Between moderating some of the weekend's biggest panels, singing with Tom Cruise in Hall H while dressed as Bioshock's Booker DeWitt, and hosting a live podcast of his own Nerdist show with Matt Smith, Chris Hardwick's something of a Comic-Con expert at this point. We caught up with the geek guru and his girlfriend, fellow geek expert Chloe Dykstra, at The World's End party (he also hosted the movie's panel) to talk everything from cuddly aliens to steampunk cosplay.
Taking a plane, train, or car to Comic-Con this year? How about a run down the California coast with an added dash of Star Wars enthusiasm for charity instead? Today, Chris Hardwick, aka Nerdist Industries, kicks off the Course of the Force, an Olympic-torch-style relay run July 7-11 from Santa Monica to San Diego for Comic-Con, with proceeds benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Substitute lightsabers for the traditional torch, and we're on the path to the biggest geek event of the year!
Watch as Chris begins his journey in San Francisco at Lucas headquarters Industrial Light & Magic. And remember, beware cuddly ewoks.
Our favorite captain, Sir Patrick Stewart, sat down for a live Nerdist podcast with Chris Hardwick this week to chat about his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation, his upcoming voice work on American Dad, and how he first met Ricky Gervais. We dug up some interesting tidbits that geeks will love about Patrick Stewart, thanks to the podcast. Check them out below!
- He once fell asleep standing up while filming a scene on TNG. Apparently, the film footage is still in Paramount's vaults.
- "The Alphabet Song" was originally filmed with choreography as a private gift for creator Gene Roddenberry's birthday, and the piano track was added in later (in the wrong key). Obviously, it was never meant to hit the Internet.
- During the first season of TNG, he thought that the cast and crew "screwed around" too much (he was very serious about the work), so he gave them a pep talk about shaping up. He said "I could do this, because I was the captain and a lot older."
- He credits Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Marina Sirtis for giving him a sense of humor.
- When Ricky Gervais initially called him to work on Extras, he was in a supermarket and thought that it was a friend who does excellent impersonations.
- He's not a comic book fan and had to be talked into doing X-Men.
- He says that America has never forgiven him for slapping Julia Roberts in Conspiracy Theory.
- When asked what he has learned about himself through acting, he said "Not to be afraid. I was fearful for years, afraid of being myself; I was a great faker. . . . Getting rid of fear, and that's what I say to all acting students when I talk to them, that it's the most important thing they have to free themselves of, because they are not expressing themselves when they are afraid of being themselves."
Taking the Nerdist blog and podcast format to television, Chris's half-hour BBC America comedy special called, Nerdist, naturally, will air on Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. Joining the show to talk all things nerd and pop culture will be infamous Doctor Who fan and talk show host Craig Ferguson and the not-so-secret special guest: the doctor himself, Matt Smith.
You may remember him as host of dating game shows Singled Out and the under-the-radar gem, Shipmates, but with his place as unofficial ambassador of current geek culture, we asked Chris for his expert take on all things nerd.
Follow the break for more of Chris's nerd picks and his choice for victor of the ultimate Star Trek battle.
The key characteristic that makes nerds and geeks their charming selves, according to Chris, is their "unnatural ability to focus on things to an atomic level." Turns out, the trait that once caused parents grief at bedtime, because you just wouldn't put down the science-fiction books, is the necessary nugget to make your dreams a reality. "If nerds have proven anything," Chris said, "It is that they have an innate ability to throw incredible amounts of focus at things." The key is channeling that near-obsessive dedication and focus on a hobby to the specific task that will allow you to take over the world.
While the book, with full guidance on reaching the next level, isn't released until Nov. 1, stay tuned for more of my conversation with Chris, including Doctor Who and Star Trek fan love, just how much cats rule the Internet, and his nerdiest secret.