March 1-2, 2014
March 1 is always seen as a special day in Wales, traditionally celebrating the life of the country’s patron saint, St David. However this year the first weekend of March was particularly busy as MuggleNet had the privilege of attending Cardiff Film and Comic Con. The Showmasters-run event is the second to be held at the Motorpoint Arena in the Welsh capital. The very first was back last September and the turn-out was phenomenal, enough for the convention to return and will do so again near the end of the year. The reception this time around was just as well received, people of all ages and sizes and of course wearing all manner of costumes. From onesies to the most elaborated, well created cosplays – everywhere you turned there was either a Loki, Ghostbuster or various forms of Manga characters.
The Harry Potter fandom was also represented costume wise – a number of Hogwarts students roamed around the arena both days, Slytherins and Gryffindors obviously standing out the most, although the Ravenclaw house was also accounted for; a Luna Lovegood or two was definitely spotted wandering around the merchandise stalls.
Not only was Potter represented by its fans but also by a cast member. It’s of course exciting to see a cast member from one of the biggest film series’ in such a close proximity and last year saw Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) in attendance at Cardiff’s first comic con. This year it welcomed none other than Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan). Over the course of the two days, the event saw the Irish actor full of smiles and enthusiasm while he greeted and met fans at his autograph table, where he spent the majority of his time. It also saw him take part in one Q&A and two photo ops, even giving hugs during them to those who asked for one.
Although he describes himself as quite shy when giving talks or interviews, especially when he’s on his own and doesn’t have the back up of his fellow cast mates, he still tries his utmost hardest to answer fan questions as best as possible. The talk he gave on the first day of the event lasted a total of 45 minutes and after Devon initially missed his cue to enter, when he did, the crowd did nothing but whoop and cheer. Questions were asked by both the host and fans and he took time to answer all. Some were of course Potter based, for example what was his favorite film to watch and shoot, to which he replied Philosopher’s Stone because “everything was magical,” especially seeing the boat scene being brought to life by the wonders of CGI. Other questions were directed outside of the fandom – for future reference, Devon Murray believes he would have pursued a career as a milkman if he hadn’t fallen into acting and his ultimate ambition is to fly (whether like Superman or not).
Not only did I sit in on the Q&A but I was also honored with interviewing Devon when the atmosphere seemed to have died down on the Saturday afternoon. I am no stranger when it comes to attending conventions, frequenting them in the UK at least a couple of times a year; interviewing however I am entirely new at. The most experience I’ve had previously is talking on the phone with someone for a couple of minutes to get a quote for a local newspaper, and that was only on work experience. Interviewing Devon was my first with someone famous and it was with a Harry Potter actor no less. I was of course excited but also extremely nervous, having to walk around the arena several times to pluck up my courage to approach him. But like talking to any of his other fans, he was extremely down-to-earth and happy to stop and chat.
It seems that he is a huge fan of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, expressing that “it’s great that we can go back over there and it’s kind of…Hogwarts is always there and it’s always going to be able to be part of us.” Going back over there for a specific event also means that there are mini cast reunions, which he is always happy to be part of.
Since the end of Potter, Devon has tried to get back into the reality of life but that doesn’t mean that he’s written off his career in acting. He said that he’s been approached as of late for theater work (which he’s still in the process of thinking about) and he’s also admitted that if he were offered a part in the Fantastic Beasts film, he’d most likely play a beast.
As a whole, the convention was a success and on behalf of MuggleNet, I would like to thank both Showmasters and Devon for this wonderful opportunity. It’s still only the beginning of the year so who knows what the rest of it will hold?
A video from the event will be uploaded soon.
Guest blogger: Toni Cooper, MuggleNet staff member