Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Ramble

*pondering what to write... I want to write something... Hmmm... *

"Oh well, I'll just throw together a shoddy picspam/ramble like I always do... Who's going to judge me? It's MY blog."

Gaius Baltar says: "Nothing wrong with being a little naughty on Christmas!"

I'm going to my parents' house for Christmas, for - sigh - five days. I'll be back on the 27th but I will not have internet in my computer for that whole time. I'll only be able to check my crammy mobile net for emails and such. I'm not sure I understand the magnitude of this yet. This blog is my baby! I can't leave it for such a long time! *sniff* I hope it won't miss me and cry all night so the neighbors wake up or anything. Last year was so fun with all those joyfully random posts. I have to publish at least one such post before going.

So, 'tis the time of year we throw a rather loose-fitting Santa robe on James and hang colorful balls onto his ever-growing wafts of chest hair. I was actually going to make a very crude Paint picture with James as Santa, but Paint refused to cooperate, so it may be God's will that that pic never be made. So yee shall receive - random James/Tricia pictures with silly captions instead. Jamen.

HeadSix would like to wish you a funny and completely benevolent Christmas!

I didn't know last Christmas and I still don't know if James even celebrates Christmas. But that doesn't stop me from celebrating it, or incorporating it into my James-centric Jamus religion. I haven't yet figured out how we celebrate it in this cult; I guess going to your parents' house for way too many days and stuffing your face are acceptable, if not obligatory, ways. By next year, we might veer closer to an all-round orgy, but I think we'll keep the face-stuffing part. The festival needs a new name though. Like... Jamesivus? *checks last year's posts* Duh! Jamesmas! (Or Callismas?)

DonutJames heartily approves of indulging in food (AND sex) over Christmas!

WetJames reminds you to not keep your mouths dry over Christmas! (and if you don't drink, there are surely other body parts you can get wet instead. Ahem.) Photo by Dennys Ilic.

PuppyEyesJames is a little inexplicably sad over the holidays. He needs a cuddle.
Photo by Dennys Ilic.

A word cloud created at Wordle. It's got stuff like "giddy", "aunt" and "Nicole", so you can tell it's only counting the first page. But the funny thing is, I've done this many times, with different posts, and the same words are ALWAYS the most common. Gigantic JAMES, then a big LIKE. I suspect that if you did a cloud of my head, it'd be the same way - a giant JAMES in the middle there. But do I really say "like" that much? I hope it's not, like, annoying or anything.

Here's HatJames reminding you to keep warm on Christmas! (He only looks so distressed because he thinks someone's going out without a hat. Don't do that! You'll freeze to death!)

He's even willing to look like an alpaca to be safe! (screenshot by M.)

RudeJames thinks Christmasses are all the saaame. (if you don't get it, see this post.) Screenshot by M.

(L) (L) (L) Oh James...
Um, funny captions? Captions.. I... WTF EVER HE WROTE ME AN AUTOGRAPH, YOU GUYS!!
(I'm still not quite over this.) Photo by René Kissien.

I'll probably spend my time at the parents' house for writing a somewhat more sane and coherent New Year's post where I go over the past year a little. I'll try to not make it TOO much about my autograph and the donuts, but you know, don't expect miracles. I'm only human.

A very merry Christmas to all of my readers! Have fun, eat a lot, drink a lot if you're so inclined, and generally indulge shamelessly. It's only once a year!

And an especially warm greeting to James, if you're somewhere out there reading this. You bring joy to so many people around the world, I hope your life is filled with joy and love. All the best for you and your family in the year to come!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rubins Cast + Crew Screening

A new picture from the cast and crew screening of Re-Uniting the Rubins last Sunday! Obviously the hair is the same as at Starfury, but he's looking more clean shaven. So he's not growing a beard like Elina and I were fearing... :D

So the film is ready and will be coming out next year. All I've heard about it sounds really good, so I have high hopes. I'll definitely be reporting about it later.

Martin Walker who writes the blog is the co-location manager (as you can see in the photo with his credits, lol). Sounds like James made quite an impression on him. Can't wait for the film!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh my giddy aunt!

Eeeeee look it's James answering MY QUESTION!

Edit: OK, maybe I'll elaborate on why I loved this answer. Apart from the fact that it's James answering MY question, which I can't emphasize too much. Thanks to Nicole for asking the question! :)
Edit's edit: Oh, and the question was o"Can you tell us more about shooting the scene where Baltar meets HeadBaltar?" or something like that (the video doesn't include Nicole's question so I'm not sure how she worded it exactly).

James: It's funny, and that actually came from that roundtable discussion [to Jamie] we had at Ron's house for the.. [spins finger in the air] podcast...

Jamie: The whiskey roundtable.

James: The whiskey roundtable, yeah. And they asked me, they were like, you know, "who would your character or who would you most like to... be or act with?" And kinda half-jokingly, I said: well, me! [laughter] Because if you're Gaius Baltar and you're the kind of narcissist this man is, there can be nothing better than meeting yourself. And then it turned up in an episode! [laughter]

For those who don't know, this was from a 3-hour roundtable podcast they did with Ron D. Moore. James was very drunk indeed, and he babbled something incoherent about how the Earth won't be around forever bla bla bla, and he was reminded what the question was and he just went on: "Well I don't know about that, but bla bla..." and said the same thing he had just said. Heee! But before that, he did say he'd like to be Tricia so he can play with himself. And then Jamie made a masturbation joke.

This is awesome, also because I actually would have mentioned the roundtable discussion in my question. Something like, "In the roundtable podcast, you said you'd like to act with yourself, and we saw you doing just that in the HeadBaltar scene"... (This is assuming I'd dare ask something and talk that much.)

Actually, a very talented actor called Ryan Robbins, who has been on our show quite a few times as different characters, actually played me in the other half of the script. So I wasn't acting in a vacuum, I was acting to him. And then because of hte nature of the show, he's superimposed over, and then I take his place and we film it from the other side. We had a great director called Anthony Hemingway.

Also as well, I just read this about Rose Byrne, you know, from Damages. I just read something that she was talking about why she loved her audition. she said in a movie, it's all done already. if you've got the script it's really not gonna change all that much. But on tv, every scene, every day, it's kind of like.. it can be tweaked or changed. And I had a lot of fun ad libbing on their dialogue, all those very ianpproptriate things I was saying about Tory Foster or Rekha Sharma, [whispers] "Oh she's really hot!" All this kind of stuff.

(Even in repeated listenings, I heard Bamsley Hemingway and Rosebud, so thank god for imdb.)
I'm not sure if that's true of all TV shows, but BSG definitely gave them a lot of leeway. James seems to thrive on improvisation and loves to bring in his natural sense of comedy. It's fun to watch, and the comic timing is just impeccable, so I was thinking that they probably had someone act with him.

I'm surprised that stuff was ad libbed - I thought he only ad libbed the phrase "oh my giddy aunt". :D It's kind of hilarious that he just came up with "oh she's hot" type stuff (quite a compliment to Rekha Sharma as well). James, you horndog! ;)

It was a lot of fun, and I think actually, it kinda came out more exciting and better than I had thought, possibly because the CGI is so great. So you and me are watching like, "How did they do that? Cos it looks like they're in the same room together but it can't possibly happen." So that was a lot of fun, yes.

It's always fun to hear that the cast love your favorite scenes. It's not my very favorite Baltar scene, but it's among the top five. When he talks about the scene, his face lights up and he's laughing and hyper, so I can tell he really liked it, and that makes me really happy.

Nicole: A friend of mine* wants to know if you ad libbed "oh my giddy aunt"?

James: Oh my giddy aunt? Most definitely. [adorable grin, laughter] That's not an American expression! [laughter] And I think that "giddy aunt" is actually kind of a euphemism for "god almighty". I'm not sure but it's GA. So it was like in Victorian times, when you know, the father wants to say [stern voice] "God Almighty!" but can't because the kids were there, so he's like [stern voice] "Oh my... giddy aunt!" I've always thought that expression is ridiculous, I don't know why but it's so funny. And especially funny in a sci fi show. So yeah, they let me get away with that one.

*=me!! (L)

Hee! :D I love how he has a theory on where it may have come from. That scene is the first time I heard the phrase, and I probably wasn't the only one as I've seen people calling Gaius "Gaius 'Oh my giddy aunt!' Baltar".

When Nicole asks him that, you can see for a moment he's serious, like he has to think what that's in reference to. And then he remembers and he's all beaming about it. It's kinda cool and spooky that he seems to share this with me as well - giggling at silly expressions and thinking of their origins. Words and phrases are very important for me, and one of the things my girlfriend and I do in our chats is giggle at the phrases from English/Finnish and compare them. It's one of our favorite pastimes.

There was also another video where Jamie is asked about the pigeon scene, and James actually jumps in and talks there, and they're really laughing and teasing each other, so watch it here. I'm too lazy to transcribe both at once, but it's more fun to watch than discuss. Those two have great chemistry and I'm so glad they shared a panel.

Friday, November 27, 2009

James Callis at Mission Starfury: Cylon Attack

Last updated on Tuesday, 2nd February, at 6:15 PM Finnish time.

A new video of Starfury! It's from the con organizer, Sean Harry, and it's got some James snippets. He looks animated, excited to talk to the fans, and completely relaxed. Also he seems to want to sneak into a Jamie/bunny photo. ;) Aww, James. (L)

No other updates that I can find, but I'll keep updating the post once something comes up.

January updates

Dianora has begun her con report! Check here for photos AND video of the James/Jamie panel!

There are two James videos, and both are beautiful - he discusses the Gina/Boomer's suicide scenes as moments that touched him, and also talks about the "I know about farming" line. I'll transcribe later (I might want to make a little extra post of all the panel video/transcripts, because this is getting messy.)

