By Jill Swensen
From the stage to the big screen, John Barrowman is never typecast. And after hearing him speak at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014, there’s no way you could pigeonhole a personality that big.
Fans young and old alike geeked out over Barrowman during his Saturday afternoon panel – and with good reason. His roles have covered the entire fan spectrum, as science-fiction favorite Captain Jack Harkness in “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” to comicbook character Dark Archer on “Arrow.”
Many questions focused on “Doctor Who,” a show which Barrowman said was a dream of his to be in. While at the age of 6 or 7, he would watch old episodes on PBS, which instilled in him a childhood fear of store mannequins. “I continued my love for [“Doctor Who”], not knowing that one day I would be called because they thought I’d make the perfect Captain Jack.”
When the episode aired where it was revealed that he was the Face of Boe, David Tennant and Freema Agyeman joined Barrowman at his flat in Cardiff. He stood and opened the window just before the reveal. When Tennant and Agyeman asked what he was doing, Barrowman replied, “I’m opening the window to hear the nation’s jaw drop.”
During fellow Salt Lake Comic Con guest Stephen Amell’s panel, Amell shared a story of being kicked by Barrowman with steel-toe boots during filming of ‘Arrow”. Amell asked fans to remind Barrowman of the incident by telling him that “his knee still hurts.” One fan took him up on this and Barrowman responded with his typical quick, PG-13 wit, “Well he shouldn’t have been on them that long anyway.”
When asked how he stayed so happy and positive all the time, Barrowman replied,” I just am a happy person. The reason I was put on this planet is to make people happy.” At the conclusion of the laugh-filled panel, Barrowman did something none of us expected—he sang a love song to his fans. As his trained voice crooned Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” we all realized he was fulfilling his life’s mission… Because at that moment, everyone in the room was happy.