by Zoe de Lellis, contributing writer
Spotlights at conventions are a little different than your normal panel. The only person on stage is the guest (and maybe an MC to keep things moving forward) and the fans have an opportunity to ask (virtually) any question they want. The first Spotlight we attended was John Barrowman’s. He’s widely known for being hilarious and unfiltered at his panels and we definitely weren’t disappointed. A lot of the questions asked were about his role as Jack Harkness on BBC’s hit series Doctor Who and the spinoff, Torchwood, but there was also a lot of talk and excitement about his reappearance on the CW’s series Arrow.
Next up: Stephen Amell. He’s best known for his role as the title character in CW’s TV show, Arrow. The show begins with a fresh-off-the-island Oliver Queen being reunited with his family and secretly working as a vigilante in his hometown, Starling City. We are introduced to some iconic villains, including Count Vertigo, Deadshot, and Deathstroke. It was really interesting to hear about Amell’s training for the role and how dedicated he is to staying in shape during filming. He also talked about his archery coach and how much stress is put on making sure his form is correct when he’s holding the bow. Amell, being fairly new to the convention world (and the nerdy world in general), was very gracious towards all his fans. He insists on running his own Facebook fan page and is very involved and connected with the fans.
While I was making my way to see Stephen Amell’s Spotlight, the line already forming for Nathan Fillion’s Spotlight was already the breadth of the convention hallway and around a corner. The ballroom was packed with fans dying to interact with Fillion, whether it was to question him about his roles as Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Richard Castle from ABC’s Castle, or Captain Malcom Reynolds from Fox’s Firefly. Apparently it’s a Fillion trademark to bring items to give away to the curious fans who ask questions, and this convention’s giveaway was watches. It started off as if he was giving the first fan his own watch, but it was quickly realized that he had a whole bag to give away. Fans seems to really connect with Fillion’s all-inclusive attitude and good-natured personality, as some had been waiting hours for his Spotlight.
Sunday’s big Spotlight was Stan Lee. Nearly everyone who’s been alive in the past 50 years has seen, heard, or read something Stan Lee has written. He’s the genius behind Marvel Comics and has made it what it is today. He created or had a part in creating virtually every Marvel superhero since the Destroyer in 1941. His cameos in many of the Marvel movies bring smiles to every person in the audience. He truly is a living legend. To sit and hear him talk about how he got his start, how he came up with the idea for Spiderman, and to take just a step into his mind for an hour was incredible. He’s funny and he knows it. He makes no apologies and I think that’s one of the many reasons he was able to make Marvel Comics as amazing as it is today.
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