Like all good things, Fanexpo 2017 in Toronto must end. After 4 days of endless celebrities, panels, costumes, shops and more, the cities biggest collection of all things fandom closes its doors on 2017, and sends fans home with purchases, stories and memories until the next year.
For Fangirlish, the last day was also the busiest, as we made every effort to catch all things related to your favorite shows, movies and characters all crammed into one fast paced afternoon. It is proof that even though things were winding down for the convention, the panels and fun were far from over.
We started our day off strong, sitting in on a panel with Arrow star Stephen Amell. No moderator present, it was simply Amell and a microphone, fielding fan questions, telling secrets from the set, and regaling fellow Torontonians with memories of growing up in the area. We learned of his thoughts on the progression of Oliver, and given promises of what was to come in season 6. While Green Arrow will most certainly have villains to face, Oliver, too, will have demons at his back. When asked to share the funniest moment with John Barrowman, Amell merely laughed, saying ‘that would be like choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream. There’s just too many good ones.’ Part way into the chat, a good friend surprised Stephen, taking the stage with him: David Ramsey. The two chatted with the crowd for a short time, discussing all things Arrow, before Ramsey returned to his own Fanexpo duties, leaving Stephen back with the crowd. Now, I must say to anyone who hasnt had the pleasure of watching a candid and uncensored Amell: he is hilarious. Absolutely hysterical, and it is so effortless for him to have the audience in stitches, it proves he is genuine in his efforts. But as the panel came to an end, it was the final fan who stepped up to the mic that brought it all to a close. Stephen called forward the 10 year old boy who was actually several fans behind in line for asking questions. But the child did not ask a question….instead, he offered Amell congratulations on his efforts in American Ninja Warrior. Needless to say, it was the perfect way to end an incredible talk.
Next, we scurried to the other end of the hall to sit in on a panel with acting icon and Harry Potter album Jason Isaacs. Best known for his role as Lucius Malfoy, Isaacs discussed memories from the set, acting tips, and was a one man show that thrilled the crowd. His favorite memory from HP? His very first scene, with Richard Harris (Dumbledore in HP1 HP2), where the senior actor stalled silently rather than delivering his line of ‘that will be all, Lucius.’ In his silence, Isaacs mind was busy, first wondering if Harry had forgotten his line, then quickly wondering if it was he, himself, who was botching his first scene in front of an actor he idolized. Just when Jason began to ‘sweat in all the places you couldnt see’ is when Harris finally delivered his line, knowing that the reality he evoked from Isaacs with his tactic brought the scene to life. The original Lucius did not have a cane, nor the manner Jason brought. It was his adding to his character, making him in to the catalyst he felt he needed to be to turn Draco into who he was. And his posture, always staring down his nose at others? It was actually him trying to keep the hair from his wig out of his mouth. There were countless other hilarious and incredible moments from his panel, but we will save those for an article later on!
After this, we ran to our final panel of the day, with Walking Dead’s resident King…Khary Payton. A newcomer to TWD cast, King Ezekiel was coming in to a tight knit family of established and close characters. But Payton couldnt impress enough how welcoming and encouraging the cast had been. From Norman Reedus (Darryl) bear hugging and complimenting his scenes, to Lenny (Morgan) welcoming him to the family, he admits that the cast does everything together as a group. It is a family headed by Andrew Lincoln (Rick) but one that you definitely want to be a part of. Again, there is so much from this particular panel it is impossible to share here, so check back later for more!
With only a little more than an hour left of the day, and the convention as a whole, I took the opportunity to wander the booths and take it all in one last time. The costumes and fans were still in demand and everywhere, proving that this was not just about the celebs, but about fandom as a whole. Every possible avenue you would imagine, from cartoons, to anime, to film and TV, fans take it to a whole other level with their creativity and dedication. The merchandise is unlike anything you will find anywhere else at this level and amount, and no matter how many times you wander the aisles, you will still find new things to love.
I certainly came home with my own treasures from the weekend, but the best ones are the memories of the experiences I have gained. I can’t wait to share more panels, interviews and more in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back.
So for the last time this year, thank you to all our awesome fans for following along with the Twitter live tweet panels, interacting, and especially to Fanexpo Toronto for another incredible experience. Until next year, fandom!