John Barrowman is clearly comfortable in front of a crowd.
The star of the British sci-fi series “Torchwood” went to school in San Diego and, back in town with a sizable contingent of his family, the actor bellowed, stood on his seat, sang and playfully groped his fellow cast members during a panel in Ballroom 20 on Thursday at Comic-Con.
“I thought I told you to never turn my mike off,” he told the tech crew when they muted his microphone during a transitional moment.
Barrowman was asked by a fan during a question-and-answer session whether he would consider “rocking the blond hair” and donning the star-spangled superhero Captain America. Barrowman was emphatic that he would like to do just that if Marvel Studios calls.
“He’s one of my favorite superheroes. … My dad is probably sending the studio an e-mail right now,” the square-jawed actor said, nodding toward his parents in the front row of the huge ballroom.
“Torchwood” executive producer Julie Gardner piped up and said she would “intercept that e-mail” to hold on to her action hero.
The rowdy panel like “Torchwood” was laced with sexual innuendo and flirtation and the crowd was delighted with the steady stream of wisecracks by Barrowman about his character, Captain Jack, and his sexual preferences.
The highlight was tender ad-lib moment: A young woman asked if Barrowman and fellow cast member Naoko Mori (who played Tosh until her death this past season) would sing a duet of “Sun and Moon” from “Miss Saigon.” The pair starred in a stage production years ago and, after a bit of fumbling to remember the lyrics, they performed it to the delight of the crowd.
I was lucky enough to be the moderator of this panel, and it was pretty easy — all I had to do was stay out of the way of the Captain and his crew.
— Geoff Boucher
Photo: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) and Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato) star in the BBC series “Torchwood,” courtesy BBC America.