NJ 2008 Stargate Convention 4/5: Jason Momoa + Miscellaneous
Okay, finishing up with Jason Momoa’s talk, plus some miscellaneous stuff on the con and the hotel.
3:30PM - JASON MOMOA talk
First, the con showed a compilation video that Jason brought, it was of virtually all his fight scenes from Stargate Atlantis. At the beginning of the year he wanted to do a compilation tape and asked one of the guys to help, and at the end of the year, he got the video.
Now, Jason had a tendency to talk away from the microphone as the rest, so this may be more paraphrased as I decipher…plus the audience kept laughing or squeeing ;)
At that point he said that he had brought (actually, bought) a guitar to auction off for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He said maybe he’d play a little later, which he did.
I managed to get in the first question. J I asked which has been his most memorable fight sequence and why? Teal’c? There were so many, but the one with Chris Judge definitely was. He said that he’s 29 and Chris has “got to be a lot older” ;) The first one on “Runner” was done at two in the morning and it was snowing. And he enjoyed the “Broken Ties” episode, saying the fighting was intricate. It was six minutes of fighting, which is a lot.
I think the next question was about the wig, which he wanted to keep.
He talked about pranks. He said they’d “had a really, really hard day” at Norco, where the Wraith ship is (the latex-ridden place). He’s driving back with Joe while David is following in “his little Echo” and Jason decides to moon ‘em out the window. Well, watch the video just below for the gory details.
And then talked about the episode “Vegas,” and most of the cast isn’t in it. He didn’t want to give away too much, but he wanted to be the wraith, but alas, no. They were going to shoot “Vegas” last so he could have shaved his head, and wanted an opportunity, as an actor, to play a different role. “But they shot the idea down.”
On being pranked:
He said no one really pulled pranks on him as “I’d smash ‘em.”
A fan asked who was more the ‘boy’ on the set, him or Joe? Joe, replied Jason. “I’m a big dumb animal. Joe’s a big boy. I’m definitely more sensitive than Joe.” He said Joe has boys, where as he has girls, was raised by a woman. “Have estrogen all around me.” But he and Joe have a good time together and Joe has shown him a lot of stuff. “It’s funny we hang out, and are in the same hotel.” They’d drag stuff home from the set for interior decorating. “I love antiquing,” said Jason, and they’ve got months worth of stuff to the hotel room and the hotel people are wondering what they need it all for. He joked they could make a TV show out of that. “He’s the straight one, I’m the gay one.”
He said that Connor didn’t fight with him in “The Prodigal,” it was a stunt double. “That was an amazing fight, an amazing stunt by his stunt double. He did the fall off the balcony.” And then Jason just had to jump up in the air and land on his back and go down the stairs, ow ow ow. “That was a fun fight. Connor’s stunt guy was awesome.”
“Your character kicks a lot of ass,” a fan prefaced his question. Jason said “A good observation.” Where did he learn to fight? “Bar fights, hockey fights, getting shoved in lockers. I was not a fighter. I got beat up a lot… I graduated about a year early(ier) than I should have, out of high school.” He was smaller. Unfortunately he was the only Hawaiian in the high school (Ohio) so he faced a lot of bullies, “then I got out,” and he grinned, “And I grew. And I changed. And now I’m fine.” Where are those folks now? He said he bought them some beers, buried the hatchet. “I’m doing what I do, they’re doing what they do.”
In regards to martial arts and what he’s learned, Jason remarked “It’s funny. I’ve become more aggressive, now that I know how to do things, which is not good. It doesn’t fly with my wife.” (Lisa Bonet, although I haven’t read anything about them getting married.) He has a total respect for it. He doesn’t know if he’d have his child take it up, martial arts, there are too many other passions to pursue. He’d prefer his kids learn how to run away from fights instead. “Run fast.”
Someone asked about the stunts in “Sateda,” and Jason said the stunt where he kicked up the shotgun to catch it “was cool.” Bam-Bam, the stunt coordinator, taught him that one.
