TORONTO – It is said that television actors are not the same people that they play on TV. In the case of Paris Hilton, one would obviously hope that is the case. But it would be hard to convince anyone who made the trek to Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square to see the stars of Heroes yesterday that James Kyson Lee isn’t just as kind as Ando, that Noah Gray-Cabey isn’t just as bright as Micah, and that the show’s newest star, Dania Ramirez isn’t just as striking in person as she was in her last role as AJ’s main squeeze on The Sopranos.
In fact, the only exception might have been Zachary Quinto, who plays the show’s main villain, Sylar. While he certainly isn’t as intimidating in person as he is on television, and also lacks the insatiable appetite that his character has for brains on the show, he is certainly just as interesting.
The Heroes World Tour made its final stop in Toronto yesterday afternoon and Kyson Lee, Gray-Cabey, Ramirez, Quinto and the show’s co-exective producer Jeph Loeb participated in a Q & A and session with fans and signed copies of the Heroes Season 1 DVD which was released earlier this week. The only Canadian date of the seven-day, eight-city tour (which also made stops in Hong Kong, London, Munich, New York, Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo), the Yonge-Dundas square was abuzz with many events planned around the celebrity appearances.
There were cheerleading demonstrations (put on by the University of Western Ontario’s Mustangs and in obvious homage to the show’s ‘save the cheerleader, save the world’ tagline) and anime artists on-hand painting Heroes-themed works (in obvious reference to Isaac Mendez).
Merchandise was also available as well.
Fans could also get their picture taken and have it digitally inserted into a cast photo.
The event officially began yesterday at 12:03 p.m. after the cheerleaders were done wowing the crowd and Entertainment Tonight Canada‘s Rick Campanelli served as the emcee.
First on the docket, was a pre-taped message from the show’s creator, Tim Kring, where he apologized for not being able to personally attend. He thanked the fans for their “support and enthusiasm” and said that one of the strengths of the show is that the writers are willing to let the program tell them where to go without predetermining everything. He outlined some of the things that surprised him last season, and started with the relationship between Claire and her father saying that he didn’t think that would become such a central aspect of Heroes. He also said the immense and widespread popularity of Masi Oka’s Hiro character wasn’t expected and noted that the “save the cheerleader, save the world” mantra was “just another line of dialogue in the script” until the promotional team picked up on it.
Kring then spent some time praising the Toronto attendees specifically. He said that Sylar (who was introduced in the ninth episode) “didn’t really fit the classic villain bad” and said that was “the beauty of Zach Quinto.”
He talked about how it was a pleasure to work with 11-year old Noah Gray-Cabey and said that there were a lot of similarities between the actor and Micah’s character.
The wide-eyed audience finally learned more about Dania Ramirez, when Kring said that her character, Maya Herrera had a dark power but wasn’t dark herself. He said that Ramirez’s charm and challenge was to make her character sympathetic despite the abhorrent powers she possessed.
Kring’s video closed by playing up to the crowd when he said that a character would make a stop in Canada in the new season and that Volume 2 would have a different feel. Entitled “Generations,” the second season’s main theme was to focus on the people that came before the Heroes that we have grown to love and that people before them had special abilities as well. The entire video can be seen at GlobalTV.com
Campenelli then welcomed the stars to the stage.
A particularly entertaining moment was when Loeb asked the gorgeous Ramirez to turn around for the crowd.
The actors then answered questions that were pre-submitted from fans at GlobalTV.com. The first asked them if they could switch their character’s power with anyone else’s on the show, which one they would choose.
Ramirez and Quinto both said that they wanted invisibility and Ramirez joked that Noah Gray-Cabey should just keep his because it allowed him to get money from the ATM whenever he wanted. Kyson Lee said that he preferred Peter’s ability to use the powers of the other Heroes around him.
The Q & A ended quickly because of the hundreds of people in line waiting to get their DVD’s signed, but before it did, Campanelli asked the stars what other plans they had while they were in Toronto. The audience learned that they were attending the Blue Jays baseball game on Friday night and that they had a drink at Yorkville’s Remy’s the night before.
The Heroes Season 1 DVD is now available in stores everywhere.
The Heroes Season 2 premiere airs on Global and NBC on September 24. Prime Time Pulse will launch “Heroes Week” before the premiere that will feature my exclusive interviews with the castmembers.
Please credit Inside Pulse, Murtz Jaffer, and Colin Yardley when reposting any part of this story or using any of the photographs