I was lucky enough to attend the ABC Studios tour Q&A on Monday night. The fact it was held in plush London hotel was good for starters but the main attraction was the chance to see and hear from the following:
• Hayley Atwell, Peggy Carter from Agent Carter – about to start showing on Fox
• Clark Gregg, Agent Coulson from Agents of SHIELD – showing on C4
• Sarah Drew, Dr Kepner from Grey´s Anatomy – showing on Sky Living
• Matthew Grey Gubler, Dr Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds – also on Sky Living
• Matt McGory, Asher & Alfred Enoch, Wes both from How To Get Away With Murder – shown on Universal
It was a fantastic mix of actors with two from the Marvel universe, three from Shonda Rimes shows and one from one of the longest running ABC dramas. All the stars seemed very happy to be in London, from what I could tell some had spent the day boating in Oxford.
The chair of the panel kicked off with some questions for each actor about how much they enjoyed being part of the ABC studios family, Clark Gregg even referenced Walt Disney when stating how much he enjoyed TV acting. He later said that his background is with the stage and he loved the energy from an audience, which he missing doing film and TV, but loved these kind of fan interaction events.
The chair then asked about security of scripts and the importance of ensuring no leaks get out especially for a show like How to Get Away with Murder, which is invested heavily in plot twists and surprises. Both Alfred & Matt only got paper scripts and said security was tight for the table reads for the season finale, but somehow Denziel Washington managed to sneak in! Hayley said she only gets scripts the day before shooting and on the day they change things…but she said this keeps her alert and makes it fun to learn her script so quickly. Clark said you never want to see Red pages in your script, this was scripts for your character only and might mean your character is being killed!
Questions from Facebook fans were next, one asking Sarah Drew about what it was like to join in Season 6 of an already established show like Greys Anatomy, she said it took a while to feel accepted by fans, at first they hated her character. She was so happy to be part of a show she and her husband used to watch.
One for Matthew Grey Gubler about how he handles acting and directing the same show, he so far has directed 8 episodes and says he enjoys it a lot and hopes to do more. He first went to Hollywood to become a director.
Then it was thrown out to the floor and I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Matt McGory a question, I wanted to know if he felt any exclusion from the cast as his character was the only one not involved in the key murder from the show. He said it was weird when filming in Philadelphia, he ate too many Lobster rolls and took 2 naps a day. But as filming moved to LA he was more comfortable. He said although he character is in the dark, he was kept fully aware of what was going on.
Hayley & Clark were asked if they felt there will ever be a show with Agents Coulson & Carter together, they careful sidestepped this one, stating “anything can happen in the Marvel universe”, sounds like we might one day get something.
Lastly the whole panel was asked about any memories of the whole ABC Studios tour and any fan interactions. Sarah spoke of the passion of European fans and how many hugs she had received! Hayley told an inspiring story about how a fan she met had broken her leg and gotten autographs from females she admired and made them into tattoos! And with that the stars where whisked away, maybe to try boating on the River Thames!
Contributed by Gary Redrup