With a dozen guests appearing over three days, there were lots of hits and just one miss at Toronto ComiCon 2018. TCC saved the best for last with many of the best panels taking place on the last day. Walking Dead star Seth Gilliam provided the most disappointing panel of the weekend; He appeared like he was disinterested and while making a couple attempts at humor, it almost seemed like he was just there for the paycheque. Though, he did share an amusing anecdote about shooting Starship Troopers, imitating Paul Verhoeven’s animated directing style. Here are a few of the highlights from the event’s three days.
01. Mitch Pileggi
– Due to Arrow star Manu Bennett canceling his scheduled Q&A session, X-Files star Mitch Pileggi’s panel was the only one of the Friday evening. He still put on an entertaining panel sharing that he had originally pursued a career as a defense contractor like his father but decided to become an actor after he was in Iran during the revolution in the 1970’s. He also shared that he based the role of Assistant Director Walter Skinner on his father. So much so that when his family saw it they said, “That’s dad!” causing him to choke up a little. He also revealed that he’s growing tired of being typecast in leadership roles and said that his role as a father who becomes a spree killer after holding himself responsible for his daughter’s accidental death on an episode of Criminal Minds was one of his most fulfilling roles.
02. John Wesley Shipp
– Flash star John Wesley Shipp started his panel with a moving story about his father standing up to racial oppression in the South in the US in the 60’s and told stories about his experiences on both the short-lived 1990’s Flash series as well his roles on the new series. He was the fan favorite early on to play Jay GarrIck, the original Silver Age version of the character but they instead chose to have him play the father of the new Flash, played by Grant Gustin. He recounted the discomfort he faced with his original Flash suit and what a relief it was to wear his new Flash costume.
03. Manu Bennett
– Despite his gruff on-screen appearance, the Australian actor provided one of the most engaging panels of Toronto ComiCon. He moved the audience when he told them about how losing his mother and brother at a young age and how he brought it to many of roles, particularly that of Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson on Arrow. He recounted a story about his emotional last days on Spartacus: Blood and Sand. As well as reenacting his introduction as Azog in the Hobbit trilogy to frightening effect and lightening the mood talking about his first experience doing a motion capture scene.
04. Joonas Suotamo
– Someone needs to get this dude out from beneath the Wookie suit. The Finnish actor, who is playing Chewbacca in the new Star Wars movies, was hilarious with an engaging and charismatic personality. His perfectly recreated Wookie sounds and at one point, Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper entered the room to give him a pizza. He told stories of his experience filming the new Star Wars movies, including meeting Harrison Ford for the first time and joked that he could take on the Toronto Raptors in his Chewbacca costume, which may not have won him any favors with the hometown audience.
05. Marina Sirtis
– TCC truly saved the best for last with the former Star Trek: The Next Generation star. She immediately kicked moderator Fearless Fred Kennedy out and enlisted a couple audience members to move the tables so she could stand. What followed was the most entertaining panel of the weekend as Sirtis talked about serving as an unofficial den mother to the cast of TNG and shared stories from her time on the show and shooting the movies, including how her initial excitement at her character Deanna Troi getting to pilot the Enterprise was quashed when she found out she crashes the ship. She provided the perfect ending to the weekend when she gave the audience a tearful and heartfelt thank you, telling them that everything from her career to meeting her husband wouldn’t have been possible without fan support.