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FedCon 7

Bruce Boxleitner - second panel

source: The German Bruce Boxleitner Fanclub

[Please note that this panel seems to be somewhat shorter than Bruce's first one but that is simply because I edited out all the people who just came to the micro to tell Bruce how much they loved B5 and how great an actor they thought he was as well as the people who had gifts for Bruce... Nicky.]

Bruce: What do we want to talk about? Who was here yesterday? ... So you talk amongst yourselves. I'm on Babylon 5. What would you give me for this jacket? (He was wearing his B5 jacket again; Nicky) ... Make an offer...5000 bucks?! I'd drop my pants for that! Credit cards anything... You wouldn't be impressed anyway... It's not exactly a starfury. Anyway, I'm the lone Babylon 5 ranger here. Why don't we start off, I don't have a song or any poetry...I don't dance, well I do but that was last night after a few Weissbiers.

Q: We have all those 70's/80`s shows revival last year so how about teaming up with Kate Jackson and doing S&MK again?

A MOVIE!!!! Bruce: This is why I didn't want to follow Jeri Ryan ( Jeri had her panel before Bruce; Nicky) I would love to! Would you call Kate and arrange this? I haven't spoken to Kate in almost 12 years, since 1987, I would love to but it's up to you. Call or write or whatever. There doesn't seem to be any interest. Someone actually did approach the idea several years ago and everybody said "Well if you have a script? Let's see it." It never came to that. I know Kate was interested in it one time. I'm definitely interested, so who knows?

Q: What did you think about Claudia Christian leaving the show?

Bruce: Oh, boy. I was not happy. I was not happy at all, I was very loud about it at work. There were so many circumstances it would be too long and I would bore you to death. I was not happy, I love Claudia dearly and I missed her very very much. She was very valuable and she was the first one when I came on the show, she was the one at first I had to work with. Working with her I felt I'd always been there. She was Sheridan's close confident and she was Boxleitner's too. When she left I was hurt by it as everyone was and I wish her well. I've only seen her once since then and we hugged and said good-bye.

Q: Hi Bruce. I wanted to ask if you could tell the story behind the nickname that Jerry Doyle first gave you. He calls you Pukedaddy. Would you please tell us that?

Bruce: Captain Freakdaddy? Well, his name is Puffdaddy. Puffy Doyle. Oh, god. It was something when we were down at Cape Kennedy (I believe he meant Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center; Nicky) to see Mission STS-84 being launched and we were guests of NASA. We went down there, my wife and Jerry and I. Jerry who was then dating one of the astronauts, a lady astronaut, an astro-person, Marsha Ivins. Marsha was on the backup-crew for STS-84. We were down there to see the launch, it was great. It was very simple, we went off to a nightclub in Cocoa Beach, FL.

Q: I heard it had something to do with flying?

Bruce: Yeah, I was flying but it was at the nightclub.

Q: The story you told us at Wolf 359 ...

Bruce: But that wasn't the same nickname, he has another one for me. Captain Pukedaddy.

Q: Yes.

Bruce: Oh, you want to know about that one? I was thinking you talked about the other one. Well, it was at a night club at Cocoa Beach where some young ladies were dancing. It became a very wild night and I won't go any further because I am married and she was there, too. Anyway, thus he named me Captain Freakdaddy, no need to go any further. Captain Pukedaddy was when Jerry Doyle and I were invited by the United States Airforce to Edwards Air Force Base to fly with their test pilots. Jerry, Mr. Garibaldi himself, is actually a pilot he actually flew business jets as one of his many, one of many parts of his career and before becoming an actor. I've flown in WWII airplanes, prop airplanes, jets but not a fighter jet. He and I had to train for a day for what is called emergency egress that means in case the plane has some kind of malfunction we would know how to get out. And at a 1000 miles up. During the training I started considering that I was mentally ill and what was I doing there? It was very exciting and we flew the next day and I don't know if any of you have flown in a jet. do we have any pilots here? No. I dare say all of you would have puked right along with me. At 6 g's going straight up, passing out because that's what happens when all of the blood from this part of the body goes down to this part of the body, you black out. So you wear a g-suit, which looks like a cowboy shaft, it inflates in your legs so when your blood goes down like this it inflates and pushes the blood up again. So you have a momentary black out. It was very exciting and I got to fly the plane after I puked. Then I gave the plane back to the pilot and puked again. Let's just say I had my head down between my knees a lot but it was very exciting and I would love to do it again. Now, that I know about those bags I will carry more bags with me. That's all, very boring story and Jerry never lets me forget he tells it at every convention what a weenie Captain Sheridan really is. That's ok, Jerry can't play tennis. I can. I beat him everytime and I enjoy it. Anyway, is anyone still awake out there?

Q: Last year in London you talked about a Hollywood charity horseshow and I would like to know how you got involved with this event.

Bruce: That's William Shatner's horseshow and Captain Kirk invited Sheridan. It was quite fun because we had a lot of Borg, Klingons and everything in the arena and we tried to run them down. That's all. I love horses and I brought my new horse that I had just bought at that time to the show. It was quite thrilling. Bill Shatner is an excellent horseman, he loves horses and he loves children and he raised a lot of money for children.

Q: You mentioned yesterday that you hate to wear weapons and I wanted to know how you feel about the pictures from Littleton where pupils went crazy and killed other people. In Europe it's impossible to have weapons in the household. What do you think about weapons in America and prohibiting them there?

Bruce: My friend I'm only an actor if I was a polititian I would be able to ... As a human being I was abhorred by it as well, I have teenage sons and the first thing I did was to call them immediately, when I saw this, to tell them that I love them. They were teenage boys, who can figure? They had access to weapons they didn't get them legally because at 18 you can't buy, you can't just walk into a store and buy a gun. If people read that it's just not the truth. They got them not the legal way but you know what, there's enough going on over here in Europe with people running around with guns as we speak. It's insane. There is a war going on right now that's insane. There's enough weapons anywhere, I wish we could abolish them all but it doesn't seem to be possible. I have no answers but that it's frightening, it's tragic, all we can do is to hope and pray that it doesn't happen again. It's an old debate. There are guns, what can we do about it? Either no-one has guns or everyone has guns. I don't know. I have no answer to that. Hug your loved ones a little tighter everyday and realize how fragile life is. When you say good-bye to your children, your mother and father, your brother and sister everyday just be so happy you see them again, because who knows what is gonna happen?

Q: Which scenes and episodes are your favorite in Babylon 5?

Bruce: Well, I like a lot of the 4th season.

[The next person asked what Kate Jackson is doing now.]

Bruce: I don't really know what Kate is doing, I know that she's been doing commercial work in the US. I think she's been doing movies here and there but I really don't know...

Q: You look pretty much like John Sheridan today.

Bruce: I felt like the dead Sheridan this morning.

the trophy Q: I heard that you are nominated for the Saturn Awards and I hope that you will get it.

Bruce: Thank you. It's the first year that the Saturn Awards are really recognizing Babylon 5. They were a little distant from us, the show has won two Hugo Awards, which to me is the biggest. It's a very prestigeous award.

[The person went on comparing the Army of Light with the NATO and asked Bruce if he'd agree. ]

Bruce: I don't like getting into politics, I'm a TV actor. In normal life an actors opinion doesn't weigh anymore than anyone else and so what does it matter what I think. I hope it ends, that's all I hope.

[The next person wanted a photo with Bruce.]

Bruce: Are you upset? My agents telephone number is .................. I'm sorry.

Q: I would like to know if JMS told you the end of the story and why didn't take Sheridan his beloved wife with him on his last journey?

Bruce: Hey, lady, I don't write this stuff. Joe would you come out here, please? Why didn't he take Delenn on his last journey?

Q: Do you have an opinion on this?

Bruce: I believe ...

Q: If you love your wife I can't believe that you would go without...

Bruce: So you think I should kill her ,too? A suicide pact?

Q: I think a man would like to have his wife with him.

Bruce: A man likes to have his wife look at him?? That's true!

Q: You know what I mean...

Bruce: A man likes to look at his wife too! A man would like to have his wife watch him die? I don't think so. The important thing here is I think, that Delenn had to carry on somewhat. Somebody had to be the head of the alliance. She had to carry on the work. Somebody had to. Tracy Scoggins wasn't going to... I believe that's probably what he meant.

A fan! Q: Yesterday you said that you don't give autographs...

Bruce: Hey, wait, hohoho, who says I don't give autographs? That's not true. I have never turned anyone down for an autograph! Never!

Q: I was wondering if you could sign my picture...

Bruce: You have to talk to the people who run this convention. They're the boss, I'm not. If this is the way they set it up, this is the way they set it up. I'm sorry, I would love to. Could you make a paper airplane and send it to me? I would sign it, I have never turned down an autograph. This just happens to be the way they have made it. Leonard Nimoy isn't signing or is he?

Audience: NO.

Bruce: - jokingly - Well, then get off my back! - more serious - That's the way they made it, you want to hit somebody, go hit them.

Q: In Babylon 5 we saw John Sheridan doing a lot of action scenes. My question is do you enjoy them?

Bruce: Action scenes? Ja. I enjoyed it all, talking, walking, action, the whole thing.

Q: Did the philosophy of Babylon 5 have an influence on your life?

Bruce: It helped me buy a new house.

*much laughter and applause*

Bruce: In a strange way it helped me in this, it gave me as an actor some wonderful, wonderful material to do. Sometimes we had some phantastic speeches, that all gave you a little bit of something to think about. Like "Yeah, he's right." I didn't have a spiritual awakening or anything like that.

This is your wake-up-call! Q: Good evening.

Bruce: Good evening? Is it evening? I just got out of bed! Good morning. Guten Morgen. Wie geht's?

[The next person wanted to become an actor and asked if Bruce had an advice for her... ]

Bruce: If you want to be an actor more than anything else in the world, because that's a good start. It is. If you love it and you love doing it, in your heart. We all have a dream and you just have to do everything to pursue it. That's what I did, I was a kid from outside of Chicago. There was no theater experience in my family , no actors, I just had a dream. I didn't know how to go about it at first but I loved television, I loved movies and I said one day I want to do that. I don't know how to do it but I'm going to do it and I think I've done it and it's been a long trip. That's what it is, you have to want it more than anything because it can be a very risky job a very risky business. You have to be able to take a rejection. You have to believe in yourself more than anyone else.

[The next person asked Bruce if he and/or the other cast members had read the Lord of the Rings, because there were so many parallels to it in Babylon 5. ]

Bruce: I don't know about the other cast members but Joe sat down with me after the 2nd season and asked me if I'd ever read it and I said "Yes, the Hobbit, back when we were... *Bruce made a gesture like he was smoking pot* ...Uh, very trippy man, the Hobbit, little guys..." I sound like Jason Carter. Anyway, he wanted me to read the Lord of the Rings to give me an idea of what he was trying to do. He wanted to have this saga that was very much like it and he wanted to see if I would get it, if I would understand what he was trying to do by reading The Lord of the Rings.

Aragorn? Frodo? Beren? Q: So, did you read it?

Bruce: Yes. All of it, all of it... I can't wait for that film when they do it. That will be exciting.

[I have no idea what the next person asked, obviously it was something about Mira. I sure wish people would stand closer to the mike when they ask questions... Nicky. ]

Bruce: Mira and I are dear friends. I know she had the most beautiful baby-boy. My wife and I as soon as they got home from the hospital, went down to their house with babyclothes, the things you need because they were both in such a euphoric state someone had to do the real things for them. Her husband Goran he just...he couldn't stop looking at the baby. "Goran you have to eat sometime..." Mira, the look on her face now, she is a a whole different Mira Furlan. She is just lovely. We worked great with each other, we never had any problems, we just ... it was one of those lucky things ...there was a nice give-and-take between us and Mira is from Yugoslavia with all that is going on in Bosnia. I know there is a lot of mixed emotions. I just tried to be as sensitive to her as I could because I couldn't really understand not having come where she comes from, what she has experienced in her life. I would not persume to know what she was going through. She is a marvelous actress and I hope there will be more for her to do. Right now, motherhood is all she's been doing.

Q: What was it like working with Tracy Scoggins?

Bruce: We arm-wrestled a lot... Tracy and I have kind of known each other for many years. We traveled through similar circles in Hollywood. It was different from Mira, it was much more a military relationship. She was the Captain. She had a tough job coming on the show to fill that space. I'm the only one on the show who can understand that. I had to come in and fill in some shoes as well, so I think she kind of relied on me to introduce her to everyone. It's just a difficult thing walking in to replace Claudia Christian. It's just a tough thing to do. There was a lot of controversy and all that. It was tough for her and I think she did the job.

[The next person asked how long the shooting days on B5 were and if he had any time left for his hobbies.]

Bruce: The wonderful thing that Mr. Strazcynski did was that they were very aware of the one thing...television is wonderful but sometimes the hours can be so long your greatest enemy in doing a television show is time. There's never enough time, so a lot of shows have very long hours. I just talked to my wife, Melissa from location, before I came over here. She woke me up on the phone, she was calling when she was on location doing a film in Austin, TX and it was something like 4 o'clock in the morning there. I said "Honey, what are you doing, why are you calling at this time?". She said "I just came in from work. I was working 19 hours." She was so tired, she was practically in tears. That in television is your great enemy, everyone becomes very tired. So our schedules were only 12 hour days, which is a normal day. Some shows they have Friday night they go all night long because they don't have to work the next day but that day becomes the next day and it's Saturday morning and you're still working. Often times that happens and one day off in between is not enough to be with your family. We had a very good schedule, I think that only twice, in the four years that I was on the show, we went past 7 o'clock in the evening. We start or our first call for the aliens, Mira, Peter, Andreas they have like a 4:15 call in the morning. That is a long day.

You can look but you better not touch? [The next person asked about Sheridan's and Delenn's relationship... ]

Bruce: We never had sex. Don't ask me how the Minbari did it. I don't know. Yes, we both, Mira and I, longed for a little more excitement in our marriage but Babylon 5 was not all about the days of our lives, the romance between the two characters. We wanted more and sometimes we felt that our relationship was a bit adolescent. ..but we were getting a paycheck every week and JMS would not take any suggestions. The way he wanted it is the way he got it.

Transcript taken from The German Bruce Boxleitner fanclub. Thanks!