Sunday updates

Hi there, it's been almost a month since I last updated, but there are still updates coming, so let's re-open this one. There aren't really that many to link to so far, but I'm still waiting for some big updates promised.

Serenity's Angel has lots of good photos here. Including a zip file with James+Jamie photos that you can download! I love the ones where James is just smiling to himself, like here. The man with no cheeks! ;)

More photos on flickr.

And then for James Callis (who was really funny and did an oh-so-Gaius eyeroll at me):

(L)! There's another lovely fan picture with him. *envy* OK, I'll get mine one day. I hope.

Anno_Superstar got a picture of James' best side. Heeee!

There was a German thread - which I've now lost the link to - where they mentioned the disaster movie thing. James apparently found 2012 "silly and boooorriiiing". I haven't seen it, but I can imagine. :D

December updates:

Eugis kindly unlocked her awesome 3-part con report! Jamie-heavy, but also very James-friendly. The most James-related bit is here, with lots of awesome photos. She has one of the best one-on-one photos with James, my god he looks hot! For me, that ties with Nicole's "praying mantis" pose from Sunday as best James portrait so far.

Also: Eugis was the one who got the answer to my HeadBaltar question on video. And for this I will be eternally grateful. I'm only slightly exaggerating; it really means a lot.

Also also, in the Sunday report:

When I gave James the book to sign, his handler asked me if that was my name. I said no, I don't like my name and I always go by my nickname. So James asked me what my real name was. I told him and he said "that's a lovely name, why don't you like it?" Aw so sweet. I told him I didn't like the way it sounds, so he asked me how it's pronounced in Argentina and tried to say it like that. So cute. He said it pretty well. :)

Awww, James loves names! (L) What a sweetie.

Re: the photo link below: I haven't remembered to gush about James' hair enough this time around, so let's gush a bit. Furry sideburns near the ears = wolf ears, Y/N? The hair looks very luscious and large, and it doesn't even bug me that it's so short. And - is it really even that short anymore? :o How fast does his hair grow?

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned his chest hair! With winter clothes on, it's not really as visible as normal, but you can see how vital it is because it's still high enough to see a bit, most notably in the white shirt only photos. Thou riseth like a mighty vine upon a chest so slight! (Um, that's from Ode to His Chest Hair.)

I think I was going to say something DEEP and meaningful, but it always turns into OMG GUSH! Well, I'm sure you can all relate to that, right? :D

First Monday update:

New pictures of James and Jamie at the panel! Thanks to the4ts. Some of my favorites: Shy smile! Sad puppy! Thinky face! Charmer boy! ...Um, it seems like all the James pictures are my favorites, so I'll stop now. :D Edit: Those are perhaps the best-quality photos so far with awesome expressions, a must-see! There are lots of Jamie singletons too for the bunnies. ;)

Some comments to stuff in Nicole's report, since I was too drunk and excited to comment much yesterday. Not quoted: he did a William Blake impression (?! :D), tried to show what "evil happiness" would sound like (BWAH), and he did his Dean Stockwell "sign the fucking thing". He signed the other half of a picture with Alessandro Juliani who had written "I (L) James Callis". And he loves AJ too. And I love him so, so much.

He had this image of the heroes of the show looking really serious, and then Gaius is there "eating a biscuit" and getting crumbs all over his face. Having said that, he had some other metaphor about how there's only so many times you can pull the same lever before it stops working, so he was glad he got more into the depths of his character as it went on.

Hee! I think that aspect of Baltar was not only a lot of fun, but vital for the show to not get too depressing at first. Even if Baltar was by far not a comic relief character, it felt good to have something - someone - to laugh at, someone who was both funny and laughable in other ways. The military stuff sometimes felt a bit "God bless America" in a bad way, so I'm glad James was there to bring some British awkward humor into it all.
He heard someone call him a "pathetic villain" once, but he wouldn't even call him a villain. He's an anti-hero -- not the kind of antihero who's angry and hates authority and doesn't fight all the vampires (that was his example, lol wtf James) but in a literal way, he's anti-heroic.

I love that he brought this up. We discussed Baltar being an anti-hero, I guess at Syfy once? So it's nice to see he agrees. I really think it's the best thing to describe Baltar.
He said he'd never given much thought before to his backstory, and that he liked it because his character had been "mired in shit" for so long and had this terrible thing hanging off him, so it was like seeing his "callow youth" before all that happened. And he said that just now in talking about it, he was realizing... some deep thought about how people have to rediscover who they were in order to grow.

I sent in M's question about the father and the backstory there, and apparently Nicole had some trouble remembering it (or being coherent in front of James Frakking Callis), since it was a pretty detailed one. But there's something about the flashbacks anyway. I like the idea of rediscovering who you are. I think that's where the whole "I know about farming" thing was going as well.
However, I bring this question up because James Callis mentioned the guy (psst, boyfriend: his name is Charlie Kaufman) who wrote ETERNAL GODDAMN SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. You know, one of my FAVORITE MOVIES.

I KNOW. OMG. I'd say my very favorite movie ever, and he even mentioned Fight Club, which is one of my favorites too. About HeadSix:

But he talked about how he didn't know in the early seasons and the writers wouldn't tell him anything, so his opinion then leaned toward her being "a form of psychosis" and he compared it to "Fight Club"; he created her in his mind so he didn't have to deal with anything being his fault.
I think that was where everyone's mind went, although I was always excited about the possibility of HeadSix being something more, not necessarily an Angel of God or anything, but something of a higher power.

Sunday updates:

Nicole's report part 3 is up. it's awesome and long, and I'll comment on it in a little while. I'm a bit drunk and more than a bit excited, and I went a little nuts in the comments there, because... he mentioned wanting to work with Charlie Kaufmann? And specifically mentions my favorite movie of all time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

WTF is with this con? First he answers my question, then he mentions the frakking donuts, and then he mentions liking my favorite screenwriter ever.

I'm drunk, so I'll comment more tomorrow. Just to say I'm feeling a bit surreal about all the stuff from the con. My god, what luck!

Friday updates:

Two panel videos! James answering MY QUESTION about HeadBaltar *gush sparkle* (video 2),
and Jamie is asked about the pigeon and James chimes in (video 1). I'll just link to my youtube channel.

Nicole posted her recap part two. OMG, the longest most detailed panel recap EVER. Read it here. I will try to only quote a few important bits. There's seriously so much here I could quote the whole thing.

Also, for those *cough* who were curious, the number of times James Callis said "in that sense" and "on some level" was OFF THE CHARTS. He did three or four "on some levels" when I was just waiting in the Q&A line, and I stopped counting after that.

LMAO!!! :D :D :D That was one of the things I asked her to pay attention to. It's settled then: "on some level" is the verbal equivalent of dashes. He just sprinkles it all over the place. (L)!

He talked about not wanting to do it, he was afraid "I'd go to America and play a villain and that would be it." Then he added, in a cheeky self-deprecating way, "And that might be it." XD At one audition he was talking to a woman (not Tricia) who was there for Six, and she told him "I hope you get it," and he told her, "I hope I don't." :( He now realizes his vanity and wanting to play a hero was holding him back.

Awww :D I'm glad he's changed his mind about it. It's interesting that he mentions vanity, because I don't see that about him at all. Maybe that's his one flaw?

And he loved Gaius' ending, but he admitted that he never really got the Times Square thing, especially since (ironic considering the "lines were cut" joke from five seconds earlier) they did cut lines out of that, so he was even more confused when he was watching it on TV.

He was confused too? That makes me feel better about my own reaction. Because I was all "WTF was that?!" and when the robots started dancing, I felt like smashing in my computer. At that moment, I hated the ending. It grew on me. I always did love the "I know about farming" stuff, though.

James talked about the much-beloved "I know about farming" line. (♥♥♥) So that's one question I didn't have to ask. He joked that when he first read it, it was like "the most unromantic" last line he could possibly have. *g* But he got very emotional about everything it meant for the character, and also because he saw Baltar and Six as having the "last goodbye" on the show, after the final Kara/Lee and Adama/Roslin scenes before it, so it had to build on those too.

(L) (L) (L)!

After that - MY question for James! Courtesy of [info]deniselleb, I asked him to talk about the S4 scene when Baltar met HeadBaltar. And he was pretty enthusiastic to answer it, maybe as much as he was about answering my torture question back at D*C! First, it was actually inspired by that drunken roundtable podcast he did with Jamie and RDM -- that awesomely silly comment he made about how he wanted to act with himself. (Heee, I remember that. IIRC, they were talking about which character they'd like to play, and he was like "I'd be Tricia so I could have scenes with me." I never made this connection!) So then it turned up in an episode.

Eeee! (L)!!!! You know, I did make that connection. It's easy to say afterwards, of course, but in my head, the way I phrased the question was "In the roundtable podcast, you said you'd like to play against yourself, and then you did with HeadBaltar..." :D So it's especially awesome to hear him say that. And it's nice to know that something came out of that hilarious drunken podcast. Jamie apparently remembers it as the "whiskey podcast", and I'm impressed that James still remembers it at all! (He was so drunk he actually fell asleep at some point during it.)

And I'm so glad he was excited! Eeeeeeee! (L)

Both times he filmed it with a guy named Ryan [somelastname, who'd worked on the show before] as the other Baltar, and then they did CGI magic on it. So he was acting against someone and not in a vaccuum, and he actually got to improvise. He was ad-libbing everything about Tory/Rekha Sharma's hotness. (Omg. Be still my heart.)

Ryan Robbins. I remember hearing the name but I can't place him right now. But that's awesome. LOl about the ad-libbing! I thought only "Oh my giddy aunt" was ad-libbed.

