Captain Rum’s Excellent Adventure at Armageddon Expo in Wellington – Part 2!


As per Part 1, 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 second of two parts (go here if you missed part 1!), 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 keep that in mind and don’t take anything they say too seriously.

Sunday was unofficial Arrow day and I was not convinced I could make it through all three panels with those Arrow charmers but I persevered and here’s what I now know:

  • Michael Rowe is stimulated by New Zealand
  • He wrote a song while at university that got quite a bit of play on radio so he quit university and started a band called Bucket Truck
  • He did comedy videos on Youtube when Bucket Truck broke up
  • He then went to acting school and worked as an extra to support himself
  • Arrow was only his second audition ever
  • He didn’t realise his role was actually Deadshot to start with and thought people were pranking him when they told him
  • He’s a huge fan of wrestling and used to tie a couch cushion to his brother so he could bodyslam him safely
  • His Deadshot eye piece used to keep fogging up all the time
  • His favourite episode to shoot was the Suicide Squad ep
  • He would welcome a Deadshot spinoff or movie
  • He ripped the butt out of his pants during his first fight scene rehearsal
  • He accidentally hit a camera man in the neck when he threw the baton in the Russian prison episode because his eye piece throws off his depth perception
  • He broke out his Deadshot voice but couldn’t look at the audience while doing it
  • He was out drinking whisky until 4am the night before which is why he was late to the start of his panel lol
  • He has played drums since he was 6 years old
  • A kid asked him what it was like to be on TV so he brought the kid up on stage so the kid could see himself on big screens around the theatre and decide for himself whether it was a good or a bad thing
  • He says the whole cast of Arrow are a work hard, play hard group of people
  • He thinks Deadshot would win in a fight with Deathsroke becuase he’d shoot his other eye out and also doesn’t make fights personal
  • He wants to be on The Flash
  • He thought his truck was being broken into when he first tried on the Deadshot costume so he ran out to save his truck in his full Deadshot gear but it turned out to be a false alarm

Michael Rowe

  • David Ramsey revealed that Thea goes ‘dark side’ in Season 3 but that’s all he would reveal
  • He said John Barrowman won’t die. He just keeps coming back like a rash
  • He said there will be a big baddie coming in Season 3
  • If you can do three pull ups you can do the salmon ladder but Diggs won’t be doing it
  • Diggs also still hates Deadshot
  • He would love to have Michael C. Hall on the show
  • In terms of characters he’d love to have Bruce Wayne or Nightwing on the show. He also wants to see The Joker on the show but not necessarily the Batman version
  • He hopes to one day find out that Diggs is really John Stewart aka Green Lantern, but stressed that was just his wish and that the Arrow producers have not discussed this with him
  • He likes the fight scenes the most
  • His favourite episode is when Diggs decides to join Team Oliver. He liked the speech Diggs gave out the value of life and helping Felicity with Oliver becoming a hero instead of a killer
  • Diggs is now an official DC comic character thanks to the fans
  • H.I.V.E. will be in season 3
  • He thinks Arrow would win a fight between him, Hawkeye and Deadshot
  • He told a story about filming a scene for Blue Bloods in Harlem, which according to him is “98.9% Latin and black. I’m standing on a platform doing my thing as Mayor of New York in front of a huge crowd of extras while Tom Selleck is standing off to the side. Tom Selleck came up to the platform to deliver his line and 78 black women came out from every single corner of the crowd and they’re all screaming ‘Magnum! Magnum!’. Literally, there was a crush of women all day and Tom Selleck is just signing autographs and I’m there like ‘what about me?’. So that’s my Tom Selleck story”.
  • He gets mistaken for Usher a lot
  • He thinks Flash is the coolest DC character
  • He doesn’t ship Dilicity or Olicity
  • He thinks Colton is pretty
  • He confirmed that Laurel will become the Black Canary in season 3
  • He thinks the more the success of comic book characters the better it is for TV
  • He agrees that Diggs is the moral compass of the show
  • His favourite TV shows are Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and Scandal
  • If he had to choose between Felicity, Arrow or Deadshot he would choose Felicity because she’s incredibly smart and charming
  • He’s glad Felicity was bumped up to a regular character because he felt like the first eps with just him and Arrow were “brooding and more brooding until Felicity came along”.
  • He practices martial arts in his spare time
  • He feels bad for Laurel because she gets a bad rap and has had so much thrown at her on the show
  • He’s had dinner with Jared and Jensen and thinks they’re warm guys who are great representatives of the sci-fi genre


