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Mark Sheppard Chicago con Q&A

Mark Sheppard Chicago con Q&A

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DevilYouKnow: indulging_breck
Mark seemed the quietest of the guests, not so much mellow as Aldis, but contained. (Mike told me when he was getting autographs that ahead of him a girl named Brandy was getting stuff signed, and Mark leaned over to Aldis and asked why he wasn't singing to her. So Aldis did). He seems like an old pro.

General disclaimers: this is mostly paraphrased except for a few exact quotes in quotations.

Hey guys, how you doing. You know this is my first SPN con. How many of you are from Chicago? Are any of you Cubs fans? I used to run a bar in Hollywood when I first came to the States and the only channel it had on during the day was WGN, and I started watching the Cubs, year in and year out. The Torchwood con was here one year, but it's wonderful to be here. Fun to be here. How're you enjoying S6? Is Crowley on next week? Yeah. Interesting thing Bobby saw. Jim Beaver said, all this work I've done and I'm going to be remembered for kissing Mark Sheppard. Do you think Crowley is going to give him his soul back? He's so much fun to do, I want to thank you and all your friends. I started watching SPN at the beginning, and I was friends with Kim Manners and I saw him up in Canada when I was doing things there. I missed most of S3, then S4. Then I started watching S5, and said whoa this show has changed. The show, interesting how it's matured, just as I started watching Crowley became the thing. Ben Edlund is one of my favorite writers in the world, creator of the Tick creating a sexually ambiguous crossroads demon. They couldn't find an actor in Canada who would kiss a man. When I read the script I thought, if I was going to do SPN this is not a bad opening scene.

Q: Is a fan of Crowley.

A: There's two types of people in the world, those who are fans of Crowley and those who should be.

Q: What was it like kissing Jim Beaver?

A: (Long pondering) A bit furry. I think he was more nervous than I was. I'd already kissed the guy who was playing the banker. The intellectual idea of kissing someone is one thing, the actual doing it is – convention says if that is not something you do there is something uncomfortable about it. It's very interesting to play with that (conventions). The guy playing the banker was quite nervous. Maybe it was because before we rolled I told him, "Pucker up buttercup" one of those things you wish you hadn't said. He was sweating and I had to grab his clammy, wet head as he is resisting me. I told my wife about it afterwards and she said, Now you understand dating,
Phil took the shot for the gag reel on an iPhone for 20 minutes. An interesting exercise in uncomfortability, Jim is a good kisser, but shouldn't have used tongue.

Q: What was it like to work with Jamie Bamber and the cast on BSG?

A: I love them all, I just saw Jamie on Law and Order UK, I can't get over the accent and he's got a different accent on Law & Order than he does in real life. I was a fan of BSG before I ever did the show. Most scifi gets cancelled before it ever hits its stride, like Firefly. BSG got through 4 seasons and it was an incredible place to go to work. I bump into them all the time, there are people on SPN who worked on BSG.

Q: If you could make a crossroads deal, what would it be?

A: Personally, I've never believed in the short answer. I'd be working out how to beat the demon, that's what makes it fun, to trick it to get what you want.

Q: You've been in so many different shows. Which was your favorite, and which would you return to if you could?

A: I'm not done with Leverage, I was telling Aldis that Sterling's not gone, he's just busy playing on SPN. Crowley's not finished. It's hard to keep track of this stuff all the time (says in a playful tone). Every new job that has come, it's always been new beginnings with new fans and some old fans coming on for the ride. There's a lot of shows I've not done yet, not as many now. So much good stuff, I'd love to do Torchwood, Dr. Who. I'm a fan, #1, I'm a fan of the good side of the genre. Dumb scifi is so boring, but smart scifi and fantasy is fantastic to be part of. It's written by a bunch of people like me.

Q: Is it in your contract to wear body hugging suits in all your roles?

A: Ted Baker, an English tailor is my tailor. I get to dress nicely and take over universes. Beats working for a living.

Q: Which scene in (4 shows) stands out to you?

A: I like all of it. "Where's your moose" that's a great thing to say. Giving them the Colt, Jensen going "No, you're the morons." There's lots of stuff from the gag reel. The Interrogation scene of 6 in BSG. Who the hell gets to say, "Does your love hurt as much as mine?" Dialogue in Firefly was fantastic. High spots all over. Leverage was created with me in mind, a tremendous honor, then there's the fear of having to go do it. SPN is a joy to do, I wish I could do it forever, do the Crowley late night talk show. It was great when they decided to make Crowley physical, beating the crap out of Brady with a crowbar, it's so much fun to do, ultimate fantasy.

Q: Surprised you didn't mention getting tied up by Eddie McClintock in Warehouse 13?

A: Why?

Q: It was hot.

A: Hmm. (Considers this)

Q: What entertainment figure has given you a fan moment?

A: I was introduced to Peter O'Toole when I was getting cast in a film. I'd been in Name of the Father. And he said OMG you played Armstrong and shook my hand. And I was thinking, my God, it's Lawrence of Arabia. He's still a beautiful man, disarming blue eyes. (Says timidly) Pleasure to meet you sir.

Q: Do you have a favorite Dr. Who?

A: The new guy is great. That is a no-win situation, it's not gotten progressively campier, it's more complex. They're all good. Baker really put Dr. Who back together, made him popular. What happened to this show I watched when I was 7? Moffett is a genius, I want to see what they do next.

Q: Did you know about the character Crowley in Good Omens?

A: I have 15 copies of this book now. If you use the name Crowley you're pretty much referencing something else. That's part of the genre.

Q: If you could work with any 2 other actors who would they be?

A: Well, they have to be living because they don't smell or act very good when they're dead. I always wanted to be James Cagney, most underrated American actor of all time. I've always been a fan, it's not a job. I'm working at a time when people like me are making TV. It's us, for us, by us. We changed what is acceptable on TV, it's become more about "we better put a show out that THEY like," so we have more power than before. That's why they kept Dollhouse on the air. Terrible ratings, hardly anyone was watching but a great internet presence. There's a lot of fear there, we're making them make better TV. My dad was on Mad Men two weeks ago, he's been on Trek, Transformers. Finally we're important.

Q: If you could star in your own TV show what would it be?

A: I'm always starring on my own TV show, haven't you noticed? Cracker was a great TV show. You enter into these things with eyes wide open, it's fun, whatever comes.

Q: In Warehouse 13, when your character jumped in the fire at the end and they said he was dead, is he?

A: Have you watched much scifi? How many times have Sam and Dean died? If I die this week will you write in? That's all that counts.

Q: Many actors have little acting rituals. Do you have any?

A: Like shooting heroin? I don't know, I hate spending time in my trailer, I get claustrophobic and annoy everyone on set. I just annoy them until they get going.

Q: Have you pranked J2?

A: Not yet, but I've certainly been a participant in the fun.

Q: If you were on Who or Torchwood who would you be?

A: I'd be the new Dr. Who. I was asked on BSG if I wanted to be a Cylon. I said I'd sweep the floors, I don't care. Crowley has gotten more interesting.

Q: How do you feel about people looking up to you and admiring you, how do you feel about that?

A: It's not alien to us (fans), we're all a part of it. I just have a great job. Not even my kids look up to me. Was that you going "Awww" Clif? I'll give you a hug later. (Apparently Clif had been backstage the entire time and at one point he was doing bunny shadow puppets on the screen feed of the Q&A)

Q: n our family you're our biggest celebrity. When you came on SPN, we all screamed. What advice would you give a young person to get into this business?

A: Don't do it, do you know the rejection factor? It's hard work, would you join a union where 95% of the people are out of work all the time?

Q: Did your father give you that advice?

A: Oh of course not. I was a musician before I was an actor, and stuff happened and kept happening and after 20 years I realized I had a career.

Q: If your character stays dead in Warehouse 13 would you be happy with how you went out?

A: Eh, there's still stuff he could do. Ask! You can write the creator of the show and you can get the answer through the interwebs.

Q: (Wasn't clear what she was asking about)

A: We performed it at ComicCon and you can see our table reading on YouTube.

(A girl dressed as a demon and one as an angel seem to be arguing at the mic about what to ask. Sheppard goes over to the other line while they get their act together).

Q: You play morally ambiguous characters. I wondered if you were a Cylon.

A: I said would it make a difference? I was the 5th Cylon for a while, really. I ended up being president. "Bad" is not a good judgment to put on characters, they have their own agendas. If you play bad it becomes an affectation. Crowley is just a demon who has a sense of humor and has helped them out a bit. Ah, but to what end? I think he's very self serving but no one's just one thing. Dexter is the classic argument, is he a good guy or bad guy? I love Lithgow's character, there is so much good stuff. What do you want to have happen in S6? Just go for the ride?

(Back to demon and angel)

Q: Question 1, Sam or Dean?

A: I own them both!

Q: Sing happy birthday to my sister. (The sister claims she didn't know that was going to be asked. More arguing at the mic. He makes audience sing to her.)

Q: (Inaudible, but seems to be about knowing the shows he appears on.)

A: Ask Richard Hatch about going from the original BSG to new one. He'll tell you the evolution is huge. I don't find my preparation any different from BSG to SPN. If you don't fully invest in it, you can tell. You couldn't do BSG without knowing the story, it's too convoluted and specific. I think with SPN you have to love the story behind it to do it.

Q: (Also didn't get this one)

A: I think Crowley was trisexual, he would try anything. I'm 46, I've read some books in my time, the writers are similar in age and education to myself. I've read Crowley when I was 15. It reminds me of the Taliban.

Q: I love Crowley's sarcasm. Is Jared really as tall and muscular as people say?

A: You mean Gigantor the talking Moose? There's nothing worse than him chasing you around the Impala with a knife. I was thinking, if he falls over I'm dead.

Q: (Fan mentions she's been asking this question of all the con guests)

A: You're giving me used questions now?

Q: What's the craziest fan encounter you've ever had?

A: I was sitting in a shopping mall with my then 1 year old and 6 year old, and a woman was staring at me like this (looks grim and intense), at me and my 2 boys. And she says "You creepy, creepy man." I'd just been on Medium. It was funny. I was "Thank you very much." When you play bad guys people tend to leave you alone.

Q: Crowley reminds me of an antique dealer. Do you collect anything?

A: Interesting concept. He's inhabiting a publisher's body at this time, and there's a similar mindset. He likes things, things interest him.

Q: How did you come to be on Chuck?

A: I think I may be back. I'm never really dead or gone in anything. I keep turning up like a bad penny.

Q: What do you prefer, acting or directing?

A: Being a director means you don't have to dress for work, just walk around scratching yourself. But you do have to deal with actors. "I have an idea!" Oh wonderful, tell me what your brilliant idea is that will change all the work I've been doing.

(Is told the time for the Q&A is up).

In my job I don't get to interact with an audience, but I enjoy doing these conventions because I get that moment I get in live theater. You bring me great joy and I thank you so much for it.

Comments at Dreamwidth .
  • That was a very gracious send off -

    Thanks again for letting us vicariously attend the con!
  • (no subject) - eight_demands
    • Heh, true. Though in fairness if people want better questions they need to ask them. Brock's panel (posted in a few minutes) was downright painful.
  • Ben Edlund is one of my favorite writers in the world

    Ditto on that Mark! He's one of my favourite too :)

    I really have to thank you profusely for all the time and effort you spent on these transcripts, you're my heroine! Videos are great but as a non native speaker some times it's hard for me to get everything. THANK YOU!!
    • Edlund wrote a script for Firefly too, yes? Mark would have been great on Angel, he would have fit right into Wolfram and Hart.

      And you're welcome, I'm so glad it's of use to people.
  • I adore that man. Thank you so much for these!
    • You're welcome. It was cool to meet someone who has worn so many faces on so many shows I watch!
  • Thanks for this write-up and the Aldis Hodge one! I live in New Zealand, so my chances of ever going to one of these cons are fairly low. Generous fans like you mean a lot to me :)
    • You're welcome, there's really only a fraction of fans who can ever get to these cons for one reason or another.
  • Based on his answer to this question- Q: (Wasn't clear what she was asking about)

    A: We performed it at ComicCon and you can see our table reading on YouTube.

    I'm gonna guess that it was a Middleman question. They did perform the unaired episode 13 at Comic Con. Mark was hilarious in it.

    Thank you for the transcript. I would really like to see Mark at a SPN con. I went to his Firefly one last year (which was about the same time as his first SPN appearance).
    • Thanks for that info! I hadn't heard of it before and anything I didn't grasp at once had to be dumped for me to keep up :)

      It makes me laugh to think how many cons Mark could go to. I keep imagining him running from panel to panel, changing logo'ed caps as he did.
    • Here is video of the table read. Mark is amazing in it.

      Also, check out my "Mark Sheppard Fans" webpage (and Facebook group) at for more videos, interviews, etc. (webpage hasn't been updated in awhile because I was going through chemotherapy - I'm now cancer free - but I'll try and update it soon.)
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