Of course I had to throw in a follow-up question then -- did he ad-lib "oh my giddy aunt"? Hell yes. He was like, lolz, that's not an American thing, is it? He then explained the origin of "giddy aunt" and that it was probably a way of saying "God Almighty" when the Victorian father didn't want to curse in front of the children or something. (HEE!) So I've decided it's the British equivalent of "Jiminy Christmas", y/n? Anyway, he said it because he always thought it sounded silly and it obviously cracks him up.

It's awesome. So awesome. It's just... awesome. OMG. (Um, I'll discuss this more calmly later in that separate post I made about the video.)

"The good thing in Baltar is that he's "curiously devoid of hate" (♥) and saw Cylons and humans as not being able to help what they are. Obviously this all led to Gina as the main turning point moment (♥♥). He said something cool about how it does something to you when you see a 'bad' person do something good and selfless; it's more exciting than seeing a normally selfless person do it."

One of the things I love the most about Baltar, and I'm so glad he thinks so too.

OK, I'll stop quoting now because it's Nicole's post and I don't want to post it all here, but seriously READ IT, it's got just about every question and answer from the James/Jamie panel.

First Friday update:

The awesome Nicole has posted her recap part one. It's only the first night, but it's already detailed and awesome. James remembered her by name, after meeting her once before at a con. It's amazing.


Not shown in the video is when they brought them all back onstage at the end, with "All Along the Watchtower" playing, and James Callis did a bouncy little dance to the music, leading me to call him "precious" for the first of several times this weekend.

Awww, I really wish I had seen that dance. And yes, HE IS TOTALLY PRECIOUS. Our widdle man! *coos*

Meeting James after the meet and greet:

We had to wait *forever* to catch him coming out of the hall, because he was the last person in there. Like, I don't mean the last celebrity -- there were literally five people left in the room, and James Callis was still talking to them while gesturing wildly with his hands. Ahahaha awwwww. ...
he was very apologetic about us not being allowed inside, then added "Have you been drinking? That's the important thing."

Awww! (L) The meet and greet was first 100 people only, but sounds like James was eager to meet everyone. And wanted everyone to have a good time. (Not everyone likes to drink, of course; he should have asked if they've been eating.)

No, my co-stalkers introduced themselves and he was all nice-to-meet-you, and then I shook his hand and said my name, and he said "I remember Nicole" like obvsly. *smile* Dude! That was more than a year ago. This isn't so much about how memorable I am as it is a testament to the CRAZY JAMES CALLIS MEMORY BANK -- he's alarmingly good with faces, and more than once I saw him refer to other fans by name.

OMG! That's almost a little scary. :o I must declare Nicole a minor celebrity just because James knows her by name. ;) Unbelievably cool of him.

Also, Nicole is in this picture, but apparently with her back to the camera (in the skirt). This is James meeting them after the meet and greet. He looks so happy to see them. (L)!!

Thursday updates:

Two new photos on flickr. Not a lot of new things to comment on, but he does look nice and thoughtful in the panel picture.

A long report with lots of fun James details! I'll quote liberally, since I can't help myself. (Edit: Ginny4Harry's journal is friends only now, so this post is not accessible. But I'll leave the quotes up since they were public when she first published them.)

He talked about the his costumes for BSG. He said he had a lot of looks that were not good. He said he wished he could have worn clothes more like Lee got to. He also said he wasn't much taller than Pipsytips lee bear.

Hee! (L) Our little man! I wonder which outfits of Baltar's he didn't like.

He took a picture with him pointing at the t-shirt. I went to walk away and he called me back, putting his arm around me and bringing me back over. He said 'Did you want to me pointing at your t-shirt. No no, come back. I can be serious.'

Then it was time for the group shot. James walked up and went to the other side of Jamie. The photographer said 'Yes I think that's your best angle.' James said 'No, I think this is my best angle,' and he turned around and stuck his ass out at the camera. I loled :D

:D :D :D (L) I don't even know what else to say. Hilarious!

He spoke about his episode of numb3rs He said the director was like 'You're in a cult. These woman are meant to find you attractive. What... What.... What do you.... plan to do..?" He was like "Well you could always ask them to act too.'
Heee! I hope the director meant the horrid wig he had to wear and not his looks in general. Women don't exactly have to act to find him attractive, you know?

Wednesday updates:

Multiple posts about the con at pipsytip's journal here. Pretty detailed and very James-friendly. There's also a photoshop slideshow in one post where you can see James - including motion blur in some pictures because he was apparently moving a lot. :D That's our fidgety man!

James Callis had spent so long talking to everyone. He didn't get to us until 11:50 pm and he still had about 5 tables to see so his wrangler promised if we gave her the nod he'd spend time with us in the signing sessions tomorrow. He was envious of Lee bear and the fact he got to wear nice clothes. He also said he'd fit in them. I totally <3>

Awww, James! Spending time talking to everyone at the meet and greet. And LOL - saying he'd fit into a teddy bear's clothes? Is he making jokes about being tiny? (L)!! Pirpana! (for those who just tuned in, that's a cute Finnish word for a tiny child.)

James waxed lyrical, seriously I love him so much for that. He basically said that his first love was theatre but he enjoyed working in film and tv too. James also told us that at Drama school they had a week on acting for TV and the tutors spent the time bitching at each other.

Hee! :D I remember he's mentioned before that he wasn't impressed with the TV acting classes.

He was apparently asked about the death list, much the same stuff as in the Evening with... panel. This is interesting though:

he felt that it undermined Baltar and that Baltar isn't a villain but is an anti hero in the truest sense of the word.
I remember we had an anti-hero discussion.. was it at Syfy? Seems like James is on board with that idea too. Great!

A little bit about Jamie:

There was a lot of fuss about the pigeon and how Callis' scenes always ended up with him being in bed with at least one woman and Jamie got pigeons or freezing in water or some such.

Hee! James was definitely the lucky one!

Both Jamie and James talked about the cyclical nature of the show and how the finale linked back to pre mini series to show that the show had come to the end of it's cycle.

This sounds intriguing. I'd like to hear more about it.

Tuesday updates:

A picture of James with a fan - so sweet. Ctrl+F "James Callis" and click on the Spoiler: Show link. I'm fixated on his eyes again - they look brown and warm and just adorable. Also, this seems like an actual picture, not a picture of a picture.

Earlier updates:

More photos of James and Kate Vernon! I'll just link to the Flickr search here. (That links to the "most recent" james callis search). There were two panels with James: James/Jamie Bamber on Saturday and James/Kate Vernon on Sunday. It's an interesting combo, James and Kate - did they ever have scenes together?

He seems to be sporting a scarf again, this time a white one. And the hair is very puffy on top here. Together with the scarf it's a lot of look. I think I prefer the look he had in the Saturday panel. I'm glad to see the hair growing already though. And he does seem to like leather!

Oh, and I asked the4ts what James had to say about disaster movies.

@BaltarStar Not that exciting if you weren't there more about why people loved/hated them & how bad they can be. He wasn't impressed w/2012!
I think these types of tidbits are always interesting. I'm glad he's critical of disaster movies. I think those tend to be pretty lame, and it seems like he'd agree!

A brief report here:

Jamie Bamber and James Callis were on fine form - of especial note were James describing the Bridget Jones fight and Jamie's description of revenge on Baltar where he slashed himself, and his comment on the Thistle being a shithole. Both of them bitching about driving down the M4 to get here.
I must admit I was hoping James wouldn't have been asked about Bridget Jones. He was asked about it at FedCon and at the Evening with James Callis, and he's pretty much been asked every con. I'm not sure how many new aspects he can still bring into it. But then he did give a hilarious answer at the Evening.., so maybe it's still fresh.

Jamie said the hotel is a shithole..? I hope James didn't say anything like that, it sounds really rude. I just can't get with the program and like Jamie, it seems. I like him when he's deep and talks seriously, but his humor sometimes annoys me. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

First Tuesday report:

And we have a video! It's from the opening ceremony. James shows up at 5:22, to save your time if you only want to see him, like me. The crowd cheers and he actually tells them to cool it - "It's a long weekend, save your energy!" Also: "we're not in the Eurovision song contest, but I just thought I'd say 'Good evening, London'." Aww, he watches the contest? I've sometimes watched it.. worlds collide! :o

Very happy and handsome. (L)! Video here.

Monday reports:

More con reporting from anno superstar, with a picture of her with James. Pretty!! The way he looks at the camera! The scruffiness!
I still can't figure out his body under the clothes though. I hope Nicole thought to palpate.
An un-James-related note: I love the red dress. (Fitting to be in a red dress when you meet him! ;))

First Monday Update:

Another blip in from Nicole. I can't describe how happy this made me - this is the good side of having an inside woman, she'll tell you the most important stuff!

The person right before me was chatting with him about how he'd actually worn hair extensions some seasons on the show (I didn't know that) and he was jokingly comparing two promo shots of his real vs. fake hair. And then she made a joke about him never having to wear a fat suit like Lee, and he said something like "No, I just ate a lot of donuts."
(L) (L) (L)!!!!

That's so cosmic! :o That... I... The ramifications of this! *faints* Um, I'll probably say something more sane later. :D No other updates so far.

And the first con report is here!

I'm so in love with James Callis right now, he's SO NICE and our photo from this morning came out totally badass
(L)! And there's a picture of James and Jamie. James is talking and... touching his leg for some reason? I love how he randomly touches his legs and feet while talking. (Or maybe it's related to a story he's telling?)

Aww, she got to meet Nicole too, it seems. I'm trying very hard to not be bitter that I wasn't there, but I do feel a bit sad over not meeting Nicole and other fans (not to mention James!). But there will be other cons.

Yay for... make that three more pictures!

