Comic-Con 2011: 'True Blood's' Ryan Kwanten (Q&A)
The actor recalls splintering off from his cast and exploring the convention floor before a search party had to be sent out to find him.
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: True Blood, Red Hill, The Knights of Badassdom
Comic-Con panel: True Blood, Friday, July 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Ballroom 20; The Knights of Badassdom, Saturday, July 23, 2:15-3:15 p.m., Hall H
THR: What do you remember about your first Comic-Con?
Kwanten: It was before True Blood premiered and came at the end of filming Season 1 and we had yet to showcase the first episode. We heard that because of Charlaine Harris’ books that there were a fair amount of fans there. We were in Hall H and we packed it without any coverage at all. There were large expectations on us and we were pleasantly received. Thank God because they tend to be a good gauge of what’s cool and what’s not.
THR: What’s your favorite Comic-Con memory?
Kwanten: I was supposed to be tailing security with the True Blood cast and I don’t know how, but I lost track of him and I wandered out onto the convention floor by myself. I had more fun wandering around and seeing all the things I could possibly buy than being upstairs in the green room waiting to go out. They had to send out a search party to find me because I wasn’t exactly willing to go back on my own; I was having too much fun out there. It was really a visceral out-of-body experience.
THR: If you were to dress up for Comic-Con, what would your costume be?
Kwanten: I’ve definitely entertained that thought. I could do it for Griff, which is one of the films I’ve got down there. But it’d have to be something that involved a lot of effort.
THR: What panel would you stand in line all day to see?
Kwanten: Anything with Steven Spielberg, Jim Henson, John Carpenter, Wes Craven.
THR: Who would be on your dream panel?
Kwanten: Jon Favreau, Harrison Ford, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and Alan Ball.
THR: What questions would you recommend fans not ask during panels?
Kwanten: Spoilers: The more people try the more I sound like a politician.
THR: What tips do you have for Comic-Con first-timers?
Kwanten: Get there early, absorb it and lose sleep. Get as much sleep as you can before you go and come with wide eyes and leave with them even wider.
THR: Are Jason’s days as a cop over on True Blood?
Kwanten: He needs the skills that he used to become a cop and try and get out of that icebox and get out of that hellhole he’s found himself in. I’m going to say no but the harder answer is how he actually does it.
THR: What’s the latest with your Charles Manson film?
Kwanten: That has been put on the back burner, at least for the time being. That won’t be done on my hiatus this break. I start shooting another film, The 20-Something Survival Guide, next month in Australia. I play Jonah, a young guy who was living the party life but gets told at the end of Act I that he’s contracted testicular cancer. It’s discovered in a very unique way. His doc has given him two weeks to procure a baby, because he now desperately wants a baby. So he’s forced to call up all his ex-girlfriends to try and procure a baby from them. There’s lots of fun to be had.