I don’t know about the rest of you, but due to the global pandemic, travel restrictions, social distancing, and the rest, I am a bit depressed about the lack of comic con experiences this year. I only go to one or two a year, normally, but the ones that I do attend are premium (see here, here, here, here). The sounds, the sights, the energy all combine to make for an amazing experience. Not the least of these experiences, at least for me, was getting to meet with and talk to some of the celebrities of the sci-fi industry.
We work from home and having meetings of every sort online, so it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the con online experience. The people at Galaxy Con (galaxycon.com) have stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun with their online meet and greet, question and answer time with celebrities online. I took part in one on Saturday, September 12th, with the one, the only – John Barrowman.
For any fan of sci-fi who has been under a rock for the past couple of decades and doesn’t know of whom I speak, John Barrowman is legend. Most will know him from his stint on Doctor Who, and later on Torchwood, as the irrepressible Captain Jack Harkness. More recently, he was on the CW’s Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and The Flash as Malcolm Merlyn (Dark Archer). He has also voiced his characters in video games. Not only is he a proven actor in the sci-fi/superhero genres, but he’s starred on Broadway and in the West End in countless musical productions. For his entrance on Saturday, he came out singing in a sparkling Captain America costume. A classic Barrowman entrance.
We were asked by the Galaxy Con representative not to record or use any screen captures from the event. We submitted questions via the chat and their people sorted through the questions and posed them to John. Some people were interested in his musical career, stage, and time on other non-sci-fi programs like Desperate Housewives. That was okay. We geeks and nerds waited our turn patiently and several of my questions got into the mix.
When asked what cosplay/costume that he has not done, would he like to do, Barrowman said, without hesitation, “Kylo Ren”. He did go on to say that he has a costume planned for reveal at the 2021 cons…hopefully, but would not elaborate when prompted.
Next sci-fi-ish question was what film was he a big fan of. His pick for one of his favorite films was Forbidden Planet, a staple in anyone’s sci-fi film vault. To show his fascination with this film, he took us on a short tour of his home into the media room where on the wall was the movie poster for FP.
He was asked what he’s been doing during the quarantine to stay sane. “Nothing,” he replied. John said he was trying to declutter and hoped to have a big tag sale at some point, get rid of some things and make a few dollars for charity. He had one prior to the lockdown due to the pandemic and it was a big success. Now there’s a garage sale I’d love to go to!
Barrowman said that his favorite thing to do at con was the meet and greet, the live audience, connecting with the fans. He’s looking forward to, as I’m sure we all are, to having that personal interaction in the future. Hopefully sooner than later.
The next question and answer I found especially profound and a bit intriguing. He was asked if he preferred to play the villain or the hero, having played both ends of the spectrum quite well. Barrowman said he really couldn’t decide as there were things about both that he enjoyed. He supposed he’d have to answer both. Either way, he gets to do things that he’d never get to do in his daily life. “A lot of people like the bad guy,” he went on to say. He further mused, “I like playing the villain like a hero of his own story, like Malcolm Merlyn.” Everyone agreed that he nailed that one.
The crowd went wild when John replied to a question about what TV show he’s like to have a cameo on. “Supernatural. I’d like to be the reincarnation of the Winchester’s car. That way I could say all the boys have been in me.” Only a man of his charm can get away with replies like that. Classic Barrowman.
Another interviewer posed the question to John – “What is on your bucket list?”. John’s answer, “Don’t have one”. He went on to talk about some things he would like to do, but not that he has to do. His ideal project would be a variety show, something outrageous. Very fitting of his personality. He’s also keen on adventure programs and would maybe like to work in that genre, branching out from his sci-fi focus.
One final question posed to John was which character or characters would he like to revisit. Without hesitation, “Captain Jack – always will revisit him.” Even after he left Earth in the Torchwood – Children of Men, that painful good-bye, he came back in the most recent incarnation of Doctor Who. I’m sure we will see that iconic WWII RAF coated-figure again. He went on to say that Malcom Merlyn didn’t have a good death and that he would like to see him come back in the new universe reboot, but didn’t expound on whether that was wishful thinking or something maybe in the works. Cagey one, that John Barrowman.
If you’re like me and missing cons, check out Galaxy Cons offerings for the near future here. They have some great line ups.
Check out my previous articles on comic cons, cosplay/costuming, and other geek-a-licious things. Until next time – live long and prosper.