Review and Images by Andrew Horan
Toronto ComiCon drew many families as March Break wrapped up.
The city’s community of cosplayers were out in force as well, with Kylo Ren and Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, being popular choices. Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld was a guest so there were many cosplayers dressed as “the merc with a mouth”.
Former Walking Dead star Tovah Feldshuh talked about the impact her character had on the show, there are TWD-related tours where people try to find “The D-Tree”, the tree her character Deanna Monroe was buried under and the fact that Deanna continues to have an influence.
She even got philosophical about zombies at one point, talking about the work that goes into becoming a zombie after her character died and briefly became a “Walker”.
John O’Hurley, best known for his role as Elaine’s boss on Seinfeld, ingratiated himself to the audience when he complimented Canadians on their kindness and spoke of shooting a movie in Winnipeg in the winter. O’Hurley’s session touched on everything from his time as the host of Family Feud to watching Michael Richards practice his different skidding entrances.
It was O’Hurley’s love for the theatre that lead to him quitting Family Feud when he was flying between Florida and Las Vegas where he was starring in a production of Monty Python’s Spamalot. He readily admitted that he preferred the stage to the screen.
Day two of the event kicked off with a reunion of Starship Troopers stars Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer. The two recounted amusing anecdotes about working on Starship Troopers, including director Paul Verhoeven dropping trou during the infamous co-ed shower scene and Van Dien and co-star Jake Busey wearing prosthetic penises as a joke during one take.
Meyer was also praised for her character of “Dizzy” Flores going against the tropes and being as tough as nails as a space marine.
Will Friedle said he loves doing cons after he saw that moderator Karli Woods was dressed as Wonder Woman. He spoke about how Boy Meets World, the teen sitcom he starred on for seven years, enjoyed a second life as well as his voiceover work, which included the “terrifying” experience of acting alongside Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill in Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker.
He also shared a story about acting in a little seen coming of age drama called The Trojan War which was sparsely attended and only had a few screenings.
Robbie Amell getting into acting led to him reuniting with his cousin, Stephen Amell, the star of Arrow. Amell , who was joined by his fiancé, actress Italia Ricci, took the opportunity to plug his new project Code 8, a movie that looks to be a combination of District 9 and X-men, as well as speaking about his stint on The Flash as Firestorm and the recent X-Files reboot.
Amell almost didn’t get into acting. The chance to appear in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 led to him abandoning a hockey career in favor of Hollywood.
Rob Liefeld’s teacher told him that he would never go anywhere drawing comics, some might argue his art style never progressed beyond that, but despite the firestorm of criticism he’s received, he still maintains a positive attitude and his passion for his work was obvious, along with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
Over the course of his rambling talk, Liefeld recounted the stories of his early days with DC to joining Marvel, where he created Deadpool to starting his own company Image. He also recounted an amusing story of shooting his cameo in the Deadpool movie.
Ernie Hudson had nothing but praise for the new Ghostbusters movie and discussed the variety of projects he has upcoming. Hudson said that his only criteria for taking roles is that it’s something that he would want to be associated with, which saw him turning down a role that went to Samuel L. Jackson in True Romance.
The hall was packed for former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes’ panel. Frakes moved throughout the room and subjected the sign language interpreter to good-natured teasing. He even gave a demonstration of “The Riker Maneuver”, Commander Riker’s distinctive sitting style.
He also shared amusing anecdotes about working on TNG as well as the other projects he’s worked on, including Gargoyles and did a brief improv skit at the behest of an audience member.
Jason Isaacs implored the audience to take their pictures early to, “be in the moment” and recounted how he had a hand in creating his character in the Harry Potter movies, Lucius Malfoy’s look. Malfoy was originally supposed to have looked like a banker but Isaacs gave him a more aristocratic look. He endeared himself to the audience when he expressed his love for ketchup chips and said his wife is from Toronto.
He said he was terrified to work with legendary actor Richard Harris (Dumbledore) but Harris put him at ease with filthy stories from his wild days during the 60’s.
The event wrapped up with a panel by Karen Allen, best known for her role as Marion Ravenwood in the Indiana Jones movies. Allen spoke about returning to the Indy movies after nearly 30 years as well her experiences on the set of the beloved films, including the ahead of its time secrecy surrounding the film’s script, which she read under the strict supervision of a messenger.