Writing about TV all day is a pretty good gig, if you can get it. My job here at OKMagazine.com managed to get even more awesome recently, when Warner Brothers Television Studio invited me and a few other writers to travel to Vancouver to visit TV sets. A whole week hanging out in the Hollywood of the Northwest?! It was incredible, and now I’m sharing my diary of the trip. Come along!
I boarded a super early flight from New York City and arrived in Vancouver at around lunch time. The Vancouver airport is decorated to look like a cozy log cabin, and right away I noticed that yes, of course, Canadians are almost criminally polite. Believe the hype!
I meet the other reporters before we head to our hotel, then it’s time to hit our first set: Arrow! My favorite visual is seeing a giant scroll of the San Francisco skyline, which is the stand-in for Starling City on the show. We met cast members Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, and Susanna Thompson, who looks precisely like Willa Holland in person. It’s uncanny! How are they not really related!
My favorite parts of the Arrow set were watching quietly while a scene was filmed, and meeting Stephen Amell, who was just the sweetest dude and let us ask him questions forever and ever. We then popped by the set of the new Fox show, Almost Human, which debuts this November. The set was amazing, all slick desks and swinging glass. The part we writers loved the most? The set designers use rotating pieces of foil to make it look like cars are whizzing past the smoked glass windows. Cool!
We hit the set Supernatural to stroll through Men of Letters bunker, then watched graphic designers work on amazing special effects. They have to be so patient to put those together—in the dark, no less. And oh yeah, we got to chat with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who were funny and nice and who we found noodling around on our laptops when we left the room. I hope they didn’t see anything incriminating here!
After Supernatural, we drove out to the set of The CW’s midseason show, The 100. It’s a great concept, about a future in which one hundred juvenile delinquents are dropped back on Earth after it’s been abandoned. It was a very dreary day in Vancouver, but the young actors were adorable (like Thomas McDonell, below) and mostly, inexplicably, Australian. I felt quite starstruck meeting Grey Anatomy‘s Isaiah Washington!
In the morning, we visited the set of the new ABC fantasy, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It was fun getting to know the cast of mostly unknown actors, and I already have a style crush on Emma Rigby, who plays the Red Queen. She was wearing an It-Girl wide-brimmed hat and amazing boots. The fashion love continued when we toured the breathtaking costume department.
After OUATW, we went to a backlot where Almost Human was filming. We got to play with the fake guns and real motorcycles, then chatted with the all-star cast. Star Minka Kelly came by to talk, even though it was her day off, and yes of course she was gorgeous in person. On-screen partners Karl Urban and Michael Ealy had a natural chemistry and checked on us frequently to make sure we weren’t too cold!
One of the biggest highlights of the trip was this night: We got to hang out while Almost Human filmed a cool stunt! Naturally, I can’t reveal too much, but it involved flying through the air and broken glass. And yes, it seemed to really hurt, even if the guy was a professional!
On Thursday, we hit up Once Upon a Time. The cast all came by for interviews with all of us bloggers, in what felt like speed dating. The actors all seemed so happy to be there, together! My fave to chat with was (sorry, adults) little Jared Gilmore, who plays Henry. He was so charming and eager! While sitting so close to the stars, I noticed that Emilie de Ravin and Ginnifer Goodwin both have tattoos related to their characters: Emilie has “belle” in script on her inner forearm, while Ginnifer has an apple tattooed on her bicep (she’s Snow White!).
Then we went to visit The CW’s The Tomorrow People. It was a cool set, with eve cooler people. Stars Robbie Amell, Peyton List, Aaron Yoo, Luke Mitchell, Madeleine Mantock, and Mark Pellegrino came by, sometimes multiple times, to talk. Oh, and guys? Their food was amazing! We had a dinner of comfort food, ribs and french fries and corn bread. It must be so hard to stay skinny as an actor!
For our final day, we stopped by the set of DirecTV’s original show Rogue, a suspenseful drama starring Thandie Newton. I loved the attention to detail on the set—we walked through Thandie’s character’s house, and her daughter’s posters were totally timely, and there were pics of the family everywhere. I didn’t get to spend too much time there, however, because it was time to head back to New York City. Bye bye, Van, as the stars kept calling it!
Have you ever been to Vancouver? Which TV set would you love to visit? Which is your favorite show on this list? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.