Obligatory warning: May contain spoilers for Atlantis Season 4.
Day 1 - Saturday, Nov. 3
Met Lori (strider6) at 9:30am and we traveled to the hotel, where we arrived at around 10:20am. Despite the fact that the weather report wasn't good, it was just quite windy out. The storm remnants stayed out on Long Island, where we live instead of in NJ.
While we waited on line for the con to open, we met some friends from Gateworld: Salty, WWLH, Sue_Jackson, Starbird, lacka1986, and Otera. When they opened at around 11:30 or so, we bought our tickets. The only Preferred seats they had left were the last row (O for Saturday, P for Sunday) so there wasn't much of a point in getting them and we opted for General seating instead.
We browsed the vendor tables (which opened first) and I bought a few stills: A new-ish Daniel one, a Cam/Vala one, a cast pic for the new season of SGA, and some stills from Supernatural (yes I am addicted to that show... I wish Creation would do some cons devoted to it here on the east coast...only ones I know of take place in either CA or Chicago).
After they opened the doors to the main room, we also met Trupi and her family, qksilver99, kitiara, Mesenet, and Watcher652 inside. Brian from Creation was heading this con and he did a great job IMO. I think it was his first solo con on the east coast. To get things started they showed a music video - a gen SG-1 team one to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." Then a round of trivia followed, and another music video (another team one called "Keep the Customer Satisfied").
Jay Acovone was up next and he was quite animated. In fact most of my pics of him didn't come out because he was all over the place, LOL. He started off telling us how Mahopac (the town in NY where he's from) is pronounced, and then about the house he's building. After a short intro he started answering a few questions. Someone brought up Point of View and asked if it was hard to play a Kawalsky that was a shade or two different than the one he usually played. He said it was harder to play a bad guy because people are usually more polite in real life. Another person asked if he was surprised that he was called back to do eps later on after his character was killed. He said that that's the magic of sci-fi, you can come back even if you're dead. He said he was surprised. They said "we want you back" and he said "But the worm came out of my head." They told him "But it's AU" and he said "good enough." :)
He was asked which roles he likes playing best and his reply was that bad guys are the most fun. "You get to kill people and be nasty and shitty, and it's fun." He was also asked what was his preference of genre to act in. He said he was never a big sci-fi fan, but then he was making money in it and said, "Wow, I like sci-fi." He didn't understand it a lot because you're not having to deal with reality. Although, he did mention one of his fave movies is Bladerunner.
Someone brought up The Enemy Within and the scene where Sam confronts Kawalsky. They asked him "is it true you knocked Amanda out?" His reply: "I knew someone would bring that up." He said it was an accident and then described the scene. He was supposed to grab her and they did three takes. Mario Azzopardi was the director and kept telling him (in Mario's voice) "No, this is not working, we need a stuntwoman" but Amanda insisted on doing it. Mario yelled at Jay to "Take her and THROW HER!!" so he grabbed her, then heard a noise and saw her body hit the floor. All he could say to himself was "look straight ahead, look straight ahead." Then when they called "Cut", he went "Oh my God, I killed the actress!" LOL. He said that he and Amanda became friends after that, and every time he sees her he still asks "How's your head?" AT never lets him forget it either, she'll now and again say "remember when you knocked me out?"
He was then asked what his favorite episode and why. He said it was The Enemy Within (and also mentioned that he had a good time on an episode of NYPD Blue that he was in). He was also asked who was his favorite person to work with on SG-1. He said that Chris Judge is contagious - his smile, his laugh, the whole way about him. They hang out whenever he's in town. Someone else asked him how he got into acting. He said it was when he saw the movie Dog Day Afternoon. He enjoyed it so much that he stayed to watch the movie again. He pointed to Al Pacino and told his friend "Yeah, I think I could do what this guy is doing on screen.". He talked a bit about some of the movies he's made, and about a new one that's coming out soon called "Inalienable." He stars in it along with Richard Hatch, Marina Sirtis and Erick Avari.
