Friday, 17 May 2013

Expo's & Cons FedCon Report by Antje Strauch

Colin Ferguson and Matt Frewer from “Eureka” were on before John Barrowman and Eve Myles did the “Torchwood” panel, which was the final panel at Sunday. He went out with both chairs him and Matt had sat on. Then he came back in, still carrying them and announced: "John Barrowman wants to sit down". We all laughed.

First they showed the video "Single ladies" and three Barrowmans dancing to it. One Barrowman is not enough. I still have an earworm from that song. Then Eve and John came out, dancing to the music which introduced them (“Dankeschoen”). First alone, then John started to swirl Eve around, at one time her feet weren't touching the ground anymore.

John showed his German skills with "Oh mein Gott!" They sat down and Eve told everyone: "Six years I work with this man - he has the hangover from hell." And she wanted us all to scream like mad. We did not need much encouragement. We screamed his headaches away, even twice ;) John also greeted us with "Gut'n Abend" and then said that it actually was "Guten Morgen" for him. Later in the panel they showed a picture of Captain Jack in that episode where he is laying drunk in the street with the broken bottle stuck in his stomach with the words "Game Over". John laughed and admitted that this is what he looked like last night. I think he went home at 6 AM or something. He asked who of the fans had been still with him at the time.

The first question was about John's concert tour and if he couldn't expand a bit to other countries than the UK. He said that he would love to but it's up to the booking agents/promoters. They don't know him from sci-fi shows, they don't know his musical work or CDs or TV shows. They think he won't fill the places up. All it takes is 500 people then they would accept it. So he encouraged us to write to them and tell them we want to see him. He tried it last year at his page with people voting for cities in the US but nobody wrote.

Well, let's do it then! Eve asked if someone has a big backyard and then John also said that the location we were in right now would actually be perfect for it. Maybe Dirk can expand his work :)

John announced the next questioner singing "In the middle, in the middle with the orange hair" to some made up melody, at least it wasn't one I recognized but that does not mean much. The guy with the orange hair wanted to know about the Face of Boe. Well, first he gave a kinda backwards compliment in saying that the Face of Boe doesn't look as good as John. John replied with a mock-offended voice that he wouldn't look so great either if he spent more than hundred-thousand years as a head in a jar :) I'm not sure what else followed here and John did not have any elaborate answer than “Yes.”

The guy also wanted to know whether John wanted to be a dancer for Beyonce. He said “Hell no” because he doesn't consider himself a great dancer, he is just okay at it. He'd like to sing with her, even feel her boobs but not dance for her.

The guy still didn’t stop and went on about something in New Zealand and John told about his TV show “Tonight’s the night” where he dressed up as a flight attendant and surprised a woman and that we should look it up at youtube.

The guy was STILL not finished and said “I feel…” and John interrupted with “I feel you are not shutting up” LOL Finally we came to the next questioner.

Next up was a question for both and their charities. Eve said that she does not want to do too many charities but she is working for a breast cancer charity. John mentioned “Dogs Trust” and also doing something for breast cancer as both his Dad and his Mom are cancer survivors, and they lost Scott's (John’s partner) sister to brain cancer. John also is involved with Down’s Syndrome Scotland to help the kids not feel different because "they are just humans like the rest of us" to which he got an applause. He also thanked the fans for being so generous with their charities.

John and Eve were fooling around then, putting their chairs together back to back and singing first "Up, up and away", then bits from "Chicago" and then John ended with "Und Cabaret, und Cabaret, und Cabaret…". Somehow Eve ended up on his lap after that. In the middle of this a question from the balcony came: "Does it ever happen to you..." and John interrupted: "It happens to me right now!" :)

The question was actually if they take their characters home with them and maybe even takes over some time. Eve said "We hope so" and John explained that it’s more like the characters having a little bit of Gwen and John in them. Eve said that sometimes she really goes for emotional scenes and does not care what she looks like crying but then later when seeing it at TV she wonders what she was thinking. And those are the moments that stay with them when going home, and John even admitted their partners have to bear with them as they are a bit grumpy then.

And still no superhero underpants for the German audience :( John apologized that he has left them all at home (Awwwwww!), today he was wearing Banana Republic. Now you know where to shop if you want to be like him ;)

A girl wanted to become an actress and asked for advice. Eve said to work hard and then she’ll succeed and John said "A successful is not a famous actor but a working actor, and Eve agreed. They love their fame but they would have been happy to play Fringe theatre for 200 Pounds the week – or well, maybe a little more ;)

A girl was not happy with the scene in "Miracle Day" when Jack went to the gay bar and had just sex with some guy, but John explained the difference to the Jack from previous seasons which was in love with Ianto: The new Jack was mortal, so while before he didn't sleep and wasn't able to feel certain emotions, as he had somehow become hard and cold during his long life, now he was mortal again and felt all those emotions, so that's why he went to that bar. But afterwards he called Gwen.

