SDCC 2012 Nerd HQ — Mystery Panel Recap & Gallery

Conversations for a Cause at SDCC 2012 was a selection of panels hosted offsite at Nerd HQ, which raised money for the international children’s charity Operation Smile. Money was raised through the $20 panels, photo ops at the HQ, and spontaneous auctions. It has been reported that around $140,000 was raised.

If you would like to join the cause and donate to help a child gain something we take for granted every day — a smile — you can do so here.

The “Mystery Panel” was only a mystery because Assassin’s Creed III had to cancel a few days before their panel was to take place, but offered to buy out the panel to make up for it. So this became a free panel, the scheduled talent became a mystery, and it wasn’t until everyone was actually seated in the back room at Block No. 16 Union & Spirits (aka Nerd HQ) that we found out just who was joining host Zac Levi for the panel.

Zac explained that he panicked and called around to some of his best friends to find out who was available to sit and talk with him for an hour at this particular time during Con. First up on stage was Jason Ritter (Parenthood, The Event), a very pleasant surprise for me as I feel he’s one of the most overlooked and underrated solid television actors of our time. He was followed by Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Firefly). Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) and Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) — who were busy at the bar when their names were called and thus came in a few minutes late — completed the mini-Firefly reunion. And last but not least, Scott Wolf (V, Party of Five) stopped by.

Because of the hodge-podge nature of the panel, questions were all over the place. The highlights:

  • In case you’ve been living under a rock, Zac Levi has been cast as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World, and that’s why he’s sporting a goatee.
  • If they could change anything about the characters they’ve played?
    Scott Wolf: He would make all his characters taller.
    Summer Glau: Her characters never have boyfriends, so she’d change that.
    Jason Ritter: He’d have Sean Walker be able to give The Event a second season somehow.
    Nathan Fillion: “Maybe just a little less good-looking . . .”
    Adam Baldwin: He wants the Force. Well, of course he does.
    Zac Levi: He’d make Chuck’s flash-face less wonky-looking.
  • Nathan Fillion, discussing what he thought of the final episode of Castle, broke all our hearts (again): “It’s great to get to the end of a season because that’s how many episodes you ordered, and not because you got cancelled . . .” SOB.
  • The age-old question of how we, the fans, can get Firefly brought back in some form gets asked. Of course it does! Nathan Fillion replies that we’re “doing it now”. That it’s ten years later, and we’re still talking about it. This is very amusing after reading an article from the proper Firefly reunion panel at the Con where the poor author got confused about Joss Whedon’s sense of humor and reported that Firefly was indeed coming back as a reboot with the original cast if the reunion show on The Science Channel does well. Not so, sir. Not so. But hey, it wouldn’t be out of line for a real reboot to happen down the line. Maybe another ten years, eh?
  • Jason Ritter talks about comedic acting, and opens up about how he gets really nervous about comedy. If a joke falls flat and someone doesn’t laugh, he has “like a wave of shame and heat all over [his] body”. It’s a very sweet and human moment that relates everyone in the audience well to those seated up on stage in the spotlight.
  • If they could play any character for just one day? (At this point, Scott Wolf has had to leave, which is why his answer is missing.)
    Zac Levi: “Robb Stark. I mean, with the boots on, come on!  Did anyone get that? Because that was not PG!” And then, later, “Someone told me that once that Game of Thrones should just be called . . . ‘Boobies with a Chance of Dragons’.”
    Summer Glau: She can’t decide.
    Jason Ritter: From Shadow of the Colossus, he’d play Wander.
    Nathan Fillion: Sherlock in the Sherlock Holmes BBC series.
    Adam Baldwin: Stewie Griffin. (He does a pretty good impression, too!)
  • On a question about survivalism, Nathan Fillion gives a few tips on how to distinguish between a brown bear and a grizzly: “You climb a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and kills you, it’s a brown bear. If the bear knocks the tree down and kills you, it’s a grizzly.”
  • What are their weaknesses and strengths in their personal and professional life?
    Jason Ritter: His weakness is that he’s too much of a people-pleaser.
    Zac Levi: Same answer,  but he points out that it’s a strength and a weakness.

Check out the full panel below our gallery, archived courtesy! It’s hilarious and insightful, and there’s more that I haven’t covered here.

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Live From Nerd HQ: Mystery Panel With Zac Levi – Watch More Funny Videos

Live From Nerd HQ: Mystery Panel With Zac – Pt. 2 – Watch More Funny Videos