LEVERAGE: day five

“It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Wil Wheaton,” the assistant director said.

I threw my hands up in the air and yelled into the sky: “NOOOOOOO!!!”

I sadly rode back in the van to base camp, packed up my stuff, said my goodbyes, and took my time walking through downtown back to my hotel, suddenly feeling adrift and sad.

Whenever I finish a job, I feel some degree of sadness and loss. Working on a movie or doing a play gives me months to get to know the cast and crew, and when that journey ends, and we go our separate ways, I’m often the one who’s cryin’ now.

Guesting on a series, though, is a little different: I drop in for a week, and right around the time I’ve learned everyone’s name, established some awesome running jokes, and started to feel like I’m part of the family, it’s over. It guess it should be like ripping off a bandage but it’s more like a different metaphor simile that I can’t create at the moment; feel free to create your own.

As I wandered through downtown Portland I thought about the week, and how much fun I had while I worked on the show. I thought about how much I wanted to spend more time with this cast and crew, and I couldn’t help but wonder how long it’s going to be before I get to be an actor on the set again.

I want to publicly thank John Rogers and Dean Devlin for letting me be part of their world, even if I only got to see a little bit of it. I want to thank the cast and crew for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel like I was part of their family while I was here.

I also want to thank Portland for being awesome. 99% of the people I met here were fantastic, and your city kicks ass.

A lot of people have asked when this episode will air. I don’t know, but it’s the 7th of the season, so if they run them in order, it should air 7 weeks after the season premiere on July 15, so look for it around the end of August.

63 thoughts on “LEVERAGE: day five”

  1. Im glad you had a good time while you were here, just means you’ll wanna come back. Maybe next time I see you, I’ll actually introduce myself instead of just gazing at you like you were the geeky holy grail. 😛

  2. Looking forward to seeing the episode! Not asking for any spoilers, but is there any chance that your character could become a regular or have recurring appearances on the show at some point, if the response is favorable, or does your character’s story not allow for that possibility?

  3. I’m glad you had a good time in my city :) I’ve never seen Leverage before, but I’ll check out your episodes. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to guest again on the show! I can imagine the sense of loss, it’s always hard to leave new friends, and a new, fun experience.

  4. You could spend a week exploring the pubs in Portland. Green Dragon, Produce Row, Amnesia, Widmer Brewing, Pyramid Brewing. I ask myself: why the HELL am I in Seattle?

  5. Asking where the best pub in PDX is kind of like asking a New Yorker where the best bagel is. For example, within 20 blocks (one mile) of my house there are 28 bars/pubs, 7 breweries, and 2 distilleries.
    We average 151 days of rain a year, therefore we have many places that are warm, cozy, and serving either beer or coffee (or both! Sometimes in the same glass!)
    Having said all that, I will start the fight and declare Horse Brass Pub the best pub.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience on Leverage, Wil. Keep us updated on future doings. I’m sure offers will roll in after your appearance on this show. Love your “Wil Wheaton says” comment. Laughed out loud.

  7. I apologize for the 1% who were not cool to you. PDX is known for being one the most polite cities in the U.S., so I suppose we aren’t perfect. 😉
    Glad you enjoyed Stumptown, visit us again soon!

  8. Sounds like the metaphor you’re looking for is “summer camp.” Just when it feels right, it’s over (almost like it doesn’t end UNTIL it feels right). You realize there will never be a time exactly like this in your life again, ever.

  9. I apologize for the 1% who did not treat you in a cool fashion. PDX is known as being the most polite / friendly city in the U.S., so it appears we are not perfect. 😉
    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Stumpdown, come back soon!
    *apolgize for the possible duplicate post, tried to edit and Typepad had erased comment, so had to redo*

  10. I agree with Mary Sue – the best pub in Portland is the one you’re at. They all have great beer, many brew their own on site. If you want a great stout, head out to Beaverton and the Raccoon Lodge. Their Black Snout Stout is the best I’ve ever had in my life, it’ll make you forget Guinness. 😉 All of the McMenamins are also awesome places and to me what a Pub should be like. You should come back July 23-26 and enjoy our most awesome Oregon Brewers Festival!
    Glad you enjoyed our fair city, thanks for visiting and don’t be a stranger. :)

  11. :( Over the last week, I have been rereading A LOT an old secret blogs that I wrote about the last play I was in and the many tears that were shed as we approached our final days. It was the best ensemble I had the privilege of working with. We were so in tune with each other and there was never a single fight or frustration between cast or crew over the months of rehearsals and competitions.
    I do not think there is a metaphor accurate enough to describe the pain, the joy and the sense of loss. For me it is like watching your best friend’s life coming to an end and all you have left are old pictures and videos.
    Goodnight Gladys.