He said he got punched in the face once. They had a different stunt guy for Connor Trinneer (“Prodigal”?), and Jason was certain the guy was gonna hit him, and yup, the guy was too close and popped Jason in the face. Broke his nose. And when the fight resumed, and it lasted a while, Jason hit the stuntman and accidentally knocked him out.
Jason said the cancellation really came down to “SciFi, the maintenance, basically they’re ‘we’ll give you another show.’” He says that the guys in Stargate Universe are almost identical to SGA. “There’s this Marine guy. Big strong, doesn’t say much. Kicks everyone’s ass. Maybe if I cut my hair??” he quipped.
One of the other guests (um um um, can’t recall!) mentioned the fight between Chris and Jason in “Midway,” and that in the bend-back move, someone accidentally stepped on Jason’s hair. “Oh, I remember that. That was a hard move…” Someone stepped on it and pinned him right to the ground. “That was a fun fight.” He said that during the last season, the wig was hard to wear. They didn’t want him to cut his hair, so what was even worse, he’d have to spend 45 minutes every morning having it put on. “For you,” he said. “The wig probably weighed around eight pounds.”
He talked about the fight in “Sateda,” with the big guy, who’s like a Viking. Think he was talking about the guy in the Wraith suit.
He had pretty much total involvement with his character. “They did everything I asked for,” so he was able to give input into the character, down to wardrobe, choreographing stunts with Bam-Bam. He was able to push it to the limits in “Broken Ties” (he broke something like 2 or 3 gurneys) during the withdrawal scene. “At one point I heard sounds come out of my body that I’d never heard, which were painful, and I’m like ‘ohmygod.’ That was one of my greatest acting moments.”
What would he like to do next? He’d auditioned (in NYC) for a Vince Vaughn movie, in Tahiti. Just a one day part where he’d be a masseuse, all buffed up, short shorts, etc. and the woman he’s working on things he’s straight but he’s actually gay. He’s looking forward to more work, and thinks action may be the direction he’ll go. “Going from a bartender to saving the friggin’ universe, man.”
Any major projects? The Atlantis movie and a new baby is on the way, so he looking forward to being a dad again.
“It was really, really sad.” He said the wrap party was “fun partying, but also at the same time it’s horrible to say goodbye” to cast and crew. There was a lot he couldn’t say, as it would give away the end of the series, but he had a great idea for Ronon to be left in peril – “I wanted to leave it bad” (as in Ronon’s situation) – and then take the next five months off before filming, where Ronon would be trapped with the bad guys, and then he could drop like 20 pounds and look all beaten up, and then Sheppard would go against all rules and rescue him. And the producers… “They are like no, we don’t like the idea.” And he was like “get me off this ****ing show” and “sure enough, that day, they came down, they knew the show’s over. So they told me we needed the show to end this way so we can all be together so we can pretty package it up, for you guys.” And Jason wanted heartbreak and drama, and grinned about “a spin-off show called Ronon.” Like a show called “Men In Black” where he and Joe would run around on Earth and kill aliens.
The tattoo on his neck was make-up they stuck on each morning. He said he’d love a tattoo on his neck “if I were a rock god or something.” But he’s happy wearing clothing to cover up tattoos.
He talked about the scene in “Reunion”, where he and his old Satedan buddies first meet. And the writers were like it would be a “remember that when we were buddies” type stuff, but Jason had another idea. So instead, Jason just punched actor Aleks Paunovic, who played Rakai, and he went along with it and the reaction was real as the punch was real. “I’m a very physical actor,” said Jason.
Who was his favorite guest star to work with? His best friend Mikey Ray (who is currently on the HBO series, “True Blood,” and I think that’s Michael Raymond-James. His friend is now in a new show being filmed in New York City called “At the Ninth,” which is basically a cop show. “He’s a great guy.” I think he met him on “North Shore.”
It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite movie. Last one he saw was “Gangs of New York,” and he’d like to see “W.”
Favorite SGA episode? “Anything with a lot of me in it,” he grinned. “It gets boring standing in the background and going ‘huh.’” Enjoyed “Broken Ties” as he got “to go to a lot of places I don’t think I’d ever be able to go to,” acting-wise, particularly the withdrawal sequence.
