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Firefly"Flavention" Firefly Burbank Convention - Fan Report
Sunday 11 December 2005, by Webmaster
Flanvention Day 2 (longish post) Reply with quote Not a fully detailed report here, since I couldn’t possibly remember every funny thing that was said at the panels, here’s what I do recall:
"The boys of Serenity" panel with Nathan, Adam, Ron, and Alan:
Cast introduced by James Leary ("Clem" from "Buffy")
Nathan was the last to take the stage. Apologized for missing the con the previous day because he was "in the hospital, having surgery. Just had two inches removed so now I’m down to twelve." This was in reference to Alan’s joke from the previous day about Nathan’s absence.
Nathan was, as usual, gregarious and fun, captaining the panel, telling people to stand up when they asked questions.
A number of times, Ron indicated displeasure with being killed off in the movie (and who could blame him?). Someone asked the guys what their favorite scene of theirs in the movie was and Ron said he liked the scene with him and Mal talking on the hillside at night, but "I could have done without the other one" or something to that effect.
At one point, Nathan joked to Ron and Alan about how they wound up being the ones who got killed: "We had a meeting and we voted... and two people didn’t show up."
Nathan’s favorite Serenity scene was between Simon and River during the final Reaver battle, from Simon realizing he forgot his bag, to telling River he’s failed her. Nathan said it makes him cry every time. Several other actors (Jewel among them, as I recall) also cited this scene as their fave. Adam liked the skiff chase, Alan liked the scene at the Companion training house when Mal came to rescue Inara and got beaten up by the Operative.
One of the funniest moments was when the guys were answering the question "which other male FF/Serenity character would you want to play?" Nathan said "I’d play Wash, only funny." Then, playing off Alan and the crowd’s reaction, "Sorry... funnier." To which Alan remarked, "I’d play Mal, only not gay.... okay, less gay."
Someone asked Nathan if he felt uncomfortable or embarrassed during his nude scene in "Trash." He explained how whenever one of the woman had a nude scene, the set would be curtained off and only people who needed to be on set would be there. The day of his nude scene, however, there were tons of people there, "The accountant was there, the guy that writes the show descriptions for TV Guide was there...."
Nathan asked his fellow male cast members who their favorite woman cast member was, and told the audience "this stays here." Though of course, none of the guys wanted to single out one of the girls, Alan said Gina, because they got along so well. Sean abstained. Ron picked Morena, because he had so much fun teasing her (e.g., making fun of Inara’s elaborate and colorful outfits). When it came down to Adam and Nathan to answer, they conferred amongst themselves, then Adam picked Summer, and mentioned how on set, anytime something went wrong, everyone would jokingly blamed Summer ("Summer!"). Finally it was Nathan’s turn, and he rose and pulled open his top shirt to reveal a t-shirt beneath that read "Shiny" and had a drawing of what I guess was Jewel (though it looked more like Morena to me).
A sweet moment: Nathan stood inexplicably, and seemingly pretending to be a psychic getting a vision, divined the name "Erin Fitzgerald." "Is there an Erin Fitzgerald here?" There was (there were two, actually), so he had the one come up on stage, and she gave him a hug. "Do I scare you?" He asked of the visibly nervous but delighted woman. "Do you have a boyfriend?" She did. "Is he bigger than me? Can he beat me up," Nathan asked. "What’s his name?" "Thor" the woman responded. "What’s his real name?" Thor was in fact his real name, and Nathan brought him up on stage too, then had him get down on his knee. By this point, everyone realized we were witnessing a very clever and fun marriage proposal. Thor asked Erin to marry him him and she said yes, to applause from the stars and crowd. Nathan and the other actors hugged Erin.
During the guys’ panel, they talked about what, if anything, they’d kept from the set or wardrobe. Most had kept some Alliance money. Alan said he still had one of Wash’s FF jumpsuits, and keeps it in his closet. Sean said he had kept all of Simon’s vests from the show, then admitted "I hope you know I was joking." Later, while nathan was answering, Sean remembered that he’d kept Simon’s boots, and put his foot up on the table to show that he was wearing them.
Ron said he took the scapula that Book wore in Serenity, but that as he was getting into his car at the end of the day, the costume designer realized he’d taken it and asked for it back.
