Six Questions We Never Want to Hear at Comic-Con Again

Comic-Con is wonderful opportunity for fans to get way too close to their favorite television stars, and one of the few venues where anyone with a Comic-Con badge can get near enough to Ian Somerhalder to smell him (he smells like cotton candy and chrysanthemums, in case you were wondering). The 'Con is also a TV blogger's dream and one of the rare places where one can shove a personal voice recorder in an actor's face without fear of being handcuffed.

But Comic-Con's hectic schedule means time is always limited with talent, and any second an actor or producer isn't talking about a topic we find interesting is wasted time. Yet we hear the same, less-than-interesting questions over and over, and sometimes all we can do is watch the interviewee stumble through another rephrased, canned response. Fresh off a weekend full of roundtable interviews, here's a list of questions we never want to hear asked again at Comic-Con. (Note: We're guilty of having asked some of these too, so we're not trying to say we're better than anyone else; part of the reason for this list is to remind us to aim higher next year. Also, for the most part, the roundtables at this year's Comic-Con were excellent.)


1. "What do you think of Comic-Con?" / "Are you surprised by the Comic-Con reaction?"
I understand the intention behind this one, because Comic-Con is absolutely insane and we're all caught up in the moment. But in asking a good question, you shouldn't be able to anticipate the answer. And the answer to this one is always, "Oh my God! It's crazy! The fans are really supportive, and it's great to be here," as they check their watch. Until someone answers, "I fucking hate this place," let's leave this one off the notepad, please.


2. "Tell us about your character."
Again, I understand the intention, but this is also known as the "I've never seen your show" question. Nothing that can be readily answered by Wikipedia should be asked during an interview. Exception: This question is okay for actors on new shows that haven't debuted yet.


3. "Do you hang out with the rest of the cast in real life?" This one's pretty self explanatory. Yes or no, it doesn't really matter.


4. "What can we expect from the upcoming season?"
This one is specific to network shows that are returning in the fall, of which there are many at Comic-Con. The problem is how the event is timed. Most fall shows are just about to start filming the upcoming season or have filmed one episode. How many times did we hear a confused actor say, "You know as much as I do" when asked that question? As many times as that question was asked.


5. "Can you tell us about some of the pranks you play on the set?"
This question yields an interesting answer once out of every thousand times it's asked, yet it still gets asked ALL THE TIME. Are pranks any funnier when actors pull them? Do the people who ask actors this question of actors also ask it of everyone else they meet? Is hearing a story about fart powder better than examining the motivations behind a character's actions as it relates to the series thematically? Okay, sometimes it is.


6. "Did you do any training for the (archery/katana slicing/balloon animal making/noodle slapping/fake acting) that your character is known for?"
Yes. A lot. They did a lot. Did you study during finals week? Did you do some jogging before you ran that marathon? Did you sit down and eat 30 hot dogs in 10 minutes before competing in the Fourth of July Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest?


What do you wish TV writers would ask when they're interviewing actors? And what common interview questions irk you?

For more on San Diego's spandex-travaganza, click on over to TV.com's Comic-Con coverage.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Jul 19, 2012
Annoying questions:

"What's the most annoything question anyone has ever asked you?"

Answer: That one!

"Are you excited about the show?"

D'uh, it's their paycheck... what'd you think they're gonna say?



Questions I'd ask:

"Have you ever visited Comic con as a fan, not as an actor?"

"If you could cast any actor to play your life story, who would it be?"

etc...
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Jul 18, 2012
Things I would love to see asked at Comic-Con more often:

- "What's the coolest/craziest thing you've seen so far which has nothing to do with what you're promoting?"

- "What panels and exclusives have you not been able to get during the show but really wanted to?" ;-)

- "If you could go onto the exhibit hall floor in any costume disguise, what would it be?"

- "Did you follow Kristen Bell's excellent SDCC advice from a few years ago and take the train in?"

- "Have you bumped into anyone awesome in the halls yet? If not, will you continue to roam the halls upstairs until you bump into Stan Lee the way so many lucky others have?"



Things I never want to hear asked at Comic-Con again:

(aside from everything on your list, which is right on the money)

- "So, how was it at the _____ party / on the TVguide yacht?" (I could have smacked the moderator of that TV Guide panel for talking about their yacht TWICE, everybody in that room who wasn't on the stage was pretty annoyed at hearing about that crap.)
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Jul 18, 2012
uh, meh
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Jul 18, 2012
i hate when people ask the actors how similar they are to their characters...
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Jul 18, 2012
i like questions like,

-did you have plans for the summer, or do you plan for the Comic-con every year?

