On Friday the 4th of September I happily made my way to Fan Expo, arriving at 10:00 I had great plans to use my press pass to its fullest. I was hopeful again for a press scrum, the previous year there had been one where press was able to greet several of the guest that were coming to the Expo, including names like Trish Stratus, Robert Englund, and Amy Dumas. I missed last years due to an unfortunate issue where my ride’s engine fell out of his car literally a kilometer form the Expo. Dealing with this made me miss the scrum but this year I was prepared. Unfortunately no scrum on Friday, oh well, there’s so much more to see this year.
Friday isn’t as busy as Saturday and Sunday, and a lot off the big names haven’t arrived yet, still there are plenty of celebs to be seen. Billy Dee Williams arrives today so that’s cool. An issue is that a lot of the stars that were supposed to arrive have really messed up schedules, either due to flights, incorrect information or simply life. This year I was mildly surprised to see how many Canadian stars seem to be missing. Later I would discover why. Dragoncon is going on in Atlanta and a quick glimpse at the roster and I was able to see that they have a lot of our celebs, and when I say a lot I mean it. Almost the entire cast of Arrow is at that con, and when I found that out I was not happy. Also artist Arthur Adams was supposed to attend Fan Expo but cancelled which shocked me when I saw he attended Dragoncon. The fact that Dragoncon was on the same weekend as Fan Expo makes me think it was intentionally planned as competition, which is good, maybe it will make the higher ups at Fan Expo pay attention and make next year’s event even better. Friday had a few events that I really wanted to attend, I failed on most part to make any of them except one, which was my favorite choice.
While I was in the south building, which has all the artists and most of the comic stores in it, I got a text from my contact in the PR department, I had the chance to interview David Della Rocco, one of the stars of The Boondock Saints. I raced over to the north building, making it in 30 minutes, a feat for anyone, especially someone in a knee brace. I was able to get to David’s line and perform a rather relaxed interview.
Mr. Rocca is a very easy going and open movie star, he displays none of the ego or vanity that a man who helped create one of the greatest B Movies in cinematic history might have (of course that’s my opinion). I was able to interview Mr. Della Rocca while he casually greeted his fans. While a lot of people might not know him, he is responsible for one of the funniest lines I have ever heard on film. My wife who has considerably better taste than me (except in men) has agreed that David’s performance in The Boondock Saints added a great deal of humor and enjoyment to a movie that otherwise might have crumbled under the weight of its proposed ethics.
I was able to do brief research into his history but most of what I found he quickly rebuffed, including any rumors that he and Troy Duffy (the writer and director of Boondock Saints) were child hood friends, he was quite honest in telling me that every single line he spoke was not improvised it was in fact written exactly the way he spoke them, which is impressive since I’ve always believed he made a lot of it up, when in fact it was pure acting.
When asked what he’s been up to he easily said not much, but he has travelled and attended a few conventions lately. He was happy to say that he was impressed with Toronto Fan Expo and its size, in comparison to almost any other comic con or expo.
I requested the interview with David because I felt he played a key role in one of my favorite movies. He really seemed like a genuine guy and someone I will continue to watch for.
After interviewing David I had the chance to meet and interview his costar in the Boondocks Saints, Mr. Sean Patrick Flannery. Mr. Flannery was cordial and genuinely seemed like a laid back kind of guy. I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him since his line was so full of fans.
Moving on from my fan crushes I ran/hobbled as fast as I could to make it to my main goal for Friday which was to watch the 2nd episode of Mr. Robot, including a panel with Christian Slater.
The show proved to be interesting, I worry that its overall tone might not catch on and that some of the dialogue might be hard for “casual” computer enthusiasts to understand. I also found that the heavy background music really distracted me. The acting and story are excellent, and the concepts really did draw me in. I really want to see the rest of the first season.
After the viewing Christian came out and answered some questions. After Learning that original writer and director of Pump Up the Volume, Allan Moyle, might be interested in creating a sequel Christian jumped at the chance to say that if the script was good he’d be more than happy to play Hard Harry again, this drove the crowd insane with happiness.
I later had my own experience with Mr. Slater, I won’t go into detail but he is an awesome guy who is helpful to others and I really wish him all the best.
As Fan Expo Day 2 drew to a close for me I can tell you that it was excellent, very tiring but excellent.
I have some concerns that only my fellow press will understand. At almost every single Expo or Con, press is allowed to move to a Q&A early, grabbing up not the best but at least adequate seating so that they can record and document properly. They also do not wait in huge lines for a lot of the events. Not because we are special but because without the publicity we provide, all Fan Expo has is word of mouth, and in some cases social media to keep it going for publicity. Fan Expo does not subscribe to the same idea that other cons do. While press will receive passes to the show they wait in line like standard attendees, this makes it really hard to race to another event for reporting, and waiting in line for multiple hours takes time from reporting other great happenings. Hopefully this is something that Fan Expo figures out in a hurry. Free tickets or not the need for media to help provide free advertising is high, and really you can’t put a price on the happiness of a Fanboy.