‘Game of Thrones’ tour in Malta (part 2)

The TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ follows the storylines from the book ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ written by George R.R. Martin and set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The series chronicles the battle of each kingdom to control the famous Iron Throne. The first season is a faithful adaptation of the novel and leads us right to… Malta.

The show has been filmed in many different locations across Europe and Africa including Morocco, Iceland, Malta and Croatia, but the majority of filming took place in Northern Ireland. Tourists and fans can now step in the same places that their heroes did, by visiting the unaltered locations on Malta.

Here is part 2 of my GoT Tour and I’ll introduce you to a unique location on Gozo, Malta’s sister island.

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In Season 1 Episode 1 « Winter is coming« , Daenerys Targaryen’s memorable wedding scene to the Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo was filmed at the Azure Window, a stunning rock formation in the form of an arch at Dwerja, that frames the bay beyond. Sadly, the arch is expected to fall apart in the next few months (or probably weeks).

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A great celebration is held for their marriage in the Free City of Pentos (Essos).

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Several Dothraki die in duels, which is a good sign : « A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair« .Game of Thrones @ Azure Window S01E01 (23)

The couple receive many gifts from their guests. One of the boxes contains three beautiful stones.

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According to Illyrio Mopati (a merchant-prince and a Magister of the Free City of Pentos), these are dragon eggs from the Shadow Land beyond Asshai.

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They have turned to stone with the passing of time.

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In the background, you can see Fungus Rock, a small islet in the form of a massive lump of limestone, at the entrance to the Dwejra lagoon.

Fungus Rock

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The second interesting gift is a bunch of books containing stories and songs from the Seven Kingdoms given by Ser Jorah Mormont (an exiled Northern lord living in Essos).

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He introduces himself and tells her that he served her father for many years.

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For his gift, Drogo gives Daenerys a beautiful white stallion named Silver.

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Viserys asks his sister Daenerys to make Drogo ‘happy’.

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Drogo lifts Dany onto her horse, and they ride to a cliff top where he begins to take her dress off.

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She begins to cry as she looks out over the ocean…

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Next location : Mdina… (to be continued)

Conversation with Tom Wlaschiha

Tom Wlaschiha, who plays Jaqen H’ghar in the TV show « Game of Thrones » was one of the main guests at the Digital Game Manga Show in Strasbourg from May 7-8, 2016. The German born actor talked about his mysterious character and how « Game of Thrones » changed his life.

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Were you afraid that your character Jaqen H’ghar would die in the show ?
No, not really… I think that Jaqen H’ghar is already dead ! He has the face of a dead man. If the producers would chose to kill me, someone else would take my face.

How did the other actors react when they realized that their characters would die, especially Kit Harington ?
I don’t know how Kit reacted. He is still alive, I met him recently ! It’s pretty cool that in this show anything can happen, especially when you don’t expect it… But it’s not a problem for me that people die !

In how many countries did you travel for the show ?
Most of the show is shot in Ireland, the studios are in Belfast and there is always a set in the South. During season 6, it was in the South of Spain and for seasons 4 and 5, it was in Croatia. But my parts are mainly in a studio, because Jaqen H’ghar likes to be inside.

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Do you have any expectation for your character in the future ?
Like I said, with Game of Thrones, you can not have any expectations ! And if you have some, then you can be sure that they will not happen because the producers and George R.R. Martin are totally unpredictable and whatever you think will happen… does not happen. But of course, I expect to see Jaqen H’ghar on the iron throne at the end.

You’re German, and live in Berlin. How did you end up playing in Game of Thrones ?
First, I did a lot of theatre in Germany, then I did movies and TV shows, also in Germany. I don’t know how many of you watch German TV… Somehow, I got bored in Germany and then I looked for a UK agency, because I wanted to do more international stuff. I was lucky to get a role in Game of Thrones, that became such a big success everywhere. But for an actor, it doesn’t matter where you shoot : Germany, USA, UK… The most important is the script. And at the moment, I think the best ones come from USA and UK.

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How many other seasons of Game of Thrones will we have ?
I don’t know… I think the producers said that there would be 2 more seasons after season 6. That’s the only thing I know.

