First of all: Have you read the first part of this story? If not I recommend you to do so...thanks!
FACTS Spring Edition 2016 - Day 2: After a good night's sleep and a very tastefull breakfast we were ready to rumble...I had one mission this morning: Get an autograph of Richard Dean Anderson as soon as possible and as long as it is still possible. There was one thing I learned from the day before: trying to get one later in the day was mission impossible. We had a lot of other things we wanted to do, so the clock was ticking haha. We arrived at Flanders Expo somewhere around 9.30 and much to our surprise we could walk through the first hall and to the doors of the main hall quite easily. Now all we had to do was wait for the doors to open and run like the Flash...well running was not an option (it was quite early) so walk really fast. At 10 o' clock sharp, the doors opened and at that moment in my head I was Usain Bolt...
Did I get Richard Dean Anderson's autograph?
....too bad my body disagreed. But still we walked pretty fast and when we arrived in the hall where the guests did their signing, there was a queue already. But it wasn't as long as I thought it would be so I got in line and waited for the line to start moving. After about half an hour it was my turn...finally. I was trying to restrain the strangled cat, while picking the photo ( If you read the first part of my story you know what I mean). I shook his hand and when I opened my mouth I sounded normal (well as normal as you can expect). He asked me where I came from and how I was doing and we talked a little bit, while he was signing the photo. Mr. Anderson is such a nice guy and he made me feel pretty relaxed. He was joking around about how messy and chaotic his table looked and even apalogized with a big smile. I'm so glad I pushed through and didn't let the queue scare me off. I wouldn't have wanted to miss this moment for the world! I'm so happy with the autograph.
Later that day we attended Richard's Q&A. He started his Q&A with the following words:
"Who was here yesterday?......
(a lot of people raised their hands)......Get out!"
And that set the tone for the rest of the Q&A. He asked how everybody was doing and said he could do with a little nap:
"I'm a big fan of naps! I've become
a fan in my later years...or these last 8 years
of my life ..."
He also talked about the Challengers club from MacGyver and how this was based upon a ral club called "The Challengers Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles". The goal of this club is to offer kids an alternative to gangs, violence, drugs and crime. They offer the kids a safe environment to play and learn. Richard Dean Anerson has taken an active interest in this club and has supported them in a number of ways in the last decades. For more information visit http://www.cbgcla.org/
Ofcourse Richard also talked about Stargate and when asked what his favorite part of Stargate was, he answered:
"The position of it...the...the corner where...I know what you mean, but I don't think I have a clever answer for it. Or a
straight answer. Uhm...you know ultimately what it came
down to, it's gonna sound kind of gushy, but uhm the
comradery that we ended up having...uhm the four of us..
The four main guys....that I really kinda cherished and
loved the most. It's rare when you work in Hollywood...
I hate that word...working in the business ...I hate that even more! Well I don't know how to phrase it, so I'm just
gonna say Hollywood. Uhm it's rare to find a group of people that uh all of whom
get along great and genuinely like each other, are supportive on screen and..
And I have to say quite honestly that I never could have done what i did, as
Jack O'Neill, if it hadn't been for three other actors who were willing
to put up with my crud......kids?...kids?....any kids?....oh so I can't
say naughty words. I'm just trying to clean up my act a little bit. Anyway
uhm... I think that's the most memorable part of that whole experience...
The other parts were the food...the food was nice..there were good caterers.
And the vacation...I'm just kidding you..."
Furthermore he talked about being proud of his role as MacGyver, about the reboot of MacGyver and about himself (getting older and gaining weight):
"I like having been that character. I understand they
are making another version of it...a prequel or
something, which is the only way you could go.
They have not approached my to be a part of it,
which is fine, I am not offended at all. But if they
had and they were willing to put up with my having gained about 30 pounds in the offing and growing
this (he grabs his chin like the picture on the left)...
what is this thing? Anybody else have this? Come on, fess up... There's one...there is one...there we go...
...What is that? It's age? Age, gravity, past life...
wattle...right? It's a wattle. I feel like a turkey
sometimes. Anybody coming through the line for an autograph will notice this (turns sideways and imitates signing). It's me signing, with my head down and just roles of whatever that is....So I
apologize for that. There is nothing I can do...
or there is something I can do...snip snip....Never!
(Someone says: You look fine)...What? I look fine?
Despite my wattle? And my handles? Ahhh let's
just talk about me, shall we? I've actually lost
about 26 pounds in the last year so....(people start
applauding)... Oh stop! I just embaressed myself by
saying that. I'm so sorry, I'm so vain..."
He also talked about a extremely sick kid that was a huge MacGyver fan. He talked about how he met him and kept in touch ever since. Unfortunately he passed away, but in his coffin he was wearing MacGyver clothes from head to toe. He said that had a lasting effect on him and he still remembers details of that story and that part of his life.
At the end of his Q&A he said goodbye and walked off stage, but then he came back and said something that proved what a great guy he is:
"I've had a lot of fun here, despite my only seeing the inside of my hotel
and this place. I mean usually I don't judge things so much as I observe
and take it in. But what I've observed and taken in from everybody
I've met in Belgium has been just phenomenal. Phenomennally
kind, polite...except for one guy....I'm kidding...uhm everyone.
I think the general personality of Belgians is really pure and
good and I embrace you all. And for everything, that you have been
through these last weeks and months (the terrorist attacks in
Brussels) you're stronger people than I've met in my life
I think...Thank you for bringing me into this. I'll always come back
if invited....Uhm maybe not, maybe not invited...I'll just come on my own
Thank you everybody!"
And thank you Richard Dean Anderson. You really are a great guy. It's nice to know that the man behind your childhood hero is worthy to be that hero!