I attended many celebrity panels and talked to a handful of celebrities during FanX this past Spring, but no one impressed me more than Edward James Olmos.
Mr. Olmos was so cool. My first encounter with him was an accident. I was searching for the bathroom when a man approached me and asked me where the green room was. It was Captain Adama. He said, “thanks anyway,” and continued on his way. Tim, one of the other contributors to this site, was about a two yards away waiting for me. I turned around to face him and did the jaw drop thing. He was jealous. I thought this would be my only encounter with Mr. Olmos but I was wrong.
The next day, we decided to approach the publiciists of several of the celebrities to see if we could do any interviews. Most of them were unreceptive, but Olmos’ publicist was totally cool with it. So after only waiting a few minutes we turned on our video camera and interviewed him. He couldn’t have been nicer or had nicer things to say about SLCC. He did the fist bump thing rather than a handshake, but I’m sure that’s to avoid being infected by a thousand different viruses. He was personable, warm and down to earth. I’m told the video may have been corrupted, but if it’s not, we’ll be sure to post it later.
A short time later I learned another cool story about Olmos. A friend of mine from college, who several years ago had his arms blown off while repairing a power line, paid $20 for an autograph from Olmos. Captain Adama then decided to let my friend take a photo with him at no cost. After the photo was taken Olmos decided to return the $20. Now that’s one classy dude.
At the Edward James Olmos panel, Olmos prefaced it by saying he likes to talk. He wasn’t kidding. The first question was about Miami Vice and Olmos took about 20 minutes to answer the question. It was a fun story, but I’m pretty sure it breaks the record for the longest answer to a fan question ever. He then spent the rest of the time talking about his other previous projects. He said that “Battlestar Galactica” was the best thing he’s ever worked on. I tend to agree. He also, as you’d expect, has a big soft spot for “Stand and Deliver.” One person asked for his perspective on the status of latinos in Hollywood. He was diplomatic, but made no bones about how far Hollywood needs to go to get things right. He ended the panel by pleading with the crowd to look up the name of someone who he felt strongly about. Unfortunately I couldn’t completely hear the name of the person he was saying. It was obviously important to him. He then led the crowd in a chant of “So Say We All!” Very cool.
All in all I was really impressed with Edward James Olmos. One very classy and conscientious guy.