James and Kate Vernon at the other panel. I love his hair done like this! It looks wavy, if short. And Professor James is talking about something very deep and meaningful, clearly. Or at least manages to look very grave. It seems like he had two separate leather coats - a black one and a brown one? I was thinking he looked a bit chubby in the black coat pictures, but maybe that was just the coat. Here, he appears to have a kangaroo-like pouch. Leather coats are weird creatures. Or maybe he's got a secret pregnancy going that he isn't telling us about.

James and Jamie at the panel. The hair looks gorgeous! Drool! I love how happy he looks, as if he's right at home with the fans. (L)!

A picture of a picture - it's blurry but you can see James, and yes, he is looking kinda cheeky. :D

Sunday updates:

A few tweets again:

averita_: Kate Vernon and James Callis remembered me! Love them so much :)

mamee_kins: james callis - simply cos i met him this weekend at cylon attack and have fell in love.

averita_: I need Starfury videos. Kate telling shippy stories about Hogan? James Callis raving about/crushing on Mary McDonnell? Yes please!
Awww, sounds like everyone had a good experience. The con is ending now and hopefully we'll have a lot more to feast on in the days to come. I'm very curious to see more photos and hear what he's said in the panel!

First Sunday update:

Since it's not a PM, but a public comment, I'll post what Nicole wrote on my LJ!

*sneaks onto internet at hotel lounge*

Black jacket. Unshaven. Glasses on Friday. Adorable.

He remembered me from D*C two years ago. (And not like I said "OMG I met you once" and he said "Oh right." I just introduced myself and he said "I remember Nicole." *DIES*) This is more a testament to his awesomeness than how memorable I am. CRAZY JAMES' MEMORY IS CRAZY.

He said lots of awesome things at the panel which hopefully someone will film or write up soon. If not, I'll post when I get back.

"Oh my giddy aunt" was ad-libbed.

:D :D :D

OH. OH. Last night there was the "meet and greet" thing only open to the first 100 people registered. (I was 338.) Some friends and I hovered around outside waiting for the cast to come out. And we had to wait until midnight, because Ridiculously Nice!James was the last person in there. I don't even mean the last celebrity; there were literally five guests left in the room, and he was talking to them. Dawwwwww.
Eeee! (L) Nice!James! (L) Remembering Nicole from a way back is awesome. I half expected it, but only half, since even James can't remember everyone, right? But obviously he can.

The "oh, my giddy aunt" thing means she asked my question about Baltar meeting HeadBaltar (I suggested it before she left for the con). Eeee! I can't wait to hear what else he said.


pipsytip: And James Callis is EPIC and he has soooo much energy.

All in all, sounds like the panel was pretty awesome!

Saturday updates:

A couple of new tweets. One new picture, although a bit blurry - you can see him walking in a rather comical position, as if he's about to fall down or something. Hee! Thanks to annosuperstar.

And a couple of very sweet mentions:

cidergirli: could have talked to James Callis all night. What an interesting and nice guy.

pipsytip: Jamie Bamber put his arm around me. I may die. James Callis is awesome. That is all.

the4ts: Won the @LushLtd raffle tonight ::bounces w/ excitement:: And I got the most lovely conversation w/ James Callis about disaster movies too!

Awwww! I wonder what he said about disaster movies. And I hope I will get to talk him too one day. *Deep sigh of jealousy* It sounds and looks like he was in a great mood, so I hope the panel(s?) will also be awesome.

And apparently Jamie Bamber is still a hottie. *eye-roll* OK, ok, pot calling the kettle black, especially considering some of my posts here. Enjoy, Bunnies - the Lupines are drooling as well! :)

First Saturday update:

I should be in bed so I'll make this short. 3xcusemyfrench has posted the first con picture on twitpic, and it's here! He's looking good!

And they also posted one of all the guests. James is looking very happy. So glad to see him there. I know the previous con was only two months ago, but I've actually missed him already.

No upclose pictures yet, so just a quick rundown:
-Plenty of stubble
-Leather coat (the same one he wore to last year's Starfury?)

And he has hair. Whew! (re: my unreasonable fear he'd go there bald) It seems like it might have grown out a little, but then we only just saw him.

More updates tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fandom Ramble

Starfury starts on Friday, and the lovely and brilliant Nicole Anell is going and will be reporting about it. I wanted to post something before that, but my brain has been a bit scattered lately. (As you may have noticed from my very coherent and intellectual posts of late.) I think I'm having a depression relapse, possibly due to the darkness.

There's a poll on the sidebar for non-BSG projects you might want to read about. I'll start on them after Starfury, so let me know what you'd like to see. I'll write about Sex and Chips for sure, and it seems to be leading the poll as well.

It's two months since I got the autograph. I have it on the wall next to my bed - I have a bed alcove, so it's a good place for things that you might want to stare at with blind obsession, or completely ignore on other days. I no longer look at it every day. On some days though, it hits me that it was really written by James to me and it wasn't my imagination. It's a huge deal still. It can be a good depression reliever too. I can take the autograph down, read it and touch the letters. It's like an embodiment of my appreciating, accepting HeadJames.

I had my last therapy session right before the James con, and the therapist asked me if I think it will change things. I didn't know the answer, and I still don't. I went through a two-week period of absolute bliss, and then came down and had to not think of James as much for a while. I wasn't feeling negative, just calmer, less hungry for new stuff. There's probably a limit to how much fangirl bliss the human brain can take. But for any more lasting effects... I do feel I met him in some way and it went really well. But since I wasn't actually there, he was reacting to my stuff, not to me, so I have no idea what our personal chemistry might be like. And I may never know. All fans dream of getting to know the idol personally, most fans never do, and that's probably a good thing. So don't worry James, I have no plans of disguising myself and applying as your new nanny, um, or something like that. *a completely innocent grin*

Speaking of which. There is one fear that I had, which I now feel calmer about. I was nervous that he might be a bit freaked out by me. I wouldn't blame him; I come up in basically every James Callis search at this point, and I post everywhere. It could seem a little much. But while he's poking me in the ribs a bit in the autograph - "Need I ask - but do you wanna join my cult?" - it sounds appreciative. Actually, knowing his humor, it's probably a very good sign to be teased by him. And he doesn't look freaked out at all in the pictures. Well, to be fair, there is one where he has this open gaping mouth, but I don't think it looks like "Is she here? OMG. Security!"

To be quite honest, I feel a bit sad too though. The con was something to look forward to and it kept me going in August and September. When October came and I realized it's over, I felt a bit empty, even if what I got was so good. It would be nice to know for sure that I can meet James some day and plan for a con trip, but I don't know if I'll really be able to afford it. It might be my only contact with James ever. It feels a little bitter to return to the second-hand reporter role for Starfury and know that others will be there meeting him in person. Maybe I just need to keep dreaming and start saving money for his next con in Germany.

Also: I did say I wouldn't be nervous about meeting him, but I'm already getting pre-con nerves again. And I'm not going to be there, nor even sending anything this time. I don't know what I'm nervous about. Except that I have a sudden fear he's going to show up bald. I'm not sure why; maybe because I listened to the Galactica Quorum interview again, and he mentioned wanting to be bald for season 4.5. I love him with long hair and short, but I'm not sure if even my fangirling extends to baldness. *shudders* Well, we'll see... I do wonder if James gets nervous before a con. Or is it just normal for him by now? A bunch of complete strangers will come up and talk to you and you have to be charming to all of them? I'd be nervous.

In other news... there's been so much stuff this year and I haven't even had time to write about all of it. I do want to get to his non-BSG projects and I still haven't posted the full Jules Verne transcripts. I might want to do some kind of roundup of the year. I'll keep you posted. This year, I won't have an internet connection over Christmas or New Year, so there probably won't be all that many holiday posts. (Last year I went a bit crazy with those, including the (in?) famous James Callis Related Post.)

Personal oddities: I'm still thinking of his weight, and at this point, it probably won't go away. So whether he's thin or a bit chubby or anything in between, I will most likely be thinking about it and referring to it sometimes. (I'll try not to bring it up in every post. I promise.) I know most people don't consider weight gain a positive thing, but for me, this speaks highly of his character. He likes to eat and is relaxed about stuff, and to me that's acceptant and beautiful. I don't know what his personal views are beyond that, so I'll try to not construct him as my fat acceptance hero or anything. He just gets chubby at times and I like it. I'm using "chubby" loosely here; I know he's never very big.

OK, so Starfury in a few days. I'll create the post when the first reports trickle in. Meanwhile, James on you all! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cartoon Jamesing

Um, does this look like James to you guys? :D You can make a cartoon James yourselves at the South Park character generator if it doesn't. I think I got something like his likeness. The outfit is like the leather jacket he has sometimes, or the vest he has other times. The cheeks look right. I'm not really sure about the rest. I didn't know how to link straight to it, so I made this poor crop job.

I also made one with the Simpsons generator, but I must say it looks terrible, horrible and nothing at all like James. The generator somehow isn't as varied, especially when it comes to hair (why do the characters always look like they're balding?!)

Then again, there is already a very cute Gaius/Six Simpsons picture here. I'm not sure if they got Six right - they almost never seem to - but I like the lewd Gaius who's always just about to take his clothes off. And it does look quite a bit like James. So maybe I'll settle for that.

(Edit: Somehow the ending seems a bit abrupt, but I can't really explain WHY I decided to cartoonize James tonight... I just turned thirty, so maybe that's why. It makes you do odd things!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

James Callis Unofficial Website Update!

The Unofficial Website has been updated! See the new page here.

Read ALL of James' messages to the fan site at "Messages From James", including last and this year's. He's been sending messages since 1999, and has kept it up despite his children and new busier life (BSG, traveling to LA/India/Canada/you name it). It feels surprising and delightful that he still remembers us (if I can say "us" because I've only been around for a year).

