I have heard stories and reports from others about how amazing and friendly Tom Felton is in person, and seeing interviews with him you definitely get that impression that he's just a lovely guy. However, witnessing his warm personality in person just makes you kind of gush over him. He really truly is the nicest, most humble and down-to-earth person you'll ever meet. Just first seeing him as he appeared on the stage the first day, I swear I think my heart stopped for several moments. I'm not even exaggerating, since I've kind of been crushing on him since like, the beginning of the series actually. I never thought I would be in the same room with any of the HP actors, and there he was. So surreal, in my opinion. And throughout the weekend you get to know him a bit better, just from the way he interacts and communicates with the fans and the way he answers questions and reveals certain things here and there about his life, you really start to appreciate him more as a person rather than just an actor.
Here is a collection of memorable moments from his panels. It's not everything, but what stuck out in my mind throughout the weekend.
++ During his panels he answered a variety of questions, most of which were of his role in Harry Potter, obviously. Some ranging from his thoughts on certain aspects of the filming, the differences between the books and the film adaptations, the four alternative endings they shot for the Malfoy family, and of course the participation of fandom and the influential impact the series has made on the world.
++ When fans were asking questions he called them "lovely" and "sweetie" -- so sweet and adorable.
++ Aside from that, he sometimes would ask the question he is asked back to the person asking that question in order to make the interaction more personal. ♥
++ He revealed that yes, he has finally seen AVPM, and that Lauren Lopez makes a fine Draco (and says that he was "miscast" because she was marvelous, lol!)
++ Tom is very prideful of Slytherin and wouldn't want to be in any other House. ♥
++ Two specific incidents happened where people who were dressed up asked questions in character to Tom. First was a man and a woman dressed as Lucius and Narcissa, which as soon as the "your Father and I..." left the woman's mouth I knew immediately that would be priceless. The second was a girl dressed as AVPM!Draco, although I don't think Tom has seen the sequel since he seemed confused by the reference. But what makes Tom awesome is how he takes all this kind of fandom stuff with stride. He actually said that there's "something about Dragon*Con" which is quite special from other events, so I think he quite enjoyed it. lol
++ Speaking of conventions, Tom also mentioned that he was going around the whole weekend taking pictures of people in costume and documenting the experience. There was also a nice little tale about a girl not believing that he really was Draco Malfoy from the movies, lol.
++ He's not on Pottermore yet. At the time of the con, he still hasn't received his welcoming e-mail.
The reason why these look orangish was because the lighting was bad on Sunday as opposed to the first two days, don't ask why idek....
++ He talked about his other roles like from The Borrowers to his most recent being Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and upcoming projects From the Rough and a science fiction movie he'll be in. And he's open to any kind of genre for anything in the future.
++ Tom really loves pancakes. Like, he really really loves pancakes. ;)
++ He retold the story about wanting to have Daniel tied up in the back of his trunk to make it look like he was "stealing Harry" from the set. Perhaps one of my favorite stories he's told, lol. The other one he told in regards to Daniel was in response to the question about whether he and the rest of the cast interact with each other as their characters sometimes, and he said that he does it "all the time" and rings Dan up in New York and calls him, "Potter!" Obviously he was joking, but I can imagine they've done something like that before just for shits and giggles, to be honest. ;D
++ My other favorite story that he retold a few times over the weekend was the awkward Voldemort and Draco hug in DHP2 -- it was improvised only once by Ralph Fiennes during one of the several shots they did of the scene, and that was the take they took for the film. So Draco's awkwardness is legit Tom's own reaction! XD Oh and yes, Tom actually has seen the uncomfortably fan-made video prolonging that hug. After this con I'm sure he's aware of most things that occur in fandom, from Harry/Draco to Drapple to all the fanvideos and memes and whatnot. Love that he takes it all in stride, too. He's the HP fandom version of Misha Collins, is what I've concluded. lol
++ If Tom could cast a Patronus, his would be a dog because he loves his dog very much. As a dog-lover myself, this just made me swoon. ♥ ♥ ♥
++ Like Draco, Tom is a complete mama's boy. Except worse. He admires his mother more than anything in the world. ♥ ♥ ♥
++ There was a lovely moment where they temporarily paused the questionnaire line when a young woman in front, who was deaf, could ask a question. It was a very sweet because Tom said he wished he could do sign language so he could communicate instead of the constant back and forth between answering and questioning for the translator.
++ Tom quite likes going to conventions, he says that he thinks he's nice to be able to say "thank you" to the fans who have been part of the experience all these years. I think it's interesting when he says it's because of us that has made the HP films so spectacular since originally they never had any kind of plans for more films, they just took it one film at a time and it was because of our support they kept going. He appreciates the fans and wants to be able to communicate with them, hence why he has a Twitter. He says that he likes talking with Potter fans and their passion for the series.
++ Here's a little pleasant surprise: Tom says that, thanks to these conventions, he's becoming more educated on the new Doctor Who and is possibly getting into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think he might be introduced to Firefly as well, since he says that he has been seeing the infamous Jayne hats all over the place (and at D*C they literally were everywhere....) So, yeah. The possibility of Tom Felton getting into Joss Whedon shows. Me likey this idea. A lot. ^_^
As I said this isn't everything from the panels, just moments that I found interesting to note, but really. Everything about these three days were extraordinarily amazing. And actually, if you go to Feltbeats.com they have official videos posted of all three days (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) in case you want to see him and his adorable self answering these questions and just hearing him talk. He is quite charming, after all. ♥
PRE-SUNDAY PANEL HELL
Okay, let me just say outright that I do understand with big events like this there is going to be inevitable chaos, and that sometimes it's hard to completely have everything organized and under control and the officials have to make certain decisions to try and manage the crowds so there won't be any kind of trouble, particularly with the hotels since they are, technically borrowing the establishments. However this? This was absolutely ridiculous that it could have easily been avoided had they actually thought about it for a moment.
The day started off normally as the last two days did. Went to sit in line hours early before the panel, saved a spot for nicole_anell (returning the favor for her saving a place in line for the BSG panel Friday), and it was all good. The only difference was that there was going to be another panel before the Tom panel so they couldn't allow us in earlier as before, which is understandable.
However once they did, that's when all hell kinda broke loose for several minutes.
Technically speaking, when you're waiting at the beginning of the line -- out of an incredibly massive, long line itself -- wouldn't it be logical that you would have those people who waited for hours to have good enough seats? Isn't that why people wake up early to get there in the first place, right? Apparently they were trying to organize the whole seating arrangements, saying that you couldn't save seats for others if you're already seated and everyone had to be "squished" together or whatever. They did that on the Saturday panel, only it was everyone being squished towards the center. However Sunday, they were having us go to the sides where we could hardly see the stage at all. Not just with the podium being in the way but we would have to have strained ourselves to even get a glimpse of Tom if he were to be sitting center of the table. Well, me and my mother weren't having any of that. And neither were the others around us who were escorted to the sides as well.
And interestingly enough, there were people who were going into the center section despite the organizers saying that this is how they were doing it. Everyone was upset and vocally expressing it, to which one of the organizer girls said that she needed to "call security" (I thought she said "take it up with security" at first, which didn't make sense because hello, you're the one organizing this shit....but apparently she was fearful of being mobbed which, yeah, if you were that stupid to think anyone would be okay with this arrangement you would be kind of scared.) It was just ridiculous.
But my mom, the wonderful woman that she is, didn't stand for that bullshit. So she took my hand and dragged me to the center despite the organizers and their stupidity. Because yeah, other people were defying their orders and sitting wherever the hell they wanted, and they weren't doing anything about it! So we were like, fuck the law, we sat outside those doors for three fucking hours and like hell we're gonna get crappy seats.
I mean yeah, they want to get everyone into the room, but there are alternative ways of going about it then what they did. It was just absolutely stupid and ridiculous. -___-
MY LITTLE "MOMENT" WITH TOM FELTON
Well, it wasn't so much a moment as a brief "he-probably-doesn't-know-I-exist-but-it-h
During his Sunday panel someone asked a question on his favorite American phrase, and he was trying to think of one. Immediately I thought of the one he has said enough that I blurted it out, being "Booyah!" And I was close enough (third row) that Tom heard me, looked in my direction and went, "yeah, 'Booyah', indeed" and everyone in the room exploded with cheers because that is the frequent American phrase he uses in interviews and such. But I just thought it was awesome that he heard me when I said it aloud. nicole_anell can vouch for me on this, since she was sitting next to me when I said it, but it was just a nice little moment that I will never, ever forget, and it was the highlight of the entire convention for me. ♥
Overall, this has got to be my favorite aspect of the whole convention experience. There is just something about Tom Felton that is utterly attractive, from his personality to the way he interacts with the fans, his appreciation of fandom and how he is the sweetest individual you'll ever meet -- I have loved him as Draco Malfoy, but Tom Felton as a person has made this whole trip the most memorable for me. In spite of all the waiting, the insufferable crowds and ridiculous convention organizers, he made it all worthwhile.
And this is my final Dragon*Con 2011 report. Saving the best for last. :)
My final verdict is that this whole experience, even with the suffocation of the crowds and chaos that ensues, I definitely would like to go again.