Click for more images
Went to the Hollywood Collector’s show today and got the chance to meet John “Denethor” Noble! The day was due to start at noon, lucky for the fans that were in line, John arrived about 10 min prior and they were running a bit behind so he just stood and chatted with us for that time! He told some nice stories about filming and some of the exterior locations and spoke about some of the other actors as well. He said that he just finished a film with John Rhys-Davis, a biblical epic, which is due to come out in the fall. He had his daughter Sam (I believe that was her name!) with him. She is also an actor and said she had just gotten a part in a film here in the states and was working as her father’s assistant for the day! He spoke about the Hobbits and said that in Australia they would call them “scallywags”, as they were pretty ornery! I asked him if he liked working with Sean Bean and he said they were both excited to do the pick up shots as they had never met or worked together before and they really got on well.
Both John and his daughter were just lovely people and had the same sense that I have gotten from most everyone that has been involved with LOTR that I have been fortunate enough to meet, which is a genuine love for the fans and deep down a really good sense of self.
Mae govannen, Xoanon! I drove 800 miles round-trip from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show at the Hilton Burbank Airport and Convention Center to meet and get autographs from John Noble today. Here is my report:
It was a dark and stormy night (literally – I left my home in Oakland before sunrise, and it was raining like heck). I gathered up my camera and scrolling autograph poster box (more on that, later), and hopped in the car. It takes me roughly about 5 hours to get to LA from home, and I figured in an extra two hours to make it to Burbank due to the weather and the infamous LA freeway traffic. I have just one word to say: Rain-X. Fast forward through the hours of driving in and out of rain cells and into beautiful downtown Burbank!
The place was a lot easier to find than I had expected, what with signs on the freeway directing you to the Burbank Airport, and all. Cool. I arrived at the convention center a half-hour early
This was a big hall, and it was filled with row after row of tables. Some tables had vendors selling movie posters and photographs of stars from every era of Hollywood. Mostly, there were dozens of nameplates spread out over the tables for the celebrities that were going to be there to sign autographs – most of them I didn’t recognize, but there were a few that I did: Ruth Buzzi (Laugh In), Robert Culp (I Spy), Noel Neill (Lois Lane on the B&W TV series, Superman), Mary Badham (Scout, from To Kill A Mockingbird) and I even got to chat a bit with Felix Silla out in the parking lot who, among many other things, played Cousin Itt on the B&W TV series, the Addams Family.
I wandered around and found where John Noble was going to set up shop; he wasn’t there, yet, so I just continued to wander and browse. A little bit after noon, when the event was officially supposed to open, I saw John approach his table, so I stepped right up, set my poster box down, oh yes, my scrolling autograph poster box! A little something a threw together to accommodate the 5-foot long by 12-inch high LOTR:ROTK character poster that you can get from the NewLine Cinema website store. I bought this poster and decided to *try* and get all 20 (well, 19 if you count Smeagol and Gollum as one) celebrity signatures. I was concerned that handling this large poster would cause it to get damaged (creased, wrinkled, torn, etc.) so I designed and built a box that would hold the poster so it could be “rolled” to display the whole thing, marquee-style. This would protect it, but still make the different pictures easily accessible to sign. I used it at ORC to get the four hobbits and dwarf, and today, I was going for the steward.
It was well worth the extra $10 bucks to get in early, because when John and his daughter arrived, his assistant wasn’t there, yet, so the first few of us that were ready and waiting when he arrived got to chat and take pictures with the both of them for several unhurried minutes! I spoke a little with his daughter (Jessica?) who mentioned that she had met and became friends with Billy Boyd, and was starting to do work as an actor in Australia. (I could easily believe that – as you can see in the picture I took of them, she is quite pretty!) I asked John about the scene where he catches on fire; it seemed to me that in the film, he was already on fire before Shadowfax kicked him up onto the pyre, but, no, he was not. The flames I saw were simply behind him. I then showed him my poster box, and the signatures I’d already acquired, and both he and his daughter were duly impressed. His assistant arrived, and I bought two signatures from him; one for the poster, and another on one of the glossy 8x10s he had available. A nice, amiable fellow who really enjoys talking with fans, taking pictures, and *he* reached out to shake *my* hand! After that, I left immediately, and I regret doing that, because I forgot there were a few other celebrities I would have have liked to at least seen (Kim Darby in particular – she was so great in True Grit and the Star Trek episode, Miri).
As a side note: after leaving the convention center, I made my way to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in downtown LA, because I somehow found out on the web that there was a free display of costumes from a dozen or so movies, including LOTR:ROTK! There were a total of five LOTR costumes: the Pelennor Fields Morgul Lord w/Mace(!), Eowyn’s green dress, Aragorn’s Black Gates Gondorian Battle Uniform, Arwen’s red dress, and Theoden’s Pellenor Fields battle armor w/shield. Really nice to be able to inspect these costumes up close, with no glass or barriers in the way; the legendary detail on these is for real! You could really stick your nose up close, but don’t touch! Unfortunately, they didn’t allow photographs, but I did get a picture of the Ringwraith on Steed in the FIDM’s atrium. This display will be there until April 23rd. If you’re in the area, go see it. They also had Viggo’s costume from Hidalgo; costumes from movies such as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Vanity Fair, Spiderman 2 (with Doctor Octopus – arms and all!), and even the puppets’ costumes from the movie, Team America World Police! Find out more about it by going to seeing-stars.com