L6 Convention in Blackpool – Day 2 and 3 (Q&A sessions)
L6 Convention in Blackpool – Day 2 and 3 (Q&A sessions)
I missed part of Mia and Rose Q&A on Saturday because I was interviewing Pam Grier. Also, the Q&A sessions were so entertaining and hilarious that most of the time we just kept laughing and it was hard to keep notes. To make things easier, I’m going to write everything I remember about each guest, combining both Q&A sessions from Saturday and Sunday.
So here’re some known and some unknown facts about the guests that attended L6 Convention.
- Anne has been auditioning a lot and she had one audition with Laurel for the same show; she also auditioned for the role of a friend of Meryl Streep but Rita Wilson got the part.
- Mia was blast to work with because she’s always listening, she’s always fresh and always improvising.
- Anne is going to appear in a future episode of “Castle” and will play a music producer that became mad at the artist she represents.
- Anne really enjoyed her work on “Dexter”. She already shared a few things during a Meet&Greet. This time she said that she had never met anyone like Michael C. Hall. They had a scene together and it was a close-up shot. They were talking and at one particular and intense moment even his pupils dilated, as if he really was a killer.
- If Anne was dating anyone from the show it would be Bette or Kit because they both had more experience.
- Anne wouldn’t do reality shows unless it’s Amazing Race or a talk show host.
- When asked about why there are not so many out gay or lesbian actors in Hollywood, Anne replied that sometimes people are afraid to be pigeonholed and not be able to work as straight actors. They would only play certain roles to protect themselves and will stay in the closet. However, the situation is changing and things are getting a little better in that regard.
- Anne loves England. She used to live in London when she was 19. She was at UCLA at that time and came to London to work at the department store ‘Liberty’. She travelled during the breaks as well. This was her first time in Blackpool and she was fascinated with all the illuminations that they put out to attract more tourists.
- Anne loves to travel and her favorite places are in Europe. Italy and Amsterdam are among them. She got the love for travel from her mom who once said that she would be happy just to stay on the plane and fly everywhere without even leaving it.
- When she had a love scene with Karina Lombard, Karina insisted that they should not use their tongues. Anne said that she was perplexed because she likes to use her tongue and she wasn’t sure if she can kiss without using it. She tried and apparently she did a good job because Karina was happy with the scene.
- If she could change anything about her character it would be Robin’s profession because a trapeze artist was just a little bit ridiculous.
- Best Diva she had ever worked with was Madonna. Madonna is the kind of person that either likes you or not. Fortunately, she liked Anne. Madonna is really insightful and nice, though she could be moody.
- Anne also shared a story how Madonna kissed her in a gay bar one night when they were filming “A League of Their Own”. Madonna was leaving and suddenly gave Anne a kiss. And unlike Karina, Madonna was using her tongue. That comment elicited a lot of applause and laughter. Later, Madonna sent Anne a birthday card, which was really nice.
- Anne recently worked with Jada Pinkett Smith on the set of “Hawthorne”, where Anne played a doctor. For Anne’s birthday Jada gave Anne an Yves Saint Laurent handbag. Anne laughed and said that she’s not a person who wears handbags so she hardly ever used it.
- Anne’s favorite comedians/actors are Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders from “Absolutely Fabulous”, Joan Rivers, Meryl Streep, Gilda Radner, Barbra Streisand, and Lucille Ball. Anne told us a funny story about meeting Lucille one day. Anne was in the car with a friend and she was goofing around to the music. Suddenly, her friend stopped laughing and whispered that Lucille Ball was in the car next to them and she was laughing at Anne’s antics. Anne turned around slowly and Lucille stopped laughing and her car left. But Anne always remembered that moment when the great funny lady Lucille Ball was laughing at her.
- All the news about her shows can be found on her website www.hedison.com. Alex has a wonderful assistant who goes through all of her emails and send her the most important ones. Alex doesn’t always answer emails but she tries.
- Alex’s latest photography show was named Ithaka after a line from a poem about journeys, about the process of discovery.