Someone asked about the McKay-Keller-Ronon triangle, and Jason went “ugh. Me and David Hewlett?” he asked, but no, he’s not interested in romance for his character. “It’s boring. Who wants to watch Ronon fall in love and be like all mushy? No one wants to see Clint Eastwood kissing the girl.” He says there will be a love interest later on, but since the show’s ending… then he added “always had a thing for Dr. Weir,” and grinned. [I couldn’t really hear the precise question asked.]
He originally auditioned for Rainbow Sun Franck’s role, Ford, but he didn’t want to do it because “a) I’d have to cut my hair, and b) I’m totally different. They pigeonholed Rainbow in the sense that they needed a character who could say ‘no’ and say ‘screw you.’” Whereas Ronon “had a lot of turmoil. They needed that.”
He was happy with the “Blades of Glory” reference (“Outsider”) as well as other movie references throughout the scripts.
He talked about his audition for Ronon. “Brutal,” he said. “I almost died that day.” where he was at home in a 3-storey house and his friend Mikey Ray accidentally knocked the gas on and left, and fortunately Jason had been sleeping on the first floor so when his friend came back, they called 911 and dragged him out. He was in that house for eight hours. “I had this crazy headache and I’d see all these black spots, and I had to go to the test.” He said everything was “Kind of moving” and black and they couldn’t understand him and when he was out in the waiting room he was nodding off. When he went back in, he told them the situation but did the audition again. “Obviously it [the near gassing] took the edge off,” he joked.
He said he loves Rachel Luttrell a lot, and actually introduced her to her future husband.
He’d like to give television a rest and do movies if he can. But one of the great things about Ronon was doing stuff he wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, like the sword fighting.
What’s it like moving from Hawaii to Vancouver? He said he didn’t, then corrected himself ;) He loves Hawaii, it’s home, but you get sick of it, 83 degrees every day. “It’s beautiful” but he likes the seasons. “Five months and I have to go somewhere else and travel.”
Jason then got out the guitar, tuned it up while answering some questions I can’t remember.
Jason playing the guitar:
He auctioned the guitar on stage, and it immediately went for $2,000. There were no other bidders and it went toward Make-a-Wish Foundation. The bidder got a photo taken of her and Jason and the guitar.
Other questions… not sure if there are any martial artists he’d like to work with. He then said that Jewel Staite was pregnant, but wait, no. It’s just a joke, as she pulls jokes on him, so he pulls jokes on her. …
Note: At one point someone in the audience said play some music and Jason yelled back (humorously) “Dance, monkey, dance!” Now, was this at the Q&A, or at the breakfast? For some reason, I think breakfast…
Anyway, sorry for the brevity on the Jason Momoa section. If you were there and can add to it, feel free to do with in the comments below or links elsewhere.
4:50PM - DAVID NYKL photo op
The line was not as long as Jason’s, but I didn’t mind. As usual, mind totally blanks out except David was very nice!
david nykl photo op
5:10PM - DAVID NYKL and JASON MOMOA autographs
I got Jason Momoa and David Nykl to stare at my chest! Bwahahah! … I was wearing my “Aliens Abducted Me T-shirt” and Jason managed to read that far before being distracted by volunteers (which seemed to be a lot) but David read the whole shirt and laughed at it.
They closed down the main stage – I think it was because if they got done at a certain time, they’d save money – and instead funneled the fans into the ‘green room’ – aka the Boardroom – where the actors hung out during the days since they weren’t staying at the same hotel (sooooo lucky).
Anyway, I used my photo op photos for autographs. Jason scrawled over my “Aliens Abducted” shirt on the photo and I went ‘oops, you signed over the shirt, can’t read it’ and he went ‘oh uh uh, should have said where to sign” but I said, hey, it’s okay, I’ve got the shirt ;) Jason just signs his name, nothing else, but David was great. Said hi, was really energetic and focused (and didn’t have as many folks milling about behind him).. He said, oh, he’d use the silver pen on the black part of the pic but I said, oh, sign up in the corner and use black and he did put my name on it, and we chatted briefly about “Beast of Bottomless Lake,” and me sending him some photos. Okay, fannish squee, he really knows how to pay attention to the fans. Alas, had to say goodbye and hope to see him at a con again some day.
