Actor Chris Sullivan made his second only comic con appearance last weekend during Terrificon held at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Fans were delighted to meet the man responsible for snarky space pirate Taserface from Guardians of the Galaxy and lovable teddy bear Toby from This Is Us. The odds at the casino were definitely in my favor as I was granted a few minutes to speak with the incredibly sweet Mr. Sullivan.
Linda: I love Guardians and I love This Is Us. How did the heck you go from Taserface to Toby? How was that transition?
Chris: Thank you. Yeah, it was interesting, I did the pilot of This Is Us right before I went to shoot Guardians. Maybe it was the other way around, it’s all a blur now. Probably one of my more colorful characters is Taserface and then there’s one of my more pedestrian characters, Toby. Toby is probably the closest to my actual personality.
Linda: I was going to ask you which was the bigger challenge for you, Toby or Taserface.
Chris: I dunno, being myself is probably harder. It might actually be harder.
Linda: How did you get involved with Guardians of the Galaxy?
Chris: One of the associate producers Simon Hatt had seen me in a TV show called The Knick and recommended me to James Gunn. I got an audition and they watched the tape and hired me.
Linda: Who is the most fun to work with in Guardians?
Chris: I mean, my favorite is Sean Gunn. I like working with him a lot.
As Chris and I were chatting, more excited fans showed up at his table. We paused the interview so that he could interact with them. Chris has true appreciation and affection for all those that come to support him. It was heartwarming to see him address each fan with gratitude.
Linda: We had spoken a bit earlier about how you had recently started getting into the comics. How did you go about preparing for Taserface?
Chris: I researched the character but it was impossible to figure out what I was gonna do until I saw the makeup and costume and the teeth. The teeth determined how I was gonna have to talk. And so a lot of my preparation, as soon as I got on set, went out the window. Then I just had to make some big decisions on the spot and hope that James Gunn liked it.
Linda: I feel like it really worked.
Chris: I feel like he liked it.
Linda: How often are you picked on about Taserface?
Chris: All the time. That is just part of it. (laughs)
Linda: Now I wanna switch to This Is Us a bit. Did you anticipate the bigness of this show?
Chris: No, I mean we knew that we had a special episode of TV but you never know it’s gonna be that big.
Linda: The writing is brilliant. I think what’s best about it is there’s a little something that hits everybody across all walks of life.
Chris: I think the story connects with a broad range of people not because it is broad but because it is specific.
Linda: Aside from your own story line with Chrissy Metz, what other story line do you find the most intriguing?
Chris: I really enjoy watching Mandy [Moore] and Milo [Ventimiglia] with the 12-year-old kids and watching how those relationships are being forged. How the lives of those human beings are being forged in the younger early years with their parents.
Linda: Do you think you and Kate (Chrissy Metz) are headed down the path of being together forever?
Chris: I hope so. I hope so. They gotta marry me to somebody higher on the call sheet. (laughs) So I can stay on the show.
Just then, an adorable young man in a boy scout uniform nervously approached Chris. I stepped back and watched as he welcomed the youngster, putting him at ease. Chris chatted with the boy about the patches on his uniform and expressed that he had been an Eagle Scout in his younger years. The touching exchange turned even sweeter when Chris generously offered his autograph at no charge. The boy’s face lit up with excitement and I could not let this unforgettable moment pass without taking a photo. This is why I attend comic cons…
Linda: Do you have a favorite person you like to work with on This Is Us?
Chris: Chrissy. Chrissy Metz. We have a lot of fun together.
Linda: What is the biggest message This Is Us, sends to its audience?
Chris: It’s a language of coming together. It’s super easy to walk away when things get hard and this show speaks a language of coming together. It speaks the language of honesty and vulnerability.
Many thanks to Chris Sullivan for taking a few minutes from his busy schedule to speak with Fan Fest News. Be sure to catch him on NBC’s hit TV series This Is Us which starts its new season on September 26th.