Captain Rum’s Excellent Adventure at Armageddon Expo in Wellington – Part 1!
You may be wondering why it has taken me two weeks to post about my adventures at Armageddon Expo in Wellington. Well, it’s because any attempt before now would have resulted in a post consisting entirely of AHSD;LFKHJ;LASDJFLJASL;DJFL;ASKJDLF;JALOSKDJFASD. Which granted, many of you would probably understand if you had also received an unsolicited hug from Manu Bennett, but it doesn’t really make good reading material lmao. Part of the blame can also be put on the rest of his cast mates that were in attendance because really, look at them:
Ok, so you can’t really see Michael Rowe’s face here but trust me, it’s lovely and you’ll get a chance to later in these posts. My point is, they are three of the most charming people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting so the vast majority of us at the convention were wandering around like we were on a cloud with smiles that threatened to break our faces, as evidenced by my own face above.
Also, I should warn you, some of the pics aren’t the best quality. I did the best I could with my iPhone but sometimes the iPhone just needs to do the best of somebody better. This post is also super long and the first of two parts, so you might want to grab a cup of tea and a Tim Tam or an Oreo before continuing. Please also keep your sense of humour with you when reading, especially the recaps of the panels. All the celebrities were having a great time and were in a great mood during their panels. Many had no filter so please don’t take anything they say too seriously.
My adventure began at the Friday Night Cocktail Party, which is one of my favourite events of any convention I’ve ever been to. It’s a chance to mingle with the celebrities in attendance in a completely laidback environment, where everyone, including the celebrities, can let their hair down. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a celebrity’s favourite drink is, this is the place to find out.
My friend Hazel and I were on Manu and David Ramsey watch as soon as we arrived but the first person we got to speak to was Samantha Ferris, who was seeking out Supernatural fans to make sure that everyone that wanted to speak with her got a chance to do so. Samantha got caught up in a conversation with a fellow Supernatural fan so unfortunately, I didn’t get to ask her anything but I can confirm that she loves New Zealand, so well done, Kiwis.
We had spotted the arrival of Manu and David while we were sitting with Samantha, but as Manu was taking a break to eat dinner with his daughter (be still my beating ovaries) we took the opportunity to chat with David instead. My crush on him grew by about a million percent while talking with him as he spoke about what was coming up in season 3 of Arrow (I’m not elaborating here because I don’t want to spoil anyone but it’s exciting to say the least and if anyone wants to know I’ll put it up in a separate post) and took genuine delight in everyone’s curiosity. As I finally got my chance to cuddle up and get a photo, I got to ask him if he’d be coming back to Blue Bloods next season to reprise his role as Mayor of New York and I’m very excited to say that he confirmed he would be as Arrow and Blue Bloods are owned by the same studio so they’re allowing him to do both :DDD
Next up, we spoke with James Patrick Stuart, whom most of you will recognise as Head Leviathan in Charge from Supernatural. Our conversation was short but sweet as he expressed how much he enjoyed working on Supernatural. As an avid Supernatural fan, I have to say I’m really proud of our little show. Nearly all of the Supernatural guests in attendance has such lovely things to say about the show and Jared and Jensen, most of it completely unsolicited.
Then the moment Hazel and I had been waiting for had finally arrived – a chance to have a conversation with the one and only Manu Bennett. Now he’s stupidly good looking at the best of times but the GQMF turned up in a very well tailored wool suit with ‘Made in New Zealand’ embroidered on the back of it. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION IN THE FACE OF THAT??? Check out my cocktail party photos on our Instagram below to see exactly what I’m talking about. Manu was extremely gracious, holding the hands of everyone who was asking him questions and paying very close attention so he could give them well thought out answers. Unfortunately, I lost my ability to form coherent sentences in his presence, but I did manage to take a photo with him and Hazel got to tell him how awesome he is as Crixus in Spartacus which he vehemently thanked her for so all up, I’m calling our interaction a win.
We attempted to chat with DJ Qualls next but were sadly interrupted by Jake Abel. Jake explained afterwards that he was trying to organise where they were going to continue drinking after the cocktail party and as an Aussie, I really can’t argue with that lol. DJ gave me an cuddle on the way out though thanks to Jake’s interruption, so all is forgiven. I was lucky enough to sit down with DJ earlier in the day for an interview, so don’t forget to check that out here, especially if you’d like to stop wondering what Mr Fizzle’s go to karaoke song is.
