Silicon Valley Comic Con 2018 – Spotlight on Jewel Staite

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2018 – Spotlight on Jewel Staite


Jewel Staite has been acting for a long time. Her major and well-known roles include Kaylee Frye from Firefly, Catalina from Space Cases, Dr. Jennifer Keller in Stargate Atlantis, and many others. She runs the subscription service, Tearunner as well.


The conversation started with her love of tea. This got the promoting of tea delivery service going, It is a monthly delivery service that offers a variety of teas for one to try. She said that she was favoring green tea at present because it is very sneaky while still being very serene and complex. She would later remark that she also wanted to find more time to work on her food blog.


The next question was if she had had any female mentors throughout her career. Jewel did not directly recall any of them. However, she did state that she would revel in the passion that people would have for their project.


After that, the question turned to which of her characters she admired. Jewel quickly answered that it was Kaylee. It was simply Kaylee's goodness and her ability to see that in others. But when asked if she was like any of her characters, she did not see strong enough parallels to any of them.


This was followed by what role or genre she would like to play. Jewel did express interest in a period piece. However, she did say it would probably wear on her quickly since she could be a bit lazy. However, she did also admit that excellent craft services could be a strong incentive for her as well. Jewel did also remark that she is curious to return to a Sci-fi piece or role. This lead to the next question of what Science Fiction piece of technology she would like in real life. Jewel stated that she would like a super fast plane. She remarked that she does spend a lot of time traveling.


Next was the question of what role caught her off guard, coming from left field. The answer, surprisingly, was Kaylee. On paper, Jewel explained, Firefly was very obscure being a Sci-fi Western. She told us that Morena actually turned down her role in the show initially. However, with Joss Whedon at the helm, it turned into something amazing. It was hard to get their minds around the show's concept initially. Still, Joss managed to pull everything and everyone together. She mentioned that she still regularly worked with the members of that cast that she can.


The next question was which of her characters she would bring to a stranded island. Jewel jumped to answer it before it was fully asked, stating that she would bring lip gloss along. Once it was clear the question was referring to her characters, she thought about Kaylee for morale. She then remarked that most of her characters do not have much of a survival instinct in them.


After that, she was asked about what advice she would give to herself from 10 years ago. Jewel could not think of much immediately. She did remark that she was a 25-year-old idiot. Overall she was grateful for the risks that she took. She would later add on that she would have suggested taking a little more time to review where she was going and what was going on. This was to avoid some bad experiences that she had during that time.


The next questions were about good advice, bad advice, inspiration, and frustrations. Jewel was very quick to answer that people's passion goes a long way to inspire her. It was also how people can be narrow-minded that would frustrate her. After that was the good advice that she had been given, which was simply, “chill out.” The worst advice she could think of was “One more margarita.” The bad advice got a lot of knowing laughs from the audience.


Next was her guilty pleasure. Staite admitted to cooking being that for her. She did remark that it helps her husband and son both love eating food. This was where she remarked on having a food blog that was not doing very well at maintaining.


The next question was about Kaylee and her evolution. Staite remarked that if “Out of Gas” had been earlier in the series, it would have changed out Kaylee was flirting with Simon in that portion of the show. She would have been a bit more forward and not quite as reserved as she had been.


After there were questions about “Firefly” itself. The first was how much creative input the performers had with their characters. Staite said that they did not have much improvisation on set. They mostly kept to the solid script that they had been given. This was followed by a question about her thoughts on Improvisation. She remarked that it was a lot of fun. She said that she had been on numerous sets were after a few takes, the director would let the performers have a take that was theirs to play around with.


After this, the floor was opened to the audience to ask questions. The first interesting question was what Jewel Staite would do for a Klondike bar. She laughed a bit since it was an unusual question for her. However, she said that she would prefer a cheeseburger. This naturally leads to a short conversation on the subject of cheeseburgers. She said that she preferred some of the classical set up: lots of mayo, pickles and a good aged cheddar. It is something that she knows a number of ways to make as well.


The next question was about her role on “Space Cases,” why she was only on for such a short time. Staite explained that Space Cases worked a little different from others. She said that Nickelodeon did not immediately offer a contract after the pilot had been filmed. Since she did not know if it was going to get picked up, she also auditioned for a role on the Disney Channel in “Flash Forward.” The Disney Channel, however, offered a contract. This did ultimately mean that she had to leave “Space Cases” to film “Flash Forward” when that show began because of the contract.


She was then asked about her worst experience in acting. Jewel Staite told us about a shoot that she did in Costa Rica. She talked about how it was ultimately a very tough shoot because it was the rainy season during this time. She said that she ultimately managed to fit most of her possessions during that shoot in a large backpack. When her husband came to visit, he had trouble recognizing her because of the weight she had lost.


The next question was about her Hogwarts House. She joking answered Slytherin but then admitted to being very much Hufflepuff. This did lead her to announce she was going to be appearing at Mega-Con this year. This remains unannounced as of the time of writing. She also remarked on how little had been said about it so far. Staite then mentioned that her husband loves coming with her to that convention because it was held in Orlando. They both love going to Disney World. This leads her to talk about her favorite rides of Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. She also talked about the Boutique that would dress up children as one of the Disney Princesses. When she asked about it, they remarked that it was only for children. She said she pouted a bit and said it should be for adults as well.


After that, she was asked about what she learned from filming “Space Cases” and “Flash Forward.” Jewel remarked that she loved the play elements of the show. It was hard because of the 12+ hour days and having the tutor. There were a lot of adults around the set, but the crew became like family after a time. She did also remark on the dangers of Yes Men. She said that she saw many promising performs lose their way because of people just giving into their demands. She was grateful that her parents would say “No” to her because of this. She did give the advice to be nice to the cast and crew and that acting was being glorified beyond what it was since it was about playing around.


Jewel was then asked about Captain Mal, aka Nathan Fillion. She talked about how he was like an older brother to her. She learned from him how to treat everyone on her. She told us how he would be sure to learn everyone's name and at least one thing about them. He would also be the one to take the time to invite the guest stars over to their table and introduce them, working to make them feel welcome. He would be a total goof to get people to laugh on set between takes. He also, surprisingly, flew up to visit her for her baby shower. Jewel finished by telling about her time at Fillion's house when she was filming with him for an episode of “Castle.” He invited her, her husband, and their newborn baby into his house. He took time to help take care of the baby to give Jewel and her husband some alone time.


The last questions were about playing good guys compared to bay guys and the shows that never emerged or were lost after the first season. Jewel stated that she liked playing the bad guys simply because it offered a chance to play a character going for broke. But she did mention that she likes the complexity of the character as well. She felt that they were often misguided in their views. She gave the example of her character Rochelle in the Alien Complex. Jewel said that she loved the play of the character and finding the humanity within them. In regards to the lost or canceled shows, she said that she was initially very defensive. But she did learn to let go over time.


This was a very fun panel to attend. Jewel Staite had a lot to talk about with a number of good questions from the moderator and the audience. Everyone left having enjoyed the experience.

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