Comic-Con 2011: 'Eureka's' Colin Ferguson (Q&A)
The star of the Syfy series recalls bumping into Bruce Boxleitner, the first time he saw the show with an audience and what's next for the people of the fictional town.
With hundreds of thousands of people attending San Diego Comic-Con every year and the July 20-24 event quickly approaching, The Hollywood Reporter chatted with the big names in television to discuss their favorite memories and tips for attending the annual event. THR’s Live Feed will talk Comic-Con with actors, writers and producers in the days leading up to the event so check back soon for interviews and the latest news on panels and screenings.
Geek Cred: Eureka
Comic-Con panel: Eureka, Friday, July 22, 3-4 p.m., Ballroom 20
The Hollywood Reporter: What was your experience like at your first Con?
Colin Ferguson: It was a monstrous moment for us as a cast. First of all, my birthday is always at Comic-Con every year; it seems to always fall on my birthday. The first time we went down, we were almost done with the first season at that point, we had been shooting it in a vacuum. We had never seen it air before. They said, “Would you introduce the night we’re going to air the pilot?” because [the show] aired the night before. I went down -- and there’s 1,000 people -- and introduced it. For the first time, I see our show and I see the audience react to the show. For the first time, I could actually go, “Oh, they get that it’s funny.” It was at Comic-Con that I could see our show work.
THR: What was that like watching with the audience?
Ferguson: It was amazing. Watching the audience, I thought we might have something. All of a sudden, all the choices that you make, there might be a chance I actually might know what I’m doing. It was validating, it was encouraging. Despite all that you hear about sci-fi fans being insane, I’ve never had anything but deferential, kind and respectful approaches. The fans have been lovely to us the whole time and that started at Comic-Con.
THR: Now the show is a Syfy veteran. What has that journey been like?
Ferguson: It’s been crazy. That first visit where the rooftop patio was a big splurge and shifting over to last year, we took over the Hard Rock Café and it was [redone as] Café Diem, which is the café in our show. We came on the heels of [Battlestar] Galactica and Stargate and those were the old horses and we were the new kid. Now, [Syfy has] Alphas coming out this year and they’re pushing Warehouse 13, so now we’re the old dogs. It might be good to wrap this thing up and pass on down the line. It’s been a great run for us and we’re incredibly grateful. Very much like going full circle.
THR: What was the best thing a fan said to you in San Diego?
Ferguson: It wasn’t a fan, it was Bruce Boxleitner. We were in an elevator together and I grew up on Bruce and he turned around and said, “I’d love to do an episode of your show. It’s a good little show.” The fact that he had seen something that I had done was a huge, huge moment. I was tongue-tied, I didn’t know what to say. That was probably the nicest thing that’s happened, when someone you’ve looked up to pays you a kind word and you realize, "I guess it is on TV." I’ll never forget it.
THR: What would your dream panel be?
Ferguson: I’d probably grab my favorite writers from TV: Aaron Sorkin, Steve Moffatt, who does Doctor Who and Sherlock.
THR: Do you have pointers for first-time Comic-Con goers?
Ferguson: Do anything you want. Run around. There’s so much going on outside of the actual Convention Center. My note to any actor going down is: Bring a mask, that way you can walk around and be able to move quickly and see a bunch of stuff.
THR: If you had to pick out a costume for Comic-Con, who would you go as?
Ferguson: I would dress up as Amanda Tapping, just because you know you’ll bump into them at some point and they’ll go, “Really? You’re dressed as me.” I would get a kick out of that.
THR: Can you reveal anything about what viewers can expect when Eureka returns?
Ferguson: We pick up in Season 4.5, right where we left off. The big mission of the year is Eureka is going to space. The trip to the moon is called the Astreus Project and things might not go as well as we hope. There are tons of guest stars this year, like Wallace Shawn, Dave Foley, Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton. If we suck, we’ve got tons of talent to carry the load.
Eureka returns for the second half of Season 4 on Monday at 8 p.m. on Syfy.