A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape

ScaperCon 2003: Day 3

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Bad Boys of Farscape

Full Weekend Schedule

Bad Boys of Farscape

David Franklin, Lani Tupu, Wayne Pygram, Jonathan Hardy, Anthony Simcoe

[Anthony thanked the Scaper who recommended the Signature restaurant.]

[Lani thanked the kind people who watched his clone in the bar last night. He had a few jello shots, got a little out of control...]

Audience: If you could be a different character, which would you choose?

Lani: [absolutely deadpan] Grayza.

David: Admiral Braca.

Wayne: Wouldn't want to be a puppet, gets pretty lonely. I suppose it would be nice to be out of the suit...ooooooohhhhhh...I'll give it some thought.

Jonathan: Uh, are there other characters on Farscape? Don't worry Kate, if you come to Sydney again, I promise not to bite you in quite the same place.

Anthony: Maybe one of those bikini babes who runs around with Harvey...I always wanted to get my hands on a really good rack!

Audience: We can arrange that!

Wayne: I wouldn't want to be in makeup, cause I'm a lazy bastard. The Grunschlick character [DIE ME DICHOTOMY] looked like he was having fun...

Audience: How about Chiana?

Wayne: Not particularly. [...] Okay, okay, I've got it - Kent McCord!

Audience: Favorite Scene, Favorite Person?

David: For me it would have to be the scene on the 9th floor [referring to a party that took place the previous night at ScaperCon].

Anthony: for me it would be the scene with the bikini babes on the beach [CRICHTON KICKS] --

Wayne: They're mine, they're mine!

Anthony: -- It was a thrill just working with the guest actors, because they just bring so much energy and new ideas, new perspective and creativity to keep our work fresh. I hoped I was being open enough to let them influence me.

Lani: When the ship is exploding [INTO THE LION'S DEN] and there is this wonderful shot -- and they had only one chance to shoot it -- of Wayne walking up the stairs.

Anthony: It's not just the water that made that a great shot, it's the angle that you get to see Wayne's ass!

Wayne: It was the end of the season, and my boots were really worn down, there was just no tread. There was a moment where there was a little slippage -- if you watch that scene carefully, there's just a moment when I look down -- that's where I almost lost it.

Jonathan: The scene Ben did with his son [LOOK AT THE PRINCESS] - that was just the most beautiful scene. I couldn't say who I liked most working with, because most of the time they weren't there. If I had to say what I wanted to do, I think one of those animals, with Anthony as the back legs...

Wayne: Doing the scenes with Ben. I sort of miss the one-on-one work from the first three seasons. I liked getting a line in among everyone else, and just listening.

Jonathan: In that episode with the blue monkeys [I-YENSCH, YOU-YENSCH] -- I liked the moment when I was finally helping you [Wayne].

Wayne: Something was attacking us...

Jonathan: Yeah, some really terrible acting.

Audience: Was the food in the diner edible?

Wayne: Yeah, the props boys always had to work that way. It was based on seaweed or something.

Audience: Anthony, did you develop a different voice for the 'Dandy D'Argo' [SCRATCH 'N SNIFF]?

Anthony: Yeah, it was something a little more breathy, but it didn't work, so we went back. It was all appearances, and really not that interesting, so I dropped it. The crew is saying, 'tell Anthony that we're having trouble tracking D'Argo', when it's really just a crap voice I'm doing!

Jonathan: I've always admired your bottom [pitch]. I tried to do D'Argo's voice once, and I couldn't, because Anthony is eight feet taller than me and the air is different up there.

Audience: Any comments about the scene with the I-yensch bracelets [I-YENSCH, YOU-YENSCH]?

Anthony: That was horrible, that was actually not fun. What the writers didn't understand is that D'Argo can't lie down, because of the way the rig worked - as soon as you lay down, the seam would pop open. So I had to lie down but still hold my head and shoulders up, which was really exhausting.

David: The stupid things kept falling apart, they wouldn't stay on!

Anthony: They didn't make them big enough to go around D'Argo's arm.

My other memory is that I was really pushed up against doing another episode. That period of time was the worst period we've ever been backed up [in production], there were so many B-shoot days. We were just so far behind. That's the only time we scheduled an entire week of B-unit - we had to knock off five days and get things get cleaned up. You can notice a bit of the shine coming off then; the shots get much simpler.

Audience: Do you have any favorite convention stories? What do you think of ScaperCon?

Anthony: I think it's absolutely brilliant! We get to meet everyone, and everyone is very respectful of our personal space, but not distant. This is the perfect blend of both. I've been able to interact with you all, get to meet you, and that's been brilliant, and yet I can still go off and do my own touristing.

We don't know what it's like to have fans. It's normal people doing a normal job, and then we go have this really weird weekend. I'm taking photos to show my friends, and my friends think I'm this bullshit artist. No kidding, people want to get my photo and autographs! It's that distant from our real lives.

Lani: I have to add to that -- there are two ladies that should be mentioned, and that is Heather [aka WarriorWoman] and Theresa [aka Smushybutt].