The website has been around for ten years now. James' little group of fans has expanded and it's more all over the world now. When the site started, it was only a couple of dedicated UK fans though. Much respect to Rikkie, Janine and Pip and others who have been around for ages and worked to bring James news to fans!

To those who will be in London in December: there will be a 10-year reunion for the site on the 11th of December in Central London (more info later, check the site). I won't be able to go, but Janine was especially hoping to see some new faces there, so don't be shy! They should be a friendly bunch (or so they say...I haven't met any of them offline though, so don't quote me on that, LOL).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Deep Post. Because I'm Not Shallow.

I just have to post something so that the bum post isn't on top. Because, you know, Elina already referred to this as my "bum blog". :D

Honestly, I'm not a shallow person! This blog is about James Callis and what an awesome actor and person he is, not about his body parts. And if it were about body parts, I should always give the biggest attention to the donut gut (where applicable!), because it doesn't get enough attention otherwise. But this post is not about that! This post is deep and profound.

Here's something deep: James posed for a "Lisa Walks" photo, found here (scroll down). If you donate 20 bucks, you can get a print of the photo. The money goes to breast cancer research. I really like the compassionate look on his face and the fact that he holds the bear to his chest. (L)!!! Very thoughtful. Great photo for a great cause. There was also an auction with the bear he had signed (and held to his chest, drool) but sadly, the auction is already completed.

Did I manage to drool again? Oh dear. Hmmm. *Googles "James Callis"+profound*

OK, let's see, the show cast relates their most profound memories...

After filming the miniseries, Callis was asked to stay in Vancouver to finish a final shot called a pickup. He got an envelope with instructions on what they'd be shooting. "I open it up. It's like, 'Baltar removes Six's plastic knickers.' And I'm like, 'What?' They're like, 'We didn't get it on the day, James.' And I'm like, 'You are kidding me?' They're like, 'No.' 'That's why I'm staying back in Vancouver? I've got to take black plastic knickers off.' 'Yes, we need it. We need the shot.' That was just terribly funny, the idea that out of this whole space opera and drama that was the one shot they needed of us," laughs Callis. 'They didn't need our faces. ... That is a cute little memory I will hold."

You're not helping, James!! Since when is that profound? I know he doesn't mention the donut gut but that's exactly where my mind went. Also I wish he had mentioned it, because I want to hear how he'd describe it... Sigh.

Completely unrelated to his looks! The results of the nickname poll.

0 (0%)
1 (14%)
1 (14%)
3 (42%)
Just James
2 (28%)

Looks like his full name is James Gengulphus Callis. I must admit I voted for Gengulphus, even if I don't really think he has a middle name. He must be middle-name-less, because he even tells us his children's names. Why would he hide his own middle name?

I actually had a dream about him being credited as "James H. Callis" or "James Callis H." in some older things (Soldier Soldier?) and I was really excited to get to guess on his middle name. (I guessed Henry, and conveniently remembered his grandfather was named that.. this is true only in the dream.)

Sadly, I thought of the best option after I posted the poll: James Travis Callis. Almost the same as his last name, and always a fun name. Travis! (L) Maybe James should change his name to Travis, coming to think of it. Then I could laugh each time I hear his name.

Well, here's something non-shallow: a hot picture of James. There's a comment that lists his good sides:
1) nice; 2) personable; 3) thoughtful; 4) funny; 5) sweet; and 6) h-o-t hot. smouldering smoking hot in person. way way way hotter than on the show.
Awww. (L) I may have linked to this on the dragon con 2008 post, but that was ages ago, so re-linkage FTW! (Also: suspenders.)

As a deep and profound person, it annoys me that there are so many of these "guys" lists online. I stumble upon them with every search. Basically, you're supposed to bold the ones you'd shag, strikethrough the ones you'd never touch, etc. etc. and almost everyone uses the question mark with James, as in they've never heard of him. So it's a completely useless mention of his name that comes up in every search. I might be more lenient towards it if he was mentioned as someone people want to shag. But now, I pronounce this list a complete spacewaster. For shame!

I think this post adequately showcases my depth and coresponding lack of shallowness. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

10,000 Views! Also: Buttocks.

This article about a British actor's buttocks is a stub. Would you like to help us expand it? Please send us any information you have about James Callis' buttocks. We are desperate.

A video of James Callis shaking his bum. Thanks to M for the tip!

This blog has had over 10,000 visits! Happy and proud, I made the stupid promise on Twitter that the 10,000th visitor gets to wish for a post, within reason. As it happens, that visitor was Elina, who had just recently seen the third season gag reel with James' bare buttocks. She requested a post about James' "sweet peachy ass". After much consideration, I decided to comply. Unwillingly, I might add! Any horniness is purely coincidental! Hope you're happy, Elina - I did quite a bit of research for this post. :D

So I give you: A very scientific and matter-of-fact post about James Callis' buttocks. With much thanks to everyone who ever read, linked and/or commented. My cup runneth over (and not just because of James' sexy body parts).

Buttocks in General

According to Wikipedia, buttocks are "rounded portions of the anatomy located on the posterior of the pelvic region of apes and humans, including many other bipeds or quadrupeds." This would include most of my readers, myself and of course, James Callis.

Continues Wikipedia:

"The buttocks are formed by the masses of the gluteal muscles or 'glutes' (the gluteus maximus muscle and the gluteus medius muscle) superimposed by a layer of fat. The superior aspect of the buttock ends at the iliac crest, and the lower aspect is outlined by the horizontal gluteal crease."
I must admit I didn't understand most of that, so let's move on.

James Callis' Bum

British actor James Callis, perhaps best known for his role in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, has buttocks located in the predictable place, between his back and thighs. His buttocks, hereby called his "bum" because that is how he refers to them, are used primarily for sitting on, as well as other more private uses, which we will ignore here.

Fans Elina and Deniselle (Twitter, October 2009) decided the proper term to refer to Mr Callis' bum is "sweet tush". According to the Wikipedia article, "tush" is derived from Yiddish "tochus", which is also fitting, given that Callis is Jewish.

James Callis' Bum in Entertainment

James Callis' bum is seen clothed in most episodes of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. In one instance, in the third season gag reel only (at about 7 minutes and on), it was seen without any clothing whatsoever. Mr Callis appeared naked in front of Tricia Helfer and Lucy Lawless. Mrs Lawless burst into laughter upon seeing his impressive male parts, after which they changed the scene.

The screenshots are here. Note the aesthetically pleasing round shape of the buttocks. Gush and drool warning is given.

References to James Callis' Bum, by James Callis.

Mr Callis has referred to his bum, usually jokingly, in several occasions.

Most notably, said bum apparently got him the role in Bridget Jones' Diary:

I auditioned singing Tainted Love, I'm pretty sure it was Tainted Love. I didn't even have any lines, I just had to walk into a room and like do this [shakes his hips a bit], Tainted Love. Apparently my singing wasn't great but the way I shook my bum was. [laughter] That's the message that came back, it was like "yeah, you shook your arse nice".
(An Evening With James Callis: The Panel, Part 3)
About his role in Merlin and the Book of Beasts:

James: Well, no, I haven't been as busy as that. I just did one short movie now, called Merlin and the Book of Beasts. And it's kind of a strange story, I haven't seen it yet so I don't know what it's going to look like. All I know is that I had uh... personal hair extensions down to my bum. The hair extensions didn't exactly match my hair. (laughter)

Mark A. Sheppard: Did it match the hair on your bum? (laughter)

James: I don't know ?, otherwise I woud have been in a lot of trouble.
(Starfury Q&A: James Callis/Mark Sheppard, Part 1)

An intriguing mention in a post to the Unofficial Website (25 April, 2001):

And spotted in the King's Road? What can I say? I was there, I'm not sure how sexy the jacket was or how yummy I was, just been to the doc, mandatory check-up every time you do a job for insurance purposes. It was the quickest check up in world history.

I'm asking myself would I pinch someone's bottom if I'd seen them on T.V. It's certainly a novel way of introducing yourself.

The answer is probably no (don't men get arrested for that sort of thing?). But I'm sure it would make for a more lively and entertaining afternoon... Perhaps on reflection we should all get slightly more frazzeled.

So apparently some poor-mannered, yet lucky (female?) fan has been able to touch Mr Callis' bum. Which, as you can see, he here refers to as "bottom".

There are also other mentions but I am too lazy to hunt them down.

Edit: OK, I knew I had these somewhere! M screencapped the second season gag reel bit where James' bare bum is showing. He tries to hide it with a magazine though. So here, though blurry, some pictorial evidence:

And now for something completely different: a man with three buttocks.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Random Googlebits, Part Neuf

An awesome photo gallery of James without a shirt on - all of the pictures are from BSG, so we've seen it all, but it's still great to see the stills. Beautiful. *drools* Also - I love how his chest hair rises so high and he has basically no hair elsewhere. It's like one unrufly tuft of hair pretty high up and then a hairless belly. Some of the pictures show a little donut belly as well. (L)! Thanks to M for the link. :)

Oy! I almost missed it! They have screenshots of the naked scene where Lucy Lawless cracked up - nice bum, James! :D If this link doesn't take you straight to it, it's in the thumbnails there. Hilarious AND hot! *drools*

Note: I wrote the rest of this post before this first bit. I didn't just casually move from naked James to other random bits. I'm not sure how well the post works, but the most important stuff should go first... do read the rest of it too though, once you're over the heat. :D

I was re-reading the Crave Online article from summer 2008, and there are some interesting tidbits:

You'd be so surprised, you show somebody a face which we call neutral mask which is showing no emotion whatsoever, half the audience will go, "He's about to go hysterical laughing." And the other half will be like, "He looks terribly sad." There's a certain element, a huge element of audience participation with any medium like this, with any mirror. I'm going a long way around to say the less said the better.
Do you ever not go a long way around it, James? :D It's a fascinating point though. I always like scenes where something is left to interpretation. Like a scene doesn't seem to make a point but it's just there. It's never explained. (Well, it doesn't always work; I'm still not sure what to make of Lee and his pigeon.)