Can we expect to see you in a movie in a near future ?
I hope so. Actually I don’t know yet, because for as long as Game of Thrones is running, I have a contract, but I don’t know if I would be on the next season. I will only find out in a few weeks if I’m going to be on the next season, so I have to keep the time free for this. And if I die, then I can do other stuff, yeah…

How often do you see George R.R. Martin ?
I have only met George once, he’s usually not on the set. I met him at the premiere of season 5. He’s very funny.

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Would you like to play in a French movie ?
Yes, I would love to ! I already had two opportunities that I had to decline, because Game of Thrones didn’t allow me to do it. Well, maybe Game of Thrones isn’t such a good thing…

What do you think of the French cinema ?
The French cinema is very special in Europe, because it’s a total different style. I love French cinema… I’m not a fan of blockbusters or action movies. I love French movies where two characters can talk for hours, sitting at a table ! I’m also an fan of Isabelle Huppert, I would love to do a movie with her.

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You play a dark and cold murderer in Game of Thrones. How do you get prepared for your role ?
I don’t need to get prepared, that’s how I am in real life ! I don’t find it that difficult… What is interesting in Game of Thrones, is that the caracters are very complex. There are very human, nothing is black or white. The all have secrets, that’s what makes the story so interesting for the viewers. I don’t think it’s really Fantasy, I would say it’s more like… Shakespeare.

What is your favourite character in the show ?
Well, I have to say Arya and Tyrion. But I especially like twisted characters like Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton.

Do you have any funny story from the set ?
Nothing funny happens… Most of the time, all my scenes are with Arya, so we’re sitting backstage. As an actor, you wait most of the time : 80 % of your time is waiting. So, we sit and play videogames and we try to beat each other. Of course, I win ! We have to concentrate on our work. It’s great to act with Arya (Maisie Williams), she’s really a natural. When I first met her, she was 13 years old and now she’s 18. So she’s growing with her character, which is pretty cool.

Talking about video games…. What kind of games do you play ?
I was sure that you would ask that question ! I usually play games on my phone, like 2084. It’s very boring as I told you !

What’s your favourite death in the show ?
My favourite death scene is definitely « The Red Wedding » at the end of season 3, because it came so unexpected. Even if I had read the books before. Also, speaking of films… For television it is a great sequence, the way it’s filmed – visually and dramatically – it’s pretty unique.

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Are there other German actors on the set of Game of Thrones ?
Right now, I’m the only one but Sibel Kekilli played Shae. She’s also from Germany but unfortunately… dead now.

You have a little accent in the show. Do you have a coach on set who helps you ?
The producers of the show do not want any American actor because it’s a middle-age story. An American accent wouldn’t fit. That’s why most of the actors are English, Irish or from other European countries. But we have some languages coaches on set who are here to check if there is any mistake.

‘Game of Thrones’ tour in Malta (part 1)

The TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ follows the storylines from the book ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ written by George R.R. Martin and set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The series chronicles the battle of each kingdom to control the famous Iron Throne. The first season is a faithful adaptation of the novel and leads us right to… Malta.

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The show has been filmed in many different locations across Europe and Africa including Morocco, Iceland, Malta and Croatia, but the majority of filming took place in Northern Ireland. Tourists and fans can now step in the same places that their heroes did, by visiting the unaltered locations on Malta.

And that’s what we did too by booking a private « Game of Thrones Film Tour« .

Malcolm, our host, picked us up at our hotel and drove us to the first location : Attard, in the central part of Malta.

Malcolm Malta Film Tours

Our host : Malcolm, the Game of Thrones Master

SAN ANTON GARDENS

Attard is a lovely little city, located between Mdina and Valletta in the central part of Malta.  The town is keen on caring for its parks, such as ‘San Anton Gardens’ that is surrounding the Presidents Palace. The local motto is ‘Florigera Rosis Halo‘, which means « I perfume the air with my blossoms« . Have a look at it and you will understand why.

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San Anton Gardens is a botanical garden open to the public since 1882. It houses many beautiful flowers and an open courtyard, and also hosts floral shows and competitions. The garden has several walkways that take you through the green gardens where you will discover fountains, ponds with families of ducks and several plants and flowers as well as other trees from all over the world some of them over three centuries old.

