COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Green Lantern’ and the wide-eyed kid — sweet emotion or staged promotion?

July 25, 2010 | 1:30 a.m.


The big question after the “Green Lantern” panel: Was the kid in the audience a studio plant?

If you missed it, during the audience-question portion of the panel a youngster came to the microphone and asked the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, what it was like to recite the Green Lantern’s oath, the rhyming bit of comic-book lore that is a touchstone part of the character’s mythology. Reynolds played along — “It sounded something like this…” — and he recited the oath with a mix of playfulness and mock solemnity. But when the overhead screens flipped back to the boy at the microphone the audience — and the panelist — saw a look of awe on his face that made for a swell of emotion.

I was the moderator on the panel and I can tell you that Reynolds, for one, didn’t see it coming. Backstage before the panel he told his handlers he didn’t want to do the oath on stage (Geoff Johns from DC had hoped the star might consider it) and then when the youngster blinked into the cameras, Reynolds seemed genuinely touched (of course, though, he IS an actor).

I had brought a copy of “Green Lantern: Rebirth” with me on stage (I was going to hold it up during the opening introduction of Johns) and Reynolds had no idea I was going to hand it to him and suggest an autograph for the little guy. So that part was ad-libbed…

The little boy, whose name is Connor, was brought backstage to meet Reynolds and the star was even skeptical. “I thought it was a studio plant, completely, but then I met the kid and his dad and it was all the real deal.”

So that’s the story. Real or staged, the exchange between audience and actor was stirring. “For me this is the first time I’ve had a role where my nieces and nephews knew about the movie before it came out,” Reynolds told me back at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. He and the rest of the “Lantern” team were scrambling to catch a flight back to Louisiana and the set of “Lantern,” which is in final days of shooting. “This convention is the beginning of the public seeing me in this role.”

Mark Strong, who plays Sinestro in the film, said the wide-eyed address from the audience was the most memorable part of a whirlwind day

“I almost started weeping, and I’m not joking,” Strong said. Then he added: “Was that all real?”

— Geoff Boucher


ComicCon logo

PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from Comic-Con 2010

Stallone, locked and loaded in “old school way” 

Joss + J.J = Nerdvana! 

Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren see “RED”

“Scott Pilgrim” in San Diego…with jet-packs

Jeff Bridges, old and new, plugs in “Tron: Legacy”

Bruce Campbell and “Burn Notice” will go back in time

“Battle: Los Angeles” and how to swear like a marine

The Hero Complex guide to San Diego madness

Photo: Ryan Reynolds. Credit: Mike Blake / Reuters

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13 Responses to COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Green Lantern’ and the wide-eyed kid — sweet emotion or staged promotion?

  1. Doug Ridley says:

    I can assure you that the kid was not a plant. He is my son and just a seriously awesome kid who loves Green Lantern. Feel free to contact me directly to confirm. Happy to let you talk to either one of us.
    Thanks for doing a great job moderating. Connor and I had the best day ever.
    Doug Ridley

  2. Brian Angel says:

    Comic Connor is the FanKid of All TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. walt kovacs says:

    thank you for passing on the love of comics and heroes to another generation
    you are keeping america strong

  4. THe kid probably think that he really meet up with the real Hal Jordan.

  5. BH says:

    Awful sad that the first thing folks think when they see such a touching moment is whether or not it is fake.
    This was a great moment for that 10 year old comic fan in all of us (much older now) comic fans. I haven't always been a huge fan of Ryan Reynold's work, but he certainly is a class act.

  6. andew fgold says:

    a new comment

  7. andrew gold says:

    a new comment

  8. quarkbrain says:

    everyone pay all your
    money for ever, and I'll do the same back…..ok? An experiment. seriously.

  9. qbrain says:

    Sure, but you'll be a millionaire in a month. I will be about the same. My address is 2890 Durand Drive, LA, CA 90068

  10. A-COD says:

    If I am remembering correctly, the "appreciative kid plant" in the audience was used by George Lucas in the run up to Revenge of the Sith.

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