Huge thanks to Rachel H., @rharsin, for recapping the panels at The Vampire Diaries Convention in New Jersey last week. Rachel was able to capture photos and quotes from each panel including Kat Graham (Bonnie), Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder (Stefan and Damon Salvatore), Michael Trevino and Zach Roerig (Tyler Lockwood and Matt Donovan), Charlie Bewley (Vaughn), Robert Ri’chard (Jamie, Bonnie’s step-brother) and Nate Buzolic (Kol Mikaelson).
Not only does she provide a great recap of each panel, but the details are helpful for attendees, especially if you are looking to attend your first TVDCon soon. See below for highlights and photos! #FangsOut
(As written by Rachel Harsin. All photos have been taken and are under the ownership of Rachel Harsin, @rharsin. She has given TeamTSD permission to use these photos on http://www.teamtsd.com)
Nate Buzolic (Kol Mikaelson) Meet & Greet
The first event of the TVDNJ happened even before The Hillywood Show welcomed everyone to the convention. Ten lucky fans spent an hour with Nathaniel Buzolic bright and early on Saturday morning. Several fans gave Nate gifts, which he accepted with many thanks and hugs. I gave him several letters from members of Team Nate/Team Kol who have not yet been able to meet him. His fans will be very happy to hear that he appreciates receiving letters, though he is a bit behind on reading them! As always, Nate was very passionate about his faith and always trying to become a better person.(By the way, he told us he is looking for a woman who can challenge him to be a better man.) He also told us about his recent travels with his mother, to whom he had made a promise long ago that was finally fulfilled. He had promised to take her to Europe when he was a little boy, and thanks to TVD he was able to do that this year. When he found out it was my birthday that day he immediately got up to give me a hug. If anybody is wondering, Nate gives good hugs. I had gone in there hoping for a birthday hug, so I was thrilled to get one! 🙂
Creation’s meet and greets last for one hour, include 10 fans, and provide those fans with one photo of the entire group with the celebrity guest on their personal camera. This is true for all meet and greets except the more recent ones with Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder. Since TVDChicago earlier this year, their meet and greets have been cut to half an hour and include no photo (except Ian wanted photos taken in NJ, so some people got photos, but not everyone).
Since Nate’s is still a one-hour, ten-fans meet and greet, we all got one photo on our personal cameras. It was Nate’s idea to have everybody switch out for every camera so that the person whose camera is being used is standing by Nate, so that everyone got their photo taken next to Nate. Nate is always really thoughtful and fair like that with his fans. After the meet and greet Nate went into the lobby and talked to some fans for a while. He told us he would rather do that than sit in their “green room” as it’s called because he gets quite bored just sitting there. He would rather be interacting with fans. Overall, Nate’s meet and greet was a great experience. He never disappoints! A great start to the convention and to my birthday!
Charlie Bewley (Vaughn) and Robert Ri’chard (Jamie) Panel
Creation Entertainment has a habit of putting lesser known actors together even if they have never met before. This was the case for the first panel of TVDNJ. Charlie Bewley, who plays the vampire hunter Vaughn in TVD but might be better known for the Volturi character of Dimitri in the Twilight Saga, and Robert Ri’chard, who plays Jaime on TVD, were put together for a panel. They had never even met before, so for the first few minutes of the panel they were kind of feeling each other out by asking each other questions. Charlie likes to do research about the actors with whom he has panels, so he impressed Robert by knowing all sorts of random facts about Robert. Their personalities worked pretty well together on stage and the panel was entertaining. At one point they asked the audience “Who is Team Damon?” then, “Who is Team Stefan?”, which they promptly followed up with “Who likes both of them? Together? At the same time?” leading into “Who is Team TagTeam?” Once they had coined “Team TagTeam” they ran with it, bringing a couple fans up on stage to make Charlie-fan-Robert sandwiches as they “tag-teamed” the fan.
Robert also told some entertaining stories about the TVD set, including one about the first time he met Paul Wesley. Paul apparently hugged him, grabbed his ass, and hit on him, so the story was pretty funny. He also told us that the actresses are told to be sexy all the time, and then proceeded to try to teach us how to do something as normal and unattractive as eating oatmeal in a manner that is sexy. I think many fans were pleased when Charlie said Ian is the glue that holds the cast together and that he loves Ian’s eyes. As a Klaus fan, I personally enjoyed Charlie and Robert talking about how great Joseph Morgan is.
