Every year, in November, the Adelaide Showground springs to life with colourful characters when the Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Expo rolls in and offers a chance for Adelaide’s creative community to come together, show their art or cosplay and meet some of the biggest Film & TV stars out there.
Sunday morning began with Julie Benz of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, who kicked off the international guest panels. She gave her Adelaide fans some insight into her time filming the cult classic tv series, and her other work before taking on that role (which were mostly comedies up until that point). Benz is restrained and elegant, and made the crowd laugh when she shared with her worst job to date, a b-grade film called Locust: The 8th Plague. Even staring in the film, she found the concept of her character trying to take down a sharp of bugs with a handgun, pretty observed! You can catch that gem on TV repeat (more often than Benz would like).
Fans of Deborah Ann Woll might be glad to hear that she is “a big advocate for being weird.” She told the crowd of her love for the imagination and inclusivity of Dungeons & Dragons, and we learnt that algebra and quadratic equations calm her down. She also gave us some insight into her creative process while embodying the heroic character of Karen Page on the Netflix Daredevil series and landing the iconic role of Jessica on True Blood. She hilariously and perfectly described the character of Daredevil as the hero who is “defending the crap out of ten blocks of Manhattan.” The redheaded Woll also verified that her skin tone is so pale, that when she was in the make-up chair during True Blood they would use cadaver-tone foundation to match her skin.
Jason Isaacs arrived onto the stage by crawling awkwardly through the black curtain at the back and over the balustrade rather than coming up the stairs. He then chose to cast aside the Supa-MC for his panel, taking an unconventional approach to Q&A in that he decided to just ask himself the most obvious questions and get them out of the way. Isaacs was a charismatic and talkative host/guest, who flittered through tales of the many movies he has worked on, boasting that he is the only actor who has both a film at 100% and a film at 0% freshness on RottenTomatoes.com.
We learn that he is a huge tennis buff, who sacrificed his knees for a seven-hours matched, directly before filming a painful fight scenes for Star Trek. We also found out that he very nearly became a lawyer, changing trajectory and heading to drama school despite being cursed-out as a time-waster by a foul-mouthed admissions lady. Harry Potter fans would have been gobsmacked to hear that Isaacs had originally auditioned for the role of wannabe-hero, Guileroy Lockheart and that he was so resistant to the idea of playing vile Lucius Malfoy (having already played a villain in Peter Pan) that he inadvertently guaranteed his success in securing the part by being he was so surly and bitter about being asked to read for it, that he nailed the audition.
It was not surprisingly that the largest crowd of the weekend was for the star of Grease, Hairspray and Pulp Fiction, John Travolta. Not only were fans treated to some insight into the a-lister’s creative processes, but also an astonishing Nicholas Cage impersonation as Travolta related his experience on the set of Face/Off. A passionate artist, Travolta was choked-up as he described the emotional experience of meeting one fan in Adelaide, who approached his idol dressed as Danny Zuko, and was moved to tears by the encounter. Travolta related this incident to his most recent role, in the yet-to-be-released film, The Fanatic where he plays an avid fan. Naturally, the audience asked questions about Travolta’s role in Grease and he casually reeled off lines of dialogue and sung snippets of the classic songs, as though he never tires of singing them. ‘You’re the one that I want’ is his favourite. Travolta is a huge fan of musicals, having grown-up in a performing arts family. He credits Edna in Hairspray as one of his favourite roles and he tells us he would love to do more singing and dancing roles, should the opportunity present itself. He revealed that he would also be first in line to reprise his character of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction or star in any of Quentin Tarantino’s films, as he would jump at the chance to work with the director of such a smart and unique movie again.
The fantastic weekend wrapped up, as the Supanova Cosplay Odyssey and Cosplay Dash ended. The cosplay event featured the full spectrum cosplayers, from seasoned pros to first-timers. Detailed, hand-crafted outfits from games, comics, TV shows swaggered across the stage, ending the 2019 Adelaide Supanova with a show of astonishing local talent. Now Adelaide fans cross their fingers, and hope that this wondrous event returns in 2020.
Supanova was held in Adelaide on the 3rd of November 2019. For more details about the event, head to their official website.