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Comic-Con 2007 Goodness… by Damien
August 2, 2007, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Blog, Cast, Comic-Con, General, Links, NBC, News, Rumours, Season 2

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I wanted to make it out to Comic-Con this year but didn’t get the chance so I shall post what Spoiler TV got via their live bloggers and sources around the web just make the jump.

The session, which was moderated by writer and co-executive producer Jeph Loeb, featured clips from the upcoming season, cast members bravely struggling against a malfunctioning sound system, and even a cameo by Danny Bonaduce.

Cast members in attendance included: Jack Coleman (H.R.G./Mr. Bennett), wearing an “I’m just a paper salesman” shirt); Noah Gray-Cabey (Micah); Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman), who wore a a “Milo is my Hero” shirt; Ali Larter (Niki/Jessica); James Kyson Lee (Ando); Masi Oka (Hiro), who had a “Hayden is my Hero” shirt from last year, Hayden Panettiere (Claire); Adrian Pasdar (Nathan); Zachary Quinto (Sylar), who was just announced as young Spock in the new Star Trek film; Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder Suresh), and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter).

Loeb introduced “surprise guest” Dania Ramieriez, who will play a Spanish-speaking character from the Dominican Republic named Maya in the new season.

Series creator Tim Kring and artist Tim Sale, who does the paintings for the show, were also in attendance. Kring credited the fans’ strong reaction to the pilot screened at last year’s SDCC as a major factor in the Heroes becoming a breakout hit.
“We came here with really nothing to show except this 72-minute pilot we had, and not much else,” Kring said. “We didn’t have any fans, we didn’t have any critical acclaim….you did exactly what we asked you, which was go out and spread the word.”

The fans were praised often throughout the panel. Kring said that the entire cast’s appearance was a way to “thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts.”
After announcing the winners of nbc.com’s graphic novel and music video contests and mentioning a forthcoming Heroes video game from UBSoft, Loeb then began the Q&A session of the panel.
Highlights:

• After a fan told Greg Grunburg that “me and my wife love your character,” Grunberg replied, “Yes, I swing.” When the fan gave Grunberg a gift from his wife, Grunburg (in a repeat of Ventimigila’s gesture from last year’s panel), literally gave the fan the shirt off his back….though he had another one on underneath.

• Kring explained to a fan that the repeated use of cockroaches in the background was meant to be symbolic of the evolutionary themes of the show.
• When the cast was asked about their fondest memories of the first season,Ramamurthy quipped that, “My fondest memory is just being alive at the end of it.” Pasdar quipped that he thought they were signing up for a show called Heroes, but they wound up on Survivor.

• Jack Coleman’s favorite moment was “episode 11, when I went from guest star to series regular.” Loeb again credited the fans for this, saying, “You told us you wanted more, H.R.G, you got more H.R.G.”

• Kring’s favorite moment was the first time the pilot screened at SDCC last year, which was the first time he had seen a cut of the pilot in anything other than an editing bay. “I actually stood in the corner watching the audience watch the show, and got to see everybody’s reaction to it, and that was the fondest moment for me,” Kring said.

• Loeb gave credit to the show’s writing and directorial staff, who were also in attendance. They received a standing ovation from the crowd, and were further given credit by Kring. Loeb then showed Alex Ross and Jim Lee’s covers to the forthcoming Heroes graphic novel collections from DC/Wildstorm.

• The sound system during the panel constantly malfunctioned, including giving off loud, continuous feedback. Masi Oka actually snuck under the table to check on the sound system. “You see, they’re not just heroes on television,” Loeb quipped. The system was later fixed, to loud applause from the audience.

• While the cast was discussing what they liked best about working on the show, Grunberg commented, “Can I just say, being this close to Sendhil – he’s gorgeous!” Ramamurthy, who had been the subject of many adoring catcalls throughout the panel, took the opportunity to plant a big kiss on Grunberg. Noah Gay-Cabey subsequently commented that it was pretty cool “to get to hang out with these weirdos.”continued…

• Origins was then discussed. It will use separate writers and directors from the regular show, to avoid further taxing the existing staff. Smith was introduced, to the surprise and delight of the cast.

• Smith said he was contacted by Kring, and joked that he told him, “I would love to write and direct an episode about the two gay heroes…you know, the Japanese dudes. They’re gay, right?!” He later commented, “If you can do autopsy on a cheerleader, you can show a couple of heroes making out.”

• Smith said that he felt doing the episode was going to be “a lot of fun,” but that he didn’t want to be “the guy who ruined Heroes,” and joked about not wanting to see negative Internet comments after the show aired. He praised the show for “mastering the art of the cliffhanger,” and that he and his wife had watched the episodes in a marathon after downloading them from iTunes.

• Loeb said that Origins would run at the end of April as six consecutive episodes. It was clarified that the show was a stand-alone anthology series in the Heroes universe, and was not a way of mining new characters for the main show.

• What would the cast like to see the characters do with their powers in futureepisodes? Ventimiglia quipped, “I’ll tell you – I’d like to live.” Panettiere said that, “instead of someone killing me, I’d like to kill someone else.”

• Grunburg told Kring, “I’ve got J.J. (Abrams’) phone number for Origins if you need it.”

• What do actors bring from personal lives that they put into the show? Coleman: “Besides the impaired vision? Just being a father of a young daughter.” Oka offered a long answer in Japanese, which Pasdar mock-translated as, “Masi Oka likes to go commando.”

• Kring discussed the combination of fantasy and reality in the show: “We try to create a world that was grounded in reality as much as possible….even the superpowers aspect of the show is grounded in evolutionary theory. People need to be able to relate to the show as though this could actually happen.”

• Actor/reality TV…personality Danny Bonaduce showed up to ask if the actors “live and die by each script,” wondering if their characters will make it through the week. Larter said that, “It keeps you on your toes,” and Loeb explained that this unknown element was to help bring an element of realism to the actors’ performances. Bonaduce thanked the cast, and warned them that when a hit show gets canceled, “the rest of your life kind of sucks for a while.”

• When asked to compare and contrast Nathan Petrelli with Jim Profit, the character he played on the short-lived cult classic Profit, Pasdar said that “one was dependable, had a moral code…the other’s a politician.”

• Masi Oka reacted to a question about Hiro and Ando being the “least traditionally masculine” of characters with a mock-dirty look, leading Larter to chime in that “I think Masi is DAMN sexy.”

• Kring said that there was no definite “final moment” planned, which led a mock-relieved Loeb to quip, “We don’t have to get off the island?”
• The idea, according to Kring is to reinvent the show each season. Volume 2 might not be an entire season long.

• Asked if the cast would ever feature “any strong female characters who aren’t cheerleaders or strippers,” Loeb replied, “absolutely” He mentioned another new character, Monica, from the flood-ravaged area of New Orleans. Kring pointed out cheerleading and stripping was where the characters started, but the show was about defying expectations, as the characters found “the hero within them” during the arc of the show.

• An Australian fan queried Panettiere about the much-discussed Peter/Claire chemistry. Ventimiglia: “They…are…related. End of story. I’m flattered, but…” Panettiere pointed out the age difference between her and Ventimiglia, and asked, “Which is creepier, the fact that he’s my uncle, or the fact that there’s….” Ventimiglia replied, “Uncle. Uncle.” He then pointed out that the characters had “hooked up” on the level that they had an emotional, caring, protective relationship, along with a strong bond.

• Both Zachary Quinto and Sendhil Ramamurthy were up for roles were older actors were originally considered. Quinto recalled auditioning in a room where the other actors included men in their 50s and 60s, along with some of his contemporaries. Quinto: “They cast a wide net, but I’m glad it entangled me.” Ramamurthy, meanwhile, almost lost the role of Mohinder Suresh to a“really nice 55-year-old gentleman.”

• Questioned about the multicultural elements of the show, Kring said that the series was supposed to represent a worldwide event, and that it wouldn’t be realistic to have only “blue-eyed, blond-haired people in California” getting powers.

• Kring said that he felt the show’s worldwide fan base served as a metaphor for the show’s message about worldwide evolution, and that he might be on the 9thwonders.com site in a few months to open a dialogue with the fans about turning their passion for the show into creating something positive in the world.
The panel concluded with Loeb revealing that the cast actually stopped filming so they could appear at SDCC. He showed a montage of clips and ideas from Volume 2…and asked that the fans not tell anyone else about what they saw.

(Newsarama)

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