Comic-Con 2012: 6 All-Stars Talk Knife-Wielding Fans, Mortifying Auditions and How Their Shows Should End
This story first appeared in the July 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
Move over, Peter Jackson. Television has eclipsed film as the dominant lure to Comic-Con every July. So The Hollywood Reporter gathered these six actors -- David Boreanaz, 43 (FBI special agent on Fox's Bones); Stephen Amell, 31 (superhero on The CW's Arrow); Joshua Jackson, 34 (FBI consultant on Fox's Fringe); Ginnifer Goodwin, 34 (Snow White on ABC's Once Upon a Time); Jennifer Carpenter, 32 (chief detective on Showtime's Dexter) and Lucy Liu, 43 (Watson on CBS' modern-day Sherlock Holmes drama, Elementary) -- at Milk Studios in Los Angeles to open up about traumatic fan interactions, mortifying auditions and the way they would like to see their TV series end.
The Hollywood Reporter: Stephen is the only Comic-Con rookie in this group. Any advice for him?
Joshua Jackson: Breathe.
David Boreanaz: Just don't laugh at Wonder Woman. It's a guy.
Lucy Liu: It's a guy?
Jackson: Do you have any personal space issues? … It's the most engaged audience you're ever going to come across in your life, truly.
Jennifer Carpenter: Educated, too.
Jackson: On Fringe I experienced this. They digest these shows and live them in a way that I've never come across before. I mean, all sorts of awkward-looking babies get made that weekend.
Ginnifer Goodwin: With capes.
Stephen Amell: With Arrow, we have the comic book audience but we also have archery enthusiasts, and they are equally …
Amell: Yes. Don't have bad form! They all hate Orlando Bloom [Legolas in The Lord of the Rings]. They're all really mad at him. They call bad archery "Legolasing."
Goodwin: My advice would be, especially because your show has not yet come out, take two hours and walk around the convention center. Walk around amongst the fans and don't take a security guard -- they'll tell you that you must have a bodyguard but that's what draws attention.
Carpenter: You could wear a mask, too.
Boreanaz: Be Darth Vader.
Jackson: If I see a buff Green Arrow walking around Comic-Con, I'm going to know it's you.
Amell: Actually, the suit jacket is just a leather jacket, should I just wear that?
Liu: There's no fashion faux pas there.
Boreanaz: Except for the guy who's dressed like Wonder Woman.
Amell: I read comic books growing up, and the cool thing for me is that my sister's getting married in Mexico. She's spending a couple extra days there, and then she and her husband, who is the biggest comic book fan that I know, are starting their honeymoon at Comic-Con with me. He's never been.
THR: What's the strangest fan interaction that you've had, Comic-Con or elsewhere?
Carpenter: We shoot in Long Beach, so a lot of the same people come out all the time and get braver and braver. It hasn't happened to me but it's happened to Michael [C. Hall], where people will come up and say, "Will you act like you're stabbing me?" and they'll pull out a kitchen knife or they'll pull out chain saws and hammers and crazy things. That's wild. People ask me to cuss at them a lot.
Boreanaz: I get socks because Booth wears crazy socks.
Jackson: I'll take socks over kitchen knives.
Boreanaz: Some of them want to give me their own socks, which is a little strange. Coming from a cult show and a cult environment [on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spinoff Angel], I've gotten, "Can you bite me?" I remember being at Comic-Con in 1999 when it first started getting big. It was a small venue, and it was bizarre to see all these interesting fans who come out and really support you, but there were some that were just a little too into it. I think you just take them for what they are -- and kind of just keep a safe distance. I've always been afraid someone's going to attack you, you know, like jump through the crowd.
Jackson: Nobody wants to be the guy who gets stabbed at Comic-Con.
Amell: Has it happened yet?
Jackson: Actually, there was a guy in our panel. Somebody stabbed somebody with a Bic pen.
Liu: Are you kidding me?
Jackson: People sit for hours and hours waiting on these seats -- they basically squat. They'll sit through four or five panels that they don't want to watch just to get to the one that they do, and in our hall somebody got stabbed with a Bic. I don't know if it was because they were waiting on Fringe or something after us, but they're like, "You can't go out now, there's been an incident." They had to drag him out and shut the hall down. So don't be that guy.
Carpenter: Someone sent two knives to my house. How they got my address I don't know, but there were two really big knives from a sailor. I wrote him a letter that said, "Thanks for your service but I'm not going to sign the knives."
Liu: I've had some interesting incidents where people have requested physical violence against them by me. A lot of times at interviews they'll ask me to spank them, and it's on camera. And I've had some people say that they named their child after me.
Boreanaz: I've gotten tattoos. They come up and their forearms or their whole back is me.