Adam kept Jayne’s t-shirts (one of which was up for auction — a "War Stories" one, I believe, complete with Adam Baldwin spittle. Nathan said he got to keep the ship’s steering wheel, to which Alan responded with mock shock and hurt, "What?" Nathan went on, saying he also got the plastic dinosaurs, and the famous "three switches" which Alan always flipped. He also took Book’s scapula. (All of Nathan’s response was a joke, if it’s not apparent here icon_smile.gif)
The subject of Mal’s original browncoat (the one being auctioned off on ebay) came up, and Nathan said he’d heard about the fan campaign to buy it for him for his upcoming birthday. He said it was a very sweet thought, but "what am I going to do with it? I’d probably just put it up for charity auction." He urged people not to bother buying it for him, and to save their money or spend it on something else.
"The Girls of Serenity" panel with Jewel, Summer, and Morena:
Jewel spoke about her running joke with Nathan; both trying to flip each other off in creative ways. At Dragon Con (or Wondercon?) ’04, she got the entire audience to flip Nathan off, and at another con, showed an edited video montage of people (including her mother) flipping Nathan off. Near the end of the series, Nathan came over to Jewel with a small box, a present for her, and after praising her work and her as a person, opened the box to reveal his middle finger, sticking through a hole he’d cut in the bottom. On stage, Nathan demonstrated his "magic trick," which involved waving a white handkerchief a la a magician, putting one hand underneath it, then yanking off the handkerchief to reveal his middle finger.
Morena, as well, was the victim of a Nathan gag near the end of the series; he launched into a heart-felt expression of how good he thought she was on the show, giving a "stellar performance..... if you like horseshit." Morena got back at Nathan during the episode commentary at the end of the day (the cast commented over "Out of Gas"), at one point praising his performance: "Nathan, your performance in this is just stellar..." Nathan: "Oh, thank you." Morena: "If you like to eat horseshit."
In response to a question about what they were like in high school, Summer said she was home-schooled because she was spending all of her time doing ballet, and that as a result, she didn’t have a lot of friends. She said she was a weird girl, but admitted that she didn’t like to talk about her teenage years.
Jewel was also mostly home-schooled because she was working as an actress since age 5, though she did go to one year of regular high school just for the experience, but that she quickly realized she hated most of the people there and thought they were stupid. She said her friend Patrick (who was in the audience) told her that’s just what high school was like.
Regarding hobbies, Jewel said she’d recently gotten into cooking, and mentioned tv chef Rachel Ray as someone she idolizes. This led to a bit of friendly bickering between Jewel, who likes Rachel Ray, and Morena and Summer, who don’t. Morena felt that real cooking can’t be done in just a half hour; she likes to take a long time making a meal.
Someone asked if the women had taken anything from the set of the movie or show. When Morena expressed a desire to have all her clothes from the show, someone mentioned that Shawna Trpcic was auctioning some of the clothes on ebay, which Morena didn’t know. She wished Shawna would have called her first. Someone called Shawna on the phone and put her on speaker so Morena could talk to her.
Jewel several times mentioned what a good kisser Sean Maher is, and that he always "smelled good."
Morena admitted she had a dream about Sean once, in which they made out, and were naked from the waist down, while surrounded by paparazzi. Jewel said something about it giving her the willies, and Morena said it gave her the willies too, and they both laughed when they realized the double-entendre.
Jewel told a funny story about when she had to record a wild line (when they just record sound without picture). The line was "Sweet barbecued crap," and she wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be in Chinese, so she recorded it a bunch of different ways, with different inflections, in English, "Sweet barbecued crap. Sweet barbecued crap," and so on. And then Nathan, who was sitting at the table reading, looked up and said "I’ll have the same."
Morena said that in the "Out of Gas" dinner scene, Nathan got everyone to play a joke on Ron; everyone was supposed to laugh after Ron told his joke in the scene, but in one take, no one laughed. And after a few moments of surprised silence, Ron burst out laughing.
Summer told a cute story about when she was six, creating a whole little performance for herself, and planning to do it outside in her yard in a feathered boa and swimsuit, but her mom warned her not to, because it was too cold and she’d get sick. So she waited till her mom wasn’t looking, snuck into the yard, and performed her show. "It was glorious," she said. "And then I got the flu."