Someone asked if he watched the Stargate film before getting the role on SG-1, and if he drew from the Kawalsky actor in the movie (John Diehl). He did watch the movie and said that Dean Devlin is a friend. He didn't draw from Kawalsky in the movie but he did want to see the history of the character. When asked if he wanted Kawalsky to be a regular character, he said yes. John Diehl wasn't interested in doing it at first, but then thought he would do it if they had him in the pilot and then killed him off in the next episode. Later on he decided he didn't want to do it and the character became up for grabs. Jay said he wanted to do a series and he would love to be a regular character, so he went for it.
Someone asked if he wanted to be on Atlantis. He said he never watched it but he would love to be on it if they called him. The obligatory "If you could zat anyone once, who would it be?" question came up, and he told us the "facial cream" story. He says he likes to use that kind of stuff and once on a trip back from Africa they went to DeGaulle Airport for a layover. Security wouldn't let him through and the female security personnel took the bottle of facial cream (he said that it's pretty expensive here in the states but he got it for cheaper overseas). She told him he couldn't board the plane and "it is mine now" (he did this all with a funny French accent). He got very irate and was thinking "you know it's true what they say about you people, you're all rude and arrogant!" He said he couldn't let this woman win, so he grabbed the cream, scooped it up from the bottle and lathered it all over himself. He went nuts and had all these chunks of cream hanging off of him. It was hilarious.
Getting back to Stargate, he was asked who his fave bad guy is, and he said Peter Williams (Apophis). They asked who's pranked him the most on the show and he couldn't think of anyone except possibly CJ. Then he brought up CJ's flatulence (he said "I don't know what that boy eats - how can he live with himself?"). Finally he was asked that, if he could be on any show past or present, which ones would it be. He answered The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Grey's Anatomy, and The Prisoner.
After his session ended they played another music video, a Teal'c one based on the episode The Changeling to "Silent Lucidity." Nice vid with some nice implied Daniel/Teal'c friendship. After the video they showed a short film excerpt called Breakdown, which starred Amanda Tapping and Gary Chalk (along with some non-SG actors, although no one I've really ever heard of). Pretty wacky little film.
After an auction, Paul McGillion was up. He was very gracious to all the fans, especially for the Save Carson Beckett campaign. He said that the character is coming back now, later in this season anyway.
He talked about how he got the role of Beckett and said he was the first one cast for SGA. They told him "don't do a Scottish accent, no one will understand you."
He said that the episode Poisoning the Well solidified Beckett as a SGA team member.
He talked about his parents' reaction when he said he got the part (they kept saying "oh it's Star Trek" even though he kept insisting it was StarGATE).
Someone asked him to talk about his audition for the role of Scotty in a Star Trek movie. He said he read for Scotty but it didn't go his way even though James Doohan's son endorsed him to play the role. It went to an actor named Simon Pegg instead. He said it was cool to read for Scotty because he's such an iconic Scottish character.
Someone else mentioned him being in a new Lifetime movie and he said we'd need a lot of Kleenexes and Doritos to watch it (it centers around a bitter divorce). He said the girl who plays Jan in The Office (I can't remember the actress' name) plays his wife in this movie. It's supposed to be released around the end of January and he thinks it's title is "My Father's Wife."
He was asked what he prefers more, stage acting or film acting. He said he likes them both, that you don't know what's going to happen on stage and you just have to go with it. On film if something doesn't work they go "cut!" and that television acting goes really fast (they usually shoot Stargate at about 10 pages per day).
He was hilarious, especially when he impersonated Joe Flanigan and Jason Momoa. He calls Jason "Chewbacca meets Marmaduke" and said something about Joe and his hair products. *grin* Someone asked what other character he'd play on SGA and he jokingly answered "Ronon" (then imitated Jason Momoa trying to pick him up saying "I just love you, dude!" in Jason's voice, then retorting "You're breaking my wrist!" Hee hee).
Someone asked what shows he likes and he mentioned Heroes, Journeyman, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos.
The highlight (okay, one of the highlights) of his talk for me was when someone asked him what the best part about coming to cons was. He said it was meeting all the fans. He was really gracious for all the support he gets from fans. He invited a couple of young girls up on the stage. He asked if they were shy and then asked their names, ages, and if they were married (or had a boyfriend). He said he's been to so many places to do cons, like Australia, the UK... He said it was incredible.
