Ring Con Act 1: All About Sam Heughan
Ring Con Act 2: All About Outlander
I really had intended to write this final post about RingCon in general much sooner. But somehow I never got around to actually write it. Either I didn’t feel in the right mood or I was too busy or too tired or most probably a combination of all three. But – to no surprise – the longer I let this post linger, the less I actually remember about RingCon weekend or feel important enough to try to recall now. To me it was all about Outlander and Sam after all. Instead of avoiding to rack my brain and procrastinate writing this final post, I just go ahead and write down the few things my mind seemed to think were worth remembering, now
three four weeks later.
Besides the Outlander posse *g* RingCon had quite a few other guests, actors from popular shows, which I don’t watch, like “Game of Thrones” or haven’t watched like “Buffy”. I caught the occassional panel with some of them and most of the time they were entertaining enough to keep me in the auditorium. At least if I wasn’t standing in line for something Outlander-related or was grabbing a bite to eat or a coffee or just needed to catch a break from all the hustle of hundreds to people milling around. I think the huge mass of people everywhere all the time was what stressed me out a bit some of the time. But the weather was lovely for early November so I often just grabbed a coffee and went outside and found a quiter place to just be for a few moments. I think the “stress” was partially also caused by the whole “OMG! Sam! Outlander! Everything!” excitement and nervousness.
But back to the other RingCon guests. Like I said, I wasn’t all that interested in GoT or Buffy guests, so I didn’t see a lot (or nothing at all) of Sarah Hagan (Buffy), Finn Jones, Gemma Whelan, Amrita Acharia (all GoT), until the closing ceremony. When Sarah spoke a few words, I realized I knew that voice and of course her, from her one-episode role on Grey’s Anatomy season 1 (she played the orthodox Jewish girl who needed a new heart valve). Television is a small world after all, isn’t it?
For the lack of alternative I somehow watched both panels with Carice van Houten (GoT). To me she seemed a bit distraced during her first stint on Saturday. On Sunday she was more open and entertaining, but the entertainment value came more or less involuntarily. She seemed to have no clue really about the Lord of the Rings / Hobbit franchise or the books. She mixed up plots and characters and actors from this and the Harry Potter franchise and had the audience roaring with laughter. But I don’t know if that was her intention. When Mark incredously asked her if she hadn’t watched the movies, she replied with something like “I did. But maybe I was stoned? I’m from Amsterdam!” Yeah, her panels were entertaining, but also very weird.
I caught a bit of the Jack Gleeson (GoT) panel and he seemed like a nice guy as well. A bit shy at first, but then he loosened up a bit. For GoT fans it must have been a pleasure to see him there not as the bad guy, but the nice, dorky guy that he actually is. I also just caught a few (final) moments of Ian Beattie‘s (GoT) panel, but he deserves to be mentioned in this post, because he was asked about his favourite BBC TV shows. He replied, that he doesn’t watch all that much TV shows, due to his kid he mostly watches Sponge Bob *g* but then he also mentioned that he is a huge fan “Great British Bake Off” and this somehow lead to me 15 hours later stepping up to the microphone to ask Sam a question :-)
I watched the full panel with the two Harry Potter actors, Harry Melling, who played Harry’s cousin Dudley and Jessie Cave, who played Lavender Brown.
Both were very lovely and seemed a bit quirky, but in a good way. Harry does not look like he did during the movies, he has lost quite a lot of weight. Before the last movie actually even, so they did have to put him in a fat suit for that one. Jessie talked a lot about her other work, on stage in London. At some point they were talking about Robert Pattinson, who had his first bigger role as Cederic on Harry Potter’s “Goblet of Fire” A friend of Jessie had asked her to reserve seats for his friend Robert Pattison for her show and she really hadn’t thought her friend meant *that* RobPat and she almost got an heart attack when she actually saw him in the auditorium :-)
Chase Coleman from “The Originals” was a pretty cool guest as well. I caught part of his panels or performances, because he’s not just an actor, but also a musician and he played and sung a few songs for us. Cover versions of classic rock songs or modern ones and it was fun!
It seems like every other male guest was asked about Outlander as well, either from Mark who was doing the interviews or from someone in the audience. Turns out Chase has Scottish ancestery and he claimed to even own three kilts! He also dropped a convincing “Aye” into the conversations about Outlander/Scotland, so that was nice.
And then there was Liam McIntyre. OMG, LIAM! I admit before RingCon I had no idea who he was. I haven’t watched any of the shows he’s been on yet. In the days after I got back home I gave Spartacus a try (Thanks to Netflix), but I turned it off after watching a few scenes and fast forwarding through some more. Just not my cup of tea. But Liam himself…. :-)
Besides the Outlander guests, he definitely was my favourite. He was entertaining and interesting and he answered openly to every question. He was funny, he was sweet, he was just amazing. He was also quite “hyper”, and spent his panel walking around the auditorium, getting up close and personal to the fans at the microphone or anywhere else. It was such a joy to watch.
At the opening ceremony he was introduced before Diana, so they ended up standing next to each other and he immediately chatted up to her. What a flirt!
@SamHeughan @Writer_DG @ringcon Oops. Now with photo :-) pic.twitter.com/MnfDwp4UB4 — Barbara Schnell (@Barbara_Schnell) November 6, 2015
He, of course, was asked about Outlander as well and I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went. Liam might have asked back, what part we think he could/should play and then someone must have suggested Stephen Bonnet (a character from book 4 and onward). I would be totally on board with that casting choice. Bonnet is good looking, charming, but still dangerous Irish pirate. It’s not the biggest part to play, but Bonnet is an essential character to the whole epic saga. So, yeah, I’m totally on board. I’ll already volunteer to run the #Liam4Bonnet campaign on Twitter when season 4 gets green light in two years or so ;-)
The most memorable moment happened outside of the official program though. During his panel Liam was asked how he feels about not looking as as bulky as he did during filming Spartacus. One of the friends who was staying at the Con hotel saw him at the gym later that night, and they joked that he obviously took that question to heart :-) I only later learned about that, because I was in the line for my photo with Sam.
I was scheduled to meet my friends at their room on the 5th floor (close to the elevator) when I was done. The hotel elevators can only be operated via room key cards, so I texted my friends that I was about to to get on the elevator and that they should call it up to their floor. My friends didn’t reply, so I got on the elevator and rode it all the way up and all the way down, without stopping on my friends’ floor. When I reached ground level I took out my phone to call them. And then another guest stepped on. And…. Liam McIntyre. Right from the gym!
I was so startled, that I put my phone away again. I admit I was also still in a “OMG ALL THINGS Sam” haze, that even though Liam was standing right there half naked (well, ok, he wore shorts and muscle shirt *g*) and sweaty I wasn’t freaking out or fangirling or anything. My brain obviously needed a moment to actually register that moment and then the elevator ride was over rather quickly, before it could have turned awkward. The other fan got off at the 3rd floor and my friends finally had noticed I had been trying to reach them so they had called the elevator to their floor. The door opened, I saw my friend standing there, got off quickly and went directly to their room. My friend on the other hand did a double take on seeing my elevator company, started giggling, turned to their room and then back to the elevator as to make sure it was really him. She said “Hi” and Liam replied with “Guten Abend” (Good evening in German) and the absurdity of this moment sent her into a giggling fit. In which we joined her, when she came back to the room telling us about it. We still giggle about it now weeks later if any of us mentions it. Because it was Liam Freaking McIntrye riding in my elevator.
And it got better. In a way. Because later that night I tweeted this.
I know my friends might disagree, but even a 15 second elevator ride with @Liam_J_McIntyre couldn’t top that small chat with @SamHeughan ? — Susanne D (@dennasus) November 7, 2015
There were a few replies. Like this one… OMG!
@Liam_J_McIntyre LOL it made someone else’s day, so don’t worry. Never watched any of your shows, but your panels here were epic! Thanks! ? — Susanne D (@dennasus) November 8, 2015
And this one, which lead to a lovely Twitter chat between Liam and Sam
@dennasus @Liam_J_McIntyre @SamHeughan Fight. Fight. Fight. — Sean MacBiggerstaff (@Seanchuckle) November 8, 2015
Problem is, @SamHeughan is kinda brilliant, so not on the cards. Ah well :) https://t.co/JDsbaZ5f99 — Liam McIntyre (@Liam_J_McIntyre) November 8, 2015
Great to meet ya buddy! What a pro. Lots of manlove here, maybe we both gang up on @Seanchuckle https://t.co/vImqxN0JrQ — Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) November 8, 2015
I mean, how adorable are those guys? Really! I heart them both quite a lot! And it was those small encounters there at RingCon and online afterwards that will make me keep this weekend in very very good memory.
Ring Con Act 1: All About Sam Heughan
Ring Con Act 2: All About Outlander