As for appearing in season 5, Robert said that he was sworn to secrecy, which Charlie told us means yes. Charlie has not been sworn to secrecy because he has not been asked to reappear on TVD (for now). Overall, it was a pretty good panel, especially since the guys had never met before Saturday!
Photos of Charlie and Robert on stage:
Nate Buzolic Panel
All the conventions I have attended which have had Nate as a guest have all given him his own panel. This is wise because he is a fan favorite and he can really connect with a crowd. He starts off on stage, but it is guaranteed that he will be in the audience by the end of the panel. This time was no different. He hugged a couple fans, received a bracelet from one fan, and answered questions directly from the fans face to face. He knows how to keep the fans entertained, telling good stories about filming, such as how much fun he had drowning David Alpay and how he wanted to kiss Ian/Damon in the freezer scene to make him more uncomfortable.
Every convention at which I have seen Nate he does a section on accents. He can do the English and general American accent very well, but when he attempted a Jersey accent in honor of the convention’s location he ended up doing a Bostonian accent, and he definitely got called out for that.
The outfit Nate was wearing for the drowning and torturing of Professor Shane made him feel like he should have been German, so all day long he was walking around speaking in a German accent. He was having fun saying “Vere is zee cure?” and it must have slipped into the drowning scene without him noticing because when he was in Germany for a convention this summer a German fan called him out on it, saying his accent slipped. Nate said the moral of the story was to not make fun of Germans because it could come back to bite you.
As always, Nate is a very inspirational speaker. He speaks from the heart with passion about faith, finding your dream and following it, and always trying to be a better person. He does not want to be defined by his career but by what kind of a man he is. For his part, Nate says he is also inspired by going to these conventions because of all of the love that flows through the audience. As Nate says, it is important to always “Chase your dreams, follow your heart.”
Photos from the panel:
Zach Roerig Meet and Greet
When I walked into the meet and greet with Zach, I knew it was going to be good, because I have seen Zach on stage before at a TVD convention, but I would not have called myself Team Zach. I definitely walked out of that meet and greet a converted woman. I know I wasn’t the only convert to Team Zach either. He was absolutely exhausted because he had finished filming at 5:30 am that morning and had basically gone straight to the airport to come to New Jersey. With no sleep, his mind wandered a few times so that he would go on some interesting tangents before remembering he probably didn’t answer the original question. In my opinion, this merely added to his cuteness.
Zach spent a large portion of the meet and greet talking about hunting, butchering, and eating wild game. He also mentioned he likes to garden and fix up his house, especially in the old southern style since his house is in Georgia.
Another topic Zach talked to us about was his upcoming film he just completed during TVD’s summer vacation. It is called Field of Lost Shoes and is set in the Civil War. He really enjoyed making it and loved learning the history involved. History seems to be an interest of his, and he spoke to us about the history surrounding the movie for a bit. I for one am very excited to see Field of Lost Shoes when it comes out!
Zach is a very down-to-earth, funny, nice guy. He hugged us all, and we all also switched spots when it was our camera’s turn to have our picture taken beside him (within the group). Even without any sleep at all, Zach provided us fans with a very good meet and greet experience.
Michael Trevino and Zach Roerig Panel
Michael Trevino and Zach Roerig are totally besties, and it shows. A panel with them is hilarious. They crack each other up, along with the audience. When asked what lines would best describe their characters, Zach responded “Hi, I’m Tyler. Can you help me find my clothes?” There were also some “awww” – inspiring moments, such as when Zach said he misses Trevino in Atlanta and when Trevino mentioned that the TVD cast is one big family.
They would both choose to be werewolves over vampires, but Zach is happy Matt has remained human. He says that Matt is a sort of lighthouse for the rest of the characters because he is the only constant, a solid human. If they could choose to be another character on TVD, Trevino would be Damon because he has good one liners, and Zach would choose to be Rebekah. Speaking of Rebekah, Zach told us he filmed the first scene of season 5 with two women in bed, a whole day of filming and he never said a word. He could tell us one of those women is a vampire and the other is a gypsy! (This gives Mabekah fans some hope!) In terms of what they enjoyed filming in season 4, Trevino told us he enjoyed playing Klaus at the beginning of the season and Zach liked the scene in which Matt offers Elena his blood, though Nina bit him rather hard with the vampire teeth.
With their epic bromance on stage, there is never a dull moment from the time Trevino and Zach walk on stage to the moment they sadly have to leave.