-you think Comic-Con can be improved? (this one is supper great to hear)

-are you seeing someone? Do we know her/him? LOOOL (i love this one)

-who are you excited to meet? ( I love this in all the red carpets every time)

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Jul 18, 2012
meh...meh...
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Jul 17, 2012
ask, if they can be on another tv show, which one would they be in?

THE SHOW THEY'RE ON RIGHT NOW DOESN'T COUNT!!!
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Jul 17, 2012
That picture just makes me want to know what they asked Jensen. lol His reaction is priceless.
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Jul 20, 2012
They should have an open caption with his pic! The results would be hilarious!
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Jul 17, 2012
I think you should all ask every actor on every show "Can TrevPlatt have a part on your show?", the more people ask the more chance there is of a yes! Not that I've ever acted in my life, but I'm sick of being unemployed.
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Jul 17, 2012
Please ask, What time does Pinocchio usually go to bed?
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Jul 17, 2012
I'd ask "Do you like my shirt? Does it make my ass look big?"
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Jul 17, 2012
No, your BUTT makes your butt look big! (Sorry, but SOMEONE had to say it.)
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Jul 17, 2012
There's also the obligatory cop out I-have-no-question-question: What question has never been asked that you want to answer?



If you have no question leave the spot for someone else!
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Jul 23, 2012
They asked it on the firefly panel. Luckly Mr.Baldwin told them!
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Jul 17, 2012
I agree with pcsjunior002 about hearing where actors would like to see characters go.



For shows like Game of Thrones or True Blood that follow several different characters I like hearing which pair-ups actors would enjoy - I mean, who would have thought that Tywin Lannister and Arya Stark would have been so completely fantastic on screen together?
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Jul 17, 2012
I bet George R. R. Martin would be a good person to ask =p
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Jul 17, 2012
ahahahaha so true, glad you guys are able to come up with better questions =)
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Jul 17, 2012
"Until someone answers, 'I fucking hate this place,' let's leave this one off the notepad, please."



HAHAHAHAHAHA!



*Catches Breath*



Oh man, that killed me!
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Jul 17, 2012
haha this is awesome! love the list, and even better are the answers!
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Jul 17, 2012
Next topic: six threads not to create on TV.com forums. I always like the "Worth watching?" threads for a particular show. You're going into a forum filled with people who are fans of the series. What do you think they're going to say...?
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Jul 17, 2012
I don't know. Some shows are sooo bad you just have to post on every one of their forums just how bad they are.
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Jul 17, 2012
Check out some of the questions that were asked on the Big Bang Theory panel this year and that list could grow tenfold. It should also include a rule that kids under the age of 12 should not be allowed to ask questions. Unless they are smart and can articulate a sentence.
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Jul 17, 2012
I would generally agree with all of these. There may be times where, based on the context, it might be okay... but yeah, really, all these questions generate the same boring answers by everybody that's asked.



Then again, I think these traditional standard boring questions are SOMETIMES better than ones asked by people who are possibly trying to appear to be a superfan by asking really specific but not remotely significant questions like: "I saw an episode where you eat fish. Haha, why does your character like fish, and what kind of fish was it?" Shut up.
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Jul 17, 2012
Love that pic of Jensen!
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Jul 17, 2012
I would like to ask a lot of them asking actors specifically, "where would you love to see the writers take your character?" E.g. what hardships/gains/events would happen to and around them. As the person who primarily inhabits that character, I would think that their answers would be interesting.
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Jul 17, 2012
Since you have Jensen up there, can we add 'Nothing about Destiel ever, ever, ever again'? Or, since I'm sure it's uncomfortable for most actors/actresses, how about just not mentioning fandom ships period?
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Jul 17, 2012
Yeah, I wish fans would not throw Destiel or Wincest at them. They've gotten very good at deflecting with humour, but that's all that question ever elicits, is a lot of discomfort for the cast and most of the fans and some humourous deflection.



It always reminds me of that line Sam says to Dean "you're confusing porn with reality again." When we ask them questions about sexual relationships on the show, we all know we're not talking about porn. But when we're talking about sexual relationships that only exist in fandom, we all know a lot if not most of it contains porn. I have nothing against it, but in their shoes I would be uncomfortable that my physical likeness/character was being used in porn, and I wouldn't want it thrown in my face in the presence of hundreds or thousands of people. I think it's just a matter of respect to keep our porn separate from their reality.
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Jul 17, 2012
Can you please send this article to every human being on this Planet? Please? Every Convention the same Questions over and over...Number 5 got even asked multiple times in a row O_O
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Jul 17, 2012
I actually quite like the "do you hang out with the cast" one!
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