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C2E2 2019 Sunday Panel Catchup

Photo: Aaron Cynic

We’ve finally reached the end of the biggest pop culture, comic and entertainment event within city limits, and this year it was bigger than ever, with Saturday selling out entirely and Friday and Sunday being close at its heels. There were big name guests, great exclusives and more stuff to see on the show floor than we’d ever seen before, including a special section just for Chicago-area vendors selling their unique goods, and it was all very exciting. Here’s a look at what happened on Day 3 of C2E2 behind closed panel doors.

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Aaron Cynic

For many, some of us at Third Coast included, the David Tennant spotlight was the highlight of the con. While we were somewhat bummed that Matt Smith canceled at the last minute, seeing one of our other favorite Doctors was more than enough to put us over the moon on Sunday.

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

Much like his Time Lord character, Tennant himself has boundless energy. He ran out on stage to greet a completely full room, jumped on the couch more than once, and spent the next hour cracking jokes, reliving his time as the Doctor and some of his other characters like Killgrave on Jessica Jones, and generally giving everyone a lot of laughs.

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Aaron Cynic

Tennant said he initially wasn’t even trying to play The Doctor, but rather just wanted to be a character on the show when Russell T Davies was working on the reboot with Christopher Eccleston playing the 9th Doctor. Tennant said when Davies eventually asked him to come by his house for dinner to watch some early edits of ‘Rose’ and ‘Dalek’ and dropped the question about stepping into the role he was stunned.”

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

“Totally out of the blue,” said Tennant. “I thought I we were sort of having you know, snacks, and watching a video. I think it was on a VHS – that’s how long ago it was. It was extraordinary. I laughed. I actually just laughed. Then I said ‘can I have a really long coat?’”

Tennant also said he wasn’t even sure at first the show would become the incredible success it has been.

“I never really entertained the possibility of being offered this part,” he said. “Part of it is that it had been off the telly for years – it wasn’t a thing that was really out there. It had just come back…it didn’t really feel like anything that was going to be out there.”

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

Tennant said he waffled a little when thinking about accepting the role, but ultimately took the part of playing the 10th Doctor because as a lifelong fan of the show, who wouldn’t?

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Aaron Cynic

“It’s one of those things where you have to confront your 8 year old self,” said Tennant. “You fantasized about this as an 8 year old and now it’s here, is that a bit weird? Russell was saying this because it was his experience. He was a lifelong fan and he was asked to reinvent the show and he did it and was very enthusiastic about it but at the same time he felt, as the responsibility dawns on you that you’re going to be responsible for this thing that you loved so much, that you’re so invested in, it takes on a slightly different flavor…For a couple of days I kind of turned it down I said I’m not going to do this it feels like too big a deal, it doesn’t feel right. And then I thought ‘oh who are you kidding’ because if I do that I have to watch someone else do it knowing I could’ve had a show and turned it down? That wasn’t going to work either. So in the end I just took a deep breath and got on with it.”

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Aaron Cynic

In talking about subsequent actors that have gone on to play the role, Tennant said that while he didn’t give advice to current 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker and didn’t for either Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi, the group did often talk about how playing The Doctor gives an incredible amount of fame and recognition to an actor, and how that affects their lives.

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

“I have no advice to tell her how to play the role or how to choose your costume or what the sonic screwdriver does – that’s all nonsense,” said Tennant. “That’s up to her, it’s hers now and she must decide those things and she’s far too experienced, adept, and creative to need advice from me about that. That’s her thing to take and get on with it. You’re part of a very small sort of self help group. It’s quite a specific attention that the show gets – it’s lovely, humbling, and a privilege to be in the middle of it but it does take a bit of getting used to, so that’s what we all talked about and continue to talk about as it unfolds. It’s a show that has an international appeal and you find yourself just about wherever you go. There’s hardly a corner of the world where someone doesn’t go ‘it’s Doctor Who.’ That takes a bit of getting used to because there’s not many other acting jobs that are that ubiquitous, that are that sort of loved. It’s nice because it’s a lovely show to be known for because people feel affectionate towards it.”

David Tennant @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

Certainly the affection was well-earned, with Tennant being at once humorous, heartwarming and intelligent in a discussion that the packed room couldn’t get enough of.

The Main Stage was still the hot place to be after Tennant departed, though, as it was immediately followed by the Animaniacs Reunion. The full cast, much of which we’d seen in the Twisted Toonz event on Saturday, were there to discuss their roles and generally laugh it up with their fellow cast members.
As we’d suspected after Saturday, the panel was a ridiculous amount of fun. Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche were delightful from moment one of the panel, and incredibly endeared to their fans. Paulsen particularly could not seem to stress his thanks to fans enough, describing his favorite moments when out and about living his life, when people would realize who exactly he was, and that he’d worked on things like Pinky and the Brain or Animaniacs and break into big smiles or shake their hands excitedly, remarking that you should “never underestimate your own joy” and the power of those moments. Paulsen would later go on to emphasize this further when a fan mentioned how special it was that the voice actors took time with him to talk to him during a photo op, saying that if someone whose work made a difference in  your life was not humbled and grateful to you as a person expressing that, especially if they’re rude or inconsiderate, then you should not patronize them ever again.  It’s clear that Paulsen’s gratitude overflows, and he’s passionate about bringing his best to the fans.

Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeill, Clare Kramer, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

Jess Harnell agreed heartily, and talked about the community feel of voice acting, as well as moments that being a voice actor can help you along (or get you in trouble), demonstrating how to get a table reserved at a nice restaurant if you call in as Christopher Walken’s assistant and then get him on the phone, with LaMarche chiming in about how he likes to spice up his interactions with customs when flying in and out of the country by revealing he’s a voice actor, and when asked what he was working on, slip into the Brain’s voice and add that he’s “trying to take over Canada.”

Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeill, Clare Kramer, @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

There was a lot of talk about the music from the show, as well, with high praise from the whole cast going to Randy Rogel, who wrote many of the most iconic songs from the show. Rogel was a West Point graduate who moved to LA, began working on Batman: The Animated Series and auditioned to work on Animaniacs with one of the most memorable songs to ever come out of the show, “Nations of the World/Yakko’s World.”

Tress MacNeill, Clare Kramer, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

High praise was also reserved for Tom Ruegger, the show’s creator, for his principles and fantastic ideas, as well as the ease of working with him. Ruegger didn’t believe in condescending for the sake of a children’s show, they said, and thought that the secret to a great cartoon was to make them for adults, so that even after the appeal of the bright colors and slapstick humor faded, there would be a whole new layer to explore into adulthood.

Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeill, Clare Kramer, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche @C2E2 2019. Photo: Marielle Shaw

Certainly, that’s what makes Animaniacs so special, and it’s why we were so excited to hear that the series is getting a reboot on Hulu that will air this October, which features the full cast and many of the original creators, writers and producers that the cast promises will be true to the original. It’s definitely something to look forward to. Paulsen rounded out the panel with a live performance of “Yakko’s World” that had everyone on their feet for a standing ovation at the end.

Ming Na Wen and Clare Kramer @C2E2 2019. Photo: Pearl Shin

Keeping the Sunday panel lineup going strong, Ming-Na Wen took to the Main Stage following the Animaniacs. As Clark Gregg was not able to make it to Sunday’s panel, Wen joked that her spotlight should’ve been renamed to just “Agent” of S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite flying solo, Wen’s humor, enthusiasm, and bright personality was more than enough to elicit a sea of smiles.

Ming Na Wen@C2E2 2019. Photo: Pearl Shin

The actress shared that she had been a geek since childhood, finding solace in comic books, entertainment, and fan culture while living in a heavily Caucasian and monolithic suburban neighborhood. Wen stated that it’s been an especially fun journey becoming a part of the Marvel universe as she’s now involved in something that she’s been a fan of since her youth. She also expressed that it’s been nice to be a part of a community and share this experience with others.

Ming Na Wen @C2E2 2019. Photo: Pearl Shin

It wasn’t long before the conversation shifted over to the topic of shipping. Wen was asked about her reaction towards season’s big finale and the canonization of the fan-favorite pairing “Philinda,” to which she responded by thanking the fans for making it happen and that she supports it wholeheartedly. The actress showed her full support for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom, revealing that she sometimes reads fanfiction and admitting that it makes her blush. There was a memorable moment when a fan approached the mic and asked Wen a question that many fans might’ve been wondering: did Melinda May and Phil Coulson “go out with a Bang?” A bashful Wen squealed that there are children present before relenting with a playful “OH yeah.”

Image courtesy Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll hosted an industry panel later in the day, giving anime fans a peek at some current and upcoming shows to get hyped for. Staff from Crunchyroll gave rapidfire summaries and showed trailers for a few series including Mob Psycho 100, Black Clover, The Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime, and The Promised Neverland. The team also shared trailers for some hidden gem titles that fans might’ve not been aware of. The Crunchyroll staff gave a shout-out to Genlock, an animated series that stars actor and professional anime fan, Michael B. Jordan, and a supporting cast of other incredible talents such as Dakota Fanning, Maisie Williams, and C2E2’s own David Tennant. Luckily for fans, the staff shared that most of the anime are simulcast, so that viewers will get to stream their favorite shows on the same day that it airs in Japan and wait shortly after for dubbed episodes. To top of all off, many attendees were lucky enough to leave the panel with some sweet merch too.

Breckin Meyer, Alicia Silverstone and Donald Faison @ C2E2 2019. Photo: Pearl Shin

For fans that missed the Clueless panel on Saturday, the cast made a reappearance for a brief interview at SyFy’s C2E2 Live stage. Though Paul Rudd wasn’t able to make it to this panel, Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, and Breckin Meyer were more than happy to give a recap of the big Clueless reunion. From questions about how their post-panel reunion went to what weapon they would use to survive a zombie apocalypse, the actors answered it all with high spirits. Also, there were many hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.

Alicia Silverstone and Donald Faison @ C2E2 2019. Photo: Pearl Shin

That rounds out what we saw at C2E2 this Sunday. Are there any great panel moments we left out? Feel free to share them with us and other readers in the comments below.

Contributing authors: Aaron Cynic, Marielle Bokor, Pearl Shin

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