Grantland’s Andy Greenwald hosted the New York Comic-Con panel on Thursday for Cinemax’s hit crime/action/drama Banshee, which enters its fourth and final season this Winter. The show focuses on Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff. He continues his exploits, all the while pursuing his own unique brand of violent justice in Banshee, a small Amish town in Pennsylvania. Cinemax returns the show for its last episodes in January of 2016. Joining the show this season is TV veteran, the beautiful Eliza Dushku, who knows about violent TV from her experience in Buffy, Tru Calling, and Dollhouse.
Banshee creator, writer, and executive producer Jonathan Tropper, made an appearance at the panel, along with stars Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Matt Servitto, Frankie Faison, and Eliza Dushku.
Greenwald called the show horrific and existentially violent, and that’s a raving review! The obvious first question was why were they going end the show after four seasons. Tropper wanted to end on a high note, and is sensitive about shows overstaying their welcome… COUGH Sopranos… COUGH COUGH Dexter. He says that the writers all pitched possibilities for Season 5, but that just reinforced their feeling that this was the end of Lucas Hood’s journey.
Milicevic discussed the differences between Carrie’s violent fights and dramatic acting scenes. She likes the juxtaposition and calls it a catharsis; although she’d love to do more comedy work after this grueling experience. You can really tell how much the cast enjoys working with each other. All they do is joke around and give sarcastically funny answers. When asked about what’s new for bartender Sugar, Frankie Faison said he actually has to wear pants now.
We got an introduction to new cast member Eliza Dushku, who portrays FBI profiler Veronica Dawson. She follows her own set of rules and is willing to go rogue, kinda like Faith from Buffy… and as I type that, she says she sees Veronica as a mature Faith! Dushku conveyed a story about her 70-plus-year-old stepmom who was so excited when hearing she would be on Banshee. That became a panel-wide joke about Tropper aiming for the over 70 demographic; hence a Frankie Faison sex scene (just kidding). Matt Servitto is hilarious, and they discuss his epic beard (which fans had cut outs of) and why he shaved it off (his daughter don’t like kissing him with a beard). He absolutely raved about the upcoming season and pled with people not to read any spoilers.
Tropper agreed, talking about how he had Empire Strikes Back ruined when he was 10-years-old, which according to Greenwald is why Tropper is so angry. After all the show has already featured drug dealing criminal masterminds, neo nazi gangs, and now a serial killer shows up!
Favorite moments from the cast: Antony Starr’s was chopping the albino’s junk off. Ivana Milicevic’s was her fight with Olek (Christos Vasilopolous). They all miss Job (Hoon Lee) and speculate where he is. Servitto again got in a great line: “He’s on Broadway!” Lee is actually the lead in The King and I.
Before they opened the panel up for questions, they played the trailer for Season 4 and I literally got goosebumps as the packed room went nuts. You can watch the trailer now here below!
Every questioner spouted undying devotion. The Banshee Brigade is a loud, passionate bunch. When cheers were heard outside the convention room, Tropper demanded we out-cheer them!
“Which character would make the best spinoff?” – None. Tropper compared a Banshee spinoff to a “Kramer Show.” Sometimes you just have to let the show end on a high and move on.
“Do you regret killing off any characters?” Brock (Servitto) was supposed to die in Season 1, but they changed their mind. Antony Starr joked that he wouldn’t have minded killing him.
“Has your character rubbed off you in real life?”
Starr: “Yes, but don’t attack big people.”
Milicevic: “I walked with more of a swagger after fight training.”
Faison: “I took boxing training at Gleason’s gym… I felt invincible, I wanted someone to bump into me so I could knock em out… but I got over that.”
The two main things I learned at the Banshee panel were that the cast and crew love each other, and that the fans are crazy and raucous. It was a super fun panel, and Season 4 looks off the hook. The fourth and final season of Cinemax’s Banshee begins in January 29, 2016.
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