About knowing beforehand what is going to happen:

You make up things on the moment on the day and there are repercussions to the things that you do. Then somebody's written something like, "Hey, next week, guess what? You go off and kill mice." You're like, "What? I haven't even prepared. I didn't even know." So it's really important that you get a through line and that keeps you honest.Although, with these guys, David and Ron, they don't want to tell you all that much. They're wise as well. They don't want you getting the whole thing. Part of the excitement is laying a kind of cable. It's like how much are they going to give you? Enough rope to hang ourselves with essentially.

A couple of snapshots from some Russian photo bank, of filming the miniseries. You can barely see them from the watermark, but I still love them.
James opening Tricia's bra - I love this one because he looks like he's fumbling, out of shyness or insecurity or perhaps being too turned on. Or maybe he's just being extra tender?
A tender kiss. They both look tender and careful here, like they're just getting to know each other. (Which they were.) L!!!

A 2006 con mention. Katee and James appreciated the candy they got from a fan:

They both showed they're appreciation by writing a personalised message on the photos thanking me for the candy, not some 'To X' and/or with some generic message. None of the other 4 that i gave candy to on both days did that. Not that i mind, but it really cheered me when both Sackhoff and Callis did on their own accord.
Awww, how sweet! Our considerate man! (L)

Behind the scenes photos from season 4.5:
James chatting with David Eick and Jamie Bamber - looks like they had fun. (But what's in his hand?)
James riding a stage cart of some kind, looking incredibly boyish (L).
I'm too lazy to link to the individual photos, but you don't have to do too much scrolling in that link. (There's also a picture with Jamie and his wife Kerry. They look lovely together.)

Interesting mention of James:

I have simulated oral sex with Gaius Baltar...

...by way of some explanation, I should perhaps explain that this was me acting alongside James Callis when we were both EngLit undergrads at York University. We were both performing in a fab produciton of Ben Jonson's play Volpone. James was playing Voltore, the lawyer, I was playing the hermaphrodite freak in Volpone's household.

How comes he ends up playing Hollywood sci-fi parts and I'm a priest in south Essex?!?
:D :D :D WTF? We know so little about James' past... it sounds exciting and strange.

I don't know if I've linked to this before, but the Unofficial Website has an article with James, Sally Phillips and Shirley Henderson (castmates from Bridget Jones' Diary) answering some women's magazine's relationship column. Or something. They're really drunk, the pictures are hilarious, and James is hilarious (and a sweetheart). My favorite piece of advice (to a girl whose boyfriend speaks on the phone too much:

James: Or you could just say, “Do you know you’re getting excess radiation and brain-cell depletion because of how much time you spend on the phone? Since we started going out you’re getting a lot less interesting, and you’re probably in need of a frontal lobotomy.”
:D Not a believer in subtlety, it seems.

I somehow really liked this answer as well:

James: Sex is a crazy, intimate thing and people behave in different ways afterwards. Even though a guy can hint that sex is not all he’s after, sometimes it is all he’s after and he runs away or fobs you off afterwards. That’s his problem, not yours.

Maybe it's the way he calls sex a "crazy, intimate thing".

He does make a joke about golden showers, but I think he was just that drunk. :D His actual replies are thoughtful though.

And now for something truly random, which I won't link to because it's obvious spam. This came up with the search "it was James Callis", which returned nothing interesting.

"News about: James Callis"
It was james callis all you can tell. I will show you. Have you got the house the entire. Sounded calliw to the gravely
There I james callis relief sallis

I don't know about you, but it's a big relief to me that he relieves sallis. Mine is driving me crazy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

An Evening With James Callis - The Panel: Part 3

Pictures by René Kissien from Caprica-City.de, many many thanks in that direction again. We've rolled up our sleeves and taken off our coat and are working the vest.

So this is about the events on New Caprica in the first three episodes of season three.

[thinks for a moment] Maybe it's the same for every person. Yes. Yes. they were terribly difficult to do. I'm not going to.. I'm not lying about it or joking or whatever, I put myself thru... excuse the phrase, a huge amount of shit. But maybe everybody did. You know, you're playing somebody who's got.. who's a puppet, a quizling. And in their name of not in their name, people are being killed. And you're trying to show that as real. So that is um.. horrendous. Possibly the most difficult thing...

You see, I'm not Gaius Baltar. I'm James Callis. And myself, I'm...I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid of any kind of confrontation or whatever, if I don't like something you're going to find out about it. I'm not gonna be shy or retiring, I'm gonna be the first in the front to tell you what I wanna do, how I wanna do it. What I was playing was an abject coward. Somebody who was always reunning away and.. that's really not me! There's a certain fun in the liberty of being somebody totally different to yourself.

But when it came to signing death warrants, that made me sick. Sick to my stomach, even for the character that I was playing. You can't do this, you can't... And I went thru a huge deal with them because in the orig... I was sent a script of all those things and I was very excited, I was like, "Why am I being sent a script really before everyone else? It's because they like me so much." And I was reading all this stuff, like you're watching on New Caprica, and I was like, "This is brilliant, this stuff, it really is amazing." And then, whatever... They ask me to sign the death warrant and I did! With no.. without so much as a ? in the script.. it was like "Hey, you sign it" and I just did!

That's when the shit really hit the fan and I went potty and I was like, whatever... I was actually in India at the time. I spent a lot of money ringing to LA going, "I'm not coming back, I won't do it! You'll change it round. You'll do some other things. Because otherwise you've destroyed the character, and destroyed the integrity if he had any... I'll tell you something: if you do that, I don't actually wanna play him. I feel sick. And then nobody'd want to...It is irredeemable." Cos we know, in today, about people who do that kind of thing.. I was like, it doesn't wash with me. So to help me out... I said, I'm gonna have nightmares about this, this is some guy I'm playing on television. I'm not supposed to have like personality disorders after the show finishes cos I was so upset with what you've done.

So they did this thing whereby they shot Number Six, first of all, they said, "Listen, she can be resurrected but you can't". I said, OK, that's a plus. That's something else. And one of the things I suggested was that you never really saw him sign the document. And then what would happen was, because of his living in this ulterior world with Number Six, when she's talking to him, it was in that moment while she's talking that the thing is signed. He looks down and it's done already. I said that way, you don't see him physically sign the thing, you've also protected him, because it's happened in some mental whiteout.

I then saw the cut of the thing, where they had cut the thing where they shot Tricia, so.. and they showed me signing the letter. And I went crazy. I mean, I really did go crazy. And I rang up the producers and said, "You wrote all this stuff, you put it all in, that's why I agreed to do it, now you've taken it all out! So now it just looks like they say sign it, that's what I do!" And even while we were filming it, the guy who... Matthew Bennett, Doral, they, everybody went there with me. I said, "listen, the only way I'll ever physically this thing, it's gotta look like one of those Al-Qaeda torture videos, where essentially shortly after you put the gun to my head, you're going to cut my head off. It has to feel like that nad look like that, otherwise I'm gonna spit in your face. So make it... make it like, whatever." And by that time Dean Stockwell was like.. [does an amazing Dean Stockwell voice and face, walks around ] "Sign the fucking thing... How much longer is this gonna take... Sign it, sign it, it's acting, just sign it!" [laughter] And we spent uh.. a long time.

And then the producers came to me and went, "We can't. We've changed it round, it's already gone to the press, and it's like this and it's just too bad. That's a lot of money that we spent processing the negatives and the sound and everything. That means now we've gotta [unlock?] the picture, go back, put this stuff in, change the sound out and everything." I said, "You gotta do it, you've really got to do it. Cos otherwise you don't have a character. He's pretty irredeemable anyway, but otherwise it's all lost." And I must say to their incredible credit, after the picture was locked, after it had been shown to the journalists, they went back and they did put in that thing where Number Six was being shot, and they did haze it over with the signing of the document, and for that, I will be, like, eternally grateful. As I told them. Cos the thought of it made me ill. And I'm glad that they helped me out [?]

Here, we get an interesting glimpse of James the person, as well as James the actor. He has strong opinions and feelings about things, and he's not going to hide them. I don't consider him confrontational necessarily, because he's so kind to and about the people he works with. But I remember David Eick mentioning that James is such a personality - he'll come in hugging you one week because he loves the script, or he might come in breathing fire because he hates what they're doing. The temperamental side of him doesn't really come out in these interviews, even if he's obviously someone with strong emotions (and you'd have to be, as an actor). Honestly I can't imagine him angry, but I can imagine him being stubborn and saying "I won't do this."

I can't believe that they would have just had him sing the paper. What the frak? The reason that's so powerful is because a) they shoot Caprica Six, b) Head Six appears, c) you don't see him sign the thing. That's what makes the scene so great. I was pretty appalled to hear how close they were to cutting all of that. There are many fans who, in a conversation about Gaius' conscience or lack thereof, still quote that he signed the death list. Even if he opposed to it, he did sign it in the end, and that already makes him irredeemable to some fans. I can't even imagine what they'd be saying if he had just signed it without any resistance.

When James talks about Six being shot, he makes a gun with his hand and points it in the air. And he does it again when he mentions the shooting for a second time. I love how much he talks with his hands.

I also find Dean Stockwell's reaction interesting. I wonder if this is a difference between "old school" actors - just do what's on the page - and younger actors, or Americans and Brits, or if James is just one of the few who really dare speak up and have an opinion about their character.

