During Wizard World Chicago, Mark Jackson and Kelly Hu appeared during a panel to discuss The Orville and answer fan questions. Unfortunately, Scott Grimes couldn’t attend the Friday afternoon panel, which was hosted by Freaks and Geeks cast member Samm Levine. While the panel lasted for about 45 minutes, I’m only choosing to cover their answers to the question that I asked.
What do you generally look for in screenplays when selecting projects?
Kelly Hu: How much they are paying.
Samm Levine: An honest answer, ladies and gentlemen. Sometimes it’s about the Benjamins.
Kelly Hu: Well, sometimes, it really is. I often get handed scripts a lot. I get asked to look at scripts all the time. My first question always has to be: is it financed? Because otherwise I’m reading scripts all day long for a film that’s never even going to be made. There’s so many people. My dentist has actually passed me a script. The guy can hardly even speak English. He doesn’t even have command of the English language, right. (Mark Jackson pretends to be in the dentist chair.) Exactly! Alright. So I mean seriously, you get handed projects all the time. So the first question always has to be does this project already have financing or are you thinking that my name is going to help? Because it’s not.
Samm Levine: So that’s what Kelly looks for.
Mark Jackson: I’d say a more satisfying creative answer to that would be a character arc. That’s something I look for.
Kelly Hu: Dialogue.
Mark Jackson: Yes, some dialogue is good.
Kelly Hu: Although I have been given many roles that have no dialogue.
Mark Jackson: After this show, no masks. Character arc is good because there’s nothing more boring than playing a character that just does the same thing for the entire movie and doesn’t go anywhere, and doesn’t change. If you have a character that goes through a change and becomes a different a person by the end of the film, that’s a winner—I think.
Kelly Hu: Oh yeah, for sure, that helps. And money.
Mark Jackson: And money.