Oh yes, while in line some other fans and myself were telling really bad goat jokes * cough *.
So, went to room, packed up, cleared out fridge, got toothbrush, etc., wrote a note to SherryW on a Chinese food box (since I’d packed up all the paper) and WWLH, Salty and I went to the car and drove home. And spent half the drive with me in the back with the laptop on going, “what did we do again??” And saying ‘Meanwhile’ in Chuck-nese ;) Ah, that word will never be the same.
Saw Jason run down the hall and just missed flattening a fan.
Jason played guitar in lobby with Matt(?), and then went out to buy a guitar for the auction. He had bodyguards who drove this Hummer (hmm, maybe that’s why the dessert party was so cheap!) ;)
Regrettably, the stage layout had one problem. The speakers. They weren’t totally at the sides, but in about twenty feet. The Creation folk didn’t tell the actors, or the fans, about the microphones at either end and in fact, the actors couldn’t even see people on one side (I finally raised my hand and Kavan pointed at me and then I pointed at the poor fan who’d been patiently waiting like ten minutes to ask a question).
Ah, the hotel, what can I say? Well, fourth floor, tiles out of ceiling, big wastebaskets below to collect water, which stunk up that floor and the floor below.
§ One person’s room had a soaked bathroom.
§ Someone else had a raw sewage leak.
§ One person had no hot water.
§ Another had no cold water.
§ Room service. What’s that?
§ Some people’s rooms never got cleaned.
§ Heating – one person had too much heat, one had too much cold air.
§ Someone had ants in their room.
§ One person’s phone didn’t work.
§ TV remotes worked sporadically.
§ Couldn’t open the windows.
§ Got charged for a safe we never use L
§ Dirty lipstick on glasses in one exotic suite. Eeeeuuuuu……….
But, hotel staff was very nice. Never heard a rude word or bad attitude, same with the pub. The bathroom ceiling did not fall into the bathtub (like it did a Ramada in another part of NJ, so things could have been worse).
For those who wanted to know the source of the smell on the 4th and 5th floor – leaking ceiling!!
Stage is packed up:
Salty’s cute litttle puppy’
Lastly, met a great bunch of fans… Jedi and BambiScott from SciFi’s forums, a bunch from Gateworld (Salty, WWLH & SherryW of course), AJ, Atlantean2005 (F17), Qksilver99, Watcher652, Mesenet, Helena, Tricia, Knightie, Aboleyn24, hmm, Mac Jackson? – anyway, the winner of the centerpiece contest and a fun conversationalist, and I’m sure more, as some people came up to me going “Are you Wraithfodder? THAT Wraithfodder?” Apparently the name is memorable especially if the actors are answering questions of mine on those SciFi.com videos. My claim to fame! ;) Saw a fan there (from Germany) who was a great Cliff Simon clone. And I KNOW I’m forgetting names as I’m blanking out, probably with people who sat right next to me!
Other fan coverage of the con:
Online presence for guests
Chuck Campbell - http://www.chuckcampbellonline.com/
David Nykl - http://www.davidnykl.com/
Jason Momoa - http://www.jasonmomoa.com/
Kavan Smith - http://www.kavansmithfans.com/
Beast of Bottomless Lake Site - http://www.provostpictures.com/ and http://ogopogomovie.blogspot.com/
Cheesecake Factory - http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/
Creation Convention - http://www.creationent.com/
Elephant & Castle Pub & Grill - http://www.elephantcastle.com/
http://welovewegmans.blogspot.com/ is a blog extolling the virtues of this store
The Seagull - http://www.theatrehistory.com/russian/chekhov004.html
If you stayed at the hotel and didn’t like your room, write to the Clarion folks and you can leave reviews at these online sites:
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 1450 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 - http://www.clarionofcherryhill.com/
And that’s it!