We spent a good amount of time on our last day at C2E2 in panel rooms, and it was well worth it. Sunday’s panels were all star-studded and incredibly interesting, and after all that walking around McCormick Place all weekend, it was nice to get off our feet and listen to everyone from Tom Kenny and Charlet Chung to Charlie Cox and Justin Hartley talk about our favorite video games and shows and give some great behind-the-scenes info on their lines of work. Take a moment to journey back in time with us and catch up on what you may have missed at yesterday’s panels.
(Caution: This article contains spoilers for Season 2 of This Is Us)
We kicked off the day with the “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Voice Acting” panel. The panel was a blast, with amazing voice talents on stage giving out solid advice for those who might be trying to break into the business. Big names in voice talent like Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman), Tom Kenny (Spongebob), and Phil Lemarr (Hermes Conrad, Samurai Jack) were joined onstage by the amazingly talented Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulia in Star Wars: Rebels) and two actors best known for their work in Overwatch: Fred Tatasciore (Soldier 76) and Charlet Chung (D.Va). They fielded questions from fans on a wide-range of topics from how to prepare professional auditions to maintaining your voice after grueling recording sessions.
The ongoing consensus amongst these professionals is that Dee Bradley Baker’s iwanttobeavoiceactor.com is a great resource for those starting out, or those already in the business. The entire panel was a sometimes technical, inside look at the day-to-day aspect of what the grind of a voice actor is like. Fred Tatasciore and Tom Kenny dominated most of the high energy panel with both their amazing voices and some great anecdotes. Kenny was particularly candid about his time as Spongebob, specifically how his performance has influenced an entire generation, now with kids of their own. “With great power comes great responsibility” he joked, “I got bit by a radioactive sponge 20 years ago!”
Next up on our panel list was a big one for C2E2, and anyone who’s a fan of the hit series This Is Us. The This Is: Milo Ventimiglia & Justin Hartley panel was packed with fans who were eager to discuss every last detail of what’s transpired in Season 2. Even Clare Kramer, who we thoroughly enjoyed as a panel moderator both here and in Saturday’s Firefly panel seemed very interested in discussing it in depth. As we expected since Jack (played by Ventimiglia) had met his untimely demise thanks to what is now the most hated kitchen appliance in history, that devil
crock pot slow cooker, a lot of the talk centered around Jack’s death and how it impacted everyone, both as their characters and even in real life, with Milo talking about how at odds Jack’s stoicism is from him in real life, which made the death bed scene in the hospital that much harder, since he was watching his co-star and in show wife Rebecca (played by Mandy Moore) “basically break in half” when she lost him. He also spoke about the fire scenes from a practical effect standpoint, saying that those scenes were legitimately terrifying to film, since the flames were “the angriest thing I’d ever seen.”
Justin Hartley had a lot to talk about, too, since much of the season was spent digging into the whys of who his character Kevin is. Both actors discussed addiction, since their characters both struggled with it, and the desire they both had to portray it not as something you “get better” from, but something you must conquer daily for your whole life. Hartley discussed Kevin’s feelings of alienation with nearly every member of the family and how it led his character what even Hartley hopes was his rock bottom. Both Milo and Justin also talked a little bit about what would have been different if Kevin would only have gotten the note his dad had left him on the night of the fire. While a heartbreaking moment for the show, it’s become a bit of an inside joke for Justin and Milo, as Justin says Milo texts him “‘I love you. You’re grounded’ every single morning.” This revelation provided a much needed laugh after remembering some of the show’s saddest moments. What’s clear in talking to these two is just how grateful they are to be on the show, and how close knit the cast is with each other and with the crew and writers, and though neither one could reveal exactly what would come in Season 3, we at least now have it on good authority that it’s going to be fantastic.
The final Main Stage panel was just as exciting as the first, with Charlie Cox coming on stage for C2E2 2018’s final spotlight. Cox was a delight from the get-go, and gave Daredevil and The Defenders fans exactly what they were looking for. Charlie gave fans the inside info on what it was like starting the job, including the ultra top-secret way Marvel handled auditions, with a fake names for the show and its characters. We were surprised to learn that Cox had not read the Daredevil comics until he landed the job, but found that his faithful portrayal was due to all of his hard work, both in reading the whole catalogue and even in dedication to learning what it’d be like to actually be blind and bring that to the role in a meaningful way. Cox spent time “training” for the part with someone who was actually blind, and even had custom contacts made that looked just like his own eyes with one key difference: they totally blacked out his vision. “That way I wouldn’t have to act!” he quipped. “But it became a nightmare, because the crew had to lead me around and I was always banging into stuff.”
The actor also discussed the fun he was having with The Defenders and how it affected his character. “It was nice because Matt is such a loner in many ways and it was fun to explore what it was like for him to make friends.” As per usual, mum’s the word on the third season of Daredevil, so when fans asked, Charlie kindly told them “If they don’t tell me, I can’t tell you…I’m the last one to get the information.” Part of this is by choice, because as an actor, Cox says he prefers to experience his character’s arc more as fans watch it or as it happens to the character himself, rather than knowing all of what will happen to the hero throughout. He touched on Matt’s depression, relationships and faith and gave fans more than a glimmer of hope that when Daredevil returns it will be as strong as ever.
It was with that last panel that the green queue lines outside of the C2E2 Main Stage panel room were ripped up and it became simply S406 again. Panel attendees hurried off to get one last lap around the show floor, and we started reflecting on all the fun we’d had with this year’s show. It seems like every year, the guests and panels ‘level up’ and there’s more and more fun to be had, so we can’t be blamed if we’re feeling the blues this Monday knowing we’ll have to wait until March 2019 to get back out there. Stay tuned right here for the last of our con coverage, including a look at the Crown Championships of Cosplay from behind the scenes and interviews with Travis McElroy of The Adventure Zone and My Brother, My Brother and Me as well as locals Dungeons and Dice and Everything Nice to give you that nerd fix you’ll surely be missing now that this year’s con has come to a close.