Beyond

Wizard World Chicago 2021 Friday Panel Catchup

Friday was the beginning of the end for Wizard World Chicago as we know it, and though it felt a little like Thursdays did in years gone by, there was a bit of a bigger crowd and a little bit more programming than we expected. We hit up some great panels and got some great info, so let’s dive right in.

 

We really did have to go the speeding bullet route to get out on the floor to the Creative Stage for Dean Cain, but we’re glad that we did.

Dean Cain, Wizard World Chicago 2021. Photo: Antal Bokor

Everyone knows Dean Cain as Superman from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman that ran for four seasons in the mid-90s. While it wasn’t a particularly long running series, Cain has been cemented into the public consciousness as Superman, and he was at the Wizard World Creative Stage talking about his thoughts on the DCEU Superman (too dark! “Brooding is for Batman”), and the process it took for him to the land the role donning the iconic red shorts. Interestingly, Keven Sorbo, pre Hercules tried to land the role of Superman. Cain accidentally heard the blond Sorbo’s audition, and Cain was glad he was doing it differently. Plus, Cain thought he had the role in the bag–who wanted a blond Superman?

While Dean Cain landed the role of the iconic hero, he also had to portray Clark Kent, for which he channeled George Reeves, while his portrayal of Superman was based on Christopher Reeves, of course. He also had to help audition a series of women for the role of Lois Lane, which ultimately went to Terri Hatcher, “the best Lois Lane” according to Dean Cain, and incidentally also the “best kisser” out of those auditioning for the role. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman had a good number of guest stars over its four seasons, and when asked which his favorite is, Cain had a hard time pinpointing just one. He did get to brag to his father about how he kissed Racquel Welch, but Cain’s favorite guest star had to be his mother—who appeared on a few episodes. That’s an answer you would expect from Superman.

Lana Parilla. Wizard World Chicago 2021. Photo: Marielle Bokor

There are many who held Once Upon a Time close to their heart, and for those people, the Queen had arrived when Lana Parilla took the stage last night. Fans of the show were excited to find out more about how Parilla prepares for roles, and as it turns out, she’s quite the method actor, having not only taken etiquette classes as a child but also having studied fashion, manners and mannerisms of great 40s stars in preparation for her role as the queen. One of the things she stressed the most and which fans found most inspiring was facing your fears by learning about them. She noted that earlier in her career, she’d been afraid of public speaking, but realized that as her career continued, she’d need to do a lot of it, so she took a speech class to face her fears, and it seems to have paid off, as she’s bubbly, fun and effervescent when talking to her fans. Questions ran the gamut and some real gems were uncovered, like the fact that Parilla’s favorite outfit was an impossible to move and breathe in black rubber dress, and the fact that she’d taken more than a few of the amazing costumes from her time on the show, and a couple of key props. One of the best moments of the panel though, was when one fan brought up the effortless diversity that Once Upon a Time had, and how it had made her feel connected to those fairy tale characters in a stronger way, emphasizing just how much that matters, and bringing a tear to more than one eye, including Lana herself. The next up to stage was the ever impish but also amazing Mark Sheppard of Supernatural notoriety. Mark Sheppard was everything we hoped he’d be and a little bit more, immediately teasing the audience relentlessly even as he connected with them. Mark is an amazing actor and a great human being, and managed to make us all laugh and cringe simultaneously. He spoke of his time on the show incredibly fondly, and talked about all the on-set antics and favorite moments he’d had, including one particularly bloody explosion that didn’t make it on TV since you “apparently can’t blow a woman up on television.”

He also took a more serious tone for a while, polling the room about COVID vaccinations and then uttering some words of appreciation at the overwhelming majority of folks who’d raised their hands to say they’d gotten the shot. He explained his gratitude for the community around Supernatural multiple times, talking about how much he loved them as well as his great love for the cast and crew, all of which, he notes, attended his wedding and were some of his best friends for years. Sheppard has a deep love for “nerds” of all genres and types, explaining that while he doesn’t generally like the term nerd, he has a great appreciation for the care and love and respect that nerds tend to show each other vs. the larger world around us. Sheppard also spent some time talking about his Doctor Who experiences, which he filmed with his father, who played an older version of him, and his more recent work on Doom Patrol. Every bit the smart, sardonic, energetic guest, we were sad to see him go when the panel ended, and felt a little more connected.

Lou Ferrigno. Wizard World Chicago 2021. Photo: Marielle Bokor

Lou Ferrigno took to the Wizard World Creative Stage to talk about his time as The Hulk on the hit TV show The Incredible Hulk which ran from 1977 to 1982. Ferrigno talked about the process of getting green makeup applied to his body. “It took three and a half hours to put on,” Ferrigno said, “no wonder I was so pissed!” Ferrigno also had some words to say about the MCU, and the modern cinmeatic Hulk. “Hulk has to be angry” he says, dismissing the portrayal of a smart Hulk, “smart Hulk isn’t’ the ego of Bruce/David Banner.” Mark Ruffalo certainly didn’t wrestle any bears, but Ferrigno did. In reference to his now legendary scene, Ferrigno said of the bear, “it was like trying to move a wall… He was strong!” He also recounted how the bear kept licking off his green make up, which required the crew to wipe the green paint off of the bear’s face. However, despite not going toe-to-toe with a bear, Ferrigno was quick to add of Ruffalo, “he’s a great actor, though.”

All in all, it was a great time, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more tomorrow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *