It wasn’t the comics, the art or even the hundreds of costumed characters, but rather the influx of stars that drew fire-sale sized crowds to the Convention Center’s main ballroom for Saturday’s leg of the 34th annual San Diego Comic-Con.
Fans confessed to having been at the event at 4:30 a.m. (doors opened at 10) just to get a glimpse of their favorite stars. And with a lineup that included the hottest of the hot, including Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie and Hugh Jackman, moviegoers had their pick of celebs during the four-day event.
Berry, a first-time convention-goer, was taken aback, saying “Wow. This crowd is amazing.” The sentiment was echoed by Kate Beckinsale and other virgin Comic-Con participants. Others, like surprise participants Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, fest fave Robert Englund, and Marvel guru Avi Arad reveled in the crowd and its growing importance to entertainment.
“You have to realize, it’s you (Comic-Con attendees) who are making Hollywood come to you now,” said Arad.
Questions ranged from passing fancy (“Kill Bill’s” Michael Madsen was asked “What’s it like being the coolest person alive?”) to the heart-wrenching. (A woman confessed to Angelina Jolie that when she learned that she had contracted HIV, watching “Gia” and following her career had helped her realize that she could make it. Both were in tears.)
Others attending the convention included David Carradine, Alfred Molina, Christina Milian, Michael Jai White, Andy Serkis, Len Wiseman, Kevin Smith and, of course, Stan Lee.