Comic-Con 2011: 'Terra Nova's' Stephen Lang (Q&A)
The "Avatar" co-star is "confident" Fox's delayed sci-fi series will deliver and appeal to fans young and old.
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: Avatar
Upcoming: Fox’s Terra Nova, Lionsgate’s Conan the Barbarian
Comic-Con panel: Terra Nova, Saturday, July 22 11 a.m., Ballroom 20
THR: What’s one thing that stands out from your first Comic-Con?
Lang: The first one I went to was with Avatar and I didn’t know a whole lot about it and I knew that Jim Cameron put a lot of importance on it. He felt it was really a good place to go and view what we were doing, give them the first look. He thought it would make everybody very excited. Comic-Con was our very first Avatar panel: we had Jim, Jon Landau, Sigourney Weaver, myself, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. I had just finished Men Who Stare at Goats with Jeff Bridges. We didn’t have a lot of contact during the film but for some reason I ran into him there when he was there for Tron and we got to rub elbows down there.
THR: Tips for a good panel?
Lang: Be honest, direct and loud. It’s helpful to be funny, if you can. These folks are so passionate; they’re like sports fans can be about their team.
THR: What panel would you stand in line all day for?
Lang: I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
THR: Who would be on your dream panel?
Lang: Stanley Kubrick, Jim Cameron, Peter Jackson, Harlan Ellison, H.G.Wells and Jules Verne.
THR: What questions do you recommend fans not ask during panels?
Lang: Sometimes the really off-the-wall questions can provoke an interesting response. You don’t want to get personal. Don’t say, “You really suck in the movie, man.” Be polite.
THR: Any pointers for Comic-Con first-timers?
Lang: Get down to the floor. Sometimes, when you’re on the panels, you get insulated from it. Really wacky stuff is going on down on the floor. But if you’re really famous I’d suggest you go incognito. Perhaps dress up as Boba Fett.
THR: Best restaurants, bars?
Lang: The old Ulysses Grant hotel is a very distinguished place.
THR: What TV show would you reboot?
Lang: My favorite show from the ’60s was Combat. And maybe The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
THR: With the delays with Terra Nova, do you feel additional pressure to deliver?
Lang: I feel confident and in it. I have no particular worries; I have curiosity. You learn from fans’ response. I think it’s all about the balance: high-tech, low-tech, dinosaurs, human drama that goes on, trying to get that recipe. Everything in the right proportion is something you can anticipate. It’s a very ambitious series. We’re looking at a large demographic, which is a very interesting thing to do, to look at family viewing again. We’re trying to do it in a way that appeals to young and old, to the sophisticated and to those who are just looking to get entertained.