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Episode 4 « Cripples, bastards and broken things »

San Anton Palace

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In King’s Landing, Littlefinger meets with Eddard and suggests that he keep his investigation into Jon Arryn’s death lower in profile. He also advises him to investigate an armorer located in the city. Eddard decides that Littlefinger may be more trustworthy than he first thought, but Littlefinger discourages him to think that way… We’ll understand later why.

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San Anton Gardens

Once we’ve crossed the San Anton Gardens and the famous black swans couple, we reach the San Anton Palace and its small church.

San Anton Gardens

SAN ANTON PALACE as THE RED KEEP

In the early 17th century, Antoine de Paule, a French knight from the Order of St John built on this site a country villa which he enlarged after he became Grand Master in 1623. Successive Grand Masters continued to use the palace as their country residence. When the Maltese rebelled against the Frence (1799-1800), San Anton became the seat of the National Assembly. As chief of the Maletese Congress and Chief Commissioner, Captain Alexander Ball resided at the Palace and built the open loggias and the balustrade walk.

In the British period, it was used as the Governor’s summer residence until 1928 when San Anton replaced Valletta as the permanent residence of the sovereign’s representative. In 1888, Governor Sir Arthur Borton opened up the now public part of the palace gardens.

Since 1974, the gardens has been the official residence of the president of the Republic of Malta. The Palace has over the years welcomed within its walls a large number of distinguished visitors to Malta, including many royal personages, heads of state, statesmen and men of letters.

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San Anton Palace stands in for some parts of the Red Keep. In the first scene on screen, the Starks arrive there and use their stables.

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Episode 3 « Lord Snow »

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Malcolm explained us that almost none of the locations on screen were different from reality : « what you see is what you get« . And proof will follow.

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« AH THE STARKS… GREAT TEMPERS, SLOW MIND… » (Robert Baratheon)

The San Anton Palace is also the Red Keep’s Hallway, where Varys and Littlefinger inform Ned Stark that the Goldcloaks are under his control.

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Episode 7 « You win or you die »

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Thanks to our guide, we got a lot of inside info, set news, backstage tips and a little bit of gossip as well.

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Episode 5 « The Wolf and the Lion »

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Sansa Stark walks down a corridor in King’s Landing with Septa Mordane, when sounds of fighting reach their ears. Lannister men have begun to slaughter the Stark guards. Septa sends Sansa to her chambers, warning her to bar the doors. Sansa hurries away as a group of Lannisters advance on her governess, gripping bloodied swords. The young girl rushes though passageways, but her escape is blocked by the Hound.

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Episode 8 « The pointy end »

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SAINT DOMINIC CONVENT as THE GODSWOOD

St Dominic Convent Malta

Our journey continues to Rabat, a small village located just outside the old capital city Mdina. It was once the suburb of Mdina. In the 15th century, while the area served as a shelter from constant pirate attacks, several religious orders arrived in Rabat, remaining there ever since. We stopped at the Saint Dominic Convent.

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A very quiet and peaceful place with a fountain in the middle of beautiful gardens. The place is less messy than a few years ago.

‘IN THIS GAME OF THRONES YOU WIN OR YOU DIE, THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND » (Cersei Baratheon)

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Episode 7 : « You win or you die »

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In the Godswood at King’s Landing, Ned tells Queen Cersei Baratheon that he knows the truth that Jon Arryn died for : that her brother Jaime – not King Robert Baratheon – fathered her children. She admits as much and tells Ned that she’s reviled Robert ever since their wedding night, when he drunkenly called her by the name of his true love, Lyanna (Ned’s sister). Ned suggests her to flee with her children, before Robert returns from hunting and learns the truth.

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Next location : Gozo (… to be continued)

Soundtrack : « The Grave Yard Birds » featured in « Dead before Dawn »

It’s Zemon time again ! Fans have been requesting many times to know more about who’s behind the closing credit song of « Dead before Dawn« . Here comes another local product from Niagara Falls… Let’s meet Frank Pietrangelo, singing Zemon of « The Grave Yard Birds » aka « The Madhatters« .

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– Frank, could you introduce the Mad Hatters for the people who do not know you ?

