Some of television’s best and brightest — and, yes, hottest — leading men gathered at Comic-Con on Friday for EW’s Brave New Warriors panel, moderated by Entertainment Weekly TV editor-at-large Lynette Rice.
This year, the actors’ lineup included Josh Holloway (Colony), Dominic Cooper (Preacher), Theo Rossi (Luke Cage), Clive Standen (Taken, Vikings), Eric Dane (The Last Ship), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), and Corey Hawkins (24: Legacy). During the panel, they shared stories of embarrassing fan encounters, career triumphs, and childhood crushes.
Read on for some of the highlights:
—Medical knowledge wasn’t the only thing Dane picked up during his days as Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan on Grey’s Anatony. Asked about lessons he learned on the ABC drama, he replied, “Double stick tape on the inside of a towel before you wrap it is a good idea.”
—“I’m not a bad guy in real life — I just look like one,” Cooper said during the panel. But even bad guys (or guys who look like bad guys) can have embarrassing performances, and Cooper revealed one of his: A condom commercial where he was being chased by 30,000 Czechoslovakian sperm. “I think I ended up in the condom,” he added. “It made no sense and I don’t think it improved the sales of condoms.”
—Hawkins, best known for his role in last year’s hit Straight Outta Compton and for his recent role on The Walking Dead, will be seen next in the upcoming 24: Legacy. How does he feel about following in Jack Bauer’s footsteps? “It’s a luxury and new challenge stepping into this big legacy,” he said.
—It might be hard to imagine the man who played Sawyer on Lost looking anything less than suave, but Holloway says it’s happened. He apologized for his role in the made-for-TV-movie Sabretooth, saying, “I played the camp counselor guy. I’m up in the mountains. I had to do this martial arts kick and I thought I was so cool. And I saw the movie and I’m doing this dance, bouncing all over the place. I look like an idiot.”
—For Standen, the best day of his career was the day he landed his gig on Vikings. At the time, he said, he had three children and was driving vans in Los Angeles trying to scrape together enough money to pay the mortgage and keep his kids in school. Standen had been up for a number of pilots during the past five years, but he hadn’t landed one. “We couldn’t afford anything. I wanted to break down and cry when I got Vikings. I always knew I was good enough. I’m not the best. I’m no Tom Cruise but I knew I could do it. Vikings proved to my family and my kids that I’m good enough.
— “I’ve had some really cool encounters with fans,” said Hawkins. “Especially The Walking Dead ones.” But it was his Dr. Dre role in Straight Outta Compton role that led to one memorable fan encounter. He was at a Walmart in North Carolina on Christmas when he was spotted, and though the Walmart employee promised that she wouldn’t give him away, she walkie-talkied “Dre’s here.” All the employees came down the aisle to check him out — until one woman showed up, looked him over, and said, “You ain’t Dre.”
—Another fan encounter story came from Purcell. He was in a CVS in Chicago during the first year of Prison Break when a woman was looking him up and down. Next thing he knew, two police officers came up to him. “The lady thought I was an escaped convict,” he said. “She’d been watching Prison Break.” The cops told her he was an actor, but she didn’t believe them: “No, I’ve seen him.”
—Who were these guys’ childhood crushes? Theo Rossi, from Sons of Anarchy and the upcoming Luke Cage, called out Alyssa Milano. “She had this workout video. It was kind of cool,” he said. “It was about the time I figured out I was a man.” For Cooper’s it was Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend Sloane (played by Mia Sara) in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Giving mouth-to-mouth to Cameron at the pool. He wasn’t unconscious. Neither was I.”
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