  12. Just up the street (Burnside) from Powells Books is the Crystal Ballroom and the downstairs pub, Lola’s room. Good food, great beer, and be sure to ask for a tour to see the floating dance floor upstairs if you go. Fantastic old building with great history. Very stumptown.

  13. Bailey’s Taproom is probably my favorite pub downtown – twenty Pacific Northwest microbrews on rotating taps right downtown, corner of Ankeny and Broadway. And if you’re looking for good coffee, Coffeehouse Northwest is a bit up from there (Burnside and Trinity) but has a great vibe there as well.

  14. It’s incredibly hard to leave my family when I go to work on a show. In fact, the sadness I feel at the end of a shoot is very similar to the sadness I feel when I’m leaving home to go on location.

  15. was your “NOOOOOOO!!” that of a Darth Vader a la end of Episode 3, more of a Calculon type, or perhaps reminiscent of the many, many “NOOOOO!”‘s from the Wolverine Origins movie? i need to know this in order to get a clear mental image.

  16. It was more of a “guy in a warehouse in an 80s cop movie just after his buddy takes a bullet for him and dies.” Imagine a flock of pigeons scattering into the sun-lit rafters, and the image is complete.

  17. 151 days of rain? That’s not so bad…
    Wait, are we talking Chicago “blowing-mist” rain that you can’t use umbrellas to block? Or regular ol’ “rainy-day” rain? The reason I ask is that I’m really looking at moving there someday. I’m really yearning for some fresh scenery. Arkansas is great and I love it, but I’m feeling the “wanderlust”.
    To date, not a single person has ever spoken ill of Portland; it makes me wonder if there is some kind of mind-wiping parasite in the water up there…. 😉

  18. I suppose that it is of no comfort, but you put words to a feeling I have long hated about performing. My experiences have all been with stage (primarily ballet, and many other forms of dance, as well as a little acting). When working with a company, I have often felt the odd loss associated with the end of a run of shows. It is as if the show itself has become a friend, and you are saying goodbye.
    As a male dancer, I’ve done a lot of guesting for dance companies, which often means 1-5 weeks of intense work followed by a 1/2 day opportunity to say goodbye to the many new friends, running jokes, and now-familiar settings.
    It is an apt metaphor, itself, for the duality of pleasure and pain. Would the show be so precious and rewarding to us, and have such a seductive allure at the outset, if not for the knowledge that it will all end in tears?

  19. I spotted you just outside of Powell’s on Saturday, and it made my night! You clearly should have your very own show that films in Portland all of the time, which would solve some of these problems and allow that 99% of awesome Portland to run into you for a beer once a while!

  20. I suspect the sadness & loss you describe comes from the amount that you give of yourself. It’s a shift of energy. It does come back, but it takes some time to adjust. I think it’s what comes with change and why some people are reluctant to experience it, as it can be disconcerting. Everything can be going well and you can be happy and you still experience a powerful sense of loss. It’s disorienting.
    Be well.

  21. I’ve had them come visit if I’m gone for a long time (like when I did Flubber) but as a rule, no. When I’m on location, I’m there to work, and I’m usually on the set 10-12 hours a day, with 2-3 hours of homework for the next day every night after wrap. It wouldn’t be enjoyable for me or them to have them with me the whole time.
    If I were to go out of the country for 3 years like they did for LotR, though, I’m sure we’d all go, get a house, etc.

  22. Doves are more ’90s than ’80s, aren’t they? And then in the 2000s, Torchwood seems to do a pretty good buddy-cop “Noooooo!” on a regular basis. So that’s fairies and hive minds, I guess.
    But yeah, if it’s the 1980’s, it would have to be proper, scabrous, street-wise, rats-with-wings city pigeons.

  23. Downtown, Tugboat is great, small hole in the wall type that brews their own, across a small almost alley street is Baileys Tap room I’ve never been there but it’s fantastic from what I hear.
    McMinninamins are ok but kinda typical, they have a ton of restaurants so they are kind of a “chain” of the local sort.
    Kells is a nightmare but a lot of beers, it’s huge and feels like a bunch of frat boys have taken over.
    On the east side is Green Dragon (where we have out beer and blogs) is great. They have a rotating stock of beers on tap, so you never know what you’ll get on any given day, but everything i’ve had is great. Horse Brass is fantastic. It’s an english pub and now that portland is non smoking it’s got to be 100x better (haven’t been since then yet)
    East Burn on the east side is great too, and they have a great great burger.
    Stumptown is the best coffee hands down. They have a few shops downtown and they have a full on cafe in the ace hotel which is right downtown and a few blocks from powells. You should grab some beans to take home too! Hollar Mountain is good as well as hairbender, i’m partial to the italian roast as I can get it in bulk.
    (I’m a bit passionate about my beer and coffee can you tell ;), which along with sushi I wasn’t a fan of till i moved up here almost 5 years ago)