We also talked about "Children of Earth" and how hard was the scene with Ianto dying. Eve told us the story with John and his big mustache when she took the sheet off his face. And John told us a bit of extra info: Ianto is in bag 11 and Jack in bag 13 which are both John's lucky and favorite numbers, it’s the days of his and his mom’s birthdays.

John does not live his live in regret, and doesn't dwell on mistakes. "I've done it, learn from it, move on." Eve told the story when she was in a theatre play and John had come to see her on stage. She did not know he was there but he has such a distinctive laugh that whenever he laughed loudly, he totally threw her off her role.

A girl said one of John's songs was very special to her and she wanted to hear his story for "She's always a woman to me". John didn't actually remember as it was a while ago but thought it must have to do with his niece Claire, who now is a young woman and pregnant and she actually does not feel like a woman to him, but still the little Claire, and John understands now why his mother also tells him, even though he is 46 years old: "You're always my baby no matter how old you get." And now the girl probably will read something entire different story at the CD ;)

The next questioner didn't start right away and John encouraged her: "Sprechen Sie deutsch!" but she still rather did it in English ;) It was the question I had been ready to tackle myself if nobody else did: John had told us in the Meet and Greet to remind us to read out Scott's answer message for the video we had taken for him the other day. It is: "Tell them: Dankeschön und herzliche Grüße von Palm Springs." I hope John doesn’t have a knot in his tongue now from reading that ;) I had no idea Scott speaks German - nice!

John had asked if the room could be made a little bit cooler, as he was so hot. Someone brought him a pocket ventilator which he thankfully took and used on his face but of course it didn't take long for him to get silly again. First he tried to put his tongue to the ventilator and then he put it to the microphone, making funny noises while saying; "Ladies and Gentlemen, Air Berlin seems to have a bit of trouble".

A question about fire arms came up. Eve admitted to have been very scared when she first had to use them for "Torchwood". But then she proudly announced: "I know how to shoot with a baby in the arm". John said that even though both of them not believers of guns, of course they have to use them in the series because they are actors. He also mentioned that Scott once gave him an NRA membership for a birthday, so that there would be a gay man at their meetings. They also learnt self-defense, how to fight. And John taught Eve stunt driving. “Never get into the car with John Barrowman!” she said. The most terrifying 45 minutes of her life. She was afraid the wild horses they drove through wanted to bite her but John loved it. He also learnt how to use bow and arrow for "Arrow".

John hopes to make “Exodus Code”, the Torchwood novel he and his sister Carole wrote together to make into a movie or a TV series one day, and would like to try his hands at directing also. He loves the scene in the beginning with Jack falling out of a plane, thinking: “****, this is gonna hurt!” Eve would like to see a darker side of Gwen for a change. Like in “Miracle Day” when Gwen said to Jack if he touched her family she’d kill him, and Jack answered that he would rip the skin of her skull.

The next girl asked about the song “What about us” which was written by Gary Barlow. John revealed that he actually never met him, as each do their piece in the studio and then it gets send to the other. So if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying ;) But there probably won’t be another Gary Barlow song in his future, as John does actually not wants to do many pop songs. He is doing an album together in his head at the moment but more a kind of tribute album.

Would Eve want to do another season of “Torchwood” or be the new companion of the Doctor? She chose “Torchwood” of course!

Would John and Eve rather be a Zombie or a survivor in "Walking Dead"? Eve wanted to be a Zombie, and John wants to be a survivor because they still become Zombies in the end. He really loves this show. He watches it when flying. Also, one of the directors, Billy Gierhat John knows personally from "MIracle Day" and he's a great guy.

Next up was a question about the "Tribute to Russel and Julie" and if you don't know that video, look it up. It's awesome and funny, John Barrowman, David Tennant and Catherine Tate singing some special tribute song for the day they left "Doctor Who". John said it was never intended to be online, but just for them. But now it is and it's a great hit in the internet. They shot the whole sequence in like 45 minutes, and then David and Catherine added all the funny bits later.

Someone asked why in "Doctor Who" it had been the TARDIS which made Jack immortal, but in "Miracle Day" we saw that Rex had gotten Jack's blood and was now immortal too. John does not think that's a problem, we only had thought it had been the TARDIS, but then Russel T. Davis changed it again and made it Jack's blood. John thinks it's brilliant, because "I'm an alien - wooo!"

The next girl just loved Eve’s Welsh accent and found her so cute to take her home with her ;) Eve loved this and told her her room number LOL But she really was moved by this declaration of love, you could see it on her face.

