Friday, 22 February 2013

Blackwater Screening - Glasgow Film Festival

Firstly an apology as I've been remiss in updating this blog!  It seems it's used mostly for reporting Game of Thrones conventions and since the last post I've attended Titan Con 2 and Throne Con 2.  Both excellent.  One day I'll get a report up.  Promise!

Meanwhile last night in Glasgow...

Glasgow Film Festival had a screening of Blackwater (Game of Thrones) with special guest Rory McCann (The Hound) there for a Q&A session afterwards.

CosPlayers waiting to go into the screening.

Louise, Morag, Beth, Laura and "Dr Robb" and myself bumped into King Robert outside the theatre before heading in.  We left Dr Robb with Laura to finish his emergency dinner outside while the four of us headed in for seats.  It was quite full but we were amazed to see four seats at the very front.  I checked and they weren't reserved.  Woohoo!

Morag, Louise and Beth waiting for the show to start.

The episode Rory was there to introduce the episode.  We sat back and enjoyed watching Game of Thrones - Blackwater on the big screen.  It was fantastic.  I wish I could watch all the episodes that way!  That wildfire explosion?  WHOOSH!  Brilliant stuff.

The lights came up to and we all applaued (over the top of Rains of Castamere).  Rory was reintroduced and the Q&A began.  I've had to paraphrase a little as I was trying to take notes on the iPhone at the time.  However I had heard some of the stories before so they were easier to recollect.  There's one wee video clip in there as it was Beth's question.  Not the one she really wanted to ask, that will have to come later. ;)

More photos can be found on my Flickr page.

Rory's Q&A

Rory and the MC.

Clean versions of the scenes.

Firstly I have to tell you that we also had to shoot a clean version of that "resignation scene" for episodes that are shown on flights etc. which included the phrases "Forget the city" and "Eat dirt dwarf".

Talking about the Bronn and Hound Scene.

I'd just come off shooting the riot scene in Dubrovnik straight into filming the Hound and Bronn scene.  I wasn't in a good mood that day.  Robson and I had also built up some friendly rivalry while in Dubrovnik.  We'd have swimming compentitions in the pool in the morning.  Nothing much was said, we'd only eye each other but we'd do as many lengths as we could.  Let me tell you he's a good swimmer!  I also hadn't realised Bronn had a knife behind his back like that.  That's a bit of a Glasgow trick isn't it? <laughter>

What was it like filming in the rain?  Were rain machines needed?

The rain was pounding.  Rivers of water everywhere.  They had the machines but no need for them.  At one point the set was nearly washed away.  You really bond on a shoot like that.  You gather around the fires for warmth and survival!  The extras were fantastic when ever I asked if they were OK there after laying in the water for hours they were always "Sure no problem!".

The episode, Blackwater.

This is the first time I've seen a whole episode.  I don't have Sky so don't see it on TV.  Whenever I get the DVDs friends steal them off me.

When did you realise that the Hound character is popular and there's a fandom/following?

When I was no longer pointed and whispers of "Porridge oats man" or "yarp!".  I was in the Outer Hebrides recently and I stopped to pick up a couple of hitch hikers.  We were chatting for a while and they asked what I did.  I explained I was an actor.  They then asked I was in.  When I said Game of Thrones they suddenly gasped and said "oh my God you're the Hound!".  It was about then I dropped them off.  When I looked in the mirror they were jumping up and down all excited.

There's a lot of Scottish actors in Game of Thrones.  Do you get to see them and mix with them?

I do get to see them but we're always on a different schedule.  Often Richard or Iain will have just finished shooting and will be kicking back at the pool side and asking me over but I'm trying to stay focused as I'm about to start shooting so unfortunately we don't get to mix that often.

I have to say though that Jimmy Cosmo is an absolute legend and a hero of mine.  I've not had a chance to spend much time with him but getting on the plane together I'm saying to myself "Jimmy Cosmo!"  I was chatting to Daniel Portman who plays Pod in the episode.  He was saying how Jimmy is great and gives great bear hugs.  I've not had one, I'm quite jealous!

How did you get into acting?

My first job was Willow.  I'd been dossing in caves in Wales and running out of money.  One day I came across a film set and asked if there was any work.  They said they were looking for two tall drunks.  I told them I'm 6'6" and from Glasgow.  I got the work.  It was great just to watch those guys working.

Have you read the books?

Rory gives away his GRRM signed copy of AGoT
I hadn't heard of the books before I got the part.  I picked up the first one and read it before filming the pilot.  I got to meet George at Doune where we filmed some of the Winterfell scenes.  I showed him by book and he was stunned at the state of it.  He asked what on earth I'd been doing with it.  I told him I'd read it the only way it should be, by open camp fires in the wild.  It's now twice the thickness it originally was and George signed it "to my Hound" <JM> Can't remember the full inscription</JM>   [At this point Rory takes the book out and shows us (see photo).  He then announced he was giving it away!  He had a seating plan of the theatre, closed his eyes and with a pen chose a seat.  Lucky B7 was the winner!].

Can you tell us anything about Season 3?

All I can say is it's bigger and better.  We're the last to get the script and the only time I get to see the whole story is at the read through before filming starts.  We usually do a couple of episodes at a time and then stop of a tea break.  I'm saying "no no I want to know what happens to the dragons!". <JM>He also said he wasn't sure but he thought they had more money for season 3, I can't remember. </JM>

Preparation and training.

I'm do a bit of physical preparation before filming because wearing all that armour can be quite exhausting.  I also prepare before the scenes.  I'll try different ways of delivering the lines.  In the case of Neil Marshall because he was brought in late he was very rushed on the set.  There were a couple of times he'd give me some direction and suggest I try a line a bit differently.  That's when having the producers on set can be useful.  They just gave me a small shake of the head and indicated I should just do as I was doing.  

Are you aware of SanSan shipping?

It's awkward you know.  She is a young girl and I hang out with her parents!  In fact they arrived in Dubrovnik the day we were filming the riot scene.  They were keeping an eye on me! [laughs].

Do you get to keep any of the costumes?  Would you wear them for Halloween?

No I haven't managed to keep the armour.  I do have some swords from other films though and I'm getting casts of my hands made which will be mounted on the wall.  So eventually I'll have a room full of my hands holding swords.  Weird eh?

Which is harder the emotional dialogue scenes or the fights scenes?

Oh the dialogue scenes.  They're much harder.  The others stuff is hacking and slaying [laughs].

What's the hardest scene you've had to film in the show?

That was this year.  I'm afraid  can't talk about it.  It's gone up a few notches from when I first started filming.  I'd turn up and we'd go.  Now there's three weeks rehearsal.

Who's your favourite character?

Tyrion.  He's so cool!

He's not lost the top of his head, his hat's black!

Was there training for those who hadn't used the weapons before?

Yes of course.  You're dancing with the swords.  

What's your personal opinion of the Hound.  Would you like him?

He's a guard dog with issues.  He wasn't cuddled enough as a child, just like me.  Oh, don't let my mother hear that she'll kill me! [laughs].

Family in the job.

My sister was working for the show before I got the part.  We've worked on a couple of things.  She works in the costume department and her husband Brian McGraw works in the props department.  He did a lot of the stuff in the episode tonight.  

Did you have an idea it would ever get this big when you started filming?

I knew there was a large book fan base.

Who would you play in the Highlander reboot?

Kurgan!  "It's better to burn out than to fade away!".  [He goes on to explain on the mountain top they used in the film, they used to leave practice swords up there for people to re-enact the scene. ]

Have you ever played any pranks on set?

I videoed the response to this one. [Video]

Have you sat on the Iron Throne?

Of course I have!  I've snapped bits off it and taken them back to the props department [laughs].  If you look at the right hand side you might notice there's a few less points than the right! [laughs].

Who'd win a drinking competition among the cast?

I backed out of a competition with Jason Mamoa.  He came into the bar one night pointed at me and started his Haka.  I downed my pint and left in fear. [laughs]  I regret that now.  He's such a dude.  He's the man!

[The interview was ended there but from the back of the hall Brian McGraw shouted "are you looking forward to being an uncle this year?"  Rory of course answered yes with a big smile.]

Rory left to much applauding and cheering.  A great night out with friends.  Shame they don't host these more often!  I'd pay!

1 comment:

  1. was in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago and all over the highlands and east coast. I will come back and spend a lot more time. Do you have and contact information I would like to have someone from the area give me real advice on where to go and what to do there