Three more reports from Collectormania found their way to my inbox. So for your reading pleasure: more kind words about Billy Boyd, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Sala Baker and Bruce Hopkins.

First report is from Hannah

Another report and photos from Collectormania!

I don’t know if you want to hear yet another report, so I’ll try and keep this as short as possible…

Milton Keynes is my home town, so there was no travel issues as the centre is less than 10 minutes from my house! I got there about 10am, which turned out to be a good choice since the queue was already at an hour’s wait! Whilst we were in the queue waiting to get my ‘virtual ticket’ I saw Andy Serkis and Billy Boyd walk past to go to their signing places – it was such a nice surprise to see them already (and so early on a Sunday morning)!

Once I had my tickets for Andy and Billy I went to meet some of the other guests to pass the hour (Alan Ruck and Corin Nemec were really nice and friendly). Then came my time to wait for Billy… there were lots of people milling about to get a view, but being in the queue I could get a good view already! Finally my time came to meet Billy, who was all smiles (I’m sure his face must have ached at the end of the day!). I got to ask him if he’s got to go back for reshoots, and he said ‘yes in June’ (if my memory serves me). He said he will be sad when the experience is all over. I asked him if it’s a long day for him, and he said ‘it’s not so bad, it’s all good fun’. I then had my photo taken with him – one thing I noticed was he always came to stand next to the person who wanted a photo, rather than lean over the table which was very nice of him! 🙂

Next it was the queue for Andy! There was a family in front of me with two young boys, one of whom had a replica One Ring around his neck. Apparently this boy could do an impersonation of Gollum, which Andy wanted to hear. Andy then repeated “My Precioussss!” to him, whilst reaching for the Ring around his neck- a classic moment!

I then got to meet Andy, who again was incredibly friendly. I asked him if he still had work to do for ROTK, which he replied yes. He explained each of the procedures he has to go through for Gollum, and said he may still have to work on each element (motion capture, ADR etc). I asked if he had to do any extra work for the extended edition of the TTT DVD, to which he replied he didn’t need to since everything necessary had already been completed. He said it will be a fantastic DVD though!

I then had a two hour wait for John Rhys Davies – which gave me time to look round all the great stalls at the event. Then came my time to queue for John… to call him a fantastic character would be an understatement! He was so welcoming to each individual in their own way, and gave everyone their due time (he also signed each person’s autograph in a individual way). I asked him if Gimli was one of his favourite characters to play, and he said yes. It was one of his hardest roles to play, but one of his favourites. He said really people aren’t there to see him (he’s wrong!) but they are here to see Gimli or Sallah, the characters they love. I told him I really loved his performance of Gimli, especially as he gets people to laugh. At which point he turned into his Gimli voice, and flumoxed “What? Grr… what? People laugh at me?! Laugh at a Dwarf?! What….?” It was truly hilarious!

John also had a special way of getting people to smile in their photos with him… he tickled everyone! When he put his arm around me to pose, he surely did start tickling me so the photo is priceless!

On to the TTT screening…

I think most of what was said on the evening has been mentioned before. Apparently Collectormania recorded the whole talk which I’m hoping will appear on their website.

One nice part of the evening was when John forgot his time at the bar with the rest of the cast to come and speak to us fans! He spent a good half an hour just talking to us all and answering our questions. He got to tell the story about his accident in great detail, and he really honoured those involved who helped save his life.

When he first entered he made sure to state, “Before we begin, no I don’t have Orlando Bloom’s phone number. Yes, Orlando Bloom is wonderful…”

He was also asked if he would consider playing Gloin if The Hobbit was ever remade, to which he was very hesitant. He said he didn’t know if he would want to go through the makeup process again, especially considering his skin reaction to the makeup.

Other highlights of the night included the cast enjoying the fan’s chocolates, and the general way in which there was no ‘starry’ attitude – in some respects it was like having a chat with friends it was that informal!

The very highlight of the night was Andy Serkis’s rendition of Gollum’s inner debate. It was a real treat to watch Andy become Gollum in front of us… believe me he got a roaring response and standing ovation!

Other great moments included the cast honouring Peter Jackson, and stating that it didn’t really matter if he didn’t win an Oscar as we all know how special the films are and how they’ve been received. Also Bruce Hopkins giving thanks to PJ for including him in the film and boosting his role, and for showing the world that films can be made in New Zealand, and showing New Zealand actors that they can be part of the ‘bigger picture’.

One fan asked Billy if he could say if Pippin will look into the Palantir in ROTK, but he said he couldn’t say anything or he might get in trouble! They were all asked which were their hardest parts to film – Andy answered his hardest part was yet to come so couldn’t say what it was… Billy said his hardest part was when Pippin becomes a Gondorian Knight (sorry if that’s not quite correct… I was trying to avoid spoilers!), and told an anecdote where he’d recently met the actor who played Pippin in the BBC Radio version who also said that was his hardest scene to perform! Bruce Hopkins said his biggest challenge was learning to ride horses, especially since he had to do a lot of it including special stunts.

There were many other anecdotes, which unfortunately only come back to me in little pieces on random occasions… but it really was a fantastic and special day all in all!