  24. Wil, I always read your blog faithfully and love it, but I’ve never commented. Today, this girl can’t help it. I can’t wait to see your episode of Leverage. In the meantime, be good to yourself! 😉

  25. WOW! I did not know you were in Flubber. I was just checking IMDB and I saw that you were also in The Last Starfighter AND The Secret of NIMH. I had no idea. Those are two of my favorite movies way-back-when. Brings back lots of memories. You just keep popping up in all sorts of places. Looking forward to seeing you in more stuff.

  26. Shoot, I’m not much of a downtown person. Bailey’s Taproom at 213 SW Broadway, probably, I rented a room from the owner’s girlfriend for a while, he knows his beer. I’m an unrepentant fan of Stumptown, even if the staff trend towards that 1% of not-terribly-nice folks, there’s one at 128 SW 3rd Ave.

  27. When a show wraps up, you said: “It guess it should be like ripping off a bandage but it’s more like a different metaphor that I can’t create at the moment; feel free to create your own.”
    Okay, here goes. It feels:
    (1) Like being the last bite of crust on the pizza that people look at and go “nah, never mind” and leave in the box (2) Like Peter Parker after he realized he should have stopped that burglar (3) Like a guy who’s been going to natural birthing classes, and at the last moment his wife is like “no, give me the drugs.” (4) like a cat lover who’s cat doesn’t like me (5) unpleasantly like being drunk (what’s so unpleasant about that? Ask a glass of water.)
    Okay, that last one wasn’t mine. But I came up with the first four! Thanks Wil, for giving us peak into your Leverage shoot!

  28. It depends on the month usually, Carl. We get some of the driving storms, but usually it’s a finer rain, no more than an inch in 24 hours. Often, it’ll rain for 20 minutes, be sunny for an hour or so, rain a bit more…
    Lessee, drawbacks for Portland– job market has sucked for the last four years that I’ve been here. There is a definite infestation of both hippies and hipsters. The town is very ghettoized, and since gentrification has hit a lot of the traditional ethnic neighborhoods, many persons of color have left for the suburbs. As a Hispanic woman I get a LOT of liberal racisim thrown my way (I’m not the walking Hispanic Heritage Google, yo). 1 in 5 Oregon children go to bed hungry, and our schools aren’t all that great.
    Everywhere has its problems, though. I think Portland’s pluses outweigh its minuses. But that’s just me.

  29. Wil, I hope you get a spot on Burn Notice next, so you can come and film in Miami. I’m not gonna claim it’s cooler than Portland, but it’s pretty cool. Wait until winter, though. Summers can be brutal.

  30. “It guess it should be like ripping off a bandage but it’s more like a different metaphor that I can’t create at the moment; feel free to create your own.”
    It’s like a girl that doesn’t return your calls after kissing you goodnight at the end of the first date.

  31. Maybe this is a little late, but here are my random recommendations for you.
    Coffee: I’m adding my vote for Stumptown Coffee Roasters, but there is another place on NW 21st that I like. It’s called Coffee Time. Chief claim to fame is their selection of floral lattes. If you go to Stumptown, walk a couple blocks north and swing by Voodoo Doughnut to get a treat to go with it.
    Pubs: Any McMenamin’s. They buy weird old buildings and convert them into awesome pubs.
    You didn’t ask for food recommendations, but I’ll give you some anyway. My favorite sushi is Sansai, on NW 21st, between Glisan and Hoyt. Their happy hour is eternal and insanely cheap. Old Town Pizza is a great place near Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and it has a sort of Prancing Pony hobbit atmosphere. For crazy awesome vegan food, try Blossoming Lotus on Davis, one block north and east from Powell’s. The best chocolate is at Sahagun on NW 16th, but they close early. Verdun on 10th is also amazing. Moonstruck is also good, and has locations scattered all over.

  32. I am only an occasional reader of your blog. But I really enjoy when you write about the sausage making part of your work (acting and/or writing). Anyway, I would never even have heard of this show had you not written about it. I rented the Season 1 DVD last weekend and sort of liked it. So, TNT should totally credit you with the promotion of Leverage! They have gotten at least one more viewer because of your blog.

  33. Agreed, Wil I’d never heard of the show until you blogged about it. I caught a couple clips and I plan on going to Blockbuster tonight with hopes that they have it on DVD. :-)
    I hope to have caught up by the time your episode shows!

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