A lot of fans have had great experiences meeting Richard at the various conventions he’s attended over the years. In 2014 I got my chance when he made his first-ever appearance in New Zealand at the Auckland Armageddon convention and we set up an interview with him.
Here’s how the day went:
Sitting in the hotel lobby I was met by Paul Brown (RDA’s media representative) and the Armageddon Expo Media Coordinator. After a brief chat, we all boarded the elevator and headed up to where the interview was being done.
As we exited the elevator and headed down the corridor RDA suddenly appeared out of a side door holding an empty cup of coffee, walked ahead of us, and said hello as he swiped the door open with his security card and held it open for us all to walk through. It was at that moment that my first surreal moment hit me – MacGyver had just swipe-accessed a door and was holding it open for me! It was almost like watching an episode from the inside.
As he continued into the room he joked to one of the hotel staff while gesturing with the empty coffee cup, “I told you I’d bring it back.” All the while my surreal moment continues as I can’t quite wrap my head around having MacGyver standing in front of me.
From there I was taken into where we would do the interview. I spent a few minutes chatting to Paul about various things, including Sea Shepard and some plans for upcoming MacGyver auctions, then he went out to get RDA while I got myself set up.
After a couple of more minutes, I heard the door open and that unmistakable voice say “Where is he?” I looked up in time to see Richard walk around the corner holding a new cup of coffee with Paul in tow.
I begin to stand up as he approached but he motioned with his free hand and said “no stay seated.”
A quick introduction from Paul “Peter, Richard – Richard, Peter.” we shook hands and he plonked himself down into the soft leather 2 seater sofa sitting at a right angle to the one I was on. And there I was sitting 1 meter away from MacGyver and it felt normal, like he was an old friend that had popped around for a chat, yet at the same time I’M CHATTING WITH MACGYVER!!
We start off with me stammering along yabbering about how big of a fan I was and then somehow moved on to family matters and suddenly we’re sharing stories about being parents and kids dating; at which point I released the camera wasn’t turned on (I used a digital camera to sound record). I point out that the camera’s not on to which comes the joking response “Why not??”
I turn the camera on and set the record going and RDA leans in to look at the camera, “What model’s that?” he asks.
“ummmm…. it’s a Canon… something?” I respond hesitantly, adding “It’s my son’s.”
“Oh” replies RDA as he picks it up to look for the model number (I tell my son later in the day that his camera now has special powers because MacGyver has fiddled with it), “1100 D” he confirms and then mentions that there are 2 models of the 1100 series.
“He’s into photography,” I think to myself.
So then I start with my first question and the interview flows along with a combination of predetermined and off-the-cuff questions in a very relaxed chatty manner. So relaxed in fact that RDA ended up stretched on the sofa looking like he was ready to nod off. He commented that his back was playing up and apologized for moving around. I wasn’t about to complain. I’m sitting chatting to Richard Dean Anderson about MacGyver and he seems happy to do so – You can move around as much as you need to sir!
Before I knew it Paul was back giving me the 5-minute warning to start wrapping things up and it was at this stage that I realized I’d been drawn into having a conversation with him instead of interviewing him and many of the questions I had on my list remained unanswered. RDA had been giving such great involved responses to the few questions I had asked that our half-hour was nearly gone.
A couple of more questions and Paul gives us the “time to wrap it up guys”
One final question about what drew him to become involved with the Sea Sheppard Society and we’re done.
RDA comments with a laugh that another 5 minutes of laying there and he would have dozed off.
In all honesty, it felt like we could have sat chatting away about all kinds of things for hours. He seems to have a great talent for just connecting with people in a completely authentic and down-to-earth way. But alas my time was up and Richard was now sitting upright and fully awake again.
I ask him if he would mind doing a photo with my sign, to which he was more than happy to oblige – a slight hic-up with the camera and finally, the photo is taken.
“Check it!” he says as he comes around behind me and leans in over my shoulder to check the photo for himself. “Nicely done,” he says with a pat on my back.
A quick handshake to both RDA and Paul and they leave. And I’m left with an awesome memory of the day I had coffee with MacGyver!
Feel free to tell us about your experiences meeting RDA in the comments section below.
We met him at the LFCC,in 2017,we could only go on Sunday,we are from Spain,on Saturday we work,when we leave we get ready and went to the airport,the flight was delayed,when we got to London we missed the train we had to take,no another was passing,(a kind gentleman helped us to reach our destination) and to top it all it started pouring down,(all the clothes in the suitcases got wet) that night we could sleep only 3 hours,it was an odyssey,but it was worth it,when we saw Richard was one of the happiest moments of our life.
He said that he liked our cosplays and in the photo we hugged him as much as we could and then he joked with changing his pose for the second one. In the autographs although they said he did not personalize the photos,he wrote us something else and although we know he did it with everyone it meant a lot to us, we told him it was a dream to meet him, and it was
Wow, what an adventure. Glad it all worked out and thanks for sharing it with us.
I met him in 2019 at comicon Wales, UK.
Now i feel more lucky because since it was pre covid era i got to hug him, and told him how i grew up in the middle east watching Mcgyver and my whole family is his fan. Also i had got a shirt printed with Mcgyver logo and caption saying “Your mind is the ultimate weapon”, RDA was very surprised and asked where i got the short from? and i told him I got this printed for this day.
In the end i thanked him for making our childhood wonderful to which he replied “My pleasure”. That pic with him always stay infront of me in my home office room.
Excellent story. I think he continues to be surprised by the MacGyver fandom – in a good way.