- Alex was asked to audition for The L Word before she got the role of Dylan but at that time she stopped acting and was focused on her photography. The first time she was asked to read for Marina. Later she was ready to get back to acting again and because she was a good friend of Leisha Hailey, she decided to audition again for Dylan. This was something she needed at that time. She went to Vancouver, met Rachel Shelley and they became good friends. The experience was good and positive.
- Alex thinks that Dylan was a genuine character and she tried to play her as a good person. She had the best working relationship with Rachel than with anyone else. They took their jobs very seriously and wanted to be truthful to the storyline because it was important. They both wanted to show that Dylan and Helena really loved each other. Alex created her background for Dylan. She was a struggling filmmaker, afraid to come out and completely in love with Helena. She basically discovered love when she met Helena. She was not there for the money but had to do what Danny asked her to do because they’ve been together for so long. Rachel and she wanted their love story to be as deep as Bette and Tina’s and to have a happy ending for Dylena.
- Alex likes to travel. She loves London and spends a lot of time there, mostly for her photography and right now her Ithaka show is presented there.
- Alex is part Armenian, part Italian and also has some Irish blood.
- If she could spend 24 hours with any woman Alex said she would choose Alicia Keys because she’s fantastic. Then Alex laughed and said that she is also too young.
- Alex said that if she could choose she would play Tina so she could work with Jennifer Beals because she is such a fantastic actress and they are good friends. She loves Jennifer’s photography. One of her friends was in a movie with Jennifer and JB made a book of photos for everyone on the set. There were portraits, casual and formal (I’m assuming Alex was talking about “Anniversary Party”). Alex loved it and she became a fan of Jennifer’s photography even before she had met her. They are friends now and Jennifer bought one of her photos from the gallery.
- Most of Alex’s work is in color but she also likes black & white photography and is moving towards doing more of that.
- Alex cut her own hair in season three and it was too short. She said that it’s the first sign of insanity to cut your own hair and now it’s a little longer. She asked us if she should cut it again. Our opinion was divided and I think she decided to leave it as it was for now.
- Alex was happy to be back for season six but she didn’t like the scene when Dylan used the knife. She thought it was unnecessary and not sexy at all but she couldn’t change it. She is really against violence and that’s why she always participates and Vagina Monologs and raises money for V-Day charity.
- Alex was in “Designing Blind” before season 6, the program about interior design with a blind designer who has a great sense for this thing. It was a reality TV and she was asked to host it. Alex did it for one season and then decided that it was enough.
- Alex is working on a new photography series about Malibu. It’s sort of a re-visiting her previous series Re(Building) that she did about reconstruction, which was a metaphor for what she was going through at that time. Now she’s returning to that but it will be a combination of Re(Building) and Ithaka. There will be photos of house she grew up in Malibu, and the show will be about memories and sub-conscience.
- Alex likes to spend time with her close friends, talking and playing games. She prefers spending time one-on-one rather then with a big group of people. Alex considers herself shy but she also told us that she enjoyed being at the convention and talking to the fans.
- There were many embarrassing moment on the set of TLW. There was one in season three with Rachel. She had barely known her and they were filming their first love scene. Rachel was really beautiful and Alex was wearing her own outfit. They were fooling around on the couch and they both began joking and laughing.
- Another embarrassing moment was when they were filming their love scene in the beach house. They were pretty much naked and the scene was heavily choreographed. They were basically told when to take a shirt off, when and where to touch the other person, etc. When Rachel was doing her thing and “going down” on Alex, suddenly a bat flew in. Alex is afraid of fast flying objects and bats are one of them. She’s lying down on her back and trying to act while her eyes are watching the bat that is flying around. At one moment camera was on Alex’s face and she was freaking out instead of acting sexy and excited. Rachel noticed what was happening and she held her hand, telling her that everything will be okay.
- Alex usually goes to auditions when someone calls her and offers the part so she’s not actively searching for the roles.
- When someone asked about her chemistry with Rachel, Alex first joked that it wasn’t so hard because of the way Rachel looks and then said that she doesn’t know if she was really acting or not. She said that it wasn’t too hard to do the love scenes because they both felt how important the storylines were and they both connected on that level.
