There was a noticeable increase in the number of entertainment industry parties this year at Comic-Con International, prompting more harried party-hopping than is customary at this event. But despite all that increased competition for celebrity and media guests, the hottest invite at the Con continued to be the annual Saturday night Syfy/Entertainment Weekly party on the pool deck at the Hotel Solamar. Where else are you going to find the God of the Con, Joss Whedon, happily dancing with cast members of Glee at midnight? (It was Whedon who gave this annual party major Con cred when he walked into it four years ago, looked around and declared, "So this is what a party looks like when it doesn't suck!")
The Syfy/EW party is so hot that even celebrities are known to wait in line (rather than moving on to something else) for as long as it takes to get in. Patient latecomers this year included brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth, who arrived after the city's fire marshal had determined that nobody else would be allowed in until people started leaving. The Hemsworths happily hung out in the bar at the hotel for more than an hour until they could gain entry – and then they stayed until the end. (Chris, by the way, plays Thor, the God of Thunder, in the upcoming movie based on the character from Marvel Comics.)
Other celebrities on hand included Zachary Levi of Chuck; Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of The Vampire Diaries; Joe Manganiello of True Blood; Nathan Fillion of Castle; Justin Hartley and Erica Durance of Smallville; Glenn Howerton and Danny DeVito of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz of No Ordinary Family; Joel McHale of Community; G4 goddess Olivia Munn; Seth Green; Eli Roth; Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane; Michael Cera; Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins of Supernatural; Amanda Tapping of Sanctuary; Chris Evans of too many superhero movies to name; Colin Ferguson of Eureka; Jason Ritter of The Event; Emily Deschanel of Bones; Aisha Tyler of Archer; Anna Torv of Fringe; Thomas Jane of Hung; Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory; Pauley Perrette of NCIS; Bill Hader, and legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman.
Interestingly, the one celebrity at the party that everyone wanted to meet was Isaiah Mustafa, a.k.a. the Old Spice guy. The guy stayed for hours and didn't have a minute alone. He told me he has been cast as a CIA operative in an upcoming episode of Chuck. Who could have guessed that a performer from a deodorant commercial would command such attention? Who says television commercials aren't as powerful as they used to be? Mustafa's overnight stardom proves that if commercials are creative and compelling people will watch them and talk about them.
It was an especially busy Con for Entertainment Weekly, which hosted another party (in tandem with CBS) the night before this one at the Hard Rock Hotel. This party was for fans (rather than industry types), though a number of stars (all from CBS series) were on hand to meet, greet and answer questions in a casual group interview session conducted by EW editor Jess Cagle. Also in attendance was Michael Ausiello, who had invited loyal readers of his red-hot column Ask Ausiello to stop by the party and say hello. They turned out in droves.
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