Lots of stars call themselves nerds. They show up at Comic-Con International or E3 wearing a comic book T-shirt and make a play to increase their geek cred.
It’s not a bad plan. These days, if you express how much you love something, you could be named the next Spider-Man.
But are these self-proclaimed geeks always sincere? After spotting Scott Porter — best known as paralyzed quarterback Jason Street from Friday Night Lights — at Comic-Con in an X-Men T-shirt, Wired.com decided to find out.
“You’re talking to a kid who read The Hobbit by the time he was 7 and read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy by the time he was nine,” Porter said when Wired.com got him on the phone. “But X-Men was my first love. I didn’t care much for Spider-Man early on. I didn’t care much for Captain America and the Avengers. They all seemed squeaky clean and they always won. The X-Men seemed like outsiders and they didn’t always win.”
Sounds pretty convincing. But after getting the low-down on Porter’s upcoming projects — like his character in Hart of Dixie, which premieres Monday on The CW, and his role in upcoming film The To Do List (“formerly known as The Handjob and currently looking for a new name”), we asked for more bona fides. But not before asking if the Friday Night Lights movie is going to happen.
“Peter [Berg] is serious about it,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s a continuation [of the original]. I don’t know which characters you’ll see. I would love to be in Jason Street’s shoes again.”
Jocks aside, here’s what happened when we asked Porter to lay his geekiness on the line.
What’s your favorite book or comic book series?
“I have a few that I pick up. I gotta say, over time, the X-Men books, the Geoff Johns Flash run. Then there are books I still get and collect in trade paperback form like Fables and The Walking Dead. Invincible is something I really love right now. The Losers was one of my favorites as well. My all-time favorite run on a book was probably Peter David’s X-Factor.”
What’s your favorite sci-fi or fantasy film?
“Sci-fi and fantasy combined or one of each? [Eds. Note: Good response.] Blade Runner and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For some reason, that trilogy is one of the best transfers from book to film ever. Maybe because it’s a 12-hour extravaganza, but I just love those movies. With Blade Runner, I remember watching it with my dad when I was young and just it had everything. I would love to see Ridley Scott’s reboot, actually. I’m excited for that. The original is so good. It was one of those movies that nobody got, and then everybody stole from. Then it became a classic.”
What’s your geekiest collectible item?
“HeroClix. They’re these really cool miniatures of comic book characters that you play as a board game but you can also put on yourself. It was made by WizKids and now it’s made by NECA and I probably have over 1,000 of them. I collect those. And I still have my Castle Grayskull and Skeletor’s Snake Mountain. I still have all of those in boxes in storage. I still have all of the original run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and most of the original run of G.I. Joes. HeroClix is my nerdiest thing though.”
What’s your current pop-culture obsession?
What’s currently on your playlist?
“I’m all over the place musically. I love going down the rabbit hole through iTunes or through music websites. But, god, I’d have to say my current playlist is Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars and then Young Money. I listen to hip-hop and singer-songwriters, so a weird little mix.”
What’s currenly in your game console?
“I just put a huge Xbox and surround-sound setup in my trailer because I’m really a huge gamer. I can’t wait for Gears of War 3 to drop. I’m just biding my time with NCAA Football, Halo Reach and Dead Island in the meantime. That’s what I do at work — everyone else goes back to their trailer and studies, I installed a full home theater so that I could keep up with my favorite shows and play videogames. I don’t have my own trailer at lunch anymore because my trailer has basically become a community center for everyone to play their favorite games. I’m pretty sure that when I’m not there someone else is.”