- Alex is single and she said that she doesn’t believe in relationships the way she used to. She needs to change some things about herself first before she can get into a long-term relationship again. And then she joked and invited everyone to throw themselves at her.
- Someone asked about her coming out story. Alex told us that it was too difficult. She came out to her parents when she was 18. At that time there were no role models, no clubs at school. She knew since she was about 8 years old and when she fell in love with her first girlfriend Alex told her parents. Her parents were fine at first but later there were some difficulties. Her father asked Alex what should they call her girlfriend and Alex basically had to provide them with language, like “girlfriend” because they didn’t understand. Her parents are fine now and Alex said that the most important thing is to be truthful and have courage. Be true to yourself.
- Alex’s role models are Indigo Girls, the makers of “Desert Hearts”, Ellen and especially her coming out on her show, Melissa Etheridge, and many others.
- Someone asked if there’re reasons people prefer to stay in the closet and Alex said that it’s a tricky thing. It depends on where you are and what you do. There’s also fear of being rejected by parents, by friends, etc. Everyone has to decide for themselves.
- When asked what she will choose: acting or photography, Alex replied that in 2001 she thought she had to choose and she did but the main thing is that she doesn’t have to choose, she can do both. As she got older she learned to accept herself more.
- Mia talked a lot about her book and the I Live Here Foundation. She’s working on another book that will be coming out within a year. She said that time is precious and we need to do what is our passion. Right before the convention she went to Malawi and she had a lot of issues to resolve in that juvenile prison for boys. She actually went to the guards and asked them to send nurses to check on the boys and she put on gloves and started cleaning everything herself.
- She went to Malawi again to set up a program for the boys in prison and to put toilets, hire full time school teacher to teach the boys, and to find ways to get their cases solved quicker. It is really expensive to do that and that’s why more help is needed.
- Mia said that the idea of I Live Here Foundation came through her book because she wanted to change things and see the world differently.
- Mia said that there were a lot of ups and downs with her character but being Jenny allowed her to say things that she always wanted to say but couldn’t before. That’s why she improvised many of her lines and used a lot of one-liners to remedy certain situations in life when someone said something rude to you and you could only think of a response hours or days later.
- Mia got herself a place in Paris after she went there at 15 because she loved that city. She sold it recently but she’s hoping one day to live there again.
- Mia has a tattoo of letter M on her neck and it stands for Morris, her grandfather.
- The most uncomfortable scenes were with Sounder I because she didn’t like it but Ilene insisted in that storyline.
- When asked if it was hard to play Jenny cutting herself in season 2, Mia said that it wasn’t because she used to do it herself.
- Mia also said that the cast was laughing a lot on the set and she was blame for most of it because she always looked like she was up to something.
- Mia said that she didn’t really liked season 6. They all found out about Jenny dying around episode 604 but that wasn’t the main reason for Mia. She didn’t like that all of the characters had to change somewhat so they all could have a motive to kill Jenny.
- If she had to change anything about her character Mia said that she wouldn’t change anything, even if she didn’t agree with some of the things and there’s no point really at this moment. She’s glad that it’s over but at the same time Mia is grateful that she had a job for six years and was able to use money from it to pay for her I Live Here project.
- Mia wants to go back to school one day and study law, human rights and international relationships. She said that she hoped she could do well on her homework and tests because she’s dyslexic. Mia also wants to continue acting.
- Mia also told a story about getting drunk with Rose one time and they were in a taxi and Mia had to throw up. She opened the door of the taxi to do so and Rose was laughing at her very hard. After Rose left, Mia was still in the taxi and the driver asked if Rose was really her friend.
- Someone asked about Mia’s sexuality. She said that no one really asked that question before and her response was that she doesn’t like labels and that she enjoys women and men.
- Pam brought her horse to Canada when they were filming because she loves horses. She even joked that she’s part human part horse.
- Pam’s book is coming out next April and decades of her experiences all be in that book, including a few chapters about The L Word.
- Pam is well known for her civil and women’s rights support. Pam said she knows how it’s important and all if it is part of human rights.
