Collectormania 21 – Milton Keynes, UK
Once again, I was given the honor of representing MuggleNet at a fan convention, this time at Collectormania in Milton Keynes. Situated in the large town’s football stadium and being free of charge to enter, it is one of Showmasters’ biggest conventions, running over the course of three days – May 16–18. This was my first time attending this particular con, but I could only attend on the 17th. This was good enough for me, however.
Traveling about six hours to get to Milton Keynes, I arrived the evening before and stayed the night in a nearby hotel, giving me the chance to arrive at the con for opening time and spend the whole day there before heading off home. This year, Stadium MK of course saw crowds of people pass by its gates, many of whom were donned in costume. Indiana Jones seemed to be one of the most popular cosplays, most likely due to Karen Allen, who played Marion in the first and fourth films, being one of the guests. I also spied a Gryffindor and Slytherin wandering around throughout the day, supporting the Potter universe and their House colors proudly.
Not only were cosplayers out in force, but also, Collectormania of course played host to some of film and television’s biggest stars: Billy Boyd, Lee Arenberg, Eve Myles, Jeff Kober, and many more. It was also lucky enough to have a couple of the Harry Potter alumni attend on Saturday only, which made my first Collectormania experience all the better! Who, may you ask, were these Potter stars? Gryffindor’s own Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas) and Anna Shaffer (Romilda Vane). No Q&A panels were put on at this event, and although this was a shame, it gave the stars even more time at their autograph tables, talking to their beloved fans. This was where both Alfred and Anna spent the majority of their time, happily greeting anyone who wanted to chat. They additionally took part in a photo op each.
Not long after getting there and while it was still relatively quiet, I luckily got the chance to talk to the Potter actors, both of whom were more than happy to be interviewed. Speaking to them one at a time, I was informed that neither of them could believe how much time had passed since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 had hit theaters.
I hadn’t seen Alfie for years, and so this morning in the green room, we were trying to work out when the last time it was that we saw each other. And then I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s been three years since everything ended,’ and I thought, ‘Oh my God!’ I hadn’t really thought about it, and it really hit home that it’s over, which is really sad. But it doesn’t feel over in some senses because there'[re] events like this, and the fans are so amazing that you feel like it’s always around you.
When asking Alfred if it being over still seemed surreal to him, he responded by asking, “Has it been three years?” Shocked to hear that it had been that long, he went on to explain that although it’s been a long time, it certainly hadn’t seemed like it “because so much has happened to [him] in between.”
Not only did we talk about Potter, but we also had the chance to discuss other topics. Because both of them have worked in television, they explained that working on a TV set is a much different experience in the sense that it is filmed at a much faster pace. On the topic of television, I managed to ask Alfred about his latest project, How to Get Away with Murder. He gushed that he had so much fun working on an American set, but when asked about how it was to get an American accent, he laughed, saying, “It required a lot of hard work, and I hope it was not unsuccessful.” We’re sure that you’ve done a great job, Alfred!
After unknowingly holding up their autograph queues (whoopsies), I of course had to finish off both interviews by asking them the most “grueling” question of all: What is their Hogwarts House? And what do you think was their answer? You’ve guessed it… Gryffindor!
I very much enjoyed getting the chance to speak to Anna and Alfred, both of whom were extremely friendly and talkative, and I’d like to thank the two of them, the organizers, and of course MuggleNet for allowing me this opportunity. Although I had an awful trip trying to get home afterward, it was all worth it just to have fun, relax, and meet some amazing guests.