Comic-Con 2019: Brave Warriors swap stories of early roles, sex scenes gone awry, and more
San Diego Comic-Con is populated almost entirely with epic fictional heroes caught in the eternal fight between good and evil. But for one brief, hilarious hour Friday afternoon, six of them lightened the mood on EW’s annual Brave Warriors panel, for which Game of Thrones’ John Bradley, Krypton’s Cameron Cuffe, Evil’s Michael Emerson, Project Blue Book’s Aidan Gillen, Black Lightning’s Cress Williams, and Cobra Kai’s William Zabka all joined EW editor-at-large Lynette Rice for a lively conversation about their many on- and off-screen battles, big and small.
The panel kicked off by throwing it back to the stars’ early lives and careers. In a round of what Rice called “Watch This/Yes, I Actually Appeared in That,” we learned that Zabka once had a small spot in an episode of The Love Boat, where his father was associate director, but ruined his first TV appearance by staring straight into the camera the whole time. Williams revealed that he once had a role called Silky the Pimp in an episode of NYPD Blue, and Cuffe fondly recalled a childhood nativity play in which he performed the “small but pivotal role of the snowman present at the birth of Jesus.”
Acting is a form of playing, after all, so Rice asked the stars what their favorite childhood toy was. Gillen and Zabka both fondly remembered motorcycle toys; Gillen would even carefully wash his Evel Knievel figure’s white suit with detergent. Emerson loved the game Mousetrap, and Williams would build spaceships out of Legos, then assemble the Lego men into a band.
Cuffe innocently told the group, “I’m a child of the ’90s, so I grew up with Toy Story, so I had a Woody,” which elicited a hilariously immature response from the rest of the panel. Bradley, also a child of the ’90s, was a collector: “In England, you could get an envelope for a pound with photographs, collectible photographs of the Spice Girls,” he recalled. “You had a Woody too!” Williams cried.
But let’s get serious! How about the awkwardest sex scenes they’ve ever had to do? They’re all uncomfortable, really: “I think one of the most awkward things about any kind of sex scene is that you suddenly have to bring a certain amount of your private life in work — even though you’re in character, you’re kind of still bringing a bit of your own lovemaking behavior,” Bradley said to a laugh. “You don’t want to get on there and start doing something really weird!”
Williams recalled a sex scene partner getting wasted before shooting. “I kind of took it personal, because it seemed like she needed to get hammered to do a sex scene with me,” he said. “So that didn’t go well.” When pressed about Littlefinger’s infamous “sexposition” scene on Game of Thrones, Gillen brushed it off as “just another day at the office, really.” And Emerson? “I have to say, this has all brought me to the sad realization that none of the characters that I play have romantic lives,” the actor said soberly. “What’s up with that?”
But Cuffe had the most memorable mishap of all. Following the advice of a bodybuilding blog, he ate no carbs for three weeks, then feasted on them the day before his big scene. “I woke up the next day and I looked brilliant,” he said. “But what the bodybuilding blog failed to say is that when you flood your system with carbohydrates when your stomach isn’t used to it, you’re gonna look great, but you’re really gonna need to poop. Really, really badly. Really, really suddenly.
“So there I am in the tent, one minute feeling great, the next my stomach was committing suicide,” he continued as the audience shrieked. “I tried to fart to release some pressure… so I did, but it was one of those where you get more than you bargained for.” Finally, against all odds, he made it through the scene, then tried to race away to make it to a bathroom. “But the thing is, when you’re doing love scenes, the idea on set is that everyone is very respectful, very conscientious. And the director got between me and the door and said, ‘That was really beautiful work, man.’”
Zabka went last. “Yes, no…” he muttered. “I have the same one as Cameron.”
Keep checking back at EW.com all weekend for more coverage of San Diego Comic-Con!