- As an actor, Pam likes to observe everyone and everything to prepare for the role. She said that one time she even changed her eyebrows for a character.
- Pam said that they all had background stories made up for their characters and she had her own as well. Kit’s mother put Melvin through a med school but he then met Bette’s mom while they were in med school together and then left Kit’s mom. Kit’s mom didn’t like that Kit was accepted by Melvin’s new family. Kit and Bette liked to play in the attic with vintage clothes and they would play Porgy and Bess. Bette always wanted to be Porgy and she was very special. Kit was intelligent but not educated in Pam’s background story and Pam also said that she used some of her experiences from real life. For example, the idea that Melvin’s wife was making more money and he didn’t like it came from Pam’s parents.
- According to Pam, Angelica is the one who killed Jenny. Pam even suggested that for a closure because it could be a great comedy but she said that Ilene wanted more drama.
- When asked about pranks on the set Pam replied that Mia was the master but there was one time when Pam herself did something to see if anyone would notice. She put a long sock into her pants and was wearing it as they were filming a group scene. Mia kept looking at Pam but didn’t say anything. Rachel was next to notice but she didn’t say anything either. In the meantime, the sock kept getting longer and kept moving. Pam said that she won’t tell us what scene it was but we can go back and try to find out.
- Kit began drinking because she liked it and also because she had issues with her son at first. Her ex-husband wanted her to stay home but Kit earned more money than him as a singer and she wanted to be independent. They got divorced and she had to leave David with her ex-husband and Melvin. They were making up stories about her and alienated her from her son. And then later there was Mangus with his infidelity but she finally stopped because she realized that she could hurt people.
- Pam said that Jennifer Beals is one of the women who inspire her, they talk to each other every week and Pam refers to Jennifer as a sister she never had. Pam said that all the cast members are friends for life now. She praised everyone’s talent and dedication to their characters. Pam lives in Colorado on the ranch and she said that all the cast members are welcome there any time. She also said that a lot of people who visit her always leave something at her place so they’d have an excuse to come back.
- Pam said that she wanted to be on The L Word because it was a show about women and she wanted to be a part of it. Also, she loved being on the show because they were pampered there and treated like queens.
- Pam then compared being on The L Word with a movie she just did with Queen Latifah, in which Pam plays her mother. They didn’t have a food catering or any of the delicatessen provided on The L Word and the breaks were too short.
- Pam also said that it was fun working with all-female cast. They were all PMS-ing at the same time and thee guys on the crew would tell them that their testicles were shrinking
- When asked if Pam is going to be in The L Word the movie, Pam replied that someone should lock Ilene Chaiken up and make her write it and write it good. Movie will be different because there’re not as many boundaries in the movie.
- Pam has been involved in women’s and civil rights for a long time and she said that nothing changed because they still fighting. It’s just more sophisticated. The LGBT rights are also part of that fight.
- Pam’s favorite scene was with Ivan. She really loved to be in the scenes with Kelly Lynch who was as authentic as possible.
- During martial arts scene they had to train a lot and Pam hurt the guy she was protecting herself against. At one point Laurel hurt Jennifer accidentally and Jennifer said, “I’m gonna knock you out.”
- Pam also mentioned her book of memoirs that is coming out next April and she told us a few stories from the book. One was about her wild childhood when she fell down two stories because she wanted to swing like a Tarzan. She still has a metal plate in her head since then. When she was very little, like three weeks old, they were driving in the car and got into a bad accident. They rolled over a few times and her mother was holding her in her arms. Nobody got hurt except for a gold fish that someone had in a fish bowl.
- Pam wanted to learn how to fly planes and she took lesions. Before she could take a test she had a nightmare that the plane wouldn’t stop and she would crash, so she didn’t get her license.
- Pam could talk for hours and on Saturday when Sean kept telling Rose and her that the time was up, Pam would tell him, “Go to bathroom, Sean, so we can have one more question.”