Photos of Michael and Zach:
Kat Graham Panel
Kat is an absolutely gorgeous, sweetheart of a woman. She draws her fashion sense from the 90s, more specifically from Aaliyah and TLC, which is clear from her high-waisted acid wash jeans and black bra-like top. She told us a bit about her music career; she has a new single out called “Power” that will soon be available for purchase on iTunes (she said “about 9 days” on the 13th of July, so it should be available soon). For future reference Kat doesn’t like being asked if she prefers acting or singing more because she feels she shouldn’t have to be limited to one or the other since she loves them both.
Since Kat was home schooled and never had the experience of making best girl friends in high school, being on TVD has given her that experience. She and the other girls are really close friends in real life, and Kat admits to getting emotional when they were filming the graduation scene because it truly felt like a graduation of sorts, a stepping stone to the next chapter.
If she were a witch in real life, Kat would like to be a kind of Disney good witch that walks through the woods and has birds and animals flock to her and follow her. In defense of Bonnie’s possible dark side or at least dabbling in dark magic, Kat says “no matter how awful the things she did, she did it out of love,” so she doesn’t really feel Bonnie has ever been a “bad” witch.
Even though Bonnie has died, there is good news for Kat’s fans! Kat was also (like Zach) filming for season 5 until 5:30 am on July 13th, so Bonnie will be in the show still, and apparently appear pretty early in the season! The only tidbit she was really able to give us, however, was that she was screaming herself hoarse while filming. Hmmm… It will be a while before we see that scene, whatever it is, but I am glad to hear that this stunning sweetheart isn’t leaving us forever.
Michael Trevino Meet & Greet
Michael Trevino’s meet and greet was supposed to be with Zach’s meet and greet earlier in the day, but Trevino was a bit late, so we had to have a make-up meet and greet later in the day, which was only 30 minutes. I don’t think anyone will complain though, since instead of 1 meet and greet and 1 photo we got 2 meet and greets and 2 photos.
Trevino talked to us about what he has been doing since he hasn’t been working on TVD, and apparently that has included a lot of concerts and a lot of eating. He really likes food a lot; he either eats all the time when he is not working or he consumes nothing but salads (with no dressing) and protein shakes when he is working on TVD.
As of that time, Trevino didn’t know when he would be coming back to TVD. He wasn’t even sent a script for episode one, but his contract was picked up again for season five, so at some point he will be returning! We talked about what would happen when Tyler returns, though it was all just speculation. Trevino thinks that Tyler must be a high-school drop out because he hasn’t been to school in forever and he didn’t get to graduate with the rest of them.
A really nice guy who genuinely seems to enjoy interacting with fans, Trevino makes sure to ask all of the fans questions too, seemingly wanting to know as much about us as we want to know about him. His easy going manner puts everyone at ease and helps make a meet and greet with him a great experience.
Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder Gold Panel
Gold ticket holders at Creation conventions get an extra panel, which is usually a 30-minute Sunday morning panel with Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder at the TVD cons. Paul and Ian on stage are a sight to behold. They have an amazing rapport that results in some hilarious interchanges.
The first thing they did on stage was discuss a phone case that a fan had made for Ian. It had a picture of Paul and Ian holding hands, accompanied by the saying “Bros before hoes”. Paul and Ian really liked this, and when a fan later asked if their characters were in a movie what would the movie’s title be, Paul and Ian were both quick to respond “Bros before hoes.” When asked who, out of any actors living or dead, they would like to work with on TVD, Ian responded “Paul Wesley.” Paul responded a bit more seriously, saying he would like to have Marlon Brando as a costar. Paul did say that he loves teasing Ian because he is so easy to pick on, but after this declaration he turned to Ian and told him he loves him. They told us that when they were filming season 4 they had made a plan to have a movie night together every other week or so, but they are so busy it never happened.
I think nearly everyone enjoyed hearing Paul and Ian say they would choose to bring Alaric back to life out of any of the characters who have died on the show. More than they like Alaric they like Matt Davis, who they say is hilarious and highly entertaining and they miss him on the set. Ian also seems to miss the old Damon. In both the gold-ticket panel and the regular panel later in the day Ian said Damon used to be a bad ass, but now he is “Damon the little bitch.”
It is always sad to see these two leave the stage, and Paul didn’t seem to want to end the panel either because when the convention organizer told them they were out of time, Paul told him “Shut your mouth!” He was clearly joking and playing for laughs, which he got. Thankfully Paul and Ian had another panel later in the day, so this wouldn’t be the last we saw of them on stage.