The fact that they gave James so much leeway... I wonder if it's because he's such a stellar actor and brought the show so much acclaim. Or maybe because they really wanted to make a show where the characters were thought out and believable. They obviously had strong feelings about how to write Baltar, and I'm surprised and, like James, grateful that they listened to him.

Two questions: 1. how did he like the character development in season 4, with the cult? (The fan herself doesn't seem very convinced by it.)
2. The last day of shooting, tell us something about filming the finale.

Um.. I think they're both good questions. I think it's fair to say that the producers or writers, whatever, didn't necessarily know what they were gonna do with me. Because actually, what they wanted was for the end of season three, they wanted to have a verdict at the trial that would basically send me back to prison. Not that I would be exonerated and not that I would be found guilty, but that it would be a hung jury and an extension and I would go back to prison. But I'd spent the whole of season 3 in prison, I just said, "I can't do that again." You know, this just.. on some level it's boring as well. It's just like, alright here we go, back to the cell, here he is. So.. I dunno where the idea came from about breaking out of there, but the whole idea was about...[??] On some real level about making it more interesting for me as an actor to play, rather than just you know, the charater.

I was like, what if there are people, you know there are always these nutcases, who, whatever, write to somebody in prison, they want to save this person's soul... What if there's a crowd of these people who have silently been gathering momentum, and they're going to... You know, they think this guy is the bee's knees, or they're going to appropriate him for their own needs? How weird would that be? I don't really know who had the idea, but there was something funny and edgy and strange about this man, who is a social pariah, ending up in his own cult. [laughs] And what's funny about that as well is that, you know, most of these guys who start their own cults, they start them. They've got their helpers, disciples, they've got their own weird speech, thought in their mind about what it is they're for or what it is they're against. This was a totally different deal. This is like the man is plucked from one thing and um... and then he has this group of people.

And I said to them on several times, "Listen, one week it's all about God and God exists, and the next week he doesn't believe in God, it's all rubbish... it's all rubbish!" And [?], he was like, "Have you never listened to these people on the radio? That's exactly how it is! Just listen to these people on the radio! One week it's all about this, the next week it's all about something else! These people never make up their minds, it's all crazy horseshit! Enjoy!" I suppose on some level, it was possibly the weakest material, because Gaius is really making it up as he goes along. And um... yeah, it was... I don't know where they were going to take it or what they were going to do. I don't.. They tried several things. Um... Revolution between the two forces, and I thnk Gaius' group was supposed to get a lot stronger within the fleet, and there may have been some social revolution

What they said [?] He's a dangerous, unknown quantity. And so that people like Adama and Roslin leave him alone, he's got to have his own backing somewhere in the bounds of the fleet, whereby they leave him alone. We don't want him coming down here all the time, it screws up the storyline. So essentially their idea was that because I was appropriated by the cult and trying to make it on my own, it was a big power base for Gaius baltar that meant he had to be taken seriously by people in authority. I'm not usre how seriously they took that, but that's where it came from.

Exonerated. Found not guilty. Professor James teaches me new words again. I should make a list sometime of all the words I've learned while writing this blog (that's several just from this interview).

I find the idea of Gaius in prison for season four... yeah, slightly boring and I think there might not have been very many scenes with him, because what more could they do with that? On the other hand, there may have been more HeadSix, and maybe there could have been a thing where his and Caprica's storylines would have mixed more. Like Baltar/HeadSix and Caprica/HeadBaltar and why not more complex things as well? I think that would have been interesting, but on the other hand, it would have completely removed Baltar from the main storylines, and that would have led to him being pretty much ignored. And while I would have loved extra Head scenes, I don't think they would have done that. So I don't know.

The thing about the cult is, I liked it at first. It was a good concept. The last episodes of season 3, and the couple of first episodes of season 4, it was pretty awesome. But then it just kind of... dwindled into nothing. Gaius was barely on screen, for one thing, and I'm still mad at Faith for having him on only as a voice booming in the background of one scene. I felt like in the earlier seasons, Gaius' storyline was tighter and more interesting to follow. The finale was great, but it went back to Ye Olde Gaius, rather than expanding on Cult Leader Gaius. I've wondered if the cult storyline really served any purpose, other than to bring some comic relief back to Gaius after torture-suicide-prison. Here he is again, having sex and saying crazy stuff and lying, this is the old Gaius we know and love but with a twist, he's maybe found something. -Or has he? It's an interesting setup, but like many other things in season four, it didn't really lead anywhere.

And the thing about the last few days...We shot... I can't remember the name of the place, it's the third.. oh, Kamploops it's called. Kamploops is where we shot for Africa in Vancouver. Kamploops is, I think, the third largest town in British Columbia, which is quite alarming. [laughter] When you drive through Kamploops, there are these cars outside people's farms or homes that stopped working in either 1950-something or 1960, and they're just sinking into the ground outside these farms. I say that because it wasn't just one. We were driving, it was like all these cars, just disintegrating into the earth, I really mean it, like the tires, you can't see them. Kinda slowly falling into the earth, they've just been left there. These old Studebakers or you know.. very rural, very beautiful.

Kamploops. Well, the Wikipedia entry makes it sound bigger than James' description, but I think it's mainly a large area of joined villages, rather like the village in the Finnish countryside where I grew up in. There's apparently still a large native population, and the name is a Shuswap word for "meeting of the waters". Very interesting. One of those places I'd probably never have heard of if it weren't for James. And I can't imagine a car sinking into the ground, but I'll take his word for it. The picture is of him showing the sinking.

There was a... I suppose it was... It didn't really feel like the end so much cos we actually felt we were shooting the end when we arrived.. I can't remember which episode it was, burt it's the end of one season, where we arrive on the first Earth - and it's desolate. On that beach. So that's actually when we thought we were finishing, cos there was a writer's strike in LA and we were told, really, that we weren't gonna come back. Nobody knew really what was going on. I've never seen so many cast members in one place, all 20 of us on the beach and they were like, "You ten sit there, and you ten sit there." They didn't really know what they were going to do with us. Didn't know how it was gonna... That felt more like the end than the final day. And uh...

I do know this actually. On the final, I had a big speech. It's all coming out now. I had a big speech at the end to Cavil about how Hera is not a thing, she was... How she was, you know, the savior of both of our races. I'd been preparing for this for some while, I mean it's the denouement of the whole show. Unfortunately Michael Rymer had sent Dean Stockwell home. So I arrived ready to do my big scene, and it's like... ready to do my big scene, "Where's the man I'm speaking to?" Oh, damn! Sent him home. I said, it's 2 o'clock in the morning! Yeah, but I'm here! So I actually had to deliver that to Michael Hogan, who, as you know, was actually supposed to be on the balcony with his eyepatch as one of the final five! He kept running down the stairs to stand in front of me as Dean, say his lines and then go back up the stairs. The magic of cinema.. so that was one of the amusing things that happened the last few days.

Hee! :D I love these little behind the scenes stories. We get so few of them, don't we?

It strikes me as odd, again, how the episodes blend in for him so that he can't even remember what episode the first Earth stuff was in. I'm sure all fans remember bitterly how long we had to wait for season 4.5. It would have been an incredibly dark ending for the show, and I would have grieved the lack of a Six/Baltar ending. I've wondered a few times, though, if some fans wouldn't have been happier with that ending rather than the one we got. Some people complained about it being too happy, or too open-ended, or too tying-all-knots-together. I'm happy we still got those ten episodes, even if I didn't enjoy all of them, and I felt 4.5 was, all in all, the weakest season or half-season. I did enjoy the finale.

Will Head Baltar appear in the series Caprica?
"I'm not sure. I'm not sure."

Fan: But it could be possible?

James: "Oh, yes, it really could be possible. Uh... I um... I think Caprica's a great show. Have you seen it yet? Yeah. Um... There've been discussions to be honest, there have been discussion, but I wasn't interested in uh... appearing for a minute or something like that in the new show. Cos I actually felt that it cheapened the character. Like if you really want to go somewhere with this story, or this thing, it has to be more than once, but I'm not sure that that's something they want to do. So... we'll see. Never say never. I thnk mabye Gaius comes back in like Tricia's dress [laughter] Oh he can't, they've already sold it at auction. Drat!"
Hee! *tries to imagine James in Tricia's dress* :D :D It'd be a lot of chest hair in the cleavage, that's for sure.

I haven't seen Caprica yet. Needless to say, if James is on it, I will see at least those episodes. I'm glad he's protecting the character and that they're letting him do so - they could always hire someone else to play HeadBaltar, I guess. The character is important for James, and I'm glad he's still invested in its integrity. I also kinda wish they'd write him into the show, because I want to see more James on TV. But there will be other projects.

The only non-BSG question is about Bridget Jones' Diary. Could he tell us a bit about that?

Sure. Everyone thought I was gay. [laughter] That's about the thick of it. I arrived one day when my wife came to see me, and it was like, "Your...wife.. is that like really your wife..?" The first film was a lot of fun. I got cast... I think on Thursday or Friday, and they started fiming on Tuesday. I must have been the very last person to that party. Shows how important I was, essential.

I auditioned singing Tainted Love, [laughter] I'm pretty sure it was Tainted Love. I didn't even have any lines, I just had to walk into a room and like do this [shakes his hips a bit], Tainted Love. Apparently my singing wasn't great but the way I shook my bum was. [laughter] That's the message that came back, it was like "yeah, you shook your arse nice". And now you're going off and you're meeting... cos I then ended up meeting Sally Phillips and Shirley Henderson, the two friends, who had been cast years ago. Years! Everybody [?] except me. And we had a lot of fun. Mostly it was just myself and Sally Phillips and Shirley Henderson in a trailer waiting to get to set. It's one of those big films as well.. It's not like TV, where you gotta finish the things for the week and make your day and everything, it's like... There's obviously still a schedule, but I thnk like any person who's been playing a supporting role or sth in film, you spend hours, sometimes days, waiting to get to the set."What's going on on set?" one day they let you get there. In the meantime you know, don't get there.