- Rose got a lot of comments and compliments on her laughter and even Pam kept imitating Rose’s laughter and voice, making us all laughing. Pam also said that sometimes there could be like twenty people in the room laughing but Rose’s laughter is the only one we would hear.
- Rose said that she brought that laughter to Tasha, even though she doesn’t think that Tasha would laugh like that.
- Apart from acting Rose loves to cook and she’s really good at it. She also likes to shop, loves her handbags and red wine.
- Rose said that she like to laugh and can make joke out of everything.
- Rose is often mistaken for a man when she speaks on the phone because her voice is so low. People would call her Mr. Rollins and she would say to them, “Is there a f****** man in the room?”
- Someone asked if there’s a Disney character that represent them and Rose said, “No Disney characters represent women like me so f*** them.”
- Rose said that Leisha is really funny and she is the best kisser.
- Rose is a very close friend with Mia. They shared a room in Blackpool because Rose told us that when she got back to the hotel on Friday night, the door was blocked with something and she thought Mia was playing a prank on her, but it was her lost luggage.
- When Rose auditioned for The L Word, she was supposed to be a basketball player. She was happy that her character was going to be in the military instead and she talked to many women in the army so she can learn how to be a soldier. Rose is very proud that she knows how to salute correctly.
- Rose’s favorite scene was the first one when she was introduced to all characters.
- Rose said that she didn’t like season six either and they all try to pretend that the interrogation tapes don’t exist. They were just doing what they had to do, it was their job. She also said that Tasha came back to Alice in the finale to tell her that she wanted to be with her, but it was a bad timing.
When Pam and Rose were on stage together on Sunday, someone asked Rose about the dance marathon and the number she did with Leisha Hailey and Mei Melançon to “Push It”. Rose said that it was a lot of fun and they all practiced for days and everyone would get together to watch each other dance. The fans began yelling for Rose to show some moves and even Pam joined us and offered to dance with her. It took forever to make Rose agree and her final argument was that there was no music. Suddenly, “Push It” began to play, thanks to brilliant technicians that were assisting with the sound and video that weekend.
Rose began laughing really hard because she realized that she was running out of excuses and she finally showed us some moves from that dance. And what a dance it was. Pam joined her and they had a lot of fun, so are the fans. Rose added that she thought their dance should’ve won the dance competition. When they were leaving the stage, “Push It” began playing again and Rose danced some more.
- Daniela appears as a very shy person but she quickly adapted to the welcoming audience and had a lot of interesting things to say bout herself.
- Daniela is very talented. She acts, she sings, she plays instruments and speaks Polish. She soon will be directing her first indie movie that she also co-wrote. As a musician, Daniela recently worked on a soundtrack. Someone asked her to sing but she refused because she didn’t have an instrument with her and she needed it to sing.
- Daniela said that the most important thing they all wanted to do when filming was to be true to their stories so the people will remember it.
- Someone asked what she would be if reincarnated and Daniela said that she wanted to come back as dolphin. They are such amazing creatures and she used to live by the beach and Daniela felt that she always had a connection with them.
- Her most embarrassing moment on the set of The L Word was in season 3 when Max had to use the restroom. The extras didn’t know exactly what was going on apart from their positions and actions, so some of them didn’t expect Daniela to use her prop.
- She used to live in Poland when she was a part of a circus group and she learned the language and learned a lot about the people and the culture. It was one of the best experiences of her life.
- If she could change anything about her character Daniela would change the way Max treated Jenny because a lot of time he wasn’t nice to her and Daniela is not a violent person. Overall, she liked Moira/Max storyline and the whole transgender representation. She talked to some transgender people while preparing for the role and she realized that the stories they had told on the show really happen.
- Daniela once lived in India as a man because it was easier since India is such a male-dominated country.
- She was diagnosed as dyslexic when she was a teenager.
And this is all I can remember. The L6 Convention was great and I’m sad it was over too fast. Stay tuned for my interviews with Pam Grier and Anne Ramsay and don’t forget about L7 Convention in Birmingham, UK next July. The cast members include Kate Moennig, Clementine Ford, Mei Melançon, Leisha Hailey, Janina Gavankar and Lauren Lee Smith.