Saturday, 1 June 2013

Expo & Cons FedCon Final Eve Panel Report by Doreen Freitag


By: Doreen

"I don’t do things 100%. I do it 120% or I’m not doing it at all."

There is this joke going around that the FedCon should be renamed into BarrowCon. But for me it is only half the truth. For me it has also become the EveCon. I always knew that Eve Myles is a great actress and a beautiful person but - in persona - she almost blew me away with her kindness and grace.

Her first words on stage were about the warm and welcoming audience and that was a good way to start into a heart-touching panel. In the first minutes she happened to fall on her knees and when she recognised it I loved her saying: ‘Oh my God, I feel like being in a church’ and she meant the whole atmosphere in there.

Funnily she started with warning us not to ask her to sing, because we would never sleep again.

The first question was about experiences at auditions. She admitted that she’s not really good at auditions because she’s always a complete nervous wreck when it comes to it and auditions are the most nerve wracking hideous experiences for an actor at all.

At this point Caspar Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Titans) popped into her panel and they joked a little bit about last night. Eve: ‘You were amazing.’ Casper to the audience: ‘She was amazing.’ When he left the stage Eve said that there was this agreement in both casts that if there ever will be a Starship Troopers comeback they would love to have John in it and if there ever will be a comeback of Torchwood some of the Troopers’s cast as Casper Van Dien would be in it.
I really would like to see this happen.

Then there was this question about the relationship Gwen Cooper/Jack Harkness and Eve Myles/John Barrowman.
 Eve: ‘I think when Gwen is strong, Jack is weak.’ She compared Jack’s and Gwen’s relationship to a jigsaw because the two characters kind of fix each other and learn from each other. And that would be also the description of the relationship between her and John. Asked about being soulmates with John Eve said: ‘Without a doubt. Apart from my husband to be and my daughter, John is the love of my life. He is the best friend anyone could possibly have and be lucky to have.’
About Captain Jack Harkness: ‘He’s an extraordinary character and there’s only one person to play him and that’s John Barrowman.’

How did she feel when she heard she’d got the role of Gwen?
Eve explained her situation back then. She was a jobbing actress and at the time she was doing a play with Michael Gambon at the National Theatre. She had done one Doctor Who episode and thought that was it but eight months later she got a letter from Julie Gardner. It said they’d come to see her show and would like to meet her for a drink afterwards. In that meeting she was asked to play the lead character in a Doctor Who spin-off written by Russell T Davies and that was the point she almost lost her self-control and coolness.
Showing us her outside vs. inside reactions - that moment was hilarious. (Outside: ‘Tell me more about this. Am I free? Uhm, yes, I’m free.’ / Inside: ‘YES! YES! YES!’)

‘So but even to this day I can't quite believe, I won't forget that big moment when Russell T Davies had that much faith in me to play Gwen Cooper.  I'm very happy. I hope I did it well.’
Oh yes, you did, Eve.

Asked for a story from the Torchwood set to share she told again the shower scene we all know. But she also described how lucky they felt being on that show. They didn’t take every moment for granted and the way to give it back was to do it really well, to keep reinventing themselves and treat them as exciting as possible. Nevertheless, there wasn’t a moment that went by where they didn’t laugh and had fun.

At this point Eve asked us: ‘Do you want to see my best John Barrowman impression?’ Did she really expect anyone telling her No?
What she acted out then is hard to describe. It was the entertainer John Barrowman coming on stage with a showily here-I-am gesture and a huge teeth-blinking smile. She continued showing that during the panel every time when the name John Barrowman was mentioned. She always made us laughing tears when doing it.

The next question was about Eve’s new role in the TV series ‘Frankie’. She talked about the character who’s a senior district nurse, a bit like Gwen, not a Florence Nightingale but a woman with flaws. Frankie is a firework to play, an incredible character - loved by everyone.

I don’t want to bore you readers with every question that was asked but I loved her answering the question about her voice-over work in the computer game Dragon Age 2. She enjoyed us with the story about her nephew’s reaction when she was telling him that she had been asked to do this job for Dragon Age and wasn’t completely sure whether to do it or not. Her nephew stared at her and shouted: ‘DO IT! GROW UP! DO IT!’
And it was also nice to hear that Gareth David-Lloyd will be involved in Dragon Age 3.

Because I’m a huge fan of Merlin – The New Adventures (she joined for one episode) I loved her telling about the Merlin crew so warmly.
‘The cast was fantastic. Colin Morgan is the most beautiful person you could ever be lucky to meet and work with. I can’t talk highly enough about them all. People who are so talented deserve people to follow them and to support them.’
You are so right, Eve. Signed.

Many questions during the panel were about Welsh, American and Scottish accents (‘Give me the Glaswegian every day’).
She said some words in Welsh (making fun with ‘Diolch’) and told us about taking her family to America when filming Miracle Day. Back at home her little daughter was Americanized and it was hard to turn it back. Of course, no talking about accents would be complete without mentioning John Barrowman.
When they returned from America Eve’s mother heard her granddaughter talking with that American accent and asked: ‘What’s wrong with her? WHY IS SHE TALKING LIKE JOHN BARROWMAN???!!’

About Kai Owen:
‘He’s gay.’
‘He’s just fantastic. What you see is what you get. He’s a complete professional but the kissing scenes were really difficult.’

Q: If you could have one of those alien technologies in Torchwood, what would it be?
A: ‘Bring me the sex gas!’

About the loss of Owen, Toshiko and Ianto (and the actors behind the characters):
‘We had become a family. When they said: We’re not gonna be here next season, it was…oh…’ At this point Eve was almost in tears and so were we.
‘Naoko and Burn gave incredible performances in their dying scenes. And we went through a rough time when Ianto died.’
‘But I still love them dearly. Great friends.’

Asked about her favourite Torchwood season Eve said that it had to be Children Of Earth. ‘We had that one story to tell. It was huge with all these extraordinary actors. It wasn’t about the 456. It was about how humans can be cruel and be the biggest monsters of all. And it changed what Torchwood was.’

Of course someone asked her about the lost British touch in Miracle Day. And she admitted that it’s true but ‘we keep surprising you and keep you guys interested. There are no regrets with everything. That’s what we got to do to keep things alive: Taking risks.’

Let’s close the report with the words that captured me the most and made me loving her even more.
The question was: ‘If you had some saying in Doctor Who or Torchwood. What would you do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who?’
I have written down her answer and that’s what she said:
‘It’s gonna be a celebration anyway. What I would like to do is open a bottle of Champaign with Russell T Davies and go Thank You – on behalf of the world. He brought us back. We’ve got a lot to thank Russel for. So the Doctor is 50 only because he was brought back by Russell T Davies. This guy is so smart and so clever and has given you the best science fiction we’ve had in years. He’s like 3D chess, insanely talented. Nothing is by accident, everything is for a reason. I’m proud of being part of it.
As for Torchwood coming back: Let’s all keep fingers crossed. And see what happens. When they ask Gwen and Captain Jack to come back we’ll be there.’

Thank you, Eve. For me yours was the most emotional panel of the FedCon 22.

(Thanks to Louise Sibthorpe for that lovely picture of the kneeling Eve! All of the other beautiful pictures were taken by Katja Armbruster. Thanks for the permission to use them for my report!)

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