  • Manu Bennett feels responsible for young New Zealand actors (there are really no words to explain how proud he is to be a New Zealander and how proud he is of his Maori heritage. It was heartwarming to see)
  • He loves that TV is gradually becoming more inclusive
  • He played Slade Wilson like a soldier just trying to help a young kid
  • He feels like he’s a go to guy for strong characters
  • He feels compelled to state his Maori heritage to help inspire the next generation and keep them moving forward
  • He thinks the storyline between Arrow and Deathstroke this season is very Othello like
  • He did all of his fight scenes in Spartacus but couldn’t on Arrow because of liability laws
  • He says using his heart is the best way to affect people. “You have to go into something with heart and that’s what I try to do with all my characters no matter how bad they are”
  • Slade’s creator told Manu he’s very happy with his portrayal of the character
  • His favourite Arrow scene to shoot was in the living room of the Queen mansion because he loved the big reveal between Slade and Oliver
  • Spartacus has been used by US troops to prepare them before being deployed. Because of that, he had the honour of meeting some of the Special Forces troops in Kuwait.
  • He saw the billboard of Stephen Amell as Arrow in LA and recognised him as one of the three actors flown to New Zealand to audition for the role of Spartacus after Andy Whitfield passed away
  • He learned how to do a proper chokehold from the Special Forces soldier in Kuwait and used it in his audition for Slade. The casting guy passed out and he immediately began apologising but the producers told him not to worry about it and he later learned it was what won him the part.
  • He was in the US on a 3 day trip immediately after Kuwait and auditioned for Slade at the very last minute on the last day because his agent called him as he was on his way back to the airport
  • He felt like he was “at a kinky German Christmas party” when wearing the lycra motion capture suit for Azog in The Hobbit movies
  • They used a pommel horse on a giant skateboard as the stand in for Azog’s warg which they CGI’d in later.
  • He had a lot of trouble playing Azog at first because of the motion capture suit and the pommel horse as there was nothing for him to form an emotional attachment to. He eventually asked Peter Jackson if Azog had had this warg since a puppy because he felt “Azog is this big, mean, bad guy but he loves his warg”. Peter said yes, which helped Manu find a way to play Azog and also why you see Azog stroking his warg and whispering in its ear right before the big fight scene at the end of the first The Hobbit movie
  • Crixus had one of his favourite character arcs
  • He loves architecture and believes when architecture is alive, your culture is alive
  • He’s often asked why they went with CGI for Azog in The Hobbit movies instead of make up. He explained it was so Azog could have facial expressions, which you can’t really do in the mask type make up he would have had to wear in order to be Azog. They were especially wary of this because the orcs in the Lord of the Rings films only ever had one facial expression because of the make up
  • He watched Empire Strikes Back and Jaws the night before he shot his Azog scenes because he wanted to be inspired by Darth Vader and Jaws
  • He played Azog like he was always lurking
  • Azog patting his warg in his opening scene was all his idea
  • He wanted Azog’s voice to be memorable like Darth Vader’s
  • Azog’s language was all on cue cards because of the super secret scripts. It was very rare that anyone got to see a script before they started filming because Peter wanted to ensure there were no leaks

Azog rides his warg

Monday was the final day of my adventure at Armageddon expo and first up were the photo ops. If you haven’t been to a convention before this is the part when you get to stand next to celebrities and have it immortalised forever in print and is usually the highlight for anyone attending because it’s your chance to get up close and personal. And with smaller cons like these ones, sometimes you get a little bit of extra time because there’s not as many people to get through. I lucked out in my photos with both Manu and David because of this. When I got to the front of the line with Manu I still wasn’t sure if I’d be able to form any kind of sentence but he stuck his hand out and said hello and so it would have been rude of me not to shake his hand and say hello back, even if I’m fairly sure I squeaked it out. He then pulled me in for a giant unsolicited hug. I repeat, MANU BENNETT PULLED ME IN FOR A GIANT UNSOLICITED HUG. AL;JL;AJSLDJFL;ASJDL;FJALSDF. And I forever have the evidence as you can see from the pictures at the beginning of both of these posts. Hazel and I were having a joint photo with him next but there was a bit of confusion so it meant that I could stand there with Manu for a little bit longer, during which he killed time by rubbing my back and my arms. LAWD. Needless to say, I promptly lost any kind of brain function whatsoever, as evidenced by the photo that was taken:

More Manu

As you can see, I completely checked out of the building. Just when I managed to get my brain back online, I had my photo with David Ramsey, who recognised me from the cocktail party and the autograph sessions and threw his arms out and said ‘Give me some lurrrve’. SOMEHOW I MANAGED TO KEEP WALKING, STRAIGHT INTO HIS ARMS TO GET A PROLONGED HUG WITH MY FACE ALL SMASHED UP AGAINST HIS CHEST WHILE HE TOLD ME HOW AWESOME NEW ZEALANDERS WERE. Now, I’m an Aussie but if it means I get to spend more time hugging David Ramsey, I’ll take it hahaha. Anyways, we stopped hugging long enough to get our picture taken and then I had to bid farewell to Diggs:

Me and Diggs!

Now, I promised you in the previous post you’d get to see a pic of Michael Rowe’s face. There’s one above, but I think this one is a much better example of what I’m talking about:

Michael Rowe's Face

I’m fairly certain his hair is somehow made of magic. He’s also super adorable and just so genuinely happy and grateful to be on this ride and wherever it might take him.

Unfortunately, because of the Arrow photos I wasn’t able to make it to the Supernatural group panel but I did make it to the Arrow one. Here are the highlights:

  • Manu was very excited to teach David and Michael about the Maori culture. First, he got two fans up on stage to teach them to hongi,  which Manu explained was a greeting used when meeting people and is about sharing the breath of life. He then taught David and Michael to pukana, which Manu explained was to make you look as fierce as possible to potential threats or enemies:


  • Manu found out who Deathstroke was from a Canadian Immigration guy as he came through customs at Vancouver airport
  • Michael started reading the comics after he’d played the role because he didn’t want to copy Deadshot from the comics as the tv show is meant to be a different take on the characters
  • David explained that the producers loved Michael’s performance so much they kept him around longer than intended
  • Manu and David kept teasing Michael about his delivery of his ‘Welcome to the Suicide Squad’ line
  • Manu ships Sladeicity
  • They were asked a questioned by a fan who was crying because she was so excited to be talking to them so Manu brought her up on stage to sit between them and ask her question. Needless to say, that didn’t help with her crying but everyone fell more in love with him, especially after he then thanked her for being so awesome
  • Michael’s two favourite things about Deadshot is that he has no hesitation and is not afraid to push harder and his wrist band machine gun
  • David wants to see more badass Diggs in more fights
  • They spend a few minutes all taking to each other in their characters’ voice (which was as hilarious as you’re probably thinking it is. Let’s hope it surfaces on Youtube!)
  • Manu likes that Slade is feared because of his martial arts skills and was waiting for Slade to really explode as a warrior
  • Michael had a mullet in high school that was Zack Morris’ hair colour
  • David had a shag in high school
  • Manu had a flat top like Vanilla Ice with highlights that were orange instead of blonde thanks to a mishap from his hairdresser
  • Manu thinks that Diggs is full of swag
  • Manu got hit in the eyepatch with limo door and fell into the limo in the scene where he’s leaving the police station after he was questioned about Thea’s kidnapping. He’s fairly certain that the eyepatch saved him from losing an eye
  • Manu runs around set to warm up for Mirakuru scenes because he has to be so pumped up in them
  • Michael thinks bad thoughs and of people who piss him off to get into character as Deadshot
  • David has martial arts in common with his character and tries to be like Diggs every day because Diggs has such a strong moral compass
  • Manu has being from an island in common with Slade and being a warrior because of his Maori heritage
  • Michael has being without family in common with Deadshot because he has to be away from his family in Newfoundland for long periods to pursue acting
  • According to David, Deathstroke would win in a fight between Deathstroke and Deadshot. Michael maintains that Deadshot would win because he’d just shoot Deathstroke through his other eye and then the fight would be over

And sadly, that concludes my adventure at Armageddon expo in Wellington. I want to thank all of the celebrities for being so gracious with their time and being wonderful to everybody and to all the staff and volunteers who work so hard to bring us such a fabulous show. If you ever get the chance to attend an Armageddon convention, you really should because it’s just that little bit more intimate than a comic con in the US or UK which can lead to some amazing, once in a life time experiences with the celebrities. The cocktail party is worth the price of admission alone. Don’t forget to check out my cocktail party pics at our Instagram below, and my interviews with Steven Williams, DJ Qualls and the voice of Super Mario himself, Charles Martinet 😀


Captain Rum

About Captain Rum

Trust Accountant/Professional Con-Goer/Swainer/Adele Dazeem Wannabe

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