FanX SLC to feature Mel Gibson in his first fan convention appearance

Mel Gibson. File photo: Jim Ruymen/UPI

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 10, 2024 (Gephardt Daily) — Veteran actor Mel Gibson has never made an appearance at a fan convention, and he has chosen FanX to be his first.

Longtime FanX emcee Chris Provost thinks he knows why Gibson picked the Salt Lake City extravaganza, to run Sept. 26-28 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Find tickets and other information here.

“I’m positive it’s the fan interaction,” Provost said of Gibson’s interest. “We’ve been doing this since 2013, and almost every celebrity that’s ever come to FanX has always stated that these are the greatest fans in the world. The fans here are pleasant, they’re approachable, they’re kind, they’re generous with time, and the celebrities love that. The fans are going to be very kind to him, coming here.”

Gibson is just one of the big name stars coming. Others include Elijah Wood, Anthony Daniels, Susan Sarandon and Levar Burton.

But Provost has a special childhood memory involving Gibson.

“I remember my mom renting a VHS. We all remember VHS,” he said. “She was renting the ‘Road Warrior’ with Mel Gibson, and we watched this movie together. I was kind of young, in junior high, and we kind of kept it a secret, because it was rated R. I watched it with my mom, and we just loved it, and thought it was so fun. It was a big part of my childhood, growing up with the ‘Mad Max’ movies.”

Mom Patty Provost cherishes the mildly “naughty” memory as well.

“When we actually announced that Mel Gibson was coming, she called me immediately,” Provost said. “She’s like, ‘You didn’t tell me. You didn’t tell me.’ We had to keep it secret. Now my mom is so excited to meet him in person. She’s a huge fan of the Mad Max movies.”

The Oscar-winning actor is also known for films including “Braveheart,” “The Year of Living Dangerously,” “Hamlet,” “Signs,” “The Bounty” and the “Lethal Weapon” series.

Mel Gibson is shown in this FanX graphic

Provost said that, as usual, the FanX convention will feature many panel discussions of shows, films or comics, and numerous opportunities to pay a fee to meet with some celebrities for a photo.

And cosplay is huge.

“We have one of the largest, most extensive cosplay competitions in the country,” Provost said. “I didn’t really know a lot about cosplay in the beginning, before I got involved with working at comic conventions, but these people put hundreds if not thousands of hours into making their own costumes.”

Characters can range from people in well-known “Star Wars” roles “to something from an anime film we have maybe never seen, but they put so much effort into these costumes. It’s absolutely amazing,” Provost said, noting Marvel superheroes and Harry Potter themes are also strong. “And a lot of people dress up anyways, not to be part of a contest, they just want to dress up for everybody.

“But you don’t have to dress up. No one will make you feel weird if you don’t dress up. But if you want to, it’s a safe environment. It’s a no-judgment zone. You can dress up however you want, and people are going to applaud you for your effort.”

“Lord of the Rings” fans, once they have met Elijah Wood, can also meet Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan or Billy Boyd. “Terminator” fans can see Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick. “Star Trek” fans will be excited about Jonathan Frakes and Wil Wheaton. “Little House on the Prairie” fans can meet Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim.

Others coming include Khary Payton, Matthew Lillard, Cole Sprouse, Marisa Tomei, Ernie Hudson, Paul Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Lee Majors, and Priscilla Presley. For more big names, click here.

The youngest fans can enjoy KidCon, which also features activities, performances and crafts.

And, as always, there will be artist and author booths, and vendor booths selling theme merchandise.

But, Provost said, get your ticket soon. The event usually sells out, and people who come on the day of may be disappointed when they can’t get in, he said.

“If you come, you’ll just be blown away by how many people are there and how fun it is. It’s like a giant party.”


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