Colin 'Actual Flipping Merlin' Morgan
Colin was met with the kind of reception any rock star would be proud of, as the fans took the excitement up several octaves. Alas the busy lad wasn't able to stay for photos & autographs, but the minute he flashed that Irish charm in our general direction not a single person was bothered.
Kicking off the Q & A was a surprisingly serious question about the symbolism in Merlin. Colin mentioned that a show with fantasy themes has to have some bases in reality & certain aspects would be left to the audience to interpret themselves. 'As actors we find our own personal way into it, which finds its way onscreen & if that transcends and people are connected...job done' As a person who studied Film & TV I found his answer particularly engaging, as the themes, undertones & the acting in Merlin are certainly the main reasons I tune in every week.....Oh, & the swashbuckling hunks!
Funny moments in filming Merlin
Colin mentioned an incident which happened during the filming of an forthcoming episode, which he then couldn't say much about.
Eoin, once again, didn't have a clue which scene his co-star was referring too, cue lots of whispering between Alex & Eoin until he 'lightbulbed' & then proceeded to chastise Colin for mucking up his close-up in the scene, as the poor lad had been unable to keep a straight face due to the absurdity of it all.
Colin continued by saying that there were 'ridiculous lines within that scene which I have never experienced on that scale before' apparently he was left hurting from laughing so much (I have since seen the episode in question & have to agree that there was a level of cheese which isn't normally associated with British shows...& it was also blatantly obvious all the actors were failing spectacularly to covers smiles...loved it!) As mentioned, at this point Eoin recalled the scene in question 'Ahh, I'm pretty sure I had a line and you were...' trails off and suddenly becomes very animated, grabbing the mic from Colin' 'Yeah...I have a bone to pick with you!'
(Alex has the best expression on his face in this pic as the laid back Eoin get's his 'grr arg' on)
Eoin continued to describe the incident as a hard scene to film as it was written 'really oddly...and we were all laughing...every time it came to my close-up' He points his finger at Colin 'Colin just cracked up!' shaking his head 'Which was really unprofessional' (unprofessional it may be...but I would pay good money to see this on the outtakes of series 5...*winks at the good folk at Merlin HQ*) Eoin, not holding a grudge at all, claimed that if he was crap in the scene it would all be of Colin's doing....adding that someone should 'ask him a really awkward question, just for reminding me of that'
The very next question was indeed awkward, as someone asked Colin his opinion on 'Gay Jesus.'(see previous post) Tom took on a 'head in hands' pose, Alex burst out laughing, Eoin seemed happy with the fan who had stepped up and Colin just looked fairly bemused, but smoothly moved on to the next question.
Favourite magic spell
Colin didn't seem to need much time to ponder with this one 'The one which made him (Arthur) into a simpleton...It was just funny' (So, Bradley James acting the fool, very convincingly I might add, amuses Colin...good to know)
Asked about whether there would be a Merlin convention Colin passed the idea over to Eoin, commenting on his co-star being the 'king of cons'. (well....one Con...& I would put Eoin more in the role of Court Jester personally) Eoin deflected with a 'you do realise we all hate each other' quip.
A question was asked about whether Colin preferred to play young or old Merlin. He commented that he had played Merlin for a couple of years before the 'old guy came along' so he was ready for a change. Also that playing the same character from a different aged perspective gave him the chance to 'say whatever the hell you want...' (fyi, I'm doing this already in my 30's) '...and it just so happens Merlin has a lot to say' (crotchety Merlin is one of my favourite things to watch Colin play in the series, he seems to have a lot of fun with it)
Next Question and somebody mentions 'Merthur' and what Colin thinks about it...Colin wisely steering well clear, leaves the fan to ponder this for themselves & quickly moves on (well played Colin, nicely deflected).
A conversation was had about a film Colin had made called 'Parked' and the fact that distribution seemed to be limited for people wanting to show it in colleges. (not entirely sure what the person asking the question wanted Colin to do about it, not like the poor boy could magically arrange distribution....*squints*...hmmm) Anyway 'Parked' is a interesting sounding character driven film which also stars Colm Meany (him off of Star Trek: Next Gen & DS9) and seems worth checking out *adds to Netflix queue*
It was asked if any of the guys had a particular technique for remembering their lines (highly doubtful in Eoin's case considering the amount of time he had already spent trying to remember nuggets of life on the set of Merlin) Eoin did, however, immediately deadpan 'the script' to much chuckles. Alex comments that Bradley uses a dictaphone and records other people lines complete with his own 'Richard Wilson impression' (Merlin execs please add this to the extras of Series 5, pretty please) He continues to say that everyone has a different technique, Colin 'keeps the schedule in his head for days' and others learn lines the night before filming...whatever works best for the individual I guess.
Asked about his favourite thing about working on Merlin Colin (excellently) answered 'Variety...and working with these guys' (this really shows onscreen, nothing worse than watching a series where there's tension and no enjoyment amongst the actors...Lost, anyone?)
He then talked about what Eoin was doing with Cold and the fact that the convention had been organised to support the film. He was gracious in his support for the film & that so many people had turned out to the session, as he was fully aware at how hard it is to get started & produce an independent film.'It's inspirational for me, knowing if there is a project...something I want to work on...that we can get a band together, who believe in the same thing...and see the end result...& that's why you're here, so thanks for doing it' This earned Colin an immediate round of applause. He was sweet and humble and seems to have a genuine interest in all aspects of the film making process.(matched with his slightly shy and awkward posture he is definitely what we called in fandom land 'adorkable')
Who's the most clumsy on set?
(there be spoilers in this bit if you are not up to date with Series 5)
In unison 'Adetomiwa!' (Sir Elyan). Eoin then pipe up 'That's why we had to get rid of him...he was just taking up too much time' (Um, by the way Eoin...at this point Episode 6 had not aired so we had no clue Adetomiwa had left the series...& we fans miss nothing when it comes to unexpected information from actors) Colin, bless him, quickly covers with a laugh and mentions how much Adetomiwa falls & trips while filming (this evidence can also be found on the series outtakes)
Someone asked if Colin knew Eoin before Merlin....(yes, really)...'We're cousins' Colin stated matter of factly as Eoin nodded and did what can only be described as a 'Colin is my homeboy' gesture. Everyone laughs as Colin followed the comment with 'Everyone in Ireland is related....no...I didn't know him' beat 'but like everyone in Ireland...I'd heard a lot about him' (Touche Colin)
Eoin decided to field a couple of questions as Colin had been talking for a while (we really didn't mind) & was promptly dealt two questions involving the 'shirtlessness' of his and Tom characters & out of the two 'who had the better six pack' Eoin obviously claimed victory over the latter question, not offering Tom a chance at defense...the call of 'Prove it!' was (unfortunately) glossed over as he went straight to the next question...why Colin & Bradley hadn't got their tops off in the first two episodes (wait a minute...I'm sensing a theme here)
There is much laughter as Eoin squirms a little and mutters something about 'contracts' and Colin & Tom look on with synchronized grins. Eoin then babbles 'Tom will answer the next question...thanks for all these...what kind of...' and hands the mic to Tom as he shakes his head in resignation (the inmates have taken over the asylum...I blame all the coffee which was being consumed...yes that's it..caffeine, that's the problem...& estrogen) Tom takes the mic 'I think I preferred it when Colin was answering questions' his comment overshadowed by Eoin's gesturing at how it was unfair Colin was getting questions about being an actor & all he got was 'Why do you take off your clothes?' (Ah, dear Eoin...if you have to ask?)
Moving on then and someone asked whether they had a favourite stunt. Tom ponders this for a moment 'Favourite stunt...er...This series I do have to run up a hill...' (I particularly like the accompanying motion Tom does with his 'running' fingers at this point...attention to detail...nice) Laughter ensues as Colin adds 'really fast' Eoin at this point doubles over as Tom continues 'Kind of at jog pace' Before Tom can give us further accounts a day in the life of 'Action Man' Hopper, Eoin grabs the mic.
He mentions the scene where he and Colin had to jump off of a wall into a haystack.....This particular scene is well known to everyone in the room, due to the subsequent outtake....And this is pointed out to Eoin who takes it upon himself to clear up any implied buffonary on his part 'I've got to clarify this' He points at Colin 'I did not fall...you where there...there was a stone which came off...' he pouts as Colin grins and looks at his feet 'If you don't back me up on this one...' he stabs his finger at Colin...but we all know it is an empty threat. Colin pauses just long enough to have the audience in fits of giggles, before coyly answering 'there was a stone' Eoin adds 'I can't tell if your acting or not' while Colin continues in 'Wingman' mode 'There was a loose stone & you went up &...' he gestures a skidding/falling motion.
Apparently there had been Stunt doubles on standby on the day, just in case, and then Eoin had fallen off the wall into the hay anyway. So it was decided 'Oh, they can probably do it'. As a rule however the actors don't really do the stunts...on account of them having to stay all pretty & un-broken. Eoin continues to say that this year however 'Every time Tom did something, he'd pretty much break an ankle...' before Eoin can finish the sentence Tom is gesturing wildly and doing a mighty fine Victor Meldrew impression 'I don't believe this' he waves his arms in mock frustration as everyone breaks into guffaws of laughter and Tom demands Eoin hand over the mic.
Time with Colin was fast drawing to a close and Tom announced that there was time for one last question. Colin decided that there should be a fight for the privilege. (but not in a 'two fangirls enter...one fangirl leaves' kinda way...too messy) In a moment of unadulterated insanity Colin suggests that the person who screams the loudest could ask the final question (assuming that the person then actually has the use of their vocal chords and he the use of his hearing after the deafening noise which followed) I particularly liked Eoin's gesture at Colin of 'no, no, bad idea...what in the world are you thinking...please, please don't' Then sinks to the ground with his hand covering his ears, just before 'The Fan Girl Screech of Doom' (TM) ( I would have got a shot of both Tom & Alex with fingers in ears, as it was indeed very comical but I was trying to protect my own...by doing the exact same thing.)
Colin points off to the side 'that was definitely you' (as I mopped the blood from my ears) 'That was supersonic...there's dogs running all over London' (You only have yourself to blame dear Colin) He continued 'That was impressive...forget Merlin's Dragon call...That's Merlin's new Dragon call'
The question was whether he thinks Arthur really knows about Merlin's magic but pretends not too. Colin answered in the negative, but added cryptically that this series will explore more Arthurs 'relationship with magic...that he will have to deal more directly with magic' (& subsequently as will Merlin I'm guessing) 'Arthur doesn't know specifically...but you will see some awesome developments' (Oooo, let the rumour mill commence!)
And then he was gone...Adorable, articulate, witty, humble...Colin Morgan was all of these things...and he has obviously also paid up fully into the Merlin 'Guns club'...(& you didn't think I'd noticed)...because those bi-ceps were indeed flexing in all the right places ;-)
A break for now...but there is also the afternoon session to come...what could possibly top these quality shenanigans...TBC