TED AT THE CON: THE COMPLETE STORY!
By Cynthia Ward Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Content © 1997 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 1997 held by Whoosh!
Ted Raimi was introduced as being "not at all like Joxer, the character he plays on 'Xena' -- he's sophisticated, suave, debonair..." Ted walked out and bowed. He was dressed really well -- very stylish. He was wearing a loose gray suit, high vest (also gray), and a white banded-collar shirt. He had his glasses on, and his hair was slicked, except in the front, where it stuck up -- cute!!! After he bowed, he did a major pratfall, and everyone laughed. Good entrance. These were hard-core Xenites, and I had been really afraid that they'd boo him, but they did not.
To ask a question people had to line up on the side of the room, and someone holding a microphone would hold it so you could be heard. A fairly big line formed right away.
The first question (yes, I took notes) was, "Why is Joxer so weird?" Ted laughed and said there were two reasons: the writers wrote him that way, and he (Ted) was "about 60% goofy by nature." He said he'd been online and seen the comments people made about Joxer. He didn't mind that they loved to hate Joxer -- at least that meant they were thinking about him. (I get the impression that he gets online fairly often--I wonder if he reads WHOOSH?) [Editor's note, not only does Ted Raimi read WHOOSH, but he's a fan of WHOOSH. He had only praise for WHOOSH when Betsy Book and I, Kym Taborn, met him in the autograph line. We were impressed and convinced of his sincerity and we went away with the knowledge that he actually regularly reads WHOOSH!]
He was asked to talk about Joxer. He said Joxer was the "last and worst of a long line of warlords," adding that Joxer was a hoot to play, because he did not have a clue that he's not "the cat's pajamas." Joxer "has a big mouth, but he also has a big heart."
Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta
Other show-related Tedbits:
1. In the near future, Joxer may get a romantic interest!!
2. Also, there's a "very good chance" of Joxer and Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) appearing in an episode together.
3. In an upcoming episode, Joxer becomes (temporarily) an excellent swordsman.
4. His favorite scene was the "Joxer pinata" scene from INTIMATE STRANGER (#31) -- HE thought it was hilarious the way that Xena refused to cut him down.
5. Also, in the "Xena Scrolls," which we were privileged to see scenes from, he plays several roles -- a suave Frenchman (with a great accent!) in the '40s, and a bs-ing screenwriter trying to sell the Xena show to Rob Tapert in present day. I'm glad he'll finally get to show what a versatile actor he is!
A girl asked how he got the part of Joxer. He said that Rob Tapert had asked him to audition for it. When he came in, he found out that the other five actors who'd been up for it had all dropped out, so he got the part by default!
He was asked how it felt getting beat up by Gabrielle in CALLISTO (#22). He arched his eyebrows, and jokingly said that some members of the audience were too young for him to say how it REALLY felt, so he'd just say that he was really nervous. It was his first day on the set, and he barely knew anyone or what the show was about, so it was pretty disconcerting.
He was great with the little kids, too. One boy thanked him for saving Argo's life. Ted said thank you for saying that, "and Argo thanks you, too."
Another kid wanted his picture taken with Ted, and he obliged really nicely.
Yet another little boy asked him what it was like kissing Xena. He said it was "nervewracking, because her boyfriend [Rob Tapert] is the producer." That was about all he had time for.
Someone asked him what else he had in the works. He said he's just finished filming "Between the Sheets," and will be a semi-regular on a new Comedy Central show (he didn't give a title).
Later, during Lucy Lawless's appearance, she stopped in the middle of what she was saying to scold the audience. "Why are you picking on Joxer?" she demanded. "He fills a role that neither Xena nor Gabrielle can fill, and Ted does a fantastic job of playing him, so I want you all to STOP IT!!!" It was great! She richly deserves perpetual TRIFC (Ted Raimi International Fan Club) membership, or something just as wonderful.
After Lucy's part was over, she, Ted, and Hudson Leick (Callisto) sat down to sign autographs. Lucy was on one side of the stage, and Ted and Hudson were at a table on the other side. I watched them as I waited in (a VERY long) line -- they were having a blast! Ted was clearly enjoying himself, and was very loose and was cracking jokes. When I was in his line, he dashed past us to the men's room, saying, "Even Joxer has to go to the bathroom, y'know!" A minute later, he ran back out and continued signing. (I understand that he signed for nearly three hours, until everyone had an autograph, and stayed around and talked to fans.)
The 8x10s of Joxer sold out, by the way, and all the TRIFC literature that was put out was taken. There ARE a lot of fans, it seems. Judging by the posts I've been seeing today, I think he won over a lot of people that night.
January 12, 1997