As always, Denver Pop Culture Con has delivered on its celebrity panels, this year boasting the likes of Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Christopher Lloyd and Tom Wilson (Back to the Future), George Takei (Star Trek), and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw). While the horror isn't in full force, there is plenty to enjoy for the scifi/horror inclined fan, as Efrit and I find plenty to dig into.
noting here. The organization's mission is to inspire a love of learning, increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression. It's a truly powerful tool that this organization provides to the Colorado community.
But back to the convention. Our sister site, AEIther.net, covers the con with a much more thorough approach than we do here, so I'd recommend heading over that way to get more coverage from the event. Here, we'll cover a couple of key snippets that were a little closer to our realm of things.
First up is Dave Bautista, known in film for his role as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Bautista feels like a much more approachable and relatable person on stage, admitting to the crowd his own struggles with social anxiety and stage fright. As he quickly warmed up to the moment, Bautista unloaded tons of fond memories from the set of GOTG. One such memory was his retelling of the "Why is Gamora?" line from Avengers: Infinity War. Drax originally did not have a line in that particular moment, but castmate Chris Pratt felt like the scene called for a line from Drax. Bautista proceeded to improvise lines until the "Why is Gamora?" exclamation came out. The entire cast, in particular Tom Holland, lost it and thought it was the perfect line.
Bautista also recalled a story in regards to fan reaction to his Drax character. He mentioned receiving letters from mothers of autistic children who connected with Drax. Bautista feels great about the opportunity the character presents for these kids, but also simply hopes to be worthy of it.
Cary Elwes Elwes regularly displayed his impression talents, mimicking the voices of Andre, Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner, Wallace Shawn, Mel Brooks, and a cast of characters he experienced over the years. He told tales of breaking his toe on an ATV while on the set of The Princess Bride and Andre the Giant's monstrous 16-second fart. Elwes came prepared, but told every story with the delivery of a friend talking around a campfire spontaneously. It was as magical as the movie he is most famous for starring in.
When asked about Saw, Elwes called it a "wonderful film, very unique." He spoke to the determination and innovation of James Wan during production. The whole concept of the film was essentially built from the necessity of its small budget. How can we do a film on a ridiculously low budget? Confine the actors to a single room. The reverse bear trap, apparently, was a fully-functional piece of machinery. And the doll, which Wan made himself, flew with him on an airplane in its own seat to keep it from being damaged by being checked. Upon hearing that story about the Jigsaw doll, Elwes said, "I have to work with this man."
It was another great year at DPCC, and here's to many more!