Collectormania 2004 Images

Thanks to everyone who sent in their pics!

Cheshire Cat writes: Cheshire Cat reporting in fresh from a day at the Collectormania convention in Milton Keynes, UK. Had a smashing day and got to meet a few more of the actors from LOTR plus re-acquaint myself with some (seemingly) old friends.

I arrived at the venue around 11 o’clockish. It was the final day of a four day event, but because of family commitments I’d only been able to attend for the one day. But it was definitely worth the trip. It was a much quieter affair than the October Collectormania, as the guests weren’t quite so high profile this time around. There weren’t horrendous queues to contend with and the guests had plenty of time for a chat as the signed autographs.

First of all, I went to see Brad Dourif. He was about as scarey as I thought he’d be, and not overly sociable it has to be said. I just got the feeling he didn’t really want to be there, but never the less I paid my £15 and went for a quick chat. He was polite and he told me a little about his next project, which was nice, then he signed my book and I moved on.

I noticed that Sala Baker (Sauron) and Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz) were sitting next to each other, so I took a deep breath and decided to ask them to do something I’d wanted for a long time…. I approached Sala and started chatting to him. I said that I’d seen him at The TORn Oscar Party in Hollywood and asked him if perhaps he were a “little” drunk that night. He flatly denied it and said he wasn’t drunk at all. I pointed out that he was swearing rather a lot on the stage and he said “Well that’s because it was our %#&$ing party and the authorities had no %#&$ing right to throw us out early!” At this point I had to agree with him whole-heartedly. Then I asked him for the favour… “Is there any chance I can have my photo taken with you AND Lawrence?” “Yeah sure” he replied and he went over to ask Lawrence. As I shook hands with Lawrence I told him that we had met before at the last Collectormania. I told him we were sitting on the front row at the Question and Answer session and that I was there with my friend from Alabama, at which point both he and Sala burst into song with a rousing rendition of “I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee” just as they had done back in October. They remembered us!!! Woo hoo. :o) So then I got my photo taken (see footer) squished between these two hunky Maoris one of them wearing a full length leather coat. * swoon Thud! *

Next I head over to where Isildur and the King of the Dead are seated. Harry Sinclair (Isildur) is a charming chap, but a little shy. Next I go to see the King of the Dead (the leader of the Dead army in ROTK) Paul Norell. As I walk up to him I tell him how much nicer he looks with lips!!! And for that he gives me a nice kiss on the cheek and says thanks very much with a great big smile. He is very friendly and chirpy and fun to talk to, not at all how you’d imagine a dead king to be at all. He was very interested in the set of FOTR Production Notes that I was having signed and asked where it was from. I said it was produced for the press at the London Premier and he said he hadn’t seen one before.

Next it’s Jed Brophy’s turn. He plays all the nasty little skinny Orcs like Snaga and Sharku the Warg rider. He is full of twitchy energy and keeps the crowds amused even when he didn’t have a queue. I told him that the last time I saw him, he was dancing the Haka in Hollywood. “You were there!” he exclaimed. He said it had been an amazing time and that it was probably the only time he’s likely to be invited to a party in Hollywood. He was a hoot.

Finally, last but by no means least, came Hunky Haldir, Craig Parker. I was actually quite stunned at how good looking this man is. He had slightly scruffy hair and a short beard and he was bursting with energy. He spent ages talking to every person who came to see him, chatted with the children and posed for as many photos as people wanted. Bearing in mind this was the fourth day he’d been doing this! You really couldn’t tell. I asked him to sign my book and he wanted to know if I had other autographs in it already – I said that I had attended last time when Elijah, Sean and Dom were there, and he said it was mad whenever they turned up – they were like the Beatles! I thanked him for being such a good Haldir and he gave me a big hug after we’d had a photo taken. What a nice man! :o)

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the place having a nosey at some of the other celebs. Brian Blessed was there, who has been a hero of mine for a long time, and many Star Trek and Star Wars people. It was nice to see Tasha Yar, Neelix, Voyager’s doctor and also Phlox, Chewbacca and Freddy Krueger. Then, walking past the collectors’ stalls, I finally succumbed to temptation and bought myself a United Cutleries replica Sting. I’d been wanting one for ages and just decided that as interest in the films slows down, genuine replicas would start to become more expensive. So I took the plunge and whipped out my credit card!!! Sting is beautiful and I am very, very pleased with it.

So at the end of a whirlwind afternoon I headed back to the train station. It had been an afternoon of happy memories from the wonderful three days I’d spent with fellow TORNsibs there in October. It was great to see the hotel where we’d stayed – knowing that members of the LOTR cast were sleeping under the same roof. I passed the Pizza Hut where we had howled laughing at the photos we’d taken and probably irritated the heck out of all the other diners. And I giggled to myself as I walked through the underpass where myself and jordan the discursive had received a full-frontal flash from a rather intoxicated gentleman on our way back to the hotel one night!!! It brought back a lot of very happy memories. Today was very much quieter but fun even so.