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Bayshore Hotel

SHOOT: Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) & Chin Han (Frank Chen) in Fire Alarm Scene for ARROW 1×16 at Bayshore Hotel – Updated

What happened in the Westin Bayshore Hotel when the lights went out and the fire alarm flashed orange? Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) is the only Starling City 1 per-center I recognized exiting the building. She was accompanied by a mysterious Asian man [Update: Frank Chen (Chin Han from The Dark Knight) who is an old friend of the Queen family and involved Malcolm Merlyn’s nefarious The Undertaking],  So where are Malcolm and Tommy Merlyn (John Barrowman and Colin Donnell) and where is her hooded son Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell)? Are they all inside somewhere?

Arrow filmed in the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Coal Harbour for two afternoon/evenings this week and this was the only exterior scene. 150 chilled -to-the-bone background performers, dressed in evening gowns or tuxes, vacated the hotel during a simulated fire alarm in take after take on Tuesday night. Two cameras filmed the big exterior — one high on a hoist at the north end of the property and the second, a tracking camera directly in front of the lobby doors. Last night Arrow was scheduled to film in the International Suite on the west side of the hotel, with a simulated flash of light and the sound of a prop pistol. Who gets shot? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Read More »SHOOT: Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) & Chin Han (Frank Chen) in Fire Alarm Scene for ARROW 1×16 at Bayshore Hotel – Updated

SHOOT: The Merlyn Boys (John Barrowman & Colin Donnell) Film ARROW 1×16 at Bayshore Hotel

Ummm, people of Starling City. Am I the only one who noticed all those Triad guys dressed up as waiters at your big gala scene last night in the Westin Bayshore Hotel?  Merlyn father-and-son (John Barrowman and Colin Donnell) seemed oblivious to it. Speaking of those Merlyn Boys, is this the best father-and-son casting since those Bishop Boys on Fringe?

Barrowman and Donnell arrived at set together and had such fun rehearsing in their tuxes that they did an impromptu song-and-dance number together up and down the escalator in the Convention Centre. I don’t have photos so you’ll have to trust me that it looked like something out of a Fred Astaire movie. Besides their obvious resemblance, the two men share a theatre background.

In the scene below, Malcolm Merlyn, accompanied by bodyguards, is the recipient of some kind of award. His son Tommy hangs back as his father takes the stage to accept. After a brief speech, Malcolm steps off the stage into the crowd  as the room goes dark, a fire alarm starts flashing orange and the be-jeweled, be-gowned rich folk of Starling City exit the building. What happened?

Read More »SHOOT: The Merlyn Boys (John Barrowman & Colin Donnell) Film ARROW 1×16 at Bayshore Hotel

BIG READ: Bayshore Hotel Plays Host to ENDGAME’s Recluse Sleuth

Published  February 17, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

I have been mildly chastised for my lack of Canadian content in this feature. Fortunately I found the about-to-launch Canadian drama series Endgame filming its season finale last week outside the Westin Bayshore Hotel and caught a rare glimpse of Newfoundland native Shawn Doyle as the brilliant chess-master-turned-detective Arkady Balagan.

How rare? Well, Balagan is a bare-footed, Howard-Hughes-esque wreck who spends virtually the entire season holed up in his luxury Vancouver hotel wearing his bathrobe after the traumatic murder of his fiancé. He uses a rag tag group of hotel staffers and chess fans to help him solve crimes. One surely memorable who-done-it? episode features a rock star and his pet polar bear (Endgame cast an actual polar bear for the scenes, one-upping Lost’s fake one).

I can’t say anything about how or why Balagan ends up outside the hotel in the season finale except to say I noticed Shawn Doyle’s lack of footwear in this exterior scene (brrrr) and his shock of rusty blonde hair. Two days before arriving in Vancouver late last summer, the brown-haired actor reportedly decided to dye his hair for the role, rendering him unrecognizable to me as the same actor from the Canadian newsmagazine drama The Eleventh Hour and from extended parts on American shows like 24, Desperate Housewives and Big Love. Doyle also adopted a Russian accent of sorts for the brainiac sleuth.

Endgame began filming its 13-episode season late last summer and although some spotted EG production signs around town it didn’t have a big profile except among Bayshore hotel guests, who sometimes caught sight of the strangely-garbed Doyle with a film crew following. It’s not the first time an eccentric, unkempt genius has made the Bayshore his home. American millionaire Howard Hughes’s extended stay in 1972 is part of Vancouver lore, but producers didn’t make the connection when they chose the Bayshore as Balagan’s fictional Huxley Hotel.

I arrived in time last week to see Endgame filming a near-miss hit-and-run of Pippa Ventura, Read More »BIG READ: Bayshore Hotel Plays Host to ENDGAME’s Recluse Sleuth