Spotlight on Karl Urban

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Photo by Grace Moss

Friday at 1PM, Karl Urban shared his charm, exuberance, and talent with fans in the Centennial Room of the Hyatt.

He began with a montage of impressions, including an exquisite use of the so-called Shatner comma.

When asked why he chose to be an actor, he spoke of his mother’s work in the movie industry and of inspirational films from New Zealand. On the topic of advice he could share for aspiring actors, he said, “Invest in yourself. Invest in your craft. The more you put into the work, the more you’ll get out of it.”

Urban has worked on countless  genre projects – The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Trek, RED, Riddick, Dredd, Almost Human, and Xena: Warrior Princess to name a few.

On the topic of bringing the reimagined character of Bones to life in J.J. Abrams’ version of Star Trek, Urban talked about “incorporating the essence of how the late, great DeForest Kelley played the role.”

One audience member asked which of the scenes in The Lord of the Rings trilogies Urban enjoyed most. “The death of Boromir,” he said. “It was super smart to use such an emotional scene at the end of the movie,” when most films end with a big action scene.

When discussing the difficulties of wearing the costume for Dredd, he used the word “moist” several times to sum up the experience. “I learned to use my entire body, as you do in theatre where you’re immersed in the moment.” He spoke about how he needed to “convey doubt, fear, and remorse without using 80% of my face including my eyes – the windows to the soul.”

His playfulness on set and off shone through when he told a series of tales about the pranks that he and his driver played on each other at various times during shooting Almost Human.

By the end of the panel, the audience (including this reporter) was pumped from the fun, the insight, the many impressions, but mostly from the genuine honesty and enthusiasm that this actor shared so generously with us.

Author of the article

Suzanne Church

When Suzanne Church isn't chasing characters through other realms, she's hanging with her two children. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, On Spec, and Cicada and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction is due out in spring 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. She is a three time finalist and 2012 winner of the Prix Aurora Award in the Short Fiction category.

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