Charlie Bewley Solo Panel
Charlie Bewley is the only guest who has been appearing at Creation cons for both days. On Saturday his panel was with Robert Ri’chard, but on Sunday he had a solo panel. Unfortunately, the ballroom was only roughly half full for most of it because everyone was in line for photo ops, specifically the Ian photo op and the Ian & Paul duo photo op. Most of the front rows were empty, so Charlie asked if everyone could move up and was told that they couldn’t. This was right as I was walking into the room and up to my seat, which was in the front row and center (on the aisle), so when I sat down I told him “Now you have some people in the front row.” He asked “Is that really your seat?” Yes, yes it was.
It’s a shame that so many people missed his panel because they were standing in lines. He is very entertaining. For this panel he brought a pink balaclava, which he put on and then struck poses, saying he was going to be in Springbreakers 2. When he went out into the audience he put it back on and did a “Springbreakers Patrick Swayze jump”, and since I was front and center I was honestly afraid for a moment that he was going to hit me.
Charlie told us he would like to be in something without vampires, something in which he plays a girl who does not wear any knickers (underwear). He also told us some really corny jokes that he says he uses as pick-up lines.
According to Charlie, the TVD cast is very cool and more relaxed than film casts. He worked the most with Ian, with whom he liked working. Overall, filming on TVD is really fun.
Charlie is always funny on stage, and he will nearly always go into the audience because he likes interacting with the fans (he asked one little girl what her dreams are, and encouraged her to always follow them, no matter what people tell her). As a very interesting experience, Charlie’s presence on stage has convinced me to do a meet and greet with him at the next convention.
Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder Main Panel
Paul and Ian have an hour long panel together in the afternoon for everyone attending the convention. As always, it was a wonderful panel.
A fan asked what their favorite season of TVD is, and Paul and Ian disagreed. Ian kept saying season 1, Paul kept saying season 3, but finally Paul said “Fine, 1 plus 3, so 4.” They also disagreed on the cure, because Paul thought Damon should have been the one to take it, and Ian thought they all should have shared it.
Paul is very excited about the Stefan and Silas storyline. When someone asked “If you could change 1 thing about your character, what would it be?” Paul responded “Which character? BOOM!” He is happy to be playing another character. I definitely also look forward to seeing Paul put his acting skills on wonderful display playing a character so completely different from Stefan.
The banter between these two is always a thrill to see and hear. At one point a fan asked about a certain scene and line, but Paul didn’t remember it even though it was his line, so Ian gave him a hard time, “That was your line, you idiot.” Paul told him, “I’m just an actor, I don’t think for myself,” which made Ian look at him and tell him, “Take off your pants.” They certainly know how to get a response from the audience!
At one point when asked about their most embarrassing fan experiences Ian said it was, “fans throwing panties at my face”, to which Paul added his was ‘men’s underwear being thrown at my face.” Their faces and gestures accompanying these answers added to the hilarity.
The fans are also interesting in their panels. One woman yelled out, “You guys are looking good today!” (A very true statement.) Ian, however, asked if she had been drinking already that day. Another fan submitted a question under the name “Anita Man,” which, when read aloud, got a laugh out of everyone, including Paul and Ian. A male fan sitting close to the front yelled out to Paul, “Do you even lift, bro?” Paul’s responded with, “Now I know I’m in Jersey.” There are of course many declarations of love for both Ian and Paul, but the funniest might have been when a girl shouted, “I love you, Paul” and Paul did this little (good) shudder accompanied by a “ooooooo”, which Ian said was a very genuine response. It was great.
Fans learn so many things about Paul and Ian in these panels. They prefer doing flashback scenes rather than present day scenes. They first met in the airport and say they fell in love immediately. If they weren’t acting, Paul would like to be a writer and Ian would like to be a marine biologist. Their panels are entertaining AND informative, with some great on-stage scenery too of course!
These two are very appreciative of their fans, too. Paul says it is good to know that people watch and love the show, and Ian said TVD wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the fans. Before leaving the stage completely, Paul thanked the fans profusely for coming to see them today. If there is anybody reading this that is wondering if attending a convention is worth the money spent, it is most definitely worth it. Even if you just go for Ian and Paul, it is worth it. I would recommend doing the whole weekend, however, since the guests on Saturday are also always wonderful.
Thanks again to Rachel for providing the recaps and photos! The power fandom f*cking rocks, and we’re sad we couldn’t make. But, don’t worry-TeamTSD will be at another convention, soon! #FangsOut