It took us a while to realise that Michael Rowe was making the rounds at the party as well because he looks so completely different in real life. Now yes, I get that he’s wearing an eye patch as Deadshot in Arrow, but even still, he looks a lot younger and a lot more yummy when you’re face to face with him. He was fascinating to speak with too, as we learned that he founded a band called Bucket Truck while at university and then spent the next 10 years touring with them, sharing the stage with bands like Slayer and D.O.A. If you’re into metal/punk music you may want to check them out as Michael was their main songwriter as well. He still plays the drums now and was, in fact, searching for a place to jam while in Wellington. After Bucket Truck’s farewell tour, he decided to give acting a shot, first writing and producing shorts with his brother and then landing the role of Deadshot on his second ever audition. He’s just so grateful to be where he is and is enjoying everything that has come to him through playing such an iconic role on a hit TV show. He said his favourite part of his trip to New Zealand was just being around a group of such high calibre actors because he was learning so much from them.
As the party started winding down, we had the chance for one last photo with Steven Williams, who most of you will remember as Captain Fuller in 21 Jump Street or Rufus from Supernatural. We didn’t get to speak with Steven but I’d already interviewed him earlier that day, which you can check out here.
You can’t start the first official day of the convention without partaking in the mini donuts for sale at all New Zealand Armageddon expos. They may be a heart attack in a bag but they are delicious. Saturday was unofficial Supernatural day and first up was Steven Williams. If you’ve never seen a panel of his, be forewarned that Steven Williams does Steven Williams and he has zero filter. He can rant with the best of them and he knows how to tell a great story. Things we learned in his panel:
- His fondest memory of 21 Jump Street is when his agent told him he had the job
- He thinks Jared and Jensen are absolutely fabulous
- Jeffrey Wright, Robert Downey Jnr and Gary Oldman are his favourite actors
- Stars do the same shit over and over, actors do different people every time
- Peter Deluise wrote his Stargate role specifically for him
- He rode on the floor in the back of one of the cars in the big Blues Brothers chase scene just for the excitement
- LA Heat is his favourite role because it was basically Lethal Weapon for TV
- He calls extras ‘scene enhancement professionals’
- Stage is where it’s at because there is no one to call cut
- If he could bring back any TV show it would be LA Heat
Through a comedy of errors, we missed most of James Patrick Stuart’s and Samantha Ferris’ panel. To make up for it, have a pic of James looking like a GQMF instead:
I think it was all meant to be though because it was during our wanderlust that I discovered the Sons of Anarchy Pop Vinyl figures. Jax Teller still has those damn white sneakers:
But more importantly, Opie lives!:
We managed to catch the end of James Patrick Stuart’s and Samantha Ferris’ panel which is where DJ crashed it to profess his love for his new bestie, Samantha:
Then it was time for DJ Qualls’ and Jake Abel’s panel. You never know what you’re going to get when you ask DJ a question and Jake was happy to play right along:
- Garth’s first hug with Dean came about the way it did because DJ wouldn’t let Jensen go and the director liked Jensen’s reaction
- In DJ’s head, he believes that Garth is now living on a farm eating cows as a werewolf
- DJ also thinks that his wife on Supernatural needs to die
- Jared took DJ out for lunch one day and encouraged him to drink a lot of alcohol. He told DJ he thought would be hilarious if they went back to set together to do their scenes a little buzzed but when they got back to set Jared jumped in a car laughing and waving goodbye as he’d already finished his scenes for the day, leaving DJ to deal with the consequences
- Jake has an obsession with fart apps on his phone and kept playing with them while DJ was answering questions. DJ just kept right on talking
- Jake’s favourite role is the Percy Jackson films
- Jake Abel is in a band called Jake Abel and The Mumblers. You can find them on Bandcamp and iTunes
- DJ and Jake finished their panel by giving a masterclass on the stage slap with the M.C. as their guinea pig. There may or may not be video of this somewhere on Youtube if you can track it down but you can see how seriously they are taking it here:
One of my favourite experiences at Armageddon is the autograph sessions. Because they’re personalising them you usually get a few seconds of interaction with them and you never know what might happen. You may have seen on our Twitter that I had bought Wiener Soldier a Manu autograph because she’s such a big fan of Azog. Of his own accord, without any input from me as I still couldn’t form complete sentences in his presence, he wrote the following:
Wiener Soldier still hearts you, Azog, and thinks you have the face of an angel.
Another pro-tip I’ll give you here is to try the brownies at the NZ Armageddon expos as well. They’re made fresh every day by Real Good Brownies and they’re perfect for the sugar hit you’ll need at the end of a long day of con-going, especially if you’ve been perusing all of the amazing stalls. There is so much merchandise at these conventions and a lot of it is fan made and it’s incredible stuff. If you’re lucky enough to go to one of these conventions, make sure you take time to check them out. I still haven’t forgiven United Sweets for not bringing Snickers Almond with them though.
My adventure continues in Part 2 here. Make sure you click through to find out who Michael Rowe thinks would win in a fight between Deadshot and Deathstroke, what David thinks of Jared and Jensen and how Manu Bennett got in touch with his inner Azog for The Hobbit movies.
- Previous Captain Rum’s Excellent Adventure at Armageddon Expo in Wellington – Part 2!
- Next Interview with Steven Williams