Funny. I don't think I've written down my meeting(s) with Billy at the London Expo anywhere. I've referred to them, but...
I think it's because I don't really remember them all that well - *L*! I tend to get nervous and have to focus on "doing things right" when I meet people - so much so that I forget what they said to me immediately after. Probably explains why I have such a bad memory for names - I forget the name the person gave me immediately after they say it!
But, here's my attempt. Sorry, it's long, but I want to put down as much as I remember. *S*
London Expo took place on Oct. 18 and 18, 2003. My first meeting with Billy was pretty much according to script - *G* (see previous posting). The difference? Instead of complimenting him on his acting in LOTR, I told him how much I appreciated his doing the tour with the Scottish Shorts (short movies) in Canada at the beginning of the year, especially since I know he wasn't feeling well. Billy was doing the autograph while I spoke, but his head popped up, he did a bit of a surprised/thinking back look and said "I was, wasn't I! Thank you!".
I then asked him to pose with the action figures, which he did (see photo below), but afterwards... *G* ... he put Pippin down, and turned to his left, to the woman assisting him, and held up Merry to show her, pressing the button in the back as he did. "Look!" Billy said, "Slashing action!" *LOL*!!! I tried my best to keep a straight face as I took the figures back, thanked him, and shook his hand... and stumbled out of there, laughing as discreetly as I could!!!
So... was he referring to "slash"? *G* Well... he could have... but don't forget that that's exactly how the packaging describes the action - as "slashing action" - so it was probably just that.
Let's see... we went back around again later that day, and that's when I had my one and only photo with a signing actor (not counting group ones). He's taller than me, which is nice, and I placed my hand up on his back, and gave a pat when the photo was done. May I say... he feels wonderful.
You might have heard Lare, Jules, or HC mention the Dinner with the Stars. Well, we got there early, and the tables had tablecloths on them, but there was no indication of who was sitting where. We had a few drinks, and then we were finally were directed to talk to a gentleman at the other entrance. As we did, Billy Boyd and Craig Parker came in. Unfortunately, we found we were not sitting with them - not that we expected it, since the odds were low, but, of course, we had still hoped. So we went and stood around one of the pillars in the "dance floor", which had a table for drinks around it, set at standing height. Well, we can see Craig and Billy at the next table over, about 6 feet away, talking to each other, and nobody else. Poor Lorna - I know she's the boldest of us all, so I kept nudging her and telling her to go over there... so we could follow! *L*! Sorry, but I'm such a coward at starting up conversations, and, since we came to the dinner for a chance to mingle with the "stars", it made sense to go ahead and do so.
Bless her (thank you , Lorna!) she does, but by this time, Billy's talking to one of the security guys - just chatting, but his back is turned to us. Lorna says hello and flirts with Craig (again, thank you, Lorna), which, even for her, was not an easy thing to do. Craig was nice, but didn't really start talking much. Now, I'm a coward at starting conversations... but continuing them, and doing the "hostess" bit? That I can do! So now it was my turn. If I remember correctly, I asked him about his greenstone necklace (which I suspected he'd been given as part of being in LOTR, since it looked like Andy Serkis', which we saw at C4, and I'd heard that it was a common gift there; it's the kind of thing that is supposed to be a gift from a friend, rather than something you buy yourself). That turned out to be the right question to ask. Turns out that he was given it at the end of the series "Mercy Peaks", a TV series he's been in for some years. What made it even more special was that each of the cast was given one, and they were all cut from the same stone. *S* Beautiful. Then Craig, in turn, reached over and picked up the pendant from my jade necklace and asked me about it, so I explained that it was also a gift from a friend, had two fish on it (i.e., Pisces), and was for good luck.
At that point, I felt I was monopolizing the conversation, so I mentioned that our group was from all over, and pointed out each of us and where we were from. I think, HannColl, that that was when you and he did your "southern" accents. *G* Jules and Lorna - is that when you left for drinks? (WHY?!)
Now I was determined to get Billy into the conversation, since the security person he was talking to had left, and he was just sipping his drink with his back to us. Jules and Lorna claim he was listening to our conversation; maybe so. Well, the best I could come up with was to say, a bit loudly to get his attention, but not so loudly as to be rude (I hope!): "Well, Craig, you were luck enough as an actor to get to do a dramatic death scene in LOTR; I wonder if Billy gets to do the same in Master and Commander?" and I grin as I turn to him, hoping he'll take the bait. After all, I'm basically asking him for a spoiler - cheeky me! Here's where my memory goes; I'm just writing down what I think he said, so take it as conjectural. I beleive he basically asked me why I thought that would be so. I answered that I knew the movie was based on two books put together (Master and Commander, and The Far Side of the World), and I thought that, in one of them, Barrett Bonden helps a member of the IRA out of a cell in another ship, feels he's betrayed his captain, and ends up throwing his life away by jumping into the fray of the next battle. (whew! a lot to say!) Damn if he doesn't start laughing! Meep! He and Craig both jump in and say "IRA? There was no IRA at that time!!!" With cheeks burning I backpedal. "I meant... Irish freedom fighter! Sorry!" "Well," says Billy, "and I don't think you could say he got himself killed in battle... since he dies from being hit with a cannonball!" More embarassment! Meep! Jules, Lorna - where are you? Monica - help! But I don't think Monica knew any more about the books than I did... and I think that that's when the signal for dinner was given, and we each went to our places.
*G* So - +15 points for carrying on a conversation with Craig, +5 for bringing in Billy (albeit not too smoothly *G*)...and -50 for embarassing myself by starting a conversation about something I didn't know enough about! *L*! Ah, me... wish we could have had another chance to talk. After all, I wrote enough to make you think this lasted half an hour, when it was probably more like 5 or 10 minutes. Unfortunately, each stayed at his table during the whole dinner, then did a few photographs, and left! But Jorn stayed behind for a while, so we chatted with him... not that I can remember about what! Just small talk, I think.
Well - Jules, Lorna, Monica - if you can remember anything else, or if you remember anything differently, please chime in - thanks!
And that's my story. Now, here's the photo of Billy with the boys: