The 2008 L Word convention held in Blackpool was very special for us. For the first time Jennifer beals attended a convention and she was joined by her co-star on the tv series Laurel Holloman. Also attending this convention were Rachel Shelley and Janina Gavankar. Opening ceremony started about an hour late but it was crazy when it did. Everybody clapped hard for Adrienne, Janina and Rachel but when Laurel came on stage people just wouldn't stop whistling and clapping, she was overwhelmed and said and she said she's really happy to be here again and especially since she's gonna get to share it with a good friend of hers this time. Last one to come on stage was Jennifer and as soon as she did, people rose from their tables and just rushed the stage, it was like an stampede and the one lonely security guy who stepped in front of the stage didn't have a chance. So the crowd surrounded the stage and kept yelling Jennifer's name and clapping and whistling and she just stood there totally overwhelmed and then eventually got a bit teary-eyed, said she's really excited to be there and that we are the best fans ever, of course the clapping followed her off the stage too.
MEET AND GREETAs you might know, many of us here were lucky enough to be able to get gold tickets and be at the Meet & Greet to meet the guests. I tried to write it down for you as best as I could to give you an idea of what it was like.
First guest to come to our table was Rachel, she looked very pretty and was very friendly, we thanked her for coming to the con again this year and she said that they’re so much fun and meeting all the fans of the show is great. We asked Rachel what is up next for her and she talked about her new movie called The Children that is released in December this year and that it is a horror movie. She said that she watched it when it was finished and was like… wow, this is actually pretty good! so she said she’s proud of it. She said that it’s not like so many of the horror movies these days where there is blood and bodyparts flying around all the time and I joked, so nothing like The Saw series then? and she laughed and said nooo, nothing like that. She said there is a little blood, of course and that it gets scarier by the end. When Rachel’s minutes at our table were up, we were all like awww! and asked her to stay a while longer and we joked and said that no one else wants to meet her anyway and Rachel just laughed.
Next was Jennifer… I think that we were the 3rd table that she came to and she sat next to me, I cannot tell you how amazing meeting Jennifer was, she is so beautiful and elegant and just such a soft-spoken and eloquent lady and when she talks to you, she gives you her full attention so it feels like you’re the only two people in the world.
To start with, we asked her how her flight was and she said it was okay, she read a bit and slept most of the way. We asked her how she decided to finally do a convention appearance and if it was a bit frightening at the opening ceremony when all of the crowd just rushed the stage when she appeared and cheered endlessly. She said that she was first asked to appear at an L Word convention about a year ago and she finally decided to make an appearance out of a sense of nostalgia. It is the last season of the show and she wanted to take the chance to meet some of the fans and show them her appreciation for all their support through these years. She said that she was at first apprehensive about the convention because there are so many people and she is a shy person by nature but Laurel and the other cast members had told her that there is no reason to be frightened because she would be among friends and said that meeting the fans in smaller groups, like this meet & greet is really nice and also easier for her.
About being frightened during the opening ceremony, she said that she was more overwhelmed. The audience sees one person on the stage but she looked out into the hall and there were hundreds and hundreds of people looking back at her and it was just so overwhelming. And then she joked a bit that maybe the reason she wasn’t frightened was because she is short-sighted and wasn’t wearing her glasses so she couldn’t see that clearly.
Also she said that Ilene is gonna pitch an L Word movie idea to CBS sometime in the near future so if people could write to Amy Baer at CBS and say how much they would like an L Word movie, that'd be great. About the spin-off, thus far she hasn't been offered a guest role or anything in it so can't say if Bette will make an appearance.
*On a side note, we have already started a petition for the movie, you can sign it here: Petition for an Lword movie*
And then, as you ladies might know, we had some gifts for Jennifer. We pulled out the book first and said that we are from tibette.com and this is a book we made for her that contains personal messages from fans all over the world for her and Laurel. And Jennifer got this big smile on her face and said OMG, you are the tibetters from tibette.com! you are freaking awesome! She said that her and Laurel get teased by other cast members all the time that they have the loudest and most loyal fans ever and when the other cast members are approached somewhere by fans they often get asked about Bette and Tina, instead of the characters they play. We handed her the book and when Jennifer saw how many messages there were in the book, she kind of got this quiet glow about her and her eyes shined when she quietly thanked us and said that this is amazing, just amazing .And then we also gave her this cutest cuddly little teddy bear wearing a pink hoodie that had Jennifer, Honorary Tibetter written at the front and tibette.com at the back. She really laughed when she saw it and said oooooh, this is sooo cute! And thanked us once again. And then it was time for her to move to the next table…Next guest at our table was Janina and I gotta tell you ladies, I thought that Papi had been fun and cute but Janina is just gorgeous and so full of life and energy, it felt like a ball of fire had sat down at our table.
She told us to ask anything we want and she was asked about "circles".. And Janina laughed and pulled a little notebook one of us had over and said okay, this is how it goes… and made a little sketch of circles on the paper to demonstrate the “technique”, it was hilarious. And she signed it with something like Papi’s circles and autographed it.
We asked Janina about her new projects and she said that she has a 2 episode arc coming up in Grey’s Anatomy but that she can’t really talk about that more before it airs but that it had been a lot of fun to do. She also said that she’s in one of the upcoming episodes of NCIS and I asked her if that’s the series with Mark Harmon and she was like yes! he is so amazing, I can’t even begin to tell you! Everybody on the set just loves him
I also asked her about her part in one of the recent episodes of Stargate Atlantis and if her character - sergeant Dusty Mehra was gonna be in any of the new episodes because it was the coolest episode of the new season so far. She giggled and said, it was cool, wasn’t it? And said that it had been so much fun hanging out with some of the cast, like Joe Flanigan and also working with Christina Cox. She said that there were plans of her character coming back in a later episode but the writers had already over-written the new season and then the show got canceled I hadn’t known that so I was like, really? that is so sad and she said yeah it is and that she’s a huge sci-fi fan. I told her that I am too and she was like, yeah!!! and bumped knuckles with me Janina was really cool and when I went in to have my photo taken with her the next morning she remembered me, cause she was like, hey you! and gave me a big hug before our picture was taken. So I gotta say I have a bit of a crush going on Janina after the convention.
She also talked a bit about what it was like doing the "Ms. Dewey" project for Windows Live Search
The funniest part about our time with Janina at the meet&greet was though that she noticed the tibette t-shirts that some of us were wearing and was like… ohhhhh, you guys are tibetters! and we told her that we are from tibette.com and she said she’s been to the site! She says she likes visiting the forums sometimes, they are really fun .
And then after a long wait we got Laurel at our table, she is so beautiful and friendly and gracious. We had discussed what we were gonna ask Laurel when she came to our table so I got to go first I told her that there was something I had always wondered, if Tina Kennard and Laurel Holloman ever met, what would they talk about? And Laurel got this delighted look in her eyes and said wow - I think that’s one of the best questions I’ve ever been asked! I’m sure I blushed pretty badly at that Laurel thought a bit and then said… they would talk about family… and kids … and about men because Tina has been there and Laurel resides there (she kinda giggled a bit here )… they would talk about Hollywood and politics… and about real life and politics… and they would really talk about the movie business because they are both in it.
We asked her about her hair, if that was her natural colour, she said it was brown. Of course we asked her about tibette but she couldn't really say anything, but she did say that season 6 for tibette is positive.
Then we asked her what did she do after the convention in Paris, if she went back home or stayed in Europe, she said that her and her husband Paul after the convention in Paris they went to Barcelona to admire the sights and different architectural landmarks. She told us that Paul is an architect so it was really interesting for him..
We asked her about the auction at the Paris convention and if there was gonna be similar “interesting” items available to bid on here (referring to Tina’s bra ) and she laughed and said that no, nothing like that but that they do have an auction planned for us on Sunday and there are different items available but that we would have to wait and see what they are.
We also thanked Laurel for taking part of these conventions and that we always love having her and she smiled and said that she loves doing them and meeting all the fans and that it’s such a rewarding experience for her
Then as our time with Laurel was coming to an end, we got out the book and showed it to Laurel and told her the same thing as to Jennifer that it’s a book tibette.com made for her that contains personal messages from fans all over the world for her and Jennifer. Laurel seemed really overwhelmed by it, she took the book and started thumbing through it and when she got to the first illustration, she laughed delightedly and said that this is awesome so we showed her all of the illustrations from the book and said that they’re made by someone (bubblymoo) from tibette.com. Laurel said wow, these are amazing and that the person who did them is obviously very talented and we said, yes she really is. We also gave her the little tibette teddy bear, the hoodie had Laurel Honorary Tibetter written on the front and she really got a kick out of it. When she left our table, she didn’t hand the bag with the book and teddy over to her assistant but carried them out of the room herself.
JENNIFER AND LAUREL Q&A's
They came on stage together and got the huge round of applause and whistles and cries of I love you Jennifer! I love you Laurel! as was to be expected. I’m writing down the questions & answers in the order that I remember them
Question: Bette & Tina 30 years from now.
Laurel said that hopefully they’re still together. Jennifer said yeah and that maybe they had another kid and they have two places, one in Paris for fun and another in Mexico somewhere where Bette can do some art.
Then they were asked to do an orgasm from The Vagina Monologues and there is no way to describe that, maybe except through my own experience listening and watching them do it – I got hot flashes, it was incredible Laurel yelled god damn! on the end of hers and Jennifer did the African-American one where she yelled oh shit! on the end of hers
Question: What was it that your husbands did that made you realize they are the one?
Jennifer said that he didn’t have to do anything, it was just the way he was. Laurel said that it’s what her husband does every day.
Question: The loss of Dana, their thoughts and feelings.
Laurel said that ever since Dana died she felt like there was a piece missing. Dana had been such a huge part of the series since the very first episode and to quote Kate Moennig, it just sucked
Jennifer said that she had a scene with Kit in season 3 when they were talking about Dana and she had just been to her trailer and breastfed her baby so she was full of oxytoxin (one of the hormones that breastfeeding releases) and got very emotional during the scene and Pam did her trademark - girrrrrl! It was a very tough scene for Jennifer to do.
Question: About Barack Obama getting elected, Jennifer’s reaction and thoughts
Jennifer said she cried and was very happy. She is expecting changes in a lot of things, and I quote:"They have huge stables to clean out and it’s not the time to rest on their laurels". Pun intended I think and Laurel laughed.
Jennifer was asked about the different charities and foundations that she’s involved in, she talked about the gay pride in SF and she said that it had been an incredible experience and not at all like the media is trying to portray it, like something where weird people go and dress and act provocatively. But her experience was very different, she was surprised how many families there were and parents with kids and it was something that she was very proud to have been a part of.
She also talked about the Matthew Shepard Foundation and how she got involved with it through a fundraiser that she was invited to be a part of. She talked about meeting Judy Shepard whom she has only the highest respect for and about the exclusion of GLBT issues from the laws and norms of our society as a form of discrimination. She was also asked about the blog project that she did with Tobias Wolff and what she thinks of some of the possible changes to be implemented by the new administration. Jennifer said that there were so many mistakes done by the Bush administration and one of the things that she believes will be implemented is the repelling of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as only a legal union between a man and a woman). She talked about the power of the people and the people’s will because the administration is there to carry out the will of the people, not the other way around. She stressed the power of the LGBT community, it unites people from allover the world, of both genders and all ages and how we should take advantage of that power and use it to empower us to help bring forth changes everywhere.
Jennifer is an incredibly eloquent and passionate speaker and this report doesn’t even hope to do justice to the incredible emotion and power of her words.
Question: About the basketball scene in season 4, how much was improvised?
They said that pretty much all of it was scripted and choreographed but some of the shots at the basket were improvised. It was a lot of fun shooting that scene.
Question: Jodie’s art-show, Bette’s feelings during watching the video installment.
Jennifer said that Bette was embarrassed and humiliated by it.
Question: Bette’s relationship with Jodie, a deaf person vs. Bette’s relationship with Tina, a hearing person.
Jennifer said that it’s difficult to answer this but that it’s not really about deafness but more about the kind of person Jodie was. But yes, their problems did also stem somewhat from Bette’s limited ability to carry out conversations with her in sign language and that it was probably very frustrating to Bette at times not to be able to express her thoughts and feelings more freely to Jodie. Sometimes Jodie just couldn’t hear what Bette was saying… and then Jennifer said that of course there were moments where Tina probably wished she couldn’t hear what Bette was saying And throwing Tina into the mix made the situation even more complicated. And Laurel was like, I didn’t do anything! You grabbed my wrist and kissed me, remember! And Jennifer replied that Bette was only reading Tina’s mind
Question: The Shebar kiss scene, how much was scripted, how much was improvised?
Jennifer said that the crying wasn’t scripted, it was just something that happened when they were filming the scene. Originally the scene was supposed to be more about sex, physical attraction that they just couldn’t deny anymore. But when they started filming it, then it became clear to both of them that it was about something much, much deeper than just sex, there were a lot of emotions and memories just bubbling to the surface and it was really just about Bette realizing how deeply she missed Tina.
So in the middle of that scene when Jennifer/Bette started sobbing, Laurel said that she just went with the moment and so Tina comforted Bette, Tina was the strong one there. That moment was really the beginning of equality between Bette and Tina as individuals.
For Laurel that scene was just an incredible high, she said that it’s something you strive for as an actress, when you get so into the character and scene that it all just comes naturally to you without much conscious thought and she just felt an incredible rush acting opposite Jennifer in that scene, who gave her so much to work with and she just took her cue from Jennifer when Bette started sobbing and went along with it. It was a very emotional scene to do.
They both also talked about the dysfunctions in Bette and Tina’s relationship and how they had begged Ilene to give them a scene where they could really process some of their issues. After seasons 3 and 4 Jennifer and Laurel were both really glad to see Bette and Tina becoming friends, Laurel said especially when Tina helped Bette with her relationship with Jodie, it was very selfless. And then Jennifer added that of course Bette then just followed that up with engaging in another affair Jennifer said that she just wished that Bette would have ended her relationship with Jodie first before starting another one with Tina.
They were both really happy when they got the script with the elevator scene, there was finally going to be a real discussion between Bette and Tina. Laurel said that she was really glad that Tina got to apologize for some of the things that she had done and that she just utterly loved Bette’s line - it feels like I’m coming home.
Question: The toughest scene that you have done on The L Word.
Both said season 1 finale, The Scene after Tina gets betrayed seeing Bette touching hands with the carpenter. The way Laurel said – the carpenter – came out so disgustedly, it was really funny and the audience was of course booing They talked about how Tony Goldwyn filmed that scene without any breaks and they just had to do a 7-8 minute long really deeply emotional scene that was utterly draining and then you didn’t get to take a break but had to go again right away. And Laurel said that the part of the scene where Tina flips Bette over on the bed was so difficult because Jennifer is so incredibly strong and she tried and tried and just couldn’t do it. So finally she just asked Jennifer – please let me flip you over! And Jennifer was like, oh! So that’s real effort you see in that scene
Question: A girl from Ireland asked Jennifer about her Irish roots.
Jennifer said that she does indeed have some Irish roots and even has relatives in Dublin. But she's never been to Ireland
Question: Jennifer, what is the coolest item you stole from the set?
Jennifer said that she didn’t steal anything, when she wanted something she just asked politely and of course more often than not was told no! Jennifer did say that she bought the bike that she rode on during The Pink Ride and that it’s a very cool bike.
Question: Jennifer was asked about the fucking dwarf scene in season 2.
Jennifer said that she had so much fun doing that scene, one of the greatest things about acting is that you get to do some really cool stuff you never would in real life Jennifer said that because she has brothers, she has no problem fighting a man. The guy who played the dwarf was really awesome and really went with the scene and Bette was just rockin’ it and living out all her frustrations on the poor guy. Jennifer said that sometimes she wishes that she could keep Bette in her back pocket during arguments cause she’s great at them
Question: How Jennifer prepared for the role of Bette?
Jennifer said that the first couple of seasons she prepared really fastidiously but that as time went on it got so much easier to just become Bette and she didn’t have to prepare so much anymore. She talked about the scene in season 1 when Bette comes home after finding out that Tina had miscarried and there are some Provocations protestors on their front lawn. When she read over the scene, the extra playing the female protestor was supposed to start moving away when Bette came out of the house and asked them to leave but when they were shooting it and Jennifer / Bette asked them to leave, the woman didn’t move! Jennifer said that she didn’t know if somebody had just forgotten to tell the extra that she was supposed to move back but she went with it and projected Bette’s feelings and emotions at that moment and started physically pushing the woman to get the hell off her lawn. The scene came out great but later she really apologized to the woman for pushing her and apology accepted of course
Question: About filming the sex scenes, how much is scripted and the chemistry between Laurel and Jennifer
Jennifer and Laurel both talked about the physical part of the scenes which are always choreographed pretty much down to the very last detail but on an emotional level, it’s almost never just about sex, a sex scene. There is always a deeper layer, often it’s about hurt or revenge, vulnerability or domination, passion and loss and you have to figure it out for yourself before shooting it to find the best way to project those emotions through physical acts.
They said that the chemistry isn’t really about anything they do on a conscious level themselves, that it’s almost like a third separate entity that just exists between them. They just give 100% to all their scenes and it turns out the way it turns out. Laurel said that the first time she sensed the good connection her and Jennifer have was after filming the pilot scene that came after they had kicked the guy out of the threesome and they were in the camera truck and the director asked oh, do you wanna see it and they were like sure It was a really good scene.
Question: What does Laurel admire most about Tina and Jennifer most about Bette?
Laurel said that she likes that Tina has a lot of patience and kind of a sense of grace about her. She talked about how Tina has changed over the seasons and has become a stronger person both in her personal and professional life and that she really likes that.
Jennifer said that she admires Bette’s tenacity and her loyalty to her friends. Sometimes she also really likes the righteous part of Bette and said that season 6 Bette is the best of all, she laughs a lot more
Question: When you got the part were you aware of the impact the show would eventually have?
Jennifer said that she really had no idea about the impact when she was first approached by Showtime. She talked to both Ilene Chaiken and Rose Troche and all she saw was a great, very complex character, it’s always about the character to Jennifer, she didn’t really think about it being a gay character. But season by season she of course became more and more aware of it.
Then Laurel started talking about how she went to audition for Tina’s part and at first they asked her to try out for the part of Shane. She was like whoa! but did her best, injected a little Randy Dean into it but felt that she wasn’t cool at all. And then she tried out for Tina but said that it had been a very awkward audition because she didn’t have a real sense at that point yet who Tina was supposed to be, she was written originally as this more aggressive, kind of a political character.
Then she was asked to come in again for a kind of a coaching meeting with Rose Troche where she had to act out this really weird scene about this couple, both who’s names are Bettina and how they shorten the names to Bette and Tina cause it‘s easier (it was something about showing how many couples there are out there who both have the same first name) and Laurel thought wow! they must think I’m really lousy but Rose Troche told her that are you kidding, they love you for this part or they wouldn’t be doing this and told Laurel to just be herself. So after that Laurel went in for an audition with Ilene and all the bigwigs of Showtime sitting in and had a really great audition.
So a bit later she was called up and told that they have this final thing for Laurel to try out before they decide about the part, Laurel would have to meet her on-screen partner so they could see how they look together and interact… and of course that turned out to be Jennifer Beals.
Jennifer told us about how she was filming a movie at the time and she was called up about a try-out meeting with a couple of possible Tinas. So they arranged for the actresses to come to JB’s movie set and meet with her at her trailer. Jennifer said that when the first actress arrived, she warned her before going into the trailer that she has her dogs with her and that they’re big and can be scary-looking but just to stay calm and then the dogs will be calm too and everything will be fine. But when they entered the trailer the actress saw the dogs and got frightened and screamed so Jennifer had to lock the dogs in another part of the trailer to keep them calm. And the actress kept mumbling smth like… why do we have to do this, this is so stupid, so stupid!
Jennifer said that she did her best to help the actress out because she could see that it was difficult for her and someday she might be in a similar situation and would like the other person to really give her a chance too. But it really wasn’t going too well, like at one point the actress asked what university Jennifer went to and she answered – Yale. And the actress answered kinda snootily (Jennifer did a really funny voice imitation here )… oh, I went to Harvard! I studied psychology. And Jennifer thought to herself… well, obviously you didn’t learn very much
Laurel said that she had been so nervous before going to meet Jennifer and she had her husband drive her down to the movie set and he told her you’ll do great! So she got to Jennifer’s trailer who also told her about the dogs before going in and she stayed calm and the dogs stayed calm so obviously she passed the dog test and then they just started talking, Laurel had recently gotten married so they talked about their weddings and stuff that goes on in a person’s life around that time and it just felt comfortable talking to each other and not awkward at all. Their conversation was recorded so that Ilene & Co could watch afterwards how they interacted. So Jennifer said that afterwards when she had talked to the producers she said (pointing towards Laurel here) – that’s my vote!
Jennifer said though that it’s not really fair to be hard on this other actress because she had obviously been very nervous and probably just wasn’t really sure what to do with herself. Laurel said that the other actress had later told her that she is glad that she didn’t get the part cause she wouldn’t have been comfortable with all that nudity. Laurel just got a really cute, kinda smug smile on her face and said – well here I am 6 years later! Enough said!
Question: How was the last day of filming, was there something you did together as a cast when you finished filming?
They both said that they had all finished filming at different times and that Laurel finished earlier than Jennifer and yeah, that they had a kind of a wrap party, well not really a party but everybody just got drunk and stuff was just starting to sink in. And at this point of the Q&A you could see that talking about all of this had really brought back a lot of memories for both Jennifer and Laurel and then Jennifer teared up and said that it is really just now sinking in for her that it’s over and that it feels like a good-bye and she turned to Laurel and said that Laurel is absolutely fearless in acting and that she ultimately makes everyone playing opposite her better and Laurel said that’s how she feels about Jennifer.
Then Jennifer really started crying and said that she couldn’t have wished for a better partner and up until now she didn't really had the chance to just say thank you. And you could see Laurel’s face crumbling here and then Jennifer got up and Laurel got up and they just hugged each other really, really tight and Jennifer kinda hid her face in Laurel’s neck and Laurel kissed the side of her head and they comforted each other.
That was the end of Saturday’s Q&A and as you can imagine there was a standing ovation by this time in the hall and it was just incredibly intense and emotional to witness that scene on stage. Jennifer and Laurel were both amazing in sharing so much of their emotions with us and I just feel incredibly lucky having been there.
All three appeared on stage and got a huge applause of course. Rachel was wearing this very cute pink cowboy hat with little feathers surrounding the rim of it and KISS ME QUICK written on the front, she looked adorable. She took a few quick steps and sat next to Jennifer before Laurel got to the seats and looked very pleased with herself for getting to sit between tibette
After they had all sat down, Jennifer started up with “Rachel owes you an orgasm” referring to yesterday's Q&A. And Rachel delivered which was funnnnyyyy
Question: Describe Leisha with one word and how is it working with her?
Laurel said that it’s very difficult to describe Leisha with just one word but would have to say that she’s a true renaissance woman. She can do absolutely anything, she’s an amazing actress, singer, you can give her a 10 page monologue and she’ll deliver it perfectly an hour later. She is also the queen of improvisation and an incredible comedic talent.
Jennifer added that she’s also a decent carpenter… a carpenter!
Laurel said that she had seen Leisha before in “All Over Me” and thought she was just amazing. Then Laurel went in to audition for the part of Tina, saw Leisha in the bathroom and thought – oh god, don’t be auditioning for Tina or I’m fucked!
Question: Somebody asked why didn’t the smoke alarm go off during the stir fry sex scene cause Bette had left all the food cooking and what happened to all the food?
Jennifer said that the pot and pan probably had to be thrown out afterwards and that the alarm did go off but for a totally different reason
Question: How much could the actresses influence the storylines?
Jennifer said that Ilene has always had a very open door policy and also a pretty clear vision where she wants the storyline to go but the dialogue was often altered in different ways when somebody improvised a line during a scene that they just felt would work better in that moment. During 6 years they all got to know their characters very well.
Laurel added a little tidbit about sex scenes that you could always tell when Ilene was very happy with one cause she would walk in the door with this huge smile on her face And say – beautiful work!
Question: What was Bette thinking/feeling during the throw-down scene with Jodie in season 5?
Jennifer said that Bette was feeling… ashamed, for what she was doing behind Jodie’s back… afraid… confused… and angry at Jodie – why couldn’t you be the person I needed you to be to get over this other person in my life? A very emotionally complex scene.
Question: Would you consider doing another series?
Jennifer said yes, why not, if it’s a really good character and the series would be something that she believed in, because she couldn’t dedicate herself to something for like 6 years if she didn’t believe in it. And added that it would be kinda hard though cause she is a bit spoiled now after the wonderful crew that she got to work with on The L Word.
They all talked more about being spoiled for having done a series on cable, about all the feature directors they had doing the episodes so that every episode felt like a mini movie vs doing a movie where sometimes a director comes in, takes the script and kinda traffic cuts their way through it. They talked about the different layers of a relationship, the freedom to explore all the different aspects and stages of it while doing a series vs a movie when you just do a few intimate scenes with another actor / actress and have to develop a kind of a background story for the couple and the storyline in your head and just really think it through for yourself in order to give the part your best.
Question: We never saw Bette and Tina grieve for the loss of their son, did they? Sometimes it felt like he was just forgotten.
Jennifer said that no, he was not forgotten and that Bette & Tina probably did grieve for him in private and always will. And Laurel added that the birth of a new baby probably helped to start healing some of the wounds and for the sake of all of them they had to do their best to try and move on.
Question: Jennifer was asked if Bette ever saw the other sculpture that Jodie was working on before going all vengeful and presenting the video installment instead?
Jennifer was soooo cute here trying to make sense of what she was being asked and said that we ladies notice and remember all the details a lot better than her, then Laurel and Rachel tried to make sense of it too and got to the season 5 artist dinner at Jodie’s and the sculpture Jodie showed to the others on the roof while B&T were having their moment in the kitchen. Then Jennifer was like yeah! that sculpture and Rachel said that it was the video installment. Jennifer was like, noooo, Bette didn’t see the video installment until the Hammer Museum event and Rachel was like noooo, it was a different kind of video installment, like a tribute to Bette that Jodie eventually changed into a kind of mockery of Bette after she found out about Bette and Tina. And Jennifer was again like, noooo, why would that video installment be up on the roof? Rachel was like I don’t know! That’s just how I understood it And then Laurel turned to the audience and said – and that’s why a relationship between these two would never work! making everybody crack up It was really funny
Question: If all of you would have the opportunity to work together again, would you and what kinda project would you like it to be?
The scene that followed this question on stage was so funny Jennifer said that she would love to do some kind of a cowgirl movie and I think that she also made a reference to Brokeback Mountain, only with ladies and then Rachel looked at her and asked her if she would like to wear the hat and placed it on Jennifer’s head. Jennifer looked soo cute with it and kept arranging it on top of her amazing hair then Rachel said that she would love to make something else but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was but somebody from the audience yelled Charlie’s Angels! (I was still staring at JB with the cute hat ) and then Rachel said yeah, that was fun! and JB said… yeah, for you… I would be Charlie! which would mean we’d never see her, only hear her voice
Then Laurel said that she would have to stick with her partner (JB ) cause she would also love to do a cowgirl movie. And said that both her and Jennifer can ride a horse but what would british lady Rachel do in the cowgirl movie she doesn’t know and then Rachel said I’ll ride a donkkkeeyyyy! and started making these hopping riding movements which was totally hysterical and cracked Jennifer up sooo hard, she just guffawed
Question: A girl from Korea asked Jennifer about her TLW promo trip to Japan and if she’d ever do one in Korea
Jennifer talked about how Japan is a traditionally pre-homophobic country and that she saw maybe 2 gay bars in Tokyo but the whole trip was a great experience for her. And though little of the community can be seen on the surface, the dvd-sales in Japan went through the roof after her trip. And if opportunity ever rose she would love to do another promo trip, for example, to Korea.
Then here Jennifer passed the cowboy hat on to Laurel for wearing who put it on and looked like the hottest cowgirl ever, especially in those jeans and then Laurel said that she had thought about wearing her chaps for this Q&A but Rachel had talked her out of it and Rachel said, yeah, I told her that no one would want to see Laurel wearing her chaps which I thought was a reference to Jenny’s – no! no one would ever want to see Nina having sex! in season 5 eppie 2 Laurel was like oh… I thought it would’ve looked cool but then she adjusted the hat on her head and said that she feels like enough of a cowgirl anyway and feels like doing this – brought her sexy jean-clad legs up in the air in front of Rachel and clicked her heels together and then once more on the other side
Question: a girl talked about how we have dreamed of a tibette wedding and if it will happen in season 5?
Jennifer mimicked locking her lips and throwing the key over her shoulder and Laurel pulled the cowboy hat over her eyes. Audience cracked up, they of course couldn’t say anything but said to take it up with Ilene… and mentioned the possibilities if we got a TLW movie, who knows.
Question: A lady got up and apologized if the next question is boring to Laurel and Rachel, it is only for Jennifer and asked Jennifer about her training for the triathlons and what motivates her?
This was hilarious again because as soon as the lady said that the question is only for Jennifer, Rachel put her head on Laurel’s shoulder and Laurel hers on top of Rachel’s head and mimicked sleeping. then the audience cracked up again and Laurel and Rachel “woke” up and started playing patty-cake and Jennifer was just helplessly laughing along with us looking at them and commented that these two should have their own comedy show
Jennifer then talked about her training, she said that starting up, for her, it was simply a matter of train or perish. About programs, she said there are many great ones available on the net and you just gotta keep at it, but once you get into the groove, it can also be very addicting in addition to being fun and there is the danger of over-training. She said that the best motivation for her is linking the triathlon with charity so that when the alarm goes off at 05:30 or some ungodly hour and the bed looks so warm and cozy, she gets up with the thought that – it’s not about me, it’s about somebody else
The next question was veeeery difficult to understand, English was not the first language for the girl but to begin with she started… Jennifer and Rachel, I love you both… but I have to say, Laurel, I absolutely adore you. Laurel’s face at this moment was amazing, I think she blushed a bit and got this really shy, adorable look on her face and said thank you in an emotional tone of voice. Jennifer and Rachel were just looking at Laurel with these lovely smiles on their faces, it was a really nice moment. Then the girl went on to talk about her and her girlfriend and like I said it was not easy to understand for the guests or the audience but basically from what I understood, they had been together for years and she is gay and the girlfriend is bi and the girl was just trying to say thank you to Laurel for doing an awesome job with the season 3 and 4 going back to men storyline because it helped her to understand her partner better in terms of choosing to be with her when she could have had the easier, accepted lifestyle with a male partner and other issues she has to deal with. Laurel said thank you to the girl because it had been a complex storyline but now she can understand better that it really was important to explore it on the show.
Question: Somebody asked Jennifer one of the infamous WHY’s – why cheat with Candace?
Jennifer was like hmm… the carpenter… but before she could say anything Rachel piped in with this questioning look on her face – cause she was hot??? which was hilarious cause it cracked Jennifer and Laurel up and in turn the audience and if I remember correctly, we didn’t get a better answer, we were all just laughing
Question: A question about the John Lennon & Yoko Ono famous photo pose scene from season 5 finale when Tina is comforting Bette on the bed after the Hammer museum event, Tina’s body language is really rigid and her right hand is caressing Bette’s hair but her lift is in a fist, it looks like she is really angry, was she?
Laurel was wooh, you ladies really do notice everything! She says that she thinks that Tina was not so much angry as feeling guilty at that moment, guilty because of the way things happened. And said that sometimes when doing a scene, you move around or are positioned in some really awkward ways for the scene to work and the director just goes –freeze! and you lock your body and try to hold it because the director assures you that it will look amazing on screen. Laurel mimicked freezing here which was really funny and said that she doesn’t remember making a fist in that scene but maybe she was holding on to the bed sheet or something to balance her body.
Question: Tina’s background, will we see more in season 6?
Laurel said that yes, it will be discussed but can’t really say anything more. But she did confirm that there is an adoption storyline.
Question: A girl asked a cool question, she said to imagine a parallel universe where they are all gay, who would they marry? And joked that they can’t say her cause in that parallel universe she would be totally not gay
Laurel said that she would marry Tina Fey and Jennifer said Kelly Lynch, whom she would make dress up as Ivan from time to time. Rachel said that she’s totally crushing on Beyonce right now, it’s like she can’t escape her, everywhere she goes, she sees her
Question: A girl asked Laurel that we know from a previous con that she has kissed Angelina Jolie and who did she like kissing better, her or Jennifer Beals?
Audience cheered and whistled here of course and they all were kinda looking around smiling on the stage and then Laurel asked in a sexy low voice, well what do you think? and the fan is like, I know what I think but I wanna know what you think! Laurel just smiled for a moment and then said, well what do you think? Jennifer Beals! And then added, how was that even a question? Insert huge clapping and cheers and wolf whistles from the audience here
Question: Somebody expressed sadness over the show ending and I think that the question was something like if there is any way to save it?
They said that there is no way of saving the show but mentioned the movie again which is a very real possibility.
Question: To all the ladies, how did The L Word change your lives?
This was the most emotional moment of Sunday, Jennifer answered first. Right away you could see that this was a deeply personal question for her, she talked a bit about how she hadn’t been political at all before The L Word and teared up when she said that all of her life she has identified as “other” and becoming involved with The L Word and getting to know this community of people, she felt an instant connection to us for we are also often categorized as “other”. She tried not to start crying and made a joke about forgetting her tissues this time so Laurel very graciously took this pinkish tablecloth off the small table next to her and handed it to Jennifer who dabbed her eyes with it. It was such a cute and also sad moment so one of the girls from the audience walked up to the stage holding up a little tissue packet in her hand and Jennifer stood up, walked to the front of the stage and took it
But then Jennifer really choked up when she said that not a very long time ago her own existence would have been considered illegal… (here I think she was talking about the racial segregation in the US and the legal banning of interracial marriages which wasn’t fully lifted in the US until the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia in 1967…1967!!! I urge you ladies to read a bit about this historical civil rights case to better understand why Jennifer felt so emotional here and drew parallels to the gay community’s struggle for equal rights). Rachel and Laurel were both looking very emotional too watching and listening to Jennifer and the cowboy hat which had made it’s way back to Rachel by that time was then handed to Jennifer again who put it on her head and used it like an emotional balancer cause she said that the hat is so cheery. She said that talking about this here with us is like the cheapest form of therapy for her and also hearing the many wonderful, personal stories that so many of the people have shared with her here and altogether during her time on the show…here she started to tear up again thinking about it and took a couple deep breaths and then tried to concentrate on the hat. She touched the little feathers around the rim of it and said with this half-forced cheerfulness – feathers! I feel so gay! That helped relieve the intenseness of the moment and many people in the audience who had teared up right along with Jennifer, laughed. And then to finish up, Jennifer said that of course there were other things that The L Word taught her – like for instance, dental dams! She didn’t know what those were before and she was just thinking, how do they do that? It was really funny
Rachel also talked about how the show had changed her, she had also become more political thanks to it and become aware of so many issues that she hadn’t given much thought to before.
Then it was Laurel’s turn and I think that listening to Jennifer so freely and honestly sharing her deepest emotions with us made her emotional as well and made her want to open up more on a personal level too. She started by sharing with us some of what her life had been like before The L Word, she used the word transient describing it because she had moved so many times before the show, all sorts of places in the US, New York, Chicago, doing some small-budget movie in Timbuktu. She said that she hadn’t been in a relationship for years before she met her husband Paul and had been living this kind of fleeting life, not putting down roots anywhere. And then she got the part of Tina and right after the pilot she got her very first house and many of the things happening to her paralleled Tina’s life, like wanting to start a family which coincided totally. And then half-joked that with the new adoption storyline on the 6th season and Laurel’s adoption of a baby girl a while ago, Rose Troche had sworn to her that they weren’t stealing ideas from Laurel’s life for the show.
Laurel also talked about how the show has given her emotional security in so many ways and she has met so many people from the community over the years and at the conventions and I think that all the memories hit her here thinking about it and her voice started to tremble and she teared up too and took a break from talking and Jennifer just wordlessly took the hat off her head and handed it over to Laurel who put it on her head. It was adorable.
Laurel then went on saying that she doesn’t deal well with things ending in her life and good-byes altogether, she made a reference to her parents divorce and said that she just has a tendency to close herself and her emotions off and act like it’s not a big deal. But The L Word was a huge part of her life for 6 years and it really has changed her in so many ways .
This was the end of Sunday’s Q&A and they went on with the auction from there.
Janina came to join them on stage. She said that she’s gonna be our auctioneer and asked the lovely Rachel Shelley to be her assistant. Jennifer told us that they have a few different items, among which are some photographs of the cast taken by Jennifer herself, Mia’s amazing book I Live Here and Bette’s basketball shirt from season 4. First Jennifer held up a gorgeous picture of Kate Moennig taken by Jennifer herself on the set, said this is the first item and off it went! Onwards from there I was continuously laughing but I’ll do the best I can to give you a feel of what it was like and hope I remember most of it correctly Janina was just AMAZING, talking a mile a minute like a pro who’s been an auctioneer for decades, you know like – 100.- pounds ladies, do I hear 100.- pounds, yes! lady in the back row is holding up her arm, we have 100.- pounds, do I hear 150.-, 150.- anyone, for this amazing picture of Kate Moennig, I see a hand, 200.- pounds! ladies, we 200.- pounds, now we’re getting somewhere, 250.- anyone… And she kept this up the entire auction, at some point even the cast behind her on the stage was doubled over in laughter and then Rachel started doing her assistant’s job and took the picture and lifted it up over her head and walked around from one end of the stage to the other with it also like a true pro and the crowd went nuts, cause she was wearing this really short-sleeved gray t-shirt and looked so sexy parading around the stage.
The bidding for Kate’s picture continued and the bidding for the picture went up to 700.- pounds and there were these 2 girls left trying to outbid each other so Jennifer offered a compromise, she had 2 of the same picture so the ladies both got one for 700.- pounds
I think that there was another of Kate’s pictures also auctioned and it was one of her wearing only her bra and it went for 1000.- pounds!
Then there was a black and white photo of Mia taken in her trailer on the set by Jennifer right after Mia had had to cut her hair in season 2… it was a truly amazing picture, Mia looked soo lovely on it, such deep sad eyes… Jennifer is an amazing photographer. Also with the picture came a copy of Mia’s book “I Live Here” which I cannot advertise enough, it is just amazing. So the same process repeated itself and in the end there were also 2 ladies left bidding for it and it was a tie at £950, when a compromise was made for both of them again and 2 pictures and books went for £1900
By this time Jennifer and Laurel had both really gotten into the auctioning spirit too and when the picture of Kate in her bra was up for auction, Jennifer walked up to Laurel from behind and put her arms around her while still holding the picture up and they swayed a little and bent over backwards together, just goofing around. Audience went insane of course and they both helped Rachel parade the pictures around the stage, making sexy poses
Next up was Bette’s basketball jersey, for which Jennifer kindly took her jacket off (while the ladies gathered around her) and put it on to model it for us… Also with the shirt came Jennifer’s script from one L Word episod's where she had made personal hand-written notes on, among them her daughter’s sleeping schedule at the time, which she said was just insane .Sean Harry was kind enough to throw in a free L6 ticket! So when Janina started up the bidding, right away a lady from the audience just stood up and yelled – 3000.- pounds! You could hear a pin drop in the hall and then mad cheers of course and the ladies on stage were absolutely overwhelmed of course. But there turned out to be another bidder for it and so the price went up to 3600.- pounds in the end and the lady who made the original 3000.- pound bid, got it.
Last item was another black and white photo of Jennifer and Jennifer said that there is only one copy of this picture so if I see it being sold on the internet somewhere, I’ll know who it is! The picture was a self-portrait that Jennifer had taken of herself one morning after she had had a swim and was feeling kinda sassy. She took it in her trailer standing in front of the mirror standing sideways but like she said, there’s a certain tan-line that is very visible on the photo… And it was, just OMG .
Jennifer jokingly said: "where else will you have Jennifer Beals half naked in your room? and Laurel said: "Look at these back muscles, they're incredible and I know cause I'm familiar with them!"
Also during the bidding process for the picture, at one point Laurel came up behind Jennifer and put her arms around her and started singing a little song while the two of them swayed sexily for long seconds .. but because Janina was also taking bids at the same time, all I managed to hear was something like… "This is Bette Porter, she is my girlfriend… she has great abs..and she is half naked...."it was sooo cute and both of them had such big smiles on their faces. There was a storm of bidding and the picture went for an astounding £2550! And I gotta say that I’ve never wished to be filthy rich more than at that moment.
The ladies all held hands and took a bow to the audience and got the longest standing ovation our auctioneer magnifique, Janina, got a huge applause for a great job. Laurel put her arm around Janina and said that she's going to have a huge career and it all started right here! The auction brought in an astounding £10.450 and it is all going to Jennifer charity - Matthew Shepard's Foundation and Mia's and Kate's charities.
At the beginning there was the raffle ticket prize to be handed out and the prize was Bette’s Team Dana t-shirt from the Pink ride in season 5 which the ladies had autographed. Sean Harry called Jennifer up on stage first and she picked the winning raffle ticket. There were thousands of raffle tickets sold that weekend and it all also went to charity.
Next Sean called the rest of the guests up on stage and made beautiful individual introductions to them. First up we got Janina and she just got a thunderous applause that made her tear up. When she managed to collect herself and she said that when she was asked to come to the convention she had thought that if there is really a point because she was only on the show for one season and there’s main cast members in attendance, among them tibette, no less! And she said that the warm reception she got during the whole weekend has been so overwhelming for her because she feels just like a regular girl, one of us. Janina was very sweet and even more overwhelmed when her lovely mama also got a standing ovation from the crowd. She thanked us from the bottom of her heart and sat back down next to Jennifer who gave her a little hug in comfort.
Next up was English Rose Rachel, who as during previous conventions, got a standing ovation and applause and while she thanked us, she said that it has been such an intense weekend, everybody has been so lovely and that while she isn’t really one for crying, she can’t help getting teary-eyed right now! Which she did and then she turned to look at Jennifer and said – I blame you Beals! Everybody laughed, it was very funny but then she said that it doesn’t matter because she is crying in front of 1500 of her closest friends Rachel thanked us all for a wonderful weekend.
Then it was Laurel’s turn and Sean made a lovely introduction to her, saying how this all couldn’t have been possible without her and the continuing success of these conventions and all the amazing guests we keep getting is pretty much all thanks to Laurel who attended the very first one and told the rest of the cast what an amazing experience it is and urged them all to join in. So when Laurel stood up, she got such a long standing ovation from the audience and also from the ladies sitting behind her on stage that she got teary-eyed and actually had to signal us so that she could say a few words. Laurel talked a bit about how amazing attending all these conventions have been for her and this year she said that in the beginning she felt a bit like an old shoe, cause she has attended so many before and everybody already has pictures with her and her autograph but people queued up like every year and she had a wonderful time. Some people from the audience yelled – we love you Laurel! and she smiled with this loveliest expression on her face. She thanked us all and said that these conventions are very empowering for her, they are just amazing.
And last was Jennifer who got the same never-ending standing ovation as Laurel and people made a thunderous noise stomping their feet on the floor and fists on the table. She also had to signal us so that she could say a few words. Jennifer talked about the power of the incredible community we have all created and said that she hopes that we keep it going even though the series is ending because it is just amazing. She also urged us to be more political because politics is personal and affects every single one of us. What really hit me was when Jennifer said that this weekend has been one of the most amazing experiences of her life and she is so glad that she came and so very proud to be our honorary lesbian I think that she got tears in her eyes at that point and so to end with a lighter note, Jennifer also said to remember that politics is a lot like sex - if you want something, you have to ask for it, if they’re not doing it right you’ve got to speak up and show them and if you still don’t get what you want, then there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself! You can just imagine the audience’s reaction to that and the cast on the stage was also laughing.
Then the whole cast made their own standing ovation complete with applause and bows to us and then L5 was over
Report written by Crissu. All pictures by jennifer-beals.com (tibette.com)