"A few years ago, I was at Comic-Con to get our show noticed," noted Emily Rose who plays FBI agent Audrey Parker in the Syfy channel's series "Haven."
Rose has been in San Diego before, but she and her castmates are here for the mother of all geek conventions -- and to get up close and personal with the fans who have made "Haven" their preferred TV destination.
Emily Rose ("Jericho," "Brothers and Sisters"), Lucas Bryant ("Queer as Folk," "MVP," who plays Nathan Woumos) and Eric Balfour ("24," "Six Feet Under," who portrays Duke Crocker) participated in a two-hour luncheon with reporters hosted by Syfy at Nobu located inside the Hard Rock Hotel.
Wrangling sushi rolls with chopsticks and sipping on ginger-infused drinks, the cast discussed the upcoming season premiere of "Haven," Comic-Con -- and a few personal matters.
Entering its fourth season, the show "Haven" is loosely based on Stephen King's novel, "The Colorado Kid." It takes place in a fictional town in Maine where the residents, called the Troubled, have supernatural abilities, and Audrey Parker has to solve the mysteries and reveal hidden secrets about this peculiar area.
Despite the show's sinister tone, the actors were all but giddy about its success. They were excited to be in San Diego and thrilled to see how well received "Haven" is among the throngs of fans they encountered at Syfy's red carpet soiree at Sidebar, one of San Diego's trendy night spots, the night before.
Colin Ferguson, who played Sheriff Jack Carter on Syfy's "Eureka," joined the cast of "Haven," playing William for its upcoming fourth season. He noted that just a few years ago Syfy hosted a party during Comic-Con where only 10 people showed up. "Myself and three other actors who were there made up the 10 people at that rooftop party," he recalled.
Another newcomer to the show for the new season is WWE Smackdown's Adam Copeland. As you might expect, he is an imposing figure but his personality is as soft as his handshake. (I actually asked for a second handshake, and I told the WWE fighter to not be afraid to squeeze my hand, and he obliged.)
"Haven" has been an unexpected success, and the cast attributes this to the writers who don't reveal too much about the characters to the actors themselves.
Things can change at the last minute, said Copeland. During filming for the new season, "sometimes, I wasn't even told that the guy I was fighting was supposed to win!" Copeland remarked.
Though the afflictions of Haven's residents are limited to the town, the cast couldn't comment on whether these special people will crop up elsewhere in future episodes. Balfour said he wouldn't mind shooting at an exotic location since most of the series is shot in Nova Scotia, Canada, where the weather is not as balmy.
Between bites of shrimp sushi, the conversation turned to a few personal anecdotes.
Lucas pointed out to us that he was wearing the signature leather jacket he sports in "Haven." He borrowed it from the show's wardrobe closet because he's in the process of moving and didn't have anything handy from his own closet to wear.
And Emily and I found out we had a connection. Just a few years ago, she had an extended stay at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, a stone's throw away from my own home, during the filming of the now-defunct show "John from Cincinnati."
Winding down the conversation we ordered coffee, talked about the kids, and admired old-school celebrities like Adam West, Stan Lee, and William Shatner who are also in San Diego for Comic-Con.
But the most striking quality about the cast of "Haven" is not the out-of-the-ordinary characters they play on this show but their down-to-earth disposition. And that is a quality most of us at that table definitely shared.
At the end of the meal, I ate a chocolate and soft caramel-filled lollipop from the plate sitting in the middle of the table, and realized I had just had meal with perfect strangers who made this feast seem perfectly normal.
Hmm, normal is something people in "Haven" probably don't experience too often ... just like my lollipop.
"Haven" premiers on the Syfy Channel on Friday the 13th, in September.