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Alamo City Comic Con: Lord of the Rings and Sons of Anarchy Panels

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I had the time of my life at this year’s Alamo City Comic Con. My con experiences have been few and in smaller cities. In just 3 years, ACCC has grown to be the 7th largest con in the United States, according to event organizer Apple De La Fuente.  This event was highly organized and the Henry B. Gonzalez Center has plenty of room for vendors, artists, panels, celebrity booths and still has room to breathe. Here are a few highlights from this year’s  con:

FRIDAY:

The Lord of the Rings panel featured Billy Boyd, Manu Bennett, and John Noble. The three took questions from audience members and recalled some of the most memorable moments of filming. John Noble, with his quiet intensity, told a brilliant story of how Viggo Mortensen welcomed him to the set on his first day. Mortensen knocked on his trailer and was in full costume and said to Noble, “I’ve come to welcome you to our family.”

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When asked how Noble manages to act with characters who are in such different time periods, he remarked, “Play truth of the character, outside of time.” Noble remained quiet through much of the panel, but when he did speak, it was always poignant.

Boyd was the jokester. Of course an audience member asked him to sing and he said, “Can I not?” Check out the clip below from “AFK Show Austin” for more.

SATURDAY: 

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The Sons of Anarchy Panel featured:

Mark Boone Junior (Robert “Bobby” Munson)

Kim Coates (Alex “Tig” Trager)

Tommy Flanagan (Filip “Chibs” Telford)

Ron Perlman (Clarence “Clay” Morrow)

Ryan Hurst (Harry “Opie” Winston)

Michael Ornstein (Chucky Marstein)

Emilio Rivera (Marcus Alvarez)

Right off the bat, Ron Perlman curses and says, “Are there any kids in the audience. You brought them to the wrong fu*k*ng panel!”

This panel brought together most of the cast for the first time since completing shooting. Again, the panel answered questions from the audience. One member of the audience asked if there’d be a prequel series to SOA and Mark Boone Junior responded with, (paraphrasing) “We’re older. There’s no way I can play a 25-year-old.”

There was even a question posed to Kim Coates on whether we’d see a spinoff series of his dysfunctional relationship with Venus. Silence filled the air. Then he said, “Let’s move on.”

Perlman talked about how SOA was “an actor’s dream. Some of us lasted 7 years.” Referring to how Opie was killed early in the series. The crowd began to chant, “Opie, Opie!

Perlman continued, “I’ve never been part of anything that everyone got so jacked up about.

One audience member asked what was the hardest scene to film was and the cast chipped in:

Emilio Rivera: Killing my son. I have a son that age and I broke down. When the episode aired, I called my own son and said, “I’m doing something on TV, I’d never do in real life.”

Michael Ornstein: The last scene with Charlie. I had to prepare his bike and it dawned on me what I was really doing, preparing his chariot.

Tommy Flanagan: All of us lost it when Ryan got beaten to death. But there was something beautiful and heartbreaking when they killed Bobby. I heard Bobby’s body being put into the van and I’m crying like a child.

Ryan Hurst: When Opie got killed….we grown so close to each other. I’m lying on the ground and looking at Charlie and Tommy crying. And it’s like when you see your father crying and seeing them cry makes you cry. It was beautiful. It was emotional.

Mark Boone Junior: Doing difficult scenes as an actor is the cream. The hard stuff is the stuff you look forward to.

Kim Coates: Like Tommy, I had quite a few. The death of Dawn. I have 2 daughters. Thinking of my daughters and seeing Rachel in the pit like that. Who writes this shit?

Ron Perlman: When I had to beat Katey. That scene took 10 hours to shoot. There’s something nauseating about a man beating a woman. It’s hard to wrap your head around. Sick shit.

Overall, the panel was very relaxed, fun, and engaged. It was obvious the guys were glad to be sharing the stage together again.

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An audience member asked, “What kind of reception do you get from motorcycle gangs.” Perlman was quick to correct him, “They’re not gangs, they’re clubs.” The audience responded with applause. Perlman continued, “Unbridled love from them. They really love what we’re doing.” So do we, guys. So do we.

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