Tuesday 25 November 2014

John Barrowman Live at Ottawa Pop Expo


Source: Ottawa Pop Expo facebook
Credit:Petra Hudakova
There are three things you can expect from every John Barrowman panel: insanity, innuendo and inspiration.  It was no different this past Saturday when he took the stage in Hall 4 at Ottawa Pop Expo as this year’s Guest of Honour.  After shooing away the moderator and making sure he had plenty of room to wander around the stage, the Scottish-born actor best known as Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood, led the crowd in a Q&A that touched all aspects of his career on stage, screen and page. 

Starting with his current role as principled villain Malcolm Merlyn on The CW’s Arrow, John expressed his gratitude for “whatever you put in the water up here” that resulted in Stephen Amell.  While Amell has often stated that he asks Barrowman for advice on how to be the leading man on a popular TV show, he may be picking up some of John’s bad habits as well.  During the previous week’s filming, he explained that Stephen began to use a comedic limp  when the camera was strictly on John in an effort to make him crack up.  He also explained that if you are in the make-up trailer when Amell is getting Oliver’s extensive scarring and tattoos applied, the special chair he has to sit in leaves little to the imagination- and he’s not complaining. 

When asked about what he thought of both Captain Jack’s immortality and his future as The Face of Boe, Barrowman told a charming pair of stories that both involved John not reading his scripts soon or carefully enough.  When he received the scripts for the end of series one of Doctor Who, he was so devastated at Jack’s death that he didn’t bother finishing reading the episode. It wasn’t until the table read that he finished the script and was elated to find out the good Captain didn’t stay dead. By series three, he left poor David Tennant  practically bursting to tell him about the Face of Boe when the good Doctor finished reading the script two days ahead of John.  Both stories were accompanied by impersonations and theatrics that had the audience howling with laughter. John said he loves that omni-sexual Jack had inspired people and made them comfortable in their own skin. He said he didn’t know if being open about his own sexuality had lost him any roles or garnered any negative feedback, and that if it had he really didn’t care. 
Source: Ottawa Pop Expo facebook
Credit:Petra Hudakova

As for whether he would be back on Doctor Who anytime soon John answered that he honestly didn’t know. He would love to return but it was in the hands of the current show runners. In the meantime, on top of his work with Arrow, John and his sister Carole Barrowman have been commissioned to continue their popular children’s fantasy series Hollow Earth. The next series will take place several years after the end of Book of Beasts and be more grown up to accommodate the aged characters.  

After running over time to make sure that several children who had patiently waited in line got to ask their questions, John thanked the crowd for not only their attention during the panel, but for their ongoing love and support which provides him with the life he always dreamed of.  He then went back to his autographs booth for an impromptu signing session just because he was having too much fun. 

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

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