Panel Name: Jewel Staite
Topic: An hour with actress Jewel Staite moderated by Garrett Wang.
Featured Guest: Jewel Staite, known for her roles on Firefly, Stargate, and Space Cases.
It was the Canadian actress’s first time in Denver, but Jewel Staite is no stranger to comic cons. Staite, most famous for her role in Joss Whedon’s Firefly as ship mechanic Kaylee, has been doing cons for a long time. She will let you know very quickly that she isn’t a great liar; you are only going to get the truth with her. Her slightly sardonic personality is not that of the upbeat Kaylee, but her humor and laugh make her just as likeable. So much so, it is easy to walk out of her panel and think, “she could be my best friend!” Maybe that was just me.
Staite may go to a lot of cons, but that does not impede on her ever-growing resume. Fans are always sure to bring up her stints on Space Cases, Higher Ground, and Stargate. Recently, she filmed three movies back-to-back where she was the lead in all three films. Personal Effects is a “smart crime thriller”, 40 Below and Falling is a 3-D love story, and How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town speaks for itself, really. Fans Staite should keep on the look out for these films due out soon.
Some of her best stories, which were mostly spawned from fan questions, were about Nathan Fillion starting the “flip-off” game with her. They both went a little overboard with flipping each other off. It does seem as though Staite won the game because she was able to get 5,000 people at Dragon Con to flip him off. It was a day he “so clearly lost.” She also talked about the roles she lost, namely Claudia in Interview with the Vampire, Judy in Jumanji, and Amy in Little Women. The actress (who I won’t name, and neither will Staite) also dated Staite’s first boyfriend. “She’s dead to me” quipped Staite, to audience applause and laughter. Staite also talked about her favorite book, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. If Hollywood is going to make a movie, please cast Jewel in a role!
Staite has a great acting career, but her personal life is more of an interest to her. She prides herself on being down-to-Earth. She is certainly not a diva. She talked about doing her own laundry and walking the dogs. Most importantly, she is now engaged. I’m sure that it is a relief that most people will be respectful enough to not propose marriage to her at cons, something that is common for her. After the con, Staite announced via Instagram that she and her fiancé are expecting a baby. We congratulate her on her happy life!
When asked about her thoughts on Kaylee’s innocence, Staite had an incredibly eloquent answer, and one I will end on: “There is something very human about not being heroic, and that’s O.K.” I couldn’t have said it better.