One of the main reasons I decided to attend the Fright Night Film Fest in Lousiville was due to the addition of Gillian Anderson a.k.a. Agent Dana Scully from The X-Files. Like most of their top celebrity draws, she’d also represent one of their pricier ones. The cost for her autograph was $65 and an extra $20 if you wanted her to personalize or write anything in addition to her name.
Russ and I were less interested in an autograph than we were about getting a photo with her (an additional $60 and not included with the signing fee). As mentioned in my last chapter, we agreed to split that cost and share a photo with her instead. We also contemplated each getting an autograph but would decide against it for economic reasons.
The photo op celebrities were slated to show up at a designated area at specific times (which were marked on your ticket).
Stan Lee was the first to arrive for his signing and showed up giving a big wave to everyone before going behind the curtain. This was the first time I’d ever seen him in person and I must say he’s pretty spry for being 90 years old! Russ was scheduled to get his photo with Lee the next day and that story will be coming soon. Next to Stan’s booth was Jewel Staite from Firefly, with Gillian Anderson on the far right.
Each celebrity line was divided into three parts; specific celebrity VIP ticket holders, other VIP’s, and then the regulars. Incidentally, that also determined what order you’d get your picture taken. Once in this area, the convention was well organized and the young, female volunteers were on top of their game (and also attractive as Russ didn’t mind telling them either).
I had an idea for the Gillian Anderson picture using two “alien” figures I’d bought last year at a party store during the Halloween season. After seeing the speed in which the fans were sent through, however, I began worrying that I’d carted them down from Chicago for nothing. Fortunately, that wasn’t to be the case.
Standing in line does have one advantage in that it provides ample opportunity to “people watch.” While the cosplay at this event was pretty lame (mostly anime’ and Steampunk folks), we did notice a woman standing further down who had a really neat poster of Agent Scully featuring a retro look. We complimented her on it and she proceeded to tell us that she was a huge Gillian Anderson fan and had met her before out West. We asked what she was like in person and she said she was great and that the star had complimented her on coming up with a fun pose as opposed to doing the same boring fan picture. That was literally the BEST thing she could have told me!
Anderson arrived behind the black photo curtain but, due to the studio lights, we were able to see her. Although the view was fuzzy, you could see that she looked amazing and hadn’t aged a day since The X-Files went off the air eleven years ago.
The sight of Anderson, along with the strong drinks Russ had provided, put us in a euphoric mood. In fact, I was so buzzed I ended up texting my soon-to-be-ex wife, Connie, whom reminded me of Agent Scully back when we were dating (which I covered in an X-Files story I did HERE).
Dave Text: I’m looking at Gillian Anderson and she’s so beautiful she reminds me of you and how much you were like her back when we dated.
I’m still not sure if that “Wow” was her shock over my meeting Anderson or the fact that, despite our crumbled marriage, I was still hitting on her.
The next text I sent was to the other Terror Dave, Mr. Albaugh, to express how gorgeous Ms Anderson truly was. I swear I wasn’t trying to rub it in or anything as I’d sent him updates throughout the weekend. That being said, had he been the one texting that he was meeting her instead of me I’d probably have started fitting his picture for a dart board!
When we made it in to the signing area behind the curtain the uninterrupted view of the beautiful Anderson was enough to put us in a trance (again the booze helped too). She wore a form-fitting white T-shirt (featuring a Kodama from Princess Mononoke), open blazer, and black skirt. We watched the person in front of us take her shot; a woman who requested that her an Anderson hold up their middle fingers. Honestly I don’t understand why, after graduating from high school, anybody finds these shots cool but at least Anderson’s willingness to go along with it proved she was a good sport.
Once it was our turn I walked right past the crew member (who was telling us to hurry up) and stood right in front of her instead, remaining frozen until our eyes locked. Obviously I’d had enough alcohol to remain confident regardless of my initial reaction of wanting to melt at the sight of her.
“This is the pose I want,” I said as I explained what I was looking for. The skilled actress didn’t flinch…just looked me back in the eye and said “No problem,” before striking my requested pose
While we assembled, I told her how much I loved her work and that she was an awesome Lady Deadlock in the Masterpiece Theater version of Charles Dicken’s Bleakhouse. Why didn’t I mention The X-Files, Hannibal, or Princess Mononoke you ask? Well, I’d read once that she was most proud of the work she did for the BBC and I guess I was hoping I’d come across as sophisticated and impress her (despite my goofy photo request). The part of my fantasy I can share had her eyes lighting up before saying,, “You watch Masterpiece Theater!? Finally, a fan with panache! Here’s my room number, let’s discuss the finer things in life over a late supper!”
Instead she said a simple, “Thank you” before we were rushed out. Well a guy can dream can’t he?
It wasn’t the greatest of celebrity encounters due to the fact that there was little time for interaction (a.k.a. business as usual at Fright Night/Fandomfest) but at least I can say she gave me eye contact which was a lot more that what everyone else got. With little time left before the Friday night festivities ended, Russ and I decided to meet a couple of the lesser guests…
Coming up…Chasing Amy and seeing Gremlins!