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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sean Kelly

Fan Expo 2011 Day 4 - Final Q&As, Former Wrestlers, and a Surprise Guest

Tom Felton Q&A
Potter-mania (or should it be Malfoy-mania) was present in full force during the final day of the Fan Expo.  I have observed over the entire weekend that Tom Felton was definitely one of the biggest draws of the convention, with many people (mostly female) lining up to meet Harry Potter's nemesis.

I guess it is only suiting that Felton be given the final major Q&A slot during the convention (coming after, fellow headliner, William Shatner).  All the Q&As I attended this weekend had a fairly even gender ratio, but the audience for Tom Felton was definitely at least 80% female.  It was definitely a spectacle (and it was also the only Q&A that I went to during the expo that utilized the videoscreens, as well as a mic for audience questions).

Malcolm Mcdowell Q&A
Felton was the final of three Q&As I went to today.  The first Q&A of the day was Malcolm McDowell.  Despite being 20 minutes late, resulting in a shortened session, McDowell's Q&A was hands-down one of the most entertaining of the expo.  McDowell seemed to, very humorously, play up the villainous persona he is known for and he gave many angry and/or foul mouthed answers.  He was definitely a joy to watch.

Guillermo del Toro talking to Malcom
McDowell.
During the wait for McDowell to arrive, it was announced that Guillermo del Toro (who is in Toronto to film his next movie Pacific Rim) had made a surprise appearance of the expo and was signing autographs on the show floor.  I immediately went to check to out following Malcolm McDowell's Q&A and, as luck would have it, when I arrived at the table, del Toro has having a conversation with McDowell (who I suppose ALSO wanted to check out the signing).  Alas, it was too late for me to line up for a (free) autograph, but it was still neat seeing del Toro at the convention and perhaps he'll make a more formal appearance next year.

Robert Englund Q&A
My next Q&A of the day was the guest of honour for the Festival of Fear, Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.  Englund was my personal headliner for the Expo and I wasn't really expecting to go to anymore Q&As afterwards (I decided to go to Tom Felton at the last minute).  Robert Englund is definitely an interesting person to listen to.  On one hand, he's an experienced actor and it was neat hearing about his early (pre-horror) career (which included auditioning for Han Solo in Star Wars - and subsequently convincing Mark Hamill to try out for Luke Skywalker).  On the other hand, he seemed to play-up his status as a horror icon by spending most of the Q&A perched up on his chair and often used creepy facial expressions and hand gestures as he was talking.  I definitely enjoyed listing to him speak and this Q&A was definitely one of my highlights of the expo.

On a related note, the photograph I took with Englund last Friday was still not ready for pick-up by the end of today and I will probably get it in the mail.  My best guest is that the reason for this backlog was Tom Felton, who definitely was the most popular photo-op recipient (based on the line-up of people waiting to pick-up photos).

Trish Stratus
After Englund's Q&A, I went to the show floor for one final (and free) autograph session with former WWE star Trish Stratus, who was at the expo promoting an action film she made.  The line-up for the autograph was long and confusing and I even considered stepping out a few times when the line was not really moving.  However, I am glad that I stayed, since, after nearly an hour of waiting, I finally made it up to get my autograph (and I believe I was also one of the final people to get one before they ended the session).

Because I waited to get this autograph, I had to sacrifice attending the Q&A for William Shatner.  I know that I would have probably loved to see him and it's a shame that I missed it.  However, Fan Expo is a very jam-packed event and it is impossible to participate in everything.

William Shatner
Some consolation can be found in the fact that earlier in the day I walked by the Celebrity Autograph Area to catch a glimpse of Shater.  However, I didn't even consider lining up for an autograph, since he was apparently charging $80 a signature (twice as much as the other main guests).  I guess that's what happens when you were the star of one of the most popular science fiction television shows ever.

And with that, my coverage of the 2011 Fan Expo comes to a close.  In the next day or two, I will post my final thoughts on this year's expo, which will also include a gallery of the 170 or so pictures I took during the weekend.  Until next year.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).