[enthusiastic & appreciative applause from audience]

David: It's been absolutely seamless. The organization has been great, and everyone's been so cooperative. The warmth and the friendship, and this bizarre extended family you guys have (I thought my family at home was weird!). The volunteers, as Lani said -- I'm just blown away.

Wayne: I love the sense of the community that you guys have. I'm sure people will get married, and have babies, and call them Aeryn.

Audience: We have!

Wayne: There are production companies that, but here everyone has a good time There are companies that do sci-fi conventions and people walk away unsatisfied, they're just so cold. Here, this is just so warm -- everyone has a good time!

Lani: I wore this today and it says 'ScaperCon Survivor' --

Audience: -- It's not 5 o'clock yet!

Lani: I feel like I'm at an AA meeting! 'Hi, my name is Lani, I've been without a Con for 50 days now, and I just wanted to share that with you...'

Jonathan: I think the great thing is that you all know what Farscape IS! I've been at cons where we're treated like a commodity, and you get very tired of being treated like a commodity. We went to this one convention where we had to sign everything in sight, and people who had never heard of Farscape were bringing up toilet paper for us to sign. People had no idea who we were, but we were obviously signing something, so we must be important. And here, despite our best efforts, you all know who we are -- don't let it get out! Thank you, it's been wonderful.

Audience: Anthony, when you played Gary Ragel [in WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN], was that you, playing D'Argo, playing Anthony?

[Some merriment ensues where it comes out that Anthony didn't remember that that was his character's name.]

Anthony: Oh, was that my name? Yeah, car - good, kissing - good, sleep-sleep-sleep - good. Those episodes where I got to be stupid and crazy, that's meant to be my very bad impersonation of Andy Dick. Andy Dick as D'Argo.

David: Who's Andy Dick?

Anthony: He's the funniest fucking guy in America!

[missed a question here]

Anthony: We're thinking about printing a couple hundred DVDs of this film I shot with Jonathan and Gigi, it's called 'DragonCon'.

[Jonathan riffed at length about getting people to sign up so that Anthony could send everyone a copy personally.]

Audience: I wanted to know if I could have another kiss -

Wayne: Oh, I suppose so...

Audience: -- with the hat off!

[laughter as Wayne complies, pulling off his black ski cap]

Audience: I'm supposed to ask about the tollbooth in Texas story.

[general laughter as Lani looks humorously embarrassed]

Lani: Yes. So I'm barreling down the road, with Jean as the designated driver, when we pull up to this tollbooth. We had to put in four coins, not paper money. So what happened was you saw this person getting out of his car in traffic, and running from toll booth to toll booth trying to change money.

The lady saw me in the mirror, and just automatically reached out to exchange money. I turn around to go back to the car, and I see this long line of traffic backing up, and I realize, it's because of me!

So I run back to the car, and for some reason I go around to the front of the car, and hear Honnnnk! Honnnnk! And I'm yelling, 'It's okay, I'm from Australia!'

David: I just want you guys to think, this is the man who was a captain of a Command Carrier...

Audience: What makes each of you bad boys?

Lani: You don't want to go down there, you'll never get back.

Anthony: I'll just say, that I've slept with more famous people than any [other] tall white guys with a gut that I know.

Lani: I have a title [via his Polynesian ancestry], it means basically lord, and when it's broken down it means 'fighting amongst the villagers'. That's my title; it comes with the package.

David: We just don't take ourselves too seriously ...

Jonathan: I'm from New Zealand, and we do take ourselves seriously, and we never have fun -- and we have great respect for our animals. As opposed to Lani, who has many knees, being a Polynesian. My family crest is 'Danger I Caught'.

David: I don't play a bad boy! [laughter] Everything else I've been bad -- maybe with time.

Audience: What do you miss most about Farscape being over...for now?

Wayne: Getting the mask off! That's one of the great feelings in life, getting that bloody rubber head off. [...] And the checks, for god's sake!

Anthony: I had two girls take my full array off... Just the workmates. It's a great job, but it's just a job, and you're surrounded by a couple hundred workmates. . Over the years you get close to your workmates; once the show finishes, your jobs take you in different directions, different jobs, and you miss those relationships. That's what I miss the most, just the great mates I made at work.

Jonathan: An actor has to be inured to saying goodbye, because most of our work has an ending to it. We spend our lives in a sort of series of shipboard romances because of the nature of our work -- we form intense relationships, become very close to one another, and then suddenly it stops and you have to go and remake yourself, and that's a very weird thing that actors go through.

Audience: Is it tough to work in the suit?

Wayne: They built the suit when I was a skinny guy, and I'd put on some weight. They had to put more holes in the leather straps to let them out; they changed it on the day they shot the beach scene, and a week later had to go to an inch larger hole. It was very tight, and I got sore back and shoulders, but basically it was the heat.

Lani: In the 4th season I played the Ogre [in JOHN QUIXOTE], and I had nothing but admiration for Wayne and Anthony. I was in the suit for 5 minutes and it was already really, really difficult. We were working that morning quite heavily, doing the fight sequence, and I got a shocking headache; I worked until it was so painful I thought my head was going to burst. I had to go up to the first AD [assistant director] and say, 'I'm sorry, I just have to stop'.

