Ending our series of interviews from July’s London Film and Comic Co, we sat down with Jamie and Leon of Red Lion Cosplay to talk about their win at the Cosplay Championships.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on winning the LFCC Cosplay Championship! It was so well deserved.
For those who don’t know you, please introduce yourselves?
Jamie: Hi everyone! I’m Jamie and I’m one half of Red Lion Cosplay! I mostly do the painting and sewing on our builds.
Leon: My name is Leon and I’m the other half of Red Lion! My talents lie in working out how the costumes will work, and building them!
What made you decide on your costumes for the championship?
Leon: The Lion King has been my favourite film since I saw it for the first time in 1994. I think we chose Timon and Pumbaa because they really fit Jamie and I – since he’s small and twitchy and I love my grub haha!
Jamie: Timon is one of my all time favourite Disney characters and has been a dream cosplay of mine since I was a kid! The Lion King is also our favourite movie, and we loved the designs from the broadway show. We wanted to make something challenging and unique!
You have been working on these costumes for around a year, is that correct? What have you enjoyed most about the process?
Jamie: We worked on them for about 10 months altogether! The parts I enjoyed the most were definitely painting Timon’s head and the entirety of Pumbaa, because I started to see them come to life and it was so exciting!
Leon: I think what I enjoyed the most was when we did the first tests actually wearing the puppets. Seeing them move around for the first time was really great for our motivation.
I’m sure with such a complicated build there were some difficult
moments. Can you remember any in particular and how you got through them?
Leon: I nearly threw Pumbaa out the window. Twice. The main problem was that I had to build him on a mannequin and I just didn’t have enough hands at any one time. His size was a definite problem when trying to make his head because the mouth kept opening at the worst moments. Very frustrating!
Jamie: I think we made everything on Timon and Pumbaa about 3 times because Leon kept deciding that it wasn’t good enough! Watching him rip off Timon’s legs (that we thought we’d just completed) with only 3 weeks to go until LFCC was horrifying! Hahaha!
The reaction to your costumes has been very positive, are there any reactions that have been particularly memorable?
Jamie: When we were at LFCC we were stood in the same spot for about 4 hours having photos taken which was awesome! One thing I did find sweet was a little girl coming up to Timon and just giving him the biggest hug! I hugged her back with Timon’s free arm and it was so adorable!
Leon: I think the reactions from the Broadway actors have been amazing too. We even had a girl from The Lion King in London come up to us at LFCC and I think she was shocked we’d created them in a tiny one bedroom flat!
When it came to the actual competition what did you think of the whole experience, were you nervous? Did you enjoy your time with the other contestants?
Jamie: Showmasters were absolutely brilliant accommodating us (mostly Pumbaa XD) and it was actually only my second time ever on stage. I thought I’d be soooo nervous but I actually had little to no nerves at all, and had an absolute blast on stage! The other finalists were mostly so lovely and so supportive – we actually had a group chat on Instagram with about 8 of us in it, and we’d been chatting for weeks up until the con, showing each other our progress! It was really nice.
Leon: What Jamie said. I was really only nervous about physically getting up onto the stage but the Cosplay Team at Showmasters were so accommodating and we’re very grateful to them.
What are you going to spend your winnings on?
Jamie: It’s all gone into our savings as we’re heading off to Orlando for Disney World next year!
Leon: —and a romantic meal at Disneyland Paris in a few weeks!
I hear you haven’t had much of a rest period and are already back to work on more big Lion King themed builds?
Jamie: We’ve had a little rest so far so that’s been lovely! But yep, we’re going to start on Mufasa and Zazu from the broadway show for next July when we’re judging at LFCC!
Leon: Mufasa is my absolute dream build and I cannot wait to start his mask. We actually went to visit the Lion King Broadway Pop Up Shop when we were in London and got lots of great reference photos. Well worth a visit!
Congratulations again and thank you for answering our questions.
You can find Red Lion Cosplay online at Facebook and Instagram.