Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stars share their insights at Chicago Comic Con


To say that Lou Ferrigno is a nice guy is an understatement.

Ferrigno, of course, is best known for playing The Hulk in the television series "The Incredible Hulk," and was the voice of The Hulk in the movie "The Avengers."

I was able to ask Ferrigno a couple of questions as he greeted fans at this weekend's Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.

Q - What do you like about doing conventions like this?

I like the fans. I like the people. I like being with my peers. I represent The Hulk.

How was it being in "The Avengers" movie?

Fantastic. I enjoyed doing the voice because I know how The Hulk thinks and feels, so I wanted to be part of the movie.

You couldn't miss The Kingpin at Comic Con.

James Hong, whose illustrious career has included being in the movies "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Blade Runner" and more recently as the voice of Mr. Ping in the "Kung Fu Panda" series, also entertained the crowd in a Q&A session:

Standing in front of the crowd as he entered the programming hall, Hong said: "I'm looking for the John Carpenter lecture. Wrong hall, right?"

Hong wasn't always an actor, as he told the audience: "I became a civil engineer to please my parents. I designed the curbs and gutters for Los Angeles.

I found that too boring, to make two lines for the curb and one for the gutter, so I told my supervisor I was going to take a leave of absence for one year and try acting. He thought I was out of my mind, but I did it anyway, and never looked back. Now, I have approximately 500 credits to my name.

Even now, I can't quit, because they keep calling me back, like for "Kung Fu Panda."

Hong also revealed that his favorite role was playing ghost sorcerer Lo Pan in "Big Trouble in Little China," and that actor Jack Nicholson was the smartest person he ever met in Hollywood.

Both man and beast were at Comic Con.
Dean Cain, who of course played the role of Clark Kent/Superman in the TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," and Laura Vandervoort, Supergirl in the TV series "Smallville," also provided some interesting perspectives.

Cain talked a little about the new reality show he is in, "Stars Earn Stripes."

"It's an amazing show. I've never really done reality television. This shows pairs us with real life military operators, Navy Seals, Delta Force guys. They're the toughest of the tough.

We trained with them and ran missions with them. All the money we're competing for goes to our charity of choice. I played for the Wounded Warrior Project."

They also talked about the effect their iconic roles has had on their lives.

Vandervoort: "When I was cast as Supergirl, I didn't know much about her. I didn't know Supergirl existed, to be honest with you.

I know that's horrible, because now I really appreciate her and the comic books.

Just being on "Smallville" in general really got me into the public eye. Hopefully I did an alright job playing Supergirl for you.

And I wish there was more of her. I wish there was a movie, I wish she had said goodbye to Tom in the final episode.

And now I can tell my future kids that they can't lie to me, because I'm Supergirl.  

Cain: "I read for the show. I was the first person the producers actually brought in. I was very young at the time, certainly a lot younger than anybody who ever played Superman, versus Supergirl.

At the time, I was 25, I think. I went in and auditioned, and I didn't hear anything for three weeks. Normally, in an audition process, you hear something pretty quickly. I didn't hear a thing, so I figured, that's just done.

Next thing you know, I was in another round of auditions. It ended up being myself and another gentleman who's here today, Kevin Sorbo, and we all know how that one turned out, don't we.

He's a big dude, he's a real big dude, Kevin is. I don't want to get him mad. He's a great guy and we were friends and knew each other. We had clearly two different takes on the character. 

It's wonderful to play a character so icon like that. I never thought that people would be calling me Superman at the age of 46. And I had never had any problem with people calling me that either. I'm so proud of being part of this, and I always will be.

After that statement, an audience member shouted, "Because you are Superman!"

Is my hat straight?
Also providing insights into their iconic characters were Peter Mayhew, who played the beloved Chewbacca in the "Star Wars" movies and Jeremy Bulloch, who was bounty hunter Boba Fett  in the "Star Wars" movie.

On the question of whether they envisioned "Star Wars" would become the phenomenon that it has as they were making the movie:

Mayhew: The thing about it, "Star Wars" was a B movie. And B movies last maybe a year.

It's now been 35 years. You judge it for yourself.

We thought it was going to be good, but we didn't know how good it was going to be. Even George Lucas was surprised when we got the results of the opening weekend here and in Europe.

On the question of their favorite "Star Wars" movie:  

Bulloch: "The Empire Strikes Back." Actually, all of them.

Batman showing off his ride from the '60s television series.

With all the villains hanging out at Comic Con, two Iron Men along with Batman were needed to fight all the crime.

Jon Bernthal, who played Shane on the AMC television series, "The Walking Dead," took time to sign autographs during Comic Con.