioned that I enjoyed the intensity of the scenes between Aaron and Tom.
Aaron: "It was fun to shoot because Tom is so unbelievably nice."
(I played dumb here hoping he'd give me a little more.)
Me: "Oh, he is?"
Aaron: "The nicest guy you could ever work with!"
Me: "That's great to hear because we hear so little about him."
Aaron: "He's a very private man."
Aaron reminded me that he was also in a first season episode "Obscura." "Lana has visions and you think I'm the bad cop but I turn out to be the good cop!"
Aaron & Wil W.
As I was leaving one of the Star Trek actors, J.G. Hertzler, decided Aaron needed a little more promotion and started yelling "I DON'T THINK PEOPLE KNOW THAT CHIEF TYROL IS HERE!" Well, they sure did then. One fanboy nearly keeled over with surprise & delight.
Now, back to the sexiest geek ever, running with his light saber:
And when are you signing up for a Con, Mister?