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Dispatches from FanX 2017: Saying goodbye to Stan Lee, and hello to “Weird Al” Yankovic, Cary Elwes, and Zachary Levi
Mar 17, 2017 | 2800 views | 0 0 comments | 144 144 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A cosplayer dressed as Oogie Boogie from "The Nightmare Before Christmas." 
Photo by Rachel Collings | Davis Clipper
A cosplayer dressed as Oogie Boogie from "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Photo by Rachel Collings | Davis Clipper

Though news of Stan Lee’s cancellation due to health reasons was sad news for many FanX attendees – according to organizers, the doctor forbade him to get on the plane – there were still plenty of celebrities on hand for the first day of FanX 2017.

Inside the mind of “Weird Al”

The first celebrity panel of the day featured “Weird Al” Yankovic. The singer, songwriter and actor offered insights into his history and creative processes:

About his writing habits: “Most of my songs are written between two and four in the morning. I think it’s when you’re tired that the really bizarre ideas start to come.”

About whether he’s ever going to release more traditional music: “Whenever I tried to write straight lyrics, they always ended up warped somehow. My brain is just wired that way.”

About when it got easier to get permission from copyright holders to use songs for his parodies: “When he gave me permission for ‘Eat It,’ it was a tipping point. We kind of had him in our back pocket. If someone was waffling (about giving us permission to use a song), we could say ‘Well, Michael Jackson didn’t seem to have a problem with it.’”

About the question he always wishes someone would ask him: “Would you like this big pile of money?”

Laughter, injuries and “The Princess Bride”

Cary Elwes’ panel, held a few hours later, drew nearly as many attendees as Yankovic’s. The actor, who has appeared on “Twister” and “Psych” but is best known for “The Princess Bride,” shared a variety of stories from the set of his most well-known movie.

About Andre the Giant and his all terrain vehicle, which eventually led to Elwes breaking his toe on set:“If you Google ‘Andre the Giant’ and ‘all-terrain vehicle,’ you’ll find the happiest giant on what looks like a tricycle.”

About his second injury on the set of “The Princess Bride,” when Christopher Guest accidentally hit him in the head with a prop sword:“Take one, he hit me and I passed out. I woke up in the hospital, fully dressed as Westley, with a doctor sewing my head. He had this mask on, but it was the same doctor who worked on my toe (which he’d broken earlier), and he said ‘You’re very accident prone, Zorro.”

An afternoon with Zachary Levi

This was Zachary Levi’s only day at FanX, and the actor and humanitarian (he’s an ambassador for Operation Smile) talked about everything from being Flynn Rider to his time on “Chuck” to his faith (he’s a non-denominational Christian).

About being a self-described Dis-nerd and getting to star in a Disney movie: “It’s so insane that I got to go to Disneyland and see a me walking around. It was an out-of-body experience.”

About moving around a lot as a child: “I made friends real quick. I also lost friends real quick. I’d be Urkel for an hour and they’d be like ‘I can’t do it anymore.’”

About when he knew he wanted to be an actor: “I just knew that I knew. I told anyone who would listen that I was going to be an actor one day. They always went ‘That’s so cute. Get a job.’”

On sharing your faith with other people: “If you want to make an impact in someone’s life, just go live your faith. Be that conduit, and let God’s love just shine through.”


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