The Madhatters are a cover band out of Niagara Falls, Ontario. We have been performing as a band together for just under 15 years since we were in high school. We have worked in other original side projects over the years such as ‘Hearts & Sounds‘ but ‘The Madhatters‘ has always remained a constant. We are lucky enough to be full-time working musicians as we perform regularly 3-4 times a week in the Niagara Region and Southern Ontario.

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– How did you get involded in « Dead before Dawn » ?

We got involved in ‘Dead Before Dawn‘ through my lifelong friendship with April Mullen. April is one of my oldest friends. We have been friends since elementary school and have both pursued our dreams, her in filmmaking and myself in music.

– You already wrote a couple of songs for April & Tim’s first movie « The Way of the Tosser »…

I had worked with her in ‘Rock, Paper Scissors‘ before as she contacted me to use some of my original music in the movie.

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– The « Dead before Dawn » song fits perfectly to the movie. How is the writing process for a movie title ? Do you need to work with the script or do you just need a few elements and use your imagination ?

When they were filming ‘Dead Before Dawn‘, she contacted me again about writing a specific type of song for the movie. This process was a little different than ‘The Tosser‘ because, with the first movie, she used some of my already-written material.

With this project we were constructing new material to fit the film. I collaborated with two other great writers and friends (Paul Gigliotti and Chris Turpin) and we followed the guidelines that April and Tim provided to create the song that you hear now.

She gave us a few lyrical ideas and specific instruments and sounds that they wanted to be included in the track. This process was so much fun as it allowed us to put our own spin on the plot without having read the script or seen the movie yet. I can speak for the other two when I say we had so much building this track.

Writing for a movie is much different than writing personal material. You have to put yourself in different situations and take all kinds of different things into consideration. I would say it’s a little more challenging.

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– How was the outdoor screening in Niagara Falls where you performed « Dead before Dawn » for the first time ?

The outdoor screening in Niagara Falls was fantastic ! We had a great turnout and we were able to perform the song live for the first time in front of a great crowd. It was also the first time we were able to see the whole movie and the music video that we filmed for the song in September 2012. It was an amazing experience.

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– What’s your favourite moment in the movie ?

I know my opinion may be a little bias, but my favourite part is towards the end when the main characters are having an intimate moment and all of a sudden our song comes on and the zemons begin to chase them ! Very cool to see the song incorporated that way !

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– Where can we get the « Dead before Dawn » song ?

The song is available for download on iTunes Canada and US under the name « Dead Before Dawn – The Grave Yard Birds« 

You all know what you have to do now ! You can follow the band through their website The Madhatters and on Facebook.

Check out our photo gallery with all the photos from the « Dead before Dawn » videoclip !

Rafa Nadal could play at the Stuttgart Mercedes Cup on grass

Stuttgart, July 11 2014th Uncle Toni « El Tio » Nadal and succesful coach of the 14 time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, announced during today’s press conference that there would be a chance that his nephew could take part of the first grass tournament at the Stuttgart Mercedes Cup in 2015.
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« To get an optimal preparation for Wimbledon you need good relationships but also courts ! And the courts here are very similar to the courts in Wimbledon. I‘m going to tell Rafael, how good the conditions are here« .
The tournament Director Edwin Weindorfer couldn’t hide a smile on his face but kept his feet on the ‘grass’.
« Of course, it is a very good sign, when Toni agrees with an appearance by Rafael Nadal at the MercedesCup. But in addition to the sporting aspects, we have to take also the economic interests into account. And this has to be discussed with his manager Carlos Costa ».
Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with his tro
Rafa Nadal, double champion at the Mercedes Cup in 2005 and 2007 is still unsure about his next year’s schedule after the clay season. 

Convention : FantasyEvents will bring the stars to Italy !

Hello Vampires & Hybrids,

FantasyEvents wants to wish you a fang-tastic year 2014 ! We remind you that the “Love & Blood ItaCon 2.0” is on the way and it’s not too late to become part of our FEmily.

A few weeks after the end of the successful edition of our first Convention dedicated to « The Vampire Diaries« , our Team was already busy preparing the Love & Blood ItaCon 2.0.

LB Itacon 2.0

Our first edition has been voted “2013 Best European Convention” thanks to our faithful fans. Not just a convention, it was fun, laughs and tears of joy for everyone involved. A moving and intense 3 days experience which filled 1500 hearts like one. Guests and fans, together like friends. People who knew each other because of a year of virtual meetings and sometimes in person.

No other Convention before made so much for the fans, live entertainment on stage, translators, surprises like the Canvas Warriors‘ team who did their very first fashion show.

FantasyEvents will bring the stars to Italy !

Rising star Jamie Christlow

Back on popular demand, the British gentleman Jamie Christlow will have the pleasure to join us again.

Jamie Christlow

London based actor, Jamie played the part of the class clown to lead roles in school performances. He moved away from acting to pursue alternatives career opportunities, until the time that he was discovered as a lookalike for Ian Somerhalder. He has appeared in numerous conventions worldwide so far. Jamie’s recent work has included the filming of three short films : you can currently watch him in “The ABC of Death”.

Nathaniel Buzolic : the Original one

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Native from the land Down Under, Nathaniel Buzolic grew up in Sydney and began his career as a TV moderator in Australia. Then, he got a recurring role in the BBC TV show “Out of Blue” before landing in “The Vampire Diaries”, playing Original Kol Mikaelson – Klaus’ youngest brother who tried to kill Jeremy Gilbert.

His character’s death in the show leaded to several petitions to get him back.

Keep a eye on a certain show called “Pretty Little Liars” as he’ll be guest starring in the next season !

Steven R. McQueen will do his very first Italian appearance at the LB ItaCon 2.0 !

Steven R McQueen

Steven is best known for his role as Jeremy Gilbert in The CW show « The Vampire Diaries » and his recurring role as Kyle Hunter in the show « Everwood« .

The American actor made his acting debut appearing in an episode of the short lived Sci-Fi serie « Threshold« . He has since made guest appearances on television shows such as « Without a Trace« , « CSI: Miami » and « Numb3rs« .

Vampire Diaries memorabilias

Canvas Warriors is the creative combination of the teamwork of Sandira Reddy & Afshin Salehzahi.

It has become the go-to place for celebrities and Con-addicted to get their original and unique pair of custom hand painted Converse shoes, jewellery & hoodies. The Team are also working with the IS Foundation & The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to make our Earth a better place.

Canvas Warriors

Paul Wesley as Stefan the Ripper

Paul Wesley first landed in the soap “Guiding Light” as Max Nickerson. He made guest appearances on TV shows such as “24”, “Smallville”,” The O.C.”, “Everwood”, and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”.

Paul Wesley

He has been seen on the big screen in the movies “Cloud 9”, “Fallen”, and “Killer Movie”.

Paul is best known for his role as Stefan Salvatore in “The Vampire Diaries” since 2009. He actually auditioned for both the roles of Damon and Stefan.

It seems he is drawn to supernatural roles as he has played a vampire, a werewolf (“Wolf Lake”) and a fallen angel (“Fallen”) !

Matt Davis, the Human exception

Matt Davis

Matt Davis is known for co-starring opposite Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair in the comedy « Legally Blonde » but also in « Blue Crush », « Tigerland » and « BloodRayne« .

From 2009 to 2013, Davis starred in the CW series « The Vampire Diaries », playing the history teacher Alaric Saltsman followed by « Cult » and his recurring role in the CBS « CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ».

Party time rhymes with DJ Prophet

DJ Prophet

Los Angeles based DJ Prophet books over 250 performances a year across the US and the glob, from night clubs to private events. He’s coming back to Italy to entertain our evenings til late !

You can also hear him on the LA Original Hip Hop Station 93.5fm KDAY and watch him live streaming as a host on www.BREAL.tv on Mondays from 2.00-3.00 pm (PST) on “The Best Buds Show”.

DJ Prophet has been featured in numerous television commercials and he has performed with LMFAO, Too Short and Busta Rhymes. His motto : DO IT !

Don’t be shy : book your Pass, your Extras and your hotel room through our website. For more info, join our Facebook page !

Love&Blood ItaCon 2.0™ will be held  in the Ergife Hotel Rome Italy from 2014 May 3oth, to 1st of June. Our event is Unofficial fan convention dedicated to the Vampire Diaries series, and it is in no way affiliated or supported by CW. All rights are of original owners.

