Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2016 – Celebrity Panels

Thanks to the more intimate experience at FanX 2016, I was able to attend several celebrity panels. Here are some notes from these experiences. Included here are Levar Burton, Alan Tudyk, Chandler Riggs, Gillian Anderson, and Kate Beckinsale.

Levar Burton

After receiving the first three questions in panel, which were all relating to Reading Rainbow, he made a comment that the people in Salt Lake City were a lot more sophisticated than those at other conventions. About half of the questions in the 50 minute session were focused Reading Rainbow.

The TV mini-series Roots has been remade and will be released Labor Day weekend. 4 two hour parts with 4 different directors. Levar Burton, a producer of the mini-series (and star of the original series), said it was an amazing feeling to be working on the project 40 years after making the first one.

Question: Why didn’t you have more relationships on TNG?

Burton: I don’t know. I mean, I think I’m a decent looking guy. Every member of the crew had sex on that ship, except for me. Even the android.

Question: The Leah referenced in “All Good Things…”, was that Leah Brahms?

Burton: Yes.

Question: Which is better for Star Trek, TV or movies?

Burton: Yes.

Question: How do you feel about the new Star Trek movies?

Burton: JJ Abrams did an amazing thing to the franchise. On the other hand, he created a timeline where my character may no longer exist.

Alan Tudyk

Alan Tudyk announced that they were going to start work on Con Man Season 2 on March 28th, 2016. He also said there is a four part comic book coming out for Spectrum, the TV show his character Wray was a part of in Con Man. He described it as the fictional comic book series which inspired the fictional book, which inspired the fictional TV show. He said book number one is available on Free Comic Book Day on May 7th.

He also started he had just finished a pilot for a new DC TV show called Powerless, which is a comedy series about an insurance company in the DC Universe.

Question: Is there anything you can tell us about Rogue One?

Tudyk: I can’t say anything, because if I do, when I get back to my hotel room my computer will start pinging me, and then I’ll hear from Disney.

I can say this though, there is a scene where a few of us are just sitting around eating fudge. For about an hour. Half of the movie is us just sitting in a room eating fudge.

If you haven’t been to a panel with Alan Tudyk, he brings a bag of miscellaneous items with him. When someone asks a question he takes something from the bag, signs it, and gives it to the questioner. Some of the items given were:

  • Cover page to the pilot script of Powerless
  • Firefly Walsh action figure cardboard backing (the figure and plastic were missing)
  • A doily from a hotel room
  • A ticket to a Broadway play he saw recently

Chandler Riggs

You might know him as Carl from The Walking Dead.

Question: What is your favorite episode/scene [of The Walking Dead]?

Riggs: Episode 16, which doesn’t come out for another week. [Episode 16 is the season finale of Season 6].

Question: How is your relationship with Judith?

Riggs: It is hard because we’ve had something like seven sets of twins for Judith, because they keep growing up…For awhile my job on the show was just to hold Judith and try to keep her from crying.

I guess this means that Carl is allowed to age on the show, but Judith isn’t.

Gillian Anderson

Anderson was wearing a shirt with a meme joke from a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. At the end of the panel she auctioned it off with the proceeds going to Taught NOT Trafficked, a program that helps protect children in Nepal from being trafficked and forced in exploitative situations. The final bid for the shirt was $1,000.

Question: Was it ever scary on the set of the X-Files?

Anderson: No. Because on the set you see the wires and the makeup and everything and it isn’t scary. Reading about it can be scary though. I quickly learned to read the scripts during the day.

Question: What was the creepiest episode for you?

Anderson: I don’t know. The evil cat episode? Where I was attacked by an evil cat, or maybe it was a bunch of cats?

Question: Did you ever feel Scully should have started believing [in the supernatural]?

Anderson: I called up Chris [Carter] after a few years and said “Are you [expletive] kidding me? I mean, are you [expletive] kidding me?

Chris told me that without that dynamic the show wouldn’t work, so Scully had to continue being that way.

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale was mostly prompting her upcoming movie Underworld 5.

Question: I’m a dentist. I wanted to say you have very nice teeth.

Beckinsale: Thank you! I’m the only person in England to ever have their teeth come down straight.

These quotes may not be exact quotes, as I had to quickly scribble down the questions and responses. The salient details are correct.


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