Like I said everybody thought I was gay, especially Hugh Grant, it was very funny.[laughter] He kept on avoiding me, literally. I would wave, and he'd be like,[walks away] Bye... [laughter]

What they said to me in the beginning was, "I dunno what you're doing, it doesn't feel right.. you're likeable enough, I just.. We wanna make him really silly, James." I went yes. "And really camp." And I went yeah. They went, "So just don't do anything." What would you mean, what are you talking about? [laughter] "I mean just be you!" I was like, "Hey, wait a minute! I'm not really silly and I don't think I'm particularly camp." They went, "Fantastic! What you're doing right now! What you're doing right now, that's great."

Um... and I was actually slightly uncomfortable about it myself, I didnt' know... I've got a friend in London who was like, [very gay voice] "Well I know who you based that on." [laughter] Wait, I didn't base it on you! Where did you get... I just came up with the voice, it wasn't... I can't say it was the finest point of acting ever, it was just a lot of fun. I remember forcing myself to look at this guy's bum. He came past me, I was supposed to like check him out. It was like, what am I supposed to do? So I was like, rather than looking at his face, I looked at this bottom. And the same friend went, "And it's so obvious, the way you check that guy's bum. Nobody does that, nobody. It's far too obvious. You're not subtle."[laughter] So that was that..

Otherwise the second fim... I dunno, I didn't enjoy the second film as much but I'm not sure anybody did particularly. [laughter] At the time I was in India and my second... my first kid was being born, and they wanted me to come to London. I was like, "Look, I told you, my kid's being born..." Basically it was a lot of journeys from India to London and then back to India. It was a bit... There wasn't really much sense of continuity for me. I dunno,they say they're making a third one... apparently, allegedly. Maybe Tom turns straight in the third one [mischievious smile]

Heee! :D I love the Tainted Love story and the friend's voice he does. It's surprising and delightful that there are facets to the Bridget Jones role that he hasn't mentioned before. I must admit the bum-check-out seemed very authentic to me. He managed to look pretty lusty there. And I still think Hugh Grant is a royal ass - or arse, if you prefer that word - for acting that way. What did he think James was going to do? The interesting thing about BJD is that James talks quite fondly of it, like he had fun filming it and he liked the co-stars. You can tell he doesn't think so much of the films and the acting he had to do, but it was a positive experience.

I have to quote him a bit from the old messages he left at the Unofficial Website:

During the shooting:

I've been BJDing for quite some time but in effect am not so seminal to main story line, there is of course another storyline that is whipped up every day, impromptu like, by myself and the other delightful lesser mortals whom malign fate has called upon to be B's "friends", as we sit in the spooky caravans and dream of one day getting onto the set, and perhaps (and I know this is crazy) that someone might make a mistake and we might actually end up in the film after all, but at the moment the caravan storyline isn't being shot.

After the first film:

Have seen the trailer to BJD and read a few preview articles on da web, most say that the "friends" are given short shrift in the film (couldn't agree more) but one web site quoted something I do as " the best bit in the film" I didn't even pay them any money.... Is there a sequel? Apparently Renee's been approached and so has Kate Winslet... sadly I have not been approached as yet, but maybe they'd like me to take over from where Hugh left off (As if)

I wish he had gotten Hugh's role. Would have made it a lot less one-note. I've probably mentioned before that I really think there would have been so much more material, especially about Tom, in the books. I don't know why they chose to focus on other, less funny stuff when they had James.

And it sounds like they haven't actually approached him about a third film. I'm kinda sorta hoping he won't do Tom again, and kinda sorta hoping he will. I feel ambivalent.

Actually, just a few days ago, I had to explain to someone at work who James is. I said he played Gaius Baltar in BSG - the coworker starts shaking her head - "Well, did you see Bridget Jones? He played the gay friend."
"The... gay friend..?"
"You know, one of Bridget's friends, the gay guy, ex-pop singer..?" Coworker shakes her head again.
"OK.. Do you remember the scene where Hugh Grant and Colin Firth are having that big fight in the restaurant?"
"Yes, yes I do."
"Well, Tom is the guy who comes in and shouts, It's a fight! A real fight!"
"Oh! Now I remember him! He was really funny."
James is like one of those guys people have seen but can't quite place. It's kind of funny. I hope he gets some notable main roles after BSG.

The last question. James goes, "Aww, is that the last question? See, don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got til it's gone?" He sounds sort of genuinely bummed, and so much love for that.

The same fan who asked about the season four development earlier asks a follow-up question about Gaius being religious. She found it a bit hard to buy, and felt the writers didn't really know what to do. It's a loaded question, but it produces one of my favorite James answers yet about the topic.

This is one of these things that any writer can have a problem with. What do you do when some person in the story develops a presence or an understanding beyond the [welkin?] of your own perspective? I dunno, coming back from the dead... You're an actor, which means you're only a human being which means you only have your own experience. So that, so... Trying to find a deep spiritual meaning has actually evaded so many people who are in a better place to talk about it. It's kind of like the spiritual equivalent of somebody really going through the eye of the needle. There's a significant change in spirit. Somebody will say different things.. Because they're touched, they're anointed, they are enlightened... The spark has taken off in them...

The thing is, with our own experience, which is rather more hum drum, mundane - how do we write that? How do we write the person who's gone thru the eye of the needle and make sense? And that's actually one of the problems we have with... it's not just a problem with Gaius Baltar, it's a problem trying to do... anything that touches on God, or the mind of God or the will of God. These are things really... I would imagine most people, we've got a spiritual yearning of you've got something that throbs inside of you, you don't quite understand although you have a.. magical understanding, I suppose that's the best way I could put it. How do you puit that into words without sounding like an idiot?

To quote somebody else: Sam Harris, in his book The End of Faith, was like.. why is it that there's a guy who wears a dog collar in church and he says, "Last night the angels spoke to me and they told me this.." and you in the congregation are all gonna believe it, why not? He's the pastor. But if somebody says a similar thing about, "What I did to speak to angels was wire myself to a kettle", then you stick them in a mental asylum. On that level, it's ... The dichotomy actually isn't so terribly different. But true um.. true understanding of something other than yourself about the greater spirit or the unconscious is uh... terribly hard to quantify, to put into words. I think the closest that they came to it was the speech I had after I was beaten up. It was, I think.. They don't necessarily make sense on a literal level and they're rather beautiful and elliptical. Because one would imagine, there must be something mystical about the mind of god. Otherwise I dunno, it would be like getting a Subway or McDonald's, for everybody, access for everybody. That's not the way it is. You have to be deeply in touch, perhaps deeply in touch with yourself. They say the third eye is the eye that looks inwards, not ouwards.

And so he has this speech where he says when you find out the truth about them and others and yourself.. I can't remember the whole thing but it's like.. the truth is, you're perfect. You're all perfect. Essentially that doesn't mean very much, but in the room at the time, and the feeling - it meant something huge. And the connection.. I think that's the closest they touch in the whole thing to Gaius getting somewhere or some understanding.. and when you get to that place and that platfrom.. you're gonna go up. That's even more difficult, I'd imagine, because it's out of the experience, not only of the performer, but also of the writers. Does that make sense?
It's interesting, because he seems to speak highly of spirituality, and when he discusses having a spiritual yearning, he puts his hand to his chest, so it seems like maybe he's had these thoughts himself. When he was talking about this before, in the Dragon*Con panels last year, it seemed more anti-spiritual, but when you think of that Sam Harris quote, it could mean that
a) people have genuine spiritual experiences, but only ones within the bounds of organized religion are accepted;
b) all spiritual experiences are signs of madness and should be ridiculed.

I think maybe I read it more as b) last year, but it looks more like a) here. He sounds respectful and genuine about spirituality, and that also came out earlier when he mentioned that Michael Rymer is a "spiritual, enlightened" director, which sounded like high praise.

I'm surprised I see his comments as less anti-religion now. It could reflect my own change of heart over the last year. If I may digress just a bit, I was raised in the Lutheran church and believed for a long time that faith=Christianity and religion=spirituality. Personal spirituality has always been more important for me, but I didn't really consider until last December that I could believe in God, but not believe in Jesus. It's weird how long I equated religion with spirituality.

I would imagine that James thinks about these things and other profound stuff a lot. It would be interesting to have a chat with him sometime about life, death and God. Maybe I'll have a chance to do that before I die.

So that's the end of the panel. Applause. The people in the audience look happy. As would I. You lucky bastards!!! -eh, sorry. James walks out, probably to smoke a cigarette or two (I must admit I'm impressed he can go without for 90 minutes).

At the end of the video, some visitors are asked how they found the event. This is in German and I'll just paraphrase quickly. They say James was very nice and funny, he answered the questions thoroughly and was easy to understand even if you don't speak perfect English.

You can see a bit of the photo session, and James looks very comfortable and happy posing there. All in all, looks like an awesome event. Sigh. Well, maybe next time there's something like this, I'll actually be able to afford it. The autograph was so beautiful though, I almost feel like I got to meet him.

After the fans, the organizer is interviewed. He says the event was a success, and they got good feedback both about and from James, although there could have been a few more guests (I believe it was a bit under 100). You can tell it was a well-organized con, and James looks relaxed in all of the pictures. If I haven't said this before: THANK YOU FKM EVENTS - it was an awesome con and, at least for me, the high point of the year fandom-wise. Standing ovation.