Edward James Olmos is part of sci-fi royalty thanks to roles in two of the greatest landmarks in the genre: Blade Runner and Battlestar Galactica. But that doesn’t mean he’s become disconncted from the fans; in fact, if anything the reverse is true. This weekend at MCM London Comic Con he delivered a typically entertaining and down-to-earth panel, then also gave a press call, in the middle of which he was asked what he liked best about coming to conventions. His answer was so sweet – and a massive tribute to fandom – so we’ve posted it here in full.
“The most beautiful part of doing a convention of this magnitude – any convention, really, anywhere in the world – is the lovefest. It becomes a lovefest from the beginning. The very first person who comes up and says ‘Thank you,’ I say ‘Thank you,’ back, and they say ‘Thank you!” to me and I say ‘Thank you to you,’ and we spend at least seven minutes of saying ‘thank you’ back and forth. And they say they’re a big fan of the show and I say I’m a bigger fan than you are! And so we talk a lot. I talk with everybody. I sign autographs whenever they want autographs; they just come up to say thank you. But when I sign, I sign like War & Peace: I’m there forever. I have really good penmanship. People are just so happy to receive this autograph because it becomes very special to them. And it should. I’m very grateful for the privilege of living this life. I’ve lived an extraordinary life over the past 45 years and told incredible stories and people have allowed me to continue to do that by their participation.
“I didn’t know anything about the festivals [conventions], and I always thought it was something that I didn’t have the time to get involved in, going around and signing autographs, then one day the entire cast went. I was told by the Chief, Aaron Douglas, what the situation was, but I never went. Then one day I did go and I’m very grateful that I did, because that’s when it hit me as to what exactly was being done. He would say, ‘This is not about making money: this is all about just saying thank you to the fans!’ I said, ‘Okay…’ and I went.
“And since then, any opportunity I get – I don’t get that many – when I do, I do come. Seven years ago, I was here in London with [MCM boss] Brian Cooney and his structure’s grown extraordinarily: I mean, it’s amazing how many people are here. Opening day, I think, over 50,000 – I think they sold out. That’s a lot of people for one day! That rivals almost every major convention in the world. It’s very strong. I’m very grateful they have that kind of commitment here in England. I love the fans and I love being able to say thank you to them!”
Edward James Olmos – what a gent.