Marc Bernardin: Geek at Large (Part 1)
Marc Bernardin and Chris Dias sat across the internet and talked about Marc’s career, his upcoming visit to Northern FanCon, and nerd stuff in general.
CHRIS: I will admit ahead of time that I’m nervous as hell; this is the first I've ever interviewed voice-to-voice someone of your stature.
MARC: I’m a relatively short guy, so don’t worry about it. I’m only like 5’6, 5’7 with good shoes.
CHRIS: It's the achievements of which you stand upon, your foundation makes you tall, sir.
MARC: Fair enough. Fair Enough.
CHRIS: By the way, congrats on your Movie Fights recently.
MARC: Thank you. It was fun. I wasn’t sure entirely what to expect. At all and consequently didn’t prepare for it; like I get in there and people have notes and cheat sheets, and pages of research. “Oh, we have to do that. I guess. Alright, then I guess we’ll make this as we go.”
CHRIS: Well, if you were improvising, that was brilliant to pull that kind of victory.
MARC: Yeah, it's training from the Kevin Smith school of performance, which is, “We’re just going to go; we’re just going to make it up as we go.”
CHRIS: I'm a huge fan of Alphas.
MARC: Thank you.
CHRIS: I loved that show. I was so angry to see it go far too soon in my opinion. You were a staff writer?
MARC: Yeah, I was in the first season. There was a lot to do; there was a lot more story to tell, for sure.
CHRIS: You were just in the first season?
MARC: I was just in the first season. There was a bit of an overhaul of the staff from the top down, starting with the second season, so I didn’t come back but the first season was a blast.
CHRIS: Did you have an idea where the show is going to go?
MARC: I honestly don’t know very much about the second season at all. It was one of those, as Joss Whedon refers to it, the ex-husband syndrome. “Oh no, it looks like you guys have lost weight. I’m glad the new guy is taking care of you, and that’s all good, but I haven’t been following what you’ve been up to, but I’m happy for you.”
CHRIS: It was a normal breakup, not a Hollywood breakup where you remain friends, and still in love with each other.
MARC: Yeah, like “You were my girl, and then you were somebody else’s girl. I mean, okay. Good luck, but I hope I don’t run into you at the mall.”
CHRIS: I was hoping to do the interview before any public review of Avengers, but it's still cool FanCon is the first event where you and Kevin are together to discuss the movie.
MARC: Yeah, because he's been touring the world the way Kevin usually does. We had to cancel a couple of Fatman on Batman episodes here in LA because either he’s been out doing press or doing live shows. Saturday night will be the first time we’ve been at the same place at the same time since Avengers came out.
CHRIS: He's touring with Hollywood Babble-On I think in a couple places. Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and then I guess he comes straight up to Prince George, and you'll be here waiting for him.
MARC: Yeah, I get in Thursday night. I’ll be the advance team. I’ll get to soften the ground.
CHRIS: Have you seen the list for FanCon, the other guests there; is there anybody—I mean obviously you brush shoulders with a lot of star power, but are there any celebrities who you are looking to snag a photo with?
MARC: I’m not sure. I’ve never been that guy. Honestly. Some of it’s because as a journalist, it’s also hard to be a fan. That being said, there are a handful of celebrities that I have asked for pictures with. One of them is your guest of honor, Nichelle Nichols. If the opportunity presents itself, dear god, one must get that done. The others were Nathan Fillion, which I had to do, and George Takei. And Lin-Manuel Miranda, of twenty-five years of being a journalist, those are the four I’ve asked for. And I’m looking forward to hanging out with Tricia Helfer, who I haven’t see in a minute, for the premiere live version of the Battlestar Gallacticast.
CHRIS: What is on the docket for that episode coming up?
MARC: We’re talking to Michael Hogan. Contrary to what I said earlier, I am doing prep for this one. Do a little homework.
CHRIS: You’ll have one little post-it note with tiny one-word things just like bring up Battlestar Galactica.
MARC: Right. That show! Tell me everything before and after that. Go!
CHRIS: I'll admit I enjoy your critical analysis of movies and TV in general. Are you also critical of the things you really love? I was listening and watching your reviews for Infinity War and Black Panther. Do you keep that kind of subjectivity and impartiality with BSG, because for me I own the soundtracks, I own several seasons, but it’s admittedly a love/hate relationship with me?
MARC: There are parts of that show that I love dearly and whole seasons of that show that are a bit dodgy and suspect. I was talking about this with Twitter, someone was asking in the wake of the Infinity War review, “Is there anything you just love?” And I’m like, “Dude, I love—” and I ran down a list of everything I love. But loving something doesn’t mean it has no flaws. Loving something means loving it both despite its flaws and then eventually because of those flaws. There are movies that I love that are problematic. There are movies that I love that kind of don’t make much sense. I love Megaforce, which is weird, ungodly hot love. It’s a piece of shit. It’s a horrible, horrible movie, and I love it to death.
CHRIS: I remember that one, with the bikes and the little buggies…
MARC: Like, “We would like our own GI Joe, but we don’t really want to pay for GI Joe, so what if we just make a bunch of cars and bikes for kids to buy, and like four characters that can have their own dolls, and we’ll put them on a poster, and it’ll be super-cool.” And I bought it, and I went for it, and it doesn’t matter, and it’s probably better I don’t revisit it today. But I’m okay with that. Some of these critical eyes come from this idea, “How did they make it work despite its problems, and is there anything we can learn from how it was constructed going forward?” It's hopefully constructive criticism. “I want to do this for a living. Let me see how these people who did this for a living did this thing.” And if you can get under the hood of it, if you can see what works what doesn’t work, you see the successes and the relative failures and hopefully carry that information forward to the point where then it because advantageous for everybody. I never want to shit on it just to shit, although occasionally, there was stuff that is just bad. But still, it is constructively bad. What do you learn from this hot pile of garbage that we can carry forward?