While at DragonCon this year, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a Dead Zone panel that featured Chris Bruno, who played Sheriff Walter Bannerman in the show.
Chris Bruno has appeared in episodes of “CIS: Miami”, “ER”, “Prison Break”, and most notably, “The Dead Zone” among others. He has also played his hand at producing and directing. Choosing to go to Chris Bruno’s panel was very last minute and we actually arrived quite late but only because we picked up our badges only minutes before. Instead of trying to ignore us enter the room or pretending like he didn’t see us, Chris greeted us with a warm welcome to the panel. What I enjoyed about sitting there, listening to Chris Bruno speak, is how personable he was. It felt more like listening to a friend talk about something they enjoy rather than listening to stranger talk about ‘the biz’. Nothing that he said seemed like a canned response; he wasn’t afraid to open up, answer questions, or just talk about things and share his perspective.
The panel was an open question and answer type, which means the audience was free to ask questions. The audience, for this particular session, was rather small. In smaller panels like this, there is usually one audience member that tries to Bogart the conversation and essentially acts like they are the only person in the room with the featured guest. In this case, the particular audience member asked some ridiculous and personal questions. Chris gracefully answered all of the questions and didn’t seem bothered in the slightest about the size of the audience. I’m not sure if this is because he’s such a nice guy or just that professional, perhaps it is due to a bit of both, but his genuineness definitely won me over.
It is difficult to really put into words, but Chris seemed like a stand-up guy. He seemed down to Earth and not inflated by his celebrity status at all. He was instantly likable in a way that speaks to your gut instinct. He also wasn’t stingy with his time at the panel and even posed for pictures after, at no charge. I honestly can’t think of anything bad to say about Chris Bruno.
When Susie gets back in town, we’re definitely going to watch the entire series of the Dead Zone from start to finish.