Denver ComicCon 2016, Day 2
That’s right, it’s me! Dalton! And I’m back to ramble about some of the headliner panels from this year’s 2nd day of the con!
I had the pleasure of sneaking into the panels for Katee Sackhoff, Karl Urban and Stan Lee. And I’ve got some of the most intriguing, inciteful, and entertaining tid-bits from their respective spotlights.
Sackhoff was a fantastic presence on stage. Her personable and relatable approach to the Q&A was refreshing in the age of conventions that is oft filled with large egos, and sometimes actors unable or unwilling to hide their displeasure for the swathe of positive reinforcement they get from fans. Sackhoff’s humility to her acting career was a highlight for me. She connected with her audience, empowering them by showing her own flaws and her conquering spirit.
In one golden moment, Sackhoff described a scene on Battlestar Galactica in which she just felt she was failing at delivering her lines, moving erratically in the scene. The director, overly blunt as they often are, agreed with her diagnosis of her delivery. He stuck her to one spot on the set and rolled camera again. Sackhoff immediately felt a difference in her performance. It was at this point she admitted that the scene took place in Season 5. At which point she exclaimed that she is proof you don’t have to know what you are doing to be successful!
She also spoke heavily on the matters of keeping her figure. She scoffed at the actresses that say they are “all natural” and “don’t require any upkeep” to maintain their beauty. Sackhoff, on the other hand, said she works hard to maintain her body. She works out regularly and eats well, and admitted to it being harder every year to maintain her looks. They were words worthy of a cheer, which she rightfully received, showing her humility, but also encouraging those with self image issues that it isn’t “some are pretty, some aren’t”, but rather that it takes hard work and perseverance, even for actors and actresses.
Urban had a charisma on stage that rivaled that of Alan Tudyk. His sense of humor and delivery to the audience was entertaining to say the least. There is always something personable about a celebrity walking out for a Q&A by themselves. Urban took the stage solo, which shows a confidence to handle any situation or question with ease, but also that he didn’t need a liaison to connect with the audience.
Urban was asked which characters he has done that were the most impactful. He responded with Eomer from Lord of the Rings, because it helped launch his career, and Bones from the Star Trek films because of his continued relationships he has gained through that. He would later mention after questioning that one of his favorite people to work with was Viggo Mortensen from LOTR. He emphasized their friendship, and that Viggo was one of the most caring people he has ever known.
Urban was asked if there were any roles he didn’t get that he wished he had. He joked that he really wanted this certain role in RED, but he lost out to Helen Mirren. Upon further thought, Urban admitted he would’ve liked to do Mad Max, but he felt that Theron stole the show anyways. He also said that he was in preliminary auditions as the new James Bond, but had scheduling conflicts that kept him from finishing his tests. He did say, however, that Craig is fantastic in the role.
When asked on how he felt about working with Benedict Cumberbatch on Star Trek: Into Darkness, Urban said he was a great fellow, though they didn’t have much time on set together. When prodded further about Cumberbatch’s other works, Urban admitted to having never seen Sherlock, referring to it as a “tragesty”, his own clever combination of tragedy and travesty. It made for a decent laugh all-around.
The immortal Stan Lee was of course the buzz of the con. Lee easily stacked the house full, even making a joke at the end of his Q&A that he thought he saw an empty seat in the back, “I shouldn’t be here if there’s an empty seat!” he joked. The lovable father of Marvel has an ego that matches his fanbase, but his demeanor and humor dilutes any sense of pompous aura about him. The man’s wit and personality appear to be that of a younger man, as he is living proof that comics are a powerful anti-aging agent.
When asked who is favorite superhero is, Lee responded, “Spider-Man”, or more accurately, “Spidey”. He then quipped that many of the original heroes had nicknames, like Iron Man’s was “Shellhead.” He then proceeded to weave a tale about how Spider-Man came to be: After the success of the Fantastic Four, his publisher demanded more ideas from Lee. Lee then came up with Spider-Man and pitched the concept to the publisher, who responded with disdain for the idea. Lee decided to publish Spidey in the dying Amazing Tales comic line and put him on the cover. That month, Amazing Tales sold more copies than any other title! The next day, the publisher approached Lee and said, “Remember that character you came up with that we both liked?…” And that’s how Spidey came to be.
Lee is truly proud of his creation of the X-Men, saying that the heroes stand for, “in a subtle way, no one is bad just because they are different.”
Lee’s favorite villain is Dr. Doom. He said his reasoning is because Doom isn’t a real villain/criminal, because all he wants to do is rule the world. Lee reasoned that if you approach a cop and say, “I want to rule the world,” the officer isn’t going to arrest you, so what Doom wants isn’t really a crime!
Lee was asked how he came up with Iron Man and the story was almost as interesting and enjoyable as Spidey’s. Lee said he was “drunk with power” off the success of his other titles and wanted to prove that he could create a hero with qualities detestable to the teenagers of the time and they would still like him. And it’s pretty impressive, because we all did!
Lee’s most memorable quote is, “With great power comes great responsibility.” His favorite movie that he has been in was probably Mallrats, partly because he had an actual role in it. When asked who the most human Avenger is, Lee responded with Tony Stark. When asked who is inspirations were for his various heroes, Lee said that none of them were inspired by anyone, except perhaps the ego and verbose Reed Richards was somewhat based on Lee himself!
When Deadpool was brought up, Lee said the funniest line he has heard in a superhero movie was from Deadpool, “[I’ve got 11 bullets left. You’ll have to share!]”
The man delivered his Q&A like a grandfather talking to his children about his life. Despite his humorously apparent ego, Lee connected with the audience with his passion for comics and the community that sustains it. He closed out with a tease that he will have a new superhero coming out next year in the vein of the original heroes, named The Annihilator. And of course, the lovable old man closed out with his signature line…EXCELSIOR!!!
He promised to come back next year, and here’s to hoping he does!