And how much of Alban in "La Cage Aux Folles" is in John? He told a story when he was doing a home interview with some journalists from the OK magazine and they told him they were very excited to come to his house, because surely it would be full of feather boas and dresses and high heels and glitter. But they must have been very disappointed to find nothing like that and then John said a very quote worthy sentence: "My sexuality doesn't define my design sense." He actually got applause for it. But he also said that he wants to be seen as normal and having a family and wanting to protect the children is true for both John and Alban.

John then went over to the side to the girl who wanted to ask the next question, and while he was there and not listening Eve whispered to us behind his back that his house indeed is full with feather boas and high heels :) Well, I have seen his Twitter videos, I know what it looks like.

The next question was about their pets. Eve has a Beagle, she is five now, and "that was a tough birth as well! - Oh, look, it's a Beagle!" :) John once went to Cardiff's dog home and there was a Jack Russel, wearing a coat like Captain Jack and John had him on his arm and called Scott, telling him: "I'm bringing him home." John's dogs are in Palm Springs right now, with Scott, and when they are too hot then they go into the pool by themselves and swim a round, Jack does this and also Harris.

At this time in the panel it got suddenly and very unexpectedly emotional when John told us that Charlie was no longer living with them, they needed to re-home him and gave him to good friends where he lives now. He had felt the pressure of the pack too much and needed to be alone and also there had been an incident where someone disturbed him and he protected himself and nicked her and the woman tried to sue John and even wanted Charlie to be put to sleep, so John thought it was best to give him away to save his life. You could see that it was very hard for him to talk about this but Eve saved the day with telling about her farting Beagle and John thankfully took it and asked if she ever does fart while being asleep and wake herself up? And then both acted out what that looked like and Eve said a farting dog is the best fun ever. "Get a farting dog, Germany!"

A guy who loves comics asked about "Arrow" and John really likes his role, because people tell him: "I hate him but I really think he's cool." And which were their favorite comics? John actually answered this question for Eve: Wonder Woman. And himself? Captain America, Iron Man, Superman... many. He actually has a DC encyclopedia "right next to my bed."

Have they actually ever listened to their voices dubbed into other languages, and how weird is it to hear yourself speak with a different voice? Eve actually first heard her German voice the other night when "Torchwood" was on at some channel. And she liked it, it was very deep and sexy. While in some other unnamed country it was very high and silly, which she demonstrated. John also likes his German voice, it's very manly while in some other, again unnamed country (wonder if it's the same?) he sounded like... well, very high and "as gay as can be" which Jack Harkness definitely is not. John loves a queen now and then, “but Jack is certainly no queen!”

A French guy wanted to know which role in "Les Miserables" John would like to play. He already had said on Friday that this play was way too long and going on well into the night, while John prefers to have a drink at that time (don't we know it). But he feels also too old to be Marius now and while he would like to be Javert it would be very hard and difficult to sing this song ("Bring him home") every night.

Someone suggested if they ever continued with "Star Trek", this series needs a gay captain and who would fit this role better than John. To which he only replied that if they offered him to be a gay captain at "Star Trek": "Yes Yes Yes!!! - Live long and prosper" and he tried his fingers to make the V sign but admitted he couldn't do it, so he needed the fingers of his other hand to move them into the right direction.

A boy was worried that there might come a day they both would wear themselves out because they worked so hard and all the time. Eve said that if there ever would come the day they did not have fun anymore and feel tired then she would become a midwife, and John wanted to be a bus driver - no, not really ;) He just loves to work.

There will be no spin-off with Jack Harkness and River Song, btw. That was just John and Alex having a silly idea and thinking, wouldn't it be great...

John had slipped down the chair at this moment, hanging there with his legs wide open and laying the microphone on his chest. And he wished for some boobs to be able to hold it, and encouraged Eve to do the same. Then he called her "Frollein".

An apparently French girl or at least someone who spoke French corrected John on "Ca c'est l'amour" and said he pronounced it "mort", which means "That's death" instead of "That's love". According to John this gave "a ****ing twist to the song".

We came almost to the end of the panel and of course didn't want to let John go without a song. Thanks Eve for suggesting this! Someone called "Springtime for Hitler" but John laughed and said that would make quite a headline if he sang that! He found something more appropriate and started with "From a distance". The technical guys even gave a nice reverb on his microphone. It would have been a moving performance, if it hadn't been for Eve who felt a bit left out just sitting there, so she got up and acted out the lyrics of the song. Like a translator for deaf people.

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
it's the voice of every man.

I'll never listen to the song again in the same way, it was hilarious. We all were hanging from our chairs laughing like crazy.

We gave a last loud cheer and standing ovations but John wanted a last word and said that they both had much fun over the weekend and if they were invited back they would do it at the drop of a hat. Then the music started again and they danced a bit more, shaking their hips and also doing a Gangnam style impression, although it was the wrong song.
That was it, the panel already had been on longer than planned, but who cares.

Special thanks to Antje for sharing this article with us
Also special thanks to Iris Halliez for the photos that accompany this

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