If those who attended the "Twilight" and "Expendables" panels on Thursday thought they had seen stars, Friday's roster of bold-faced names hawking new movies and returning television series shot straight into the stratosphere.
Half the working actors in Los Angeles seemed to be at Comic-Con on day two of the four-day fest. And they weren't to be found only sitting on panels in front of screaming hoards. Eagle-eyed fans could have spotted "Falling Skies" actor Noah Wyle strolling the Gaslamp district around midday, sans bodyguards or publicists. With so many attendees dressed as their favorite sci-fi or fantasy character, nobody paid Wyle any attention.
That's part of the beauty of the event. While fans are willing to line up for hours to get a glimpse of a celebrity and hear them speak about their latest project, the free-for-all dress code in San Diego this weekend allows everybody to be a star, albeit briefly.
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Simply dressed as herself, Emily Blunt reclined in the sun a few floors above the pool at the Bayfront Hilton, which is adjacent to the convention center, or Comic-Con ground zero. "It's just fun," she said of the crowds that welcomed her and the cast of "Looper" with screams and applause. "All that unbridled passion emanating towards you - it's a tsunami of passion. It's always a good crowd to show a clip of your movie to. I'll take that over a jaded critic any day."
The cast of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" also had fans enraptured - and it wasn't just the chance for one lucky attendee to win two tickets for a space flight from XCOR Aerospace on the Lynx Experience. The flight was first offered to co-star Simon Helberg. His character, Howard, blasted off into space at the end of the fifth season. But the new dad eventually declined the offer, joking that he's a picky eater and "altitudes give me a lot of gas." Mercedes Becerra of Paso Robles, Calif. walked away with the out-of-this-world prize.
The biggest news for fans of AMC's zombie series "The Walking Dead" was that the first episode of season three would debut Sunday Oct. 14. Series stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira and David Morrissey were all on hand, joking that after complaining for so long about the constant heat while filming outside, the air-conditioning on the prison set is freezing.
HBO's "Game of Thrones," AMC's "Breaking Bad" and NBC's "Community" piled on even more star power to Friday. Joel McHale of "Community" quipped to NBC that next year the event should be held in Tijuana, adding "It would be a really different conference."
Jodie Foster and Matt Damon couldn't hide their praise for "Elysium" creator Neil Blomkamp, both stating that once they had viewed his previous film "District 9," they were desperate to work with the South African-born writer-director. The roughly 6,000 fans that made it into the convention center's biggest venue were granted the first ever glimpse of Blomkamp's gritty follow-up movie that is set in a future where the Earth is so diseased, overpopulated and polluted that the wealthiest citizens live in a utopic environment on an orbiting space station.
Randomly, when the Matt Damon marionette in the Matt Parker, Trey Stone spoof "Team America" was raised, the actor shot back "Some people think that's my best work."
Foster brought the focus back to "Elysium" and Blomkamp by saying she was so blown away by "District 9" that she wished she'd directed it. Her opinion of his latest work in which she co-stars? "I need to see the movie," she replied with a smile, referencing the secrecy that has surrounded the project for so long.