I had the pleasure of attending Megacon in Orlando, Florida, this weekend and was able to attend Karl Urban’s panel. He was clearly happy to be there and interacting with fans. His panel flew by as he answered as many fan questions as possible. He was funny and engaging, and treated us to some pretty good impressions.I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures from the convention.
He’d already spent the morning doing autographs and photo ops, so he started with the two questions he’d been asked most up to coming on stage: Has Almost Human been picked up and what was happening with the next Star Trek movie. As for Almost Human, he said they haven’t been picked up yet, but he’s pretty confident. He’s having a great time working with Michael Ealy and the entire cast and crew. In fact, he said it was a privilege to work with Ealy. He also said that he’d be happy whether it was picked up or not. No doubt because the next Star Trek movie is just on the horizon, so he’ll be working regardless. Star Trek III is due in theaters for the 50th anniversary of the franchise. It will be shot either later this year or early next year.
In discussing Star Trek, he slipped in and out of several impressions, including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, and Walter Koenig, as well as, a seemingly French crew member that he’d made up.
When asked if he’d stolen anything from any of the sets he’d worked on, Urban clarified for the children in the audience that he’d been “given” all these items. He has his blaster and bracelet (which he was wearing!) from Almost Human, a Star Trek insignia from Star Trek, and Peter Jackson really did give him his helmet from Lord of the Rings.
Urban praised JJ Abrams as being so smart, so talented that he’s the best director he’s ever worked with.
He was asked how much improvisation takes place on Almost Human. Apparently, a lot of the stuff in the car is improvised, such as the “you scanned my balls” line from a few episodes ago. He said that a lot of what they improvise isn’t suitable to make it onto television, however.
He was asked what his favorite role was and said he was particularly proud of Almost Human, Judge Dredd, and Bones.
Another fan asked how quickly he became friends with Michael Ealy and the rest of the cast. Urban replied that he and Michael became fast friends very quickly. The entire cast, according to Urban, is is great. He also praised Abrams again, crediting him with putting great people together. Urban also had nothing but good things to say about Ealy, saying he was funny, insightful, and a great actor. Urban said he had to bring his A game or Ealy would steal every scene! He also called Ealy the Spock to his Kirk.
One fan asked about the scene in which Dorian asks Kennex if he wants him to come with him when he goes drinking and then remarks no, it was weird last time. The fan wanted to know what was weird about last time. Urban had no answer, but was still pretty funny in his non-answer.
Another fan asked what the wall was. Urban revealed that he has asked the writers about it, but he said he couldn’t tell us what was behind the wall.
It was fun to hear him talk about approaching the role of Bones from the standpoint of a fan of the original series himself. He said he would have loved to have had the opportunity to sit down with DeForrest Kelly and discuss the role with him. He also said that a lot of the voice and mannerisms were things that he felt people would want to see. Urban said that they were the sorts of things that if he had gone to see the movie and they hadn't been in there, he would have felt short changed.
Urban also related a couple of stories about pranks. One on Star Trek involved neutron cream and one with Viggo Mortgenson involved red socks. I’m not going to say more about them – you’ll have to catch Urban at a convention near you and ask him yourself!