DISCLAIMER : All guests are subject to cancellation for work and that does not hold the event conditions. Guests can be one or more days of the event.

Conversation with Ellen Dubin

The multi-talented Ellen Dubin comes back on our TV screen in a supernatural TV show called « The Collector ». This Canadian supernatural drama show is about a man trying to help save people who have bargained their souls with the Devil. The show originally aired in June 2004 on Space Channel. The sci fi queen and Gemini nominated actress gives us some clues about her character in the show…
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– Can you tell us a little bit more about your character, Jeri Slate ?

– Jeri Slate is a passionate intense journalist who will stop at nothing to get to the truth of a story. Her relentless pursuit of that story can get her into real trouble. She is also a single mother of an autistic boy who may be the son of the devil. The great gem about playing Jeri, is I get to show my ballsy aggressive side as the newspaper journalist but my softer more vulnerable side when dealing with my son Gabriel ( played by Aidan Drummond). I loved the multi-dimensional layers of this character. I also loved the fact that I dealt  with very real issues that a mother would deal with, even in a supernatural drama.

– How difficult is it to play a character who is a single Mum with an autist son ? How could you communicate on screen ?

– First of all, to play opposite that wonderful little boy Aidan is a pleasure. So there was absolutely no problem having that natural chemistry with him as a son – a joy to work with. Second of all, I just wanted to convey the proper way to deal with autism on screen, so I did a lot of research and spoke to mothers who deal with this on a daily basis and basically the consensus was : don’t treat him any differently. Also, Aidan is not autistic.  It’s funny when I was with him on set (and we spent a lot of time together), I felt very protective of him and so it ended up that, that maternal instinct read very well on camera. We had a very special bond. 

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– How is the relationship between you & Gabriel and between you & the Collector evolving ?

– That is a wonderful question and you will just have to stay tuned to find out ! Let’s put it this way : Jeri Slate wants to know a lot about Morgan Pym ( played by Chris Kramer) and things can heat up and in relationship to Gabriel, you will find out more about who his father really is…

– The role of Jeri Slate gave you a Gemini nomination, how does it affect your career ?

– As an actor who has paid her dues and worked so diligently and hard in this business, to be honored for my work was a dream come true. It is amazing to be recognized for your acting by your peers – which to me is the most rewarding way to get nominated. It hasn’t affected my career that much, but it never hurts to be acknowledged. I am very proud of my work on « The Collector ».  

-The show was unfortunately cancelled after 3 successful seasons. What happened ?
I am really not sure what happened but I think the producers believed that the show and the story lines had run their course and to bow out gracefully before it got too repetitive. So kudos to them for knowing when to end the show. Better to finish on a high point. I do miss the show though. 
 
– It’s a Devil of a job to reap souls for Satan… Do you actually believe in that supernatural dark side ?
I believe that people have a darker evil side. What they choose to do with that side is entirely up to them. I hope people don’t act on that base nature but sadly there are many stories in the news which show the opposite. I also think that there are forces out there, that can’t be explained. But I like to believe still that people are basically good at heart.
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Ellen Dubin in The Collector (2)

       

– How did you put a foot in the sci fi and supernatural world ?

– My first job as an actor was the wild, wacky and wonderful series « LEXX » which I did for four seasons playing Giggerota the Wicked, the cannibal. I am so grateful to Paul Donovan for hiring me for that show. It was the start of my sci fi career and the beginning of getting my feet wet in this world of the greatest most loyal fans. For that I am eternally grateful ! Love playing in this genre.

– Do you have time to follow any TV shows ? In which show would you like to star in ?

– I watch a wide variety of programs from comedy to drama, from sci fi to reality shows. I would love to be on « True Blood », « Law and Order », The Following », « Sleepy Hollow », « Once Upon A Time », « Game of Thrones », « Reign ». There are so many great shows out there right now ! And maybe a new one out there to star in…

Make sure to catch Ellen on Chiller TV in The Collector every Monday evening at 8pm EST.
If you want to know more about Ellen Dubin, please visit her website, Facebook profile, Facebook page, Twitter and IMdb !
Photo credit : courtesy of Ellen Dubin