I cooled off off-stage for half an hour and took some meds I was getting some headache tablets and ice, and I asked Wayne if he ever got headaches, and he said yes, all the time. I don't have the greatest patience putting on prosthetics, and never will. Once I worked on the Ogre, I was reminded that I had tested for [the role of] D'Argo, and I'm just so glad I didn't get it.

Jonathan: Think about the guy playing the mad scientist [NamTar, DNA MAD SCIENTIST]. His legs had to bend two ways, and he was basically kneeling on stilts. That's part of being an actor.

I was doing a play where every night I got shot in the side of the head with a gun firing blanks. Every night you had to prepare yourself in case the wadding didn't protect the side of your head. That's just part of being an actor.

Actors are low on the pecking order in Oz, so it's great to come over here and find that our work really meant something -- we're very grateful for this time when we can meet and you can tell us how much you appreciate it.

Audience: I have a question for Jonathan -

Jonathan: I was never there!

Audience: But I have pictures!

Jonathan: No, that is the famous other New Zealand sheep story. [relates joke about ventriloquist who makes a farmer believe the animals are speaking to him -- the farmer is quick to insist that 'the sheep lies!']

Audience: It's going to be hard to top that...

Jonathan: Oh, I wouldn't...it's a very wooly tale.

Audience: Those creative vegetable pictures: where did you get them, and why haven't you been arrested yet?

Jonathan: Uh, yes. Well, they haven't been peeled! They were sent to me by an Arab who did a lot of work for us when I was directing an opera, and he's very good about acupressure. I'm on his joke list, and he sent them to me.

Anthony: And you bloody forwarded them on to me, and I can't stand all that rubbish in my Inbox ...

Jonathan: That's the first time I've ever heard you complain about that kind of picture!

[someone made a reference to the Official Farscape Convention]

David: I'd like to go.

Jonathan: To where?

David: To Burbank.

Jonathan: Oh, them.

David: I've never been.

Lani: You don't want to go.

Audience: What would you have liked your character to do that they didn't?

Wayne: There's only a few things that I look back on and have been dissatisfied with. I should have crushed the flower [INCUBATOR]. I was happy with the way things ended with Sikozu on my knee [BAD TIMING], and she was not having a good time.

Anthony: We were laying some long-term groundwork for D'Argo -- he was going to be the single liberator of his planet. I won't say more than that the spaceship, Lo'La, was supposed to be like the Sword in the Stone. The ship was destined for D'Argo alone, and D'Argo was supposed to pick up all the skills he would need over time - I would have liked to do that.

Jonathan: I thought Rygel was a better Captain.

Lani: I would have liked to come back with Talyn and just rock the planet. You know, have kids, and go shopping...for a new jacket! I'm wearing this jacket for four years, and I don't even have a change of clothes?!?

David: Very simple: KING OF THE WORLD!

Audience: You've seen what we collect - what memorabilia do you have or collect from the show?

Lani: Nothing, because we threw all that away. I'd love to have my jacket, so I could get a new one. That's one of the things I was ringing up about, and we were put on hold, and then told that we couldn't get anything.

David: Braca's outfit was very skintight, so I had to wear these special undies, and one day I wore them home - the wardrobe people called me up and asked me to bring them back, so I have nothing. I have to say, the Scorpius codpiece was very good...

Wayne: Well, I had my boots, and I liked them. Everyone likes to be in [the rock band] Kiss for a day.

Anthony: I have that big bus-stop poster of D'Argo, and I have one cell of the animation. I was the only person given clearance by the director to shoot behind the scenes, and I have 20 hours of mini-DV footage. Shot legally, and I'm not allowed to show it to anyone.

Audience: [show it to us and] We won't tell!

Audience: Would you really like to go to Burbank? Because if you would, there are people here who can make that happen. Just say the word.

Wayne: We were promised that if we went back they would bring the band. That's the package we were promised, so if we go, we want that deal.

Lani: Isn't it called the *Official* Farscape Convention? You've got more of us HERE! So... [makes a thumbs up gesture]

Jonathan: Jean organizes all these things for us, and she does it magnificently. Yes, we would like to go, so if anyone can make that happen, talk to Jean, we'd love to do it, I've never been to Burbank.

Audience: Have the prosthetics R&D progressed to where you can move?

Anthony: That was season one. My rig changed each season, and about every few weeks in season two he gt a new one. Damian Martin is an absolute prosthetics genius (he actually was responsible for the development of Hot Flesh, although not credited for it).

It's an excellent question. In season one, I couldn't turn my head at all. My rig changed the most in season two. I had a new rig every two or three eps, and Daniel Martin was instrumental in making sure that the D'Argo wig could actually move. He's a genius, and is doing the entire prosthetics for a new Sony film that's an adaptation of a Marvel comic.

Wayne: I was the first person to wear the Hotflesh. Limitations are sometimes your greatest tool, sometimes they became a character trait. The Hotflesh, if they did it right, you could see the blush through the material; the light penetrates, so it was translucent like skin, three dimensional, like real flesh, versus old prosthetics which just reflected the light back completely.

Jonathan: For me, the issue of prosthetics is something private between me and my medical practitioner.