A pensive Richard on board the TV Guide yacht at Comic Con in San Diego.
A penny for your thoughts, Richard. How do you really feel about events like Comic Con?
Is it sometimes silly yet satisfying fun as you promote your projects?
Or do you just feel like throwing things at people??
(Not that you actually would, of course.)
What set me to thinking about this was something I saw on the Bing homepage here on my laptop.
This is excerpted from an AP article by Linda S. Zhang who interviewed actor Jesse Eisenberg, one of many celebrities featured at SDCC last week.
Jesse Eisenberg’s Comic-Con experience apparently wasn’t a joy.
Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in the upcoming “Batman v. Superman, ” was at the massive San Diego convention last week with co-stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. In an interview Monday, he was decidedly negative about the experience.
“It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don’t know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can’t think of anything that’s equivalent,” he said.
Here’s the link to the short interview with Eisenberg:
He got himself into hot water for his comments, which led to Eisenberg trying to clarify today while speaking to Ms. Zhang what he’d said in that interview last week.
“I of course was using hyperbole to describe the sensory overload I experienced. I sometimes do employ that,” he said. “I’m a normal person who has normal sensory experiences, so Comic-Con was very overwhelming for me. That said, it was really an honor to be on that end of such jubilation.”
Eisenberg said it was “wonderful” to be involved in something that is so highly anticipated and loved.
“That people are excited about it in that way is unheard of and thrilling,” he said.
He added: “I’ve been on the receiving end of movies that no one loves and no one anticipates. That’s worse, even though it’s a much quieter press tour.”
It led me to wonder just how the typical celebrity really views an event like this, which is one of the largest of its kind on the entire planet, I suppose. I imagine it can be overwhelming (especially for a first-timer) and I am sure it is grueling. Maybe it’s not the right fit for every actor or every fan.
I have a condition that makes being in large, noisy crowds sometimes difficult and I really have to force myself to stay calm and to concentrate. I can do it–I’ve survived everything so far, so my track record is good–but it does take its psychic toll on me. I must have some time to recharge.
I also know what it’s like to be part of the “pariahs” (as Eisenberg refers to the media) just doing what the media is paid to do, although I have never had to jockey for position with quite so many other photographers and journalists trying to get the best angle and/or that sound bite to make their editors/producers happy campers. Seeing how they lead the actors from one group after another to pose for pix, answer a few questions or move to a new spot for yet another group or individual interview, I know the celebs have to be running on empty by the time their day is done.
Richard Armitage on his rounds at ComicCon, including the EW SoundCloud interview and wearing the teensy dragon and ever-present floral crown for the Pannibal. And giving a former co-star a tongue-in-cheek shout out.
However, I am sure the actors who participate in CC also feed off the fans’ enthusiasm and energy, their passionate devotion to their characters, the shows and the films. Some fans have come a long way to attend and all seem determined to make the most of their experience. They line up early and wait hours to get autographs and pix of their favorite celebs. It’s easy to see in the selfies posted by fans taken with these actors and other celebs, for them, those brief Comic-Con encounters are exhilarating, and not soon forgotten.
As Eisenberg said in today’s comments, being on the receiving end of movies that are not loved or anticipated is a whole lot worse, even if it’s not so nerve-wracking at the time. When nobody wants your autograph on their ankle or book or theatre program, or a photo with you, when they stop buying tickets to see you or tuning in to watch your show–then, just maybe, you’ve got a problem.
Richard has always shown a genuine appreciation for his fans, not to mention that fear of not getting more work (which I really don’t think need ever be the case anymore). I think he understands you have to deal with craziness and hoopla along the way. It’s part of the business, part of the job. You have to promote yourself and your projects in order to keep practicing your art, your craft.
And hey, Richard, you really DO look good in floral crowns and loud jackets. Just sayin’ . . . 😉