Wizard World Reno 2014: Jewel Staite panel

Jewel Staite killing people with her brain?

It could have been, as she revealed stories about Firefly, TV and a new movie at Wizard World Reno recently. She told a large group of fans at the Convention Center that she wanted to audition for the role of River Tam, which Summer Glau eventually got.

“I’m one of those actors that  loves to go big or go home”, she said.  “I really responded to the River character. I thought it would be super fun to play.” Instead, she got the role of mechanic Kaylee Frye, a role that she says has changed her life.  “It’s been over eleven years, and I’ve seen the world because of this show,” she said. “and people are still coming to hear me answer relatively the same questions, and there are brand new Firefly fans, brand new Browncoats, baby Browncoats. It just keeps growing.”

She praises Joss Whedon, who created the show, along with Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse. “He’s constantly pushing you,” she said. “He comes up with really amazing ideas, and interesting notes for the characters you’re playing. So, it’s always a learning experience but it’s always fun.”

She also says she’d like to do comedy roles in the future, and maybe a musical.  She just wrapped up filming a comedy in Canada called How To Plan an Orgy In A Small Town. It was partially funded through an Indiegogo campaign, and she says they came up with other interesting ways to raise money. For example, if they reached a certain goal, she’d make a video of herself eating and drinking two things she hates…corn and a vodka screwdriver. It happened, and this link shows the video. The movie is expected to be released next year.

She also talked to someone who will teach Firefly at a local college, and he asked her for some insight about the show. She gave an interesting answer:  “It’s not a sci-fi show. It’s a show about family. It’s a show about people learning to lean on and accept each other for who they really are, and it’s a show about feeling safe with the people you’re around.”

Here’s the video, where she also talks about Nathan Fillion, saying technobabble, meeting Benedict Cumberbatch, and dealing with fans of a Stargate Atlantis character that she replaced..

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008

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