He talked a bit about A Dog's Breakfast, where he was made to dress like a woman. He said "I don't make a good-looking woman", and one girl yelled out "Yeah you do!" ;) He talked about filming it and being stuck in mud, which was pretty uncomfortable. When asked who he would zat if he could zat anyone once, he replied "Definitely McKay just to shut him up!"
Another funny bit was when someone asked what it was like to kiss David Hewlett in Duet. He immiediately replied "Let me clarify something - he kissed me. And he won't stop calling me." He joked that DH's lips are like sandpaper and also mentioned something about halitosis, LOL.
He was asked if he could say anything about the ep he filmed for S4. He said he really couldn't, but it's a very smart way to bring the character back, and things are left very open to bring him back again. He again mentioned the Save Carson Beckett rally, that it was really something with all the people out in the rain and the bagpipers and everything. He said the character is really the emotional core of the team. It's really his favorite role, such a multi-layers, fun character that does lots of dramatic work and that's why it was so sad to leave. He praised the crew and said they are very hard-working.
He was then asked that, if he could write his own SGA ep, how would he write it. He said he'd put DH in a dress. He was asked what his favorite scene to film was. He mentioned some of the scenes from Poisoning the Well, and the scene in Irresistable with Richard Kind (Lucius), where Beckett was crying. A girl asked him what his reaction was when he heard his death would be by exploding tumor. He replied in his Carson Beckett accent "You're an evil young lady!" He said they told him they needed to shake things up and so they have to kill him. He said "Is this a joke?" He was surprised but he did his best with the episode.
When asked if he preferred dramatic eps or more light-hearted ones, he said he likes both. They can both be challenging, and good writing is what matters. He said he and DH have comedic timing (he played the straight man to DH in Duet). Someone asked how acting with DH was different from having DH direct. He praised David, saying that he is fun to act with and is a good director.
Someone else asked how it felt to be replaced by Jewel (Staite) as the lead doctor. He said he wasn't really being replaced; it's just different and we'll see where it lies in the future. He said he got a chance to act with her in SGA recently.
He talked about some pranks on set and that Joe Flanigan is a big jokester. He mentioned an ep where he and DH had to carry stretchers. Joe told a 250-lb guy to lie on one of the stretchers, then filled his medical backpack with rocks. When Paul was helping carry them Joe said to something "oh, wow, you sweat a lot!" He found out there was about 40 lbs of rocks inside and Joe was laughing his head off.
Someone asked if DH is indeed allergic to lemons. He said "I don't know, but I hope so." He was really great.
After his talk they showed some more videos: A Vala-centric vid, then a Siler vid (about "the fall guy"), a Rodney vid, and finally a Daniel/Weir vid (*alerts maevebran *). They finished it up with a Zelenka vid.
Afterwards all the Gateworlders posed together for a few group photos (one of which I hope to post here at some point soon). We were all going to go out to dinner together, but a few people had to wait on the autograph line.
We decided to go to Chili's for dinner, so strider6 and Sue_Jackson and I drove over there (everyone else would join us later after autograph session ended). There ended up being a 45 min. - 1 hr wait, and Sue_J had to be back for the dessert party at 9 pm. It would be cutting it a bit close so strider took her back to the hotel while I stayed at the restaurant. She came back a few minutes later and not long after that everyone else (Trupi with her daughter and hubby, lacka1986, Watcher652, and Mesenet (sorry if I've forgotten anyone) arrived. We didn't end up eating until around a quarter to 9 pm.
When we got back to the hotel, we all met for a while in the bar. As the dessert party ended, we saw Jay and Paul milling about in the hall. Jay came into the bar but he sat alone at a table on the other side. Paul walked up to the see-through glass window we were sitting behind. We all waved to him and he pressed himself up against the glass, looking at us. Then a guy dressed as a wraith pretended he was sucking the life out of him, lol.
After a while I started getting tired and went up to bed around 12:45am. Strider came up a bit later.
I think I've hit the word limit, so I'll continue with Part 2 in the next entry. In the meantime I'll post a couple of the crummy pics I got from Saturday: