Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Hayden Panettiere Is One Of My Berserk Buttons Post.

Five years ago was the last time I went to London Film And Comic Con, when it went something like this. As proof that history doesn't always repeat itself and that you can learn from your mistakes, this time around I left very, very early on Saturday morning. How early? I arrived at 6 AM.

Three hours later, they let me and the other prepaid ticket holders in and I headed straight for the back of the Olympia Grand Hall to get a hold of a queue number - last time it was in the 500s, this time it was 37. Cue the first of a series of waiting games as in spite of the hefty amount of guests there, including assorted Game Of Thrones persons, Anthony Head, wrestlers like Mickie James, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Kevin Sorbo, Holly Marie Combs - the only person other than guess who that I could have been tempted to join a queue for - Gillian "No mortals allowed to see her signing" Anderson, Jeri "See previous in-between-names bit" Ryan and, of course, Jonesy from the Police Academy movies, there was only one person I was there for. The same person for whom I went last time; Hayden Panettiere.

Well, duh.


My poor screwed-up brain being what it is, I didn't ask Hayden to further personalise the above during our very brief but friendly chat - and I have to admit if I'd known she wasn't crazy about the picture chosen I wouldn't have brought it along. (Also, please excuse the rubbish scanning - if I ever re-edit this post I'll do it again.) But she was cheerful about it, and I certainly got more time with her than the insanity in 2007. And this time I got to shake her hand (physical contact; always a plus). Her beautiful, tiny, doll-like hand... which I understand had some plasters on it later in the day because she had to sign so much! (It was quieter on Sunday, when I wasn't there alas, but that's to be expected.) Add to this her reportedly having a bad back that day and it's amazing there weren't umpteen reports of her throwing hissy-fits disproportionate to her size. Especially since the place was crowded on Saturday and not exactly low-temperature..

So cue further waits (and stopping off at the stand for the guy from The Cinema Store to buy The Avengers - much Alan Silvestri goodness therein) until the photoshoot. On the one hand, we were pretty much rushed in and out with not much interaction (although I did notice Hayden's face starting a bit when she saw me - maybe she recognised me from earlier, for good or ill!). On the other hand, I can understand why it was like that with a ton of people with tickets and only just over an hour (as a post on the Showmasters forum pointed out, you'd think they'd have split Miss Panettiere's photo session like they did wth Gillian, Jeri and Holly Marie Combs). Hayden was sitting down here unlike last time, but how'd you like to stand up for 60-plus minutes in that state? Also, even with her cute little behind being on a high chair yours truly had to crouch down to fit into the above, what with my being a biggish fellow and Hayden being approximately the size of Smurfette. (Not the greatest picture - or scan, I have to admit. Especially that thing next to the fragrant Hayden.)

Biggest complaint about the day had to be the prices for food, so we won't bring them up.

More waiting, and taking in the sights (some very attractive cosplayers there), before the paid talk in area B (moved from C for some reason - maybe it should have stayed there and been closed off from people getting a free preview, hmm Showmasters?). It would have been nice if it had been filmed like at other cons not least in the US, and if there had been better organisation - there weren't enough seats for everyone and sound problems, and on top of that the person who had to organise the actual session was... Hayden herself, due to mikes not being long enough. So those of us with questions basically had to go into the aisle, which I'm told hurt the views of some in the audience - I can only apologise, being one of those who went up! But no complaints about the lady herself, who was as charming and likeable as ever with the queries (about Nashville, Kingdom Hearts, whales, Heroes - of course - and, this being Hayden Panettiere, the odd bit of chatting-up; this last from a guy who wanted a shout-out to his brother. "I'm single," he told her. "I'm not," she pointed out).

And me? Well, I began by telling her that she has a very sexy voice ("Ooh, thank you!") before admitting to being a bit nervous, whereupon she told me I shouldn't be what with our size differences. So then I asked her if there was anything she'd done career-wise that she was ashamed of, and she replied that she'd been acting for so long that there were obviously things which hadn't turned out as expected but nothing she really regretted; I then asked her if there were any British TV shows she didn't like. Yes, DIDN'T like (I think it's only fair that Americans get to complain about British shows, as the reverse has been true for ages). Hayden didn't name or shame anything, as she 'fessed up to not being that au courant with them - but we both agreed that with a lot of Americans loving British shows and vice versa, it's a case of the grass being greener.

Anyway, it was a lovely Saturday, and if I could have gone on Sunday for more Hayden exposure I would've... maybe the next time she's here (which hopefully will be before 2017!). And I have to admit I loved how she had her back to the audience when she came on stage; let's just say Mitch Pileggi was not the only person checking out her behind.

Don't diss Hayden around me, thanks. And thank you for everything, Hayden.

P.S. Apparently she was flirting with Bernard Cribbins on Sunday. Bernard Cribbins. I know she likes older men, but...

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