Someone asked Summer how she felt being the set scapegoat (everyone jokingly blaming her for anything that went wrong), and she said she thought they did it because she was the "new girl," the acting newbie who didn’t know anything; not what a mark was or what coverage was, or anything. Morena interrupted and said Summer was wrong, that’s not why they made fun of her; rather, they blamed her for everything because she was perfect, she did everything perfect. Responding to another question later, about acting, Summer mentioned that she feels that usually her first take is her best.
Near the end of the women’s panel, Nathan suddenly and violently burst out of the doors by the front of the room, and fell to the floor. He stood up, looking disheveled, then stormed back through the door, where we could see Adam grabbing him, as if they’d been and were continuing to fight. Definitely one of the funniest moments today.
There was a brief bathroom break between the panel and the commentary. When Nathan returned, someone asked him "how was the pee" or something to that effect, to which Nathan replied "It burned a little. But I was told it’d clear up."
The guys rejoined the girls on stage for a commentary on "Out of Gas." As someone was announcing that there would be no photography allowed during, Nathan got on the mike and added "There’s a white Honda parked in the loading zone, and your lights are on. The license plate reads "W-a-s-h." And with perfect coming timing and commitment, Alan stood, and left the room for a minute or two. When he returned, he sat back down, then told Nathan, "Nathan, the joke’s on you. My lights weren’t on."
The episode commentary wasn’t as fun as the panels, but still a good time. When Nathan came around the corner of the corridor with the bleeding stomach wound and clutching the catalyzer, he commented "Oh, okay, now this... is some fine acting."
Anyway, it was a great time, and I’m looking forward to more fun tomorrow. Will post if I remember more.
EDIT: A few more things to add:
When the guys talked about what props/costumes they took from the show or movie, Adam admitted wishing he could have taken Vera, but that it was an expensive prop put together from a bunch of different guns by a skilled armorer.
During the "Out of Gas" commentary, when Mal first fell into frame at the beginning of the show, Nathan said "There’s a handsome man." or "What a handsome man" or words to that effect. You get the idea. It was funny.
Nathan talked about Jayne’s touching Simon’s cake (as most of you know, Adam decided to have Jayne be very tactile, always touching things as part of his character... which I guess also applies to the "I’ll be in my bunk" scene in "War Stories" icon_biggrin.gif ). So when Adam touched the cake, Nathan slapped him in order to steal the moment. When it happened on screen, Nathan said "And... scene stolen."
Alan said that in one take where Mal grabs him in the infirmary and slams him against the wall, Nathan put his arm on Alan’s throat. After that take, the director told Nathan, "Could you not put your arm on his throat?"
Morena said her favorite Kaylee moment in the whole series was Jewel/Kaylee’s wave to Mal after he catches her with Bester in the engine room.
Nathan said that in the scene where he drops the catalyzer under the engine, he wanted to add the line, "What a day I’m having!"
Nathan said the one thing he added to the script was patting the engine after he installed the catalyzer. Alan then joked that that was the one thing in the episode he didn’t like.
Nathan said that his mother cries at his line "Everybody dies alone." Everyone "aww-ed" at that.
As Mal walked through the empty ship, Nathan said that everytime he watches the scene, he gets sad about the show being cancelled. He also mentioned loving that elegiacal music cue that plays over the scene of the shuttles leaving the ship and Mal walking to the bridge. Because the lights in the room were all off, no one could see the actors on stage, but Morena or Jewel asked Nathan if he was really crying just then and they thought it was sweet. Later, Alan or Adam joked Nathan wasn’t cry or emotionally affected, he had just gotten some pasta in his eye.
As Jayne prepared to leave with Inara aboard her shuttle, Adam made some joke about bringing the warming gel along.
When Simon talked about the name Serenity having "a vaguely funereal sound" to it, Nathan asked if Simon had said "venereal?" This led to a bunch of riffing by the cast, about "Serenity" being a disease ("I’m sorry, but you have a case of Serenity" or something like that).
Wash’s mustache was Alan’s idea, and he lobbied hard for it. Eventually, he convinced director David Solomon to let him wear it for the flashback, even though Tim Minear was against it; they outvoted him and Tim eventually realized they were right.