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FoCC Reactor: Celebrity Interviews at the 2024 Saturn Awards & Avatar Novels!

By Jason Delgado 

The 51st Annual Saturn Awards, which honors the best in sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, was a star-studded event that took place on a stormy day at the Burbank Marriott Hotel on February 4, 2024. I was lucky enough to attend the red carpet and get interviews with eclectic, kind, and just plain awesome celebrities.

I asked this group of actors, actresses, and a director as they each made their way down the carpet, about some of their most memorable experiences at Conventions. Iconic thespian Nicholas Cage replied about going with his son for a comic that they created together (Voodoo Child), while Sean Gunn said for him it was a fan-made picture of his cats that he and his wife are going to hang up. 

The most touching Con memory had to be when Michelle Hurd (Picard) told the story of meeting a young fan in Germany who happened to be autistic; she had made a charcoal drawing of Michelle’s deceased father. Hurd started to cry, and the fan said, “Sorry to upset you.” Michelle said that it was okay, but asked why she drew this. The fan replied that she loves Rafi (Michelle’s Trek character), so she decided to learn about Hurd, found out that her father had passed, and thought that she might want to have a picture of him. It was an amazing experience that still makes Michelle emotional. 

 

Legendary director James Cameron (Avatar) was the complete opposite, saying that he always puts out more at Conventions than he gets back (when he showed 14 minutes of Avatar at SDCC, it got people talking), so he prefers to read a good book or watch a good movie. The big revelation that Cameron did share with FoCC Blog, however, was that fans will be getting novels based on the Avatar films! Some fans online are already chomping at the bit due to this exciting news.   

 

Another thing that really stood out about Cameron is his care and attention to detail for the fans of his films. He wants to serve both the hardcore and casual fans at the same time (which he added is a dynamic that is hard to hit, and it is). Yet Cameron has shown that he knows how to do this to record-breaking results. 

I also have to say that when it comes to fans, Nicholas Cage was great at this event because he was generous with his time and attention to them, signing and taking photos with as many people as possible.

Xolo Maridueña (Blue Beetle, Cobra Kai) is another star who sticks out for his kindness at the event, saying that he hopes to see everyone at the Con, and to keep sharing the stories that fans feel are important. Blue Beetle was a movie that couldn’t be made ten or fifteen years ago, and he is so honored to have gotten to do this now. Xolo also almost revealed a Cobra Kai secret to me about the upcoming season, but he caught himself and said that there will be some very special surprise directors in store. 

Ernie Hudson is the kind of actor who always seems extremely affable, and he certainly was at the Saturn Awards. He said that he hasn’t been to any Cons since the pandemic, but it’s always wonderful to hear fan stories and feel the love. Hudson has met kids who were named after him, and his characters in movies, and even seen tattoos of himself.  He is really appreciative for the support. He gave me a tease of the upcoming Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, saying that it has both the new and old guys [Ghostbusters], and that there is a whole new threat this time around. The upcoming film is bigger and more exciting, and Hudson thinks that fans around the world will love it. Hudson said, “I love it, and I’m in it.” I, personally, cannot wait!

Two young teen sister actresses, Madeleine (Black Phone) & Violet McGraw (M3GAN), shared their enthusiasm for Comic Cons by saying that they love meeting the fans and they are amazed at the cosplay, booths, and masks, and that cons are just a really cool experience. I asked what their favorite scary movies are, and Violet replied that Jaws terrified her, while Madeleine went with the first It movie because it is so funny and scary at the same time.

Horror queen Heather Langenkamp (Nightmare on Elm Street) also stated that Jaws was her favorite scary movie (having watched it over a hundred times), but she also loves Cabin in the Woods, and Dawn of the Dead. She stated that she always meets people at Cons who touch her heart, because a lot of horror fans deep down are very vulnerable, and horror gives them an outlet that they really appreciate. Langenkamp always meets at least one fan at each convention who touches her very profoundly.

Zach Galligan (Gremlins) said that he loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica, and classic horror such as The Thing, The Exorcist, as well as some of the new stuff, such as Talk to Me. Zach said that it is wonderful to be at the Saturn Awards to celebrate science fiction and horror.

Paul Wesley (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) told me that his birthday usually falls during San Diego Comic Con, so there have been multiple times that Hall H has sung Happy Birthday to him. I remembered being there for one of these occasions as he told me this; it was such a joyous, fun occasion to be present with over six thousand people singing to him.

Love for the fans, science fiction, fantasy, and horror was definitely in the air at the Saturn Awards. You can watch my celebrity interviews on YouTube here.

 

Here is a list of all of the 2024 Saturn Awards winners:

SPECIAL AWARDS
VISIONARY AWARD – Christopher Nolan
ROBERT FORSTER ARTIST’S AWARD – Seth MacFarlane
GEORGE PAL MEMORIAL AWARD – Dave Filoni
THE DAN CURTIS LEGACY AWARD – The Walking Dead Franchise
LANCE REDDICK LEGACY AWARD – Keanu Reeves
LIFE CAREER AWARD – Jodie Foster
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast

FILM
BEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM
Avatar: The Way of Water

BEST FANTASY FILM
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

BEST HORROR FILM
Talk to Me

BEST SUPERHERO FILM
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE FILM
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

BEST THRILLER FILM
Oppenheimer

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM
Pearl

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Sisu

BEST FILM DIRECTION
James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water)

BEST FILM SCREENWRITING
Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver)

BEST ACTOR IN A FILM
Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny)

BEST ACTRESS IN A FILM
Margot Robbie (Barbie)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A FILM
Nicolas Cage (Renfield)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A FILM
Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNGER PERFORMER IN A FILM
Xolo Maridueña (Blue Beetle)

BEST FILM MUSIC
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (John Williams)

BEST FILM MAKE-UP
The Covenant (Donald Mowat)

BEST FILM VISUAL EFFECTS
Avatar: The Way of Water (Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, Daniel Barrett)

BEST FILM COSTUME DESIGN
Barbie (Jacqueline Durran)

BEST FILM PRODUCTION DESIGN
Barbie (Sarah Greenwood)

BEST FILM EDITING
Oppenheimer (Jennifer Lame)

TELEVISION
BEST SCIENCE FICTION TELEVISION SERIES
Star Trek: Picard

BEST SUPERHERO TELEVISION SERIES
Superman & Lois

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER TELEVISION SERIES
Outlander

BEST TELEVISION PRESENTATION
Marvel’s Werewolf by Night

BEST ANIMATED SERIES OR SPECIAL
Star Wars: The Bad Batch

BEST NEW GENRE TELEVISION SERIES
Star Wars: Andor

BEST HORROR TELEVISION SERIES
The Last of Us

BEST FANTASY TELEVISION SERIES
Wednesday

BEST ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Picard)

BEST ACTRESS IN A TEVISION SERIES
Caitriona Balfe (Outlander)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Picard)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard)

BEST FEATURED GUEST STAR IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Paul Wesley (Strange Trek: Strange New Worlds)

BEST YOUNGER PERFORMER IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Jenna Ortega (Wednesday)

HOME MEDIA
BEST TELEVISION HOME MEDIA RELEASE
Night Gallery, Season 3 (Kino Lorber)

BEST 4K HOME MEDIA RELEASE
John Wick, Chapter 4 – 4K (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

BEST FILM HOME MEDIA COLLECTION:
Superman 1978-1987 4K Collection (Warner Home Video)

Best Classic Film Home Media Release
Invaders from Mars 4K (Ignite)

Here are a few pictures from the awards:

You can also view a replay of the awards ceremony on the ElectricNow app. Please visit the Saturn Awards website for more info.

Until next time friends, feel free to discuss the Saturn Awards in our Forum!

Jason Delgado

Jason is a CSULB film school alum and movie guy for Friends of Comic Con. He loves movies, TV, writing, comics, going to Cons, basketball (Lakers), music (all forms of rock + 90's hip hop), football (Chargers), his dog, and most importantly wife and newborn son. He's written a comedy/sci-fi script, and wants to write more in between raising a son. He doesn't often cosplay, but when he does, it's as Iron Fist. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDelgado78