Sam Witwer is FOR REAL.
I had the privilege to moderate for Sam at his Philly Comic Con Q&A with Wizard World on Friday, June 1st. It was a beautiful night in Philly, the city of brotherly love...and the audience was certainly feelin' the love from Sam Witwer.
In my line of work, I get to meet lots of fun celebs. And every one of them is impressive...I mean, if they weren't, they wouldn't be where they are today. But Witwer stands out in a BIG way. I met him briefly in April on our Wizard World tour; he was with his costars, Meaghan Rath and Sammy Huntington--both lovely, talented people. But Witwer was different. You could see it in how he looked you in the eye, in his easy smile. He wasn't just on the tour because he had to be...he WANTED to be there.
Sam Witwer, a Chicago-native, has been acting since 2001, beginning with the Emmy-winning series, ER, and the critically-acclaimed favorite, JAG. He's been in episodes of some of the most popular shows on television like Joss Whedon's Angel, Battlestar Galactica, Cold Case, NCIS (a JAG spin-off), CSI Las Vegas, The Walking Dead, Star Trek Enterprise, and one of my personal favorites, Dark Angel. Witwer's also been in some kick-ass movies like Crank with Jason Statham. And let's not forget his three gorgeous episodes on Showtime's Dexter AND his 22 episodes on the long-running CW series, Smallville as Doomsday (and one uncredited episode in tht same series as Major Zod...yes, we noticed, Smallville). Now Witwer is taking on a pilot of his own design. He certainly has the acting cred. He also has the brains.
Acting is a definite talent, and not one I possess. I'm a performer, true, but that's different than acting. Witwer is both. He is not anything like Aidan MCollin, the addict-vampire who we saw buried alive at the end of Season Two of Being Human...and, the reason for Witwer's beard (though he doesn't really need a reason to look good...c'mon, girls, who doesn't love a little masculine facial hair???). Witwer is the kind of guy you want to hang out with on the weekends; the guy who's the definitie life of the party, doing Doc Brown and Governator impressions that will have you in absolute stitches...I definitely got a few during his Q&A. Sam's not only fun, he's downright hilarious. I laughed out-loud more in 45 minutes with Sam than while watching Anchorman for the first time: Sex panther cologne, the "yazz" flute, and lines like "San Diego is Spanish for a whale's vagina" and "Milk was a bad choice" still make me giggle. But Witwer's repartee produced legitimate belly-laughter...I actually had to hold my side. Three times.
And Witwer's fans are really HIS fans. It's not because he's the empty shell that embodies what another man's written either. It's because he LOVES what he does. And he's really, really good at it.
As the Q&A began, I got into professional mode and Witwer let me know how much he appreciated that right away. As fans lined up at the mic to ask questions, there were a lot of nervous faces. Witwer was great, putting his fans at ease immediately by not judging anyone for geeking out. Turns out, Witwer's a bit of a geek himself.
Witwer was asked lots of questions, and not just by women. One young man asked what Witwer's workout secret was. In case you don't know, Witwer is very well defined, and not in a bulky-steroids kind of way either. He has lots of lean muscle that told his secret before he could: A daily schedule of classic moves like sit-ups and push ups in his apartment in West Hollywood. Though obviously in great shape, Witwer had no problem eating the M&M's I'd given him at the start of the session. He ate all of them during our 45 minutes together. And when the Q&A was over, he gave me all his personal stuff--including his smart phone and keys--for another business card holder full of the sweet treats. And yes, I gave it all back.
Some of the highlights from Sam's Q&A was his doing his Darth Maul for the audience...and admittedly, I geeked out a bit myself. Sam also gave one very nervous fan a big hug, calling her up to the stage. It just made him even more endearing than he already is. Witwer and I did a little "porn-voice" together, too. Hey, he started it! And as one fan approached the stage after our Q&A ended, asking Sam if he could shake his hand with tears in his eyes, Witwer graciously reached out his open hand without even flinching, telling the fan he'd even sign his book.
To put it simply: Sam Witwer ROCKS. I'd work with Sam again in a heartbeat. And if JJ Abrams or Alan Ball are reading this, please cast Witwer in the next Star Trek movie and in Season Six of True Blood. Sam Witwer is a rising MEGA STAR and it doesn't take a PhD in popular culture to see it...although, I happen to have one if you want to borrow it. Or me.
And to Sam, who I know will check this out at some point between travels and filming for Season Three of Being Human(starting this week!): I'll see your soft-core "porn voice" and raise you to hard-core when next we meet. Shoot me an email if you need any help on your new project...you not only gained another die-hard fan, you earned my respect. And that is not easy to do.
PS: If you join WW in Austin or NOLA this year, I'll bring the M&M's...you bring the funny. Deal???