Comic-Con 2014: Exclusive Interview with Sondra Currie for ‘Ganymede Pan’

– by Gig Patta

There will be lots of sci-fi at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International.

“The Hangover” actress Sondra Currie will be on location to pitch a new sci-fi television series “Ganymede Pan” to fans and others attending the convention. Currie is best known as Alan’s mother in all three “Hangover” movies.

“Ganymede Pan” pilot is directed by Alan J. Levi (“JAG,” “NCIS”).

Currie spoke with in detail about the premise of the television and her plans for the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con International.

Read the interview below.

Latino-Review: Tell me more about this show “Ganymede Pan.” I’ve seen the trailer. What is this science-fiction television show you’re trying to promote?

Sondra Currie: It’s a situation in which the universe is in grave danger. I play General Tai. She is the nemesis on the show. There’s a psychotropic substance or we call it a “trope.” So I enlist Ganymede Pan, who gone AWOL.  The substance had been absconded by another elite pilot so there’s a dire need to get a hold of that substance again. It can only be controlled by a child who is the golden boy. Therefore, whoever controls that child will control the galaxy. That is the essence of it.

This substance is kind of like a blob-like material. It could morph into anything that this child would want it to become—either good or bad. It could be the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. There’s a real urgency to it.

Ganymede was a golden child when he was younger. But, not to make it confusing—he’s basically hunting down his mysterious former commander.

Latino-Review: What exactly is a trope?

Sondra Currie: It’s a psychotropic substance. The children can fully concentrate on this and it can become whatever the child wants. That’s why it’s so important for me to get my hands on it. Obviously whoever has control of it then has control over the galaxy.

Latino-Review: Your character, General Tai, is she a military space general? So you have a full military or a small contingent?

Sondra Currie: No, I’m almost actually at the top of the food chain. You won’t see it in this episode for the pilot who I actually report to. You don’t know about that. For now, I’m the one who is in control. I am the one who has to go find this at all cost. That’s why I bring back Ganymede Pan to find the one who absconded with the child. The character who absconded the child is named Remi. He is also an elite space pilot. The child’s name is Prometheus. So I blackmailed Ganymede into re-upping back into my force to find this child for me.

Latino-Review: So this television show is very similar to other sci-fi shows. We’re talking about universes far, far away with technologies. There’s going to be aliens on this show too, right?

Sondra Currie: Yes, ultimately there will be aliens on the show. It comes down to the fact that there’s five habitable colonies left on this one planet. There are uprisings in the metric systems. Everybody is getting restless knowing that this substance is around. And yes, the aliens are part of it.

There is a tiny alien called a Barunthian Bantha. He’s pretty docile. So it shows you on what can happen.

Latino-Review: There is an actress playing a character named Phoebe with bluish skin. Is that an alien or an android?

Sondra Currie: Phoebe is an android. She had evolved from some fish species. She’s blue and she has gills on the side of her neck. She functions now as a humanoid. She saddles up with Ganymede. Prometheus is a combination of a genetic engineering and natural abilities. And that makes him very powerful. [Laughter] Did I confuse you?

Latino-Review: No, no. It seems like someone thought of a long storyline for a complex television show.

Sondra Currie: I’ll tell you that Ganymede is actually a name in the Greek mythology. He was abducted by Zeus and taken to Mount Olympus. Ganymede has a long history with that name. So Ganymede was abducted just like our Ganymede Pan. There are a lot of filters back to the Greek mythology.

Latino-Review: Now how were you recruited on to this project?

Sondra Currie: I did a play with the man who wrote it about three years ago. So we’ve known each other for a while now. Originally, General Tai was written for a man. My husband, Alan J. Levi, directed this pilot. He also had the idea of making Tai a woman. Since Dave [Johnson] and I already worked together before—he thought it would be a great idea.

I was lucky enough and it’s wonderful to play a powerful woman. She’s almost like playing Sigourney Weaver in “Alien.” She was a straight forward tough person too. I really looked forward in playing her.

Latino-Review: Is a lot of the production here in Los Angeles mainly on a green screen?

Sondra Currie: Yes, a lot of it was on the green screen. They did build some quite impressive sets actually. The sound stage is out on Laurel Canyon. They have the interior of the space ships. Even the special effects are pretty interesting on how they are able to do that. It’s loaded with special effects, but still accessible to your imagination that this is happening.

Latino-Review: What does the production company hope to do with this television pilot?

Sondra Currie: There are a lot of avenues on where it could be. The Syfy channel could be one. I don’t think the network competition would not happen, because there don’t tend to do space shows. Many space shows end up in cable. It’s not a super scary show, but an exciting show. It could even go to a children’s Saturday morning show. It could easily be something that it could morph into.

Latino-Review: So you’ve only filmed one episode and then wait to see what happens after that?

Sondra Currie: Yes. We’re going to go down to see on what’s going on. There’s been some interest in it. We thought we could go down to Comic-Con to put our feet in the water to see the reaction with the people down there. Hopefully people gravitate towards it and then go from there. So this is our first foray into science fiction and Comic-Con! [Laughter] Oh, my gosh. I’ve been reading so much about Comic-Con.


Latino-Review: What are you specifically doing at Comic-Con then?

Sondra Currie: I’m going to be there promoting the show. It’s about meeting people and handshaking. I really look forward to being there. It’s a great opportunity to meet and get to know other people. It’s my first time down there. I’ve had a lot of science fiction in my career, which goes all the way back to “Nightstalker” and those shows. The last big thing I’ve done were with all those “Hangover” movies.

I look forward in spreading the word. We have a packet to give out to people. I’ll probably connect “The Hangover” films with it, so people will know who I am. This way they can spread that kind of popularity around a bit. I can’t wait and hopefully I’ll see you!

Latino-Review: So no panels? You’re pretty much meeting fans off the streets?

Sondra Currie: No, they have me pretty well booked for interviews, carpets and specific parties. There’s one Friday night for the “Bates Motel,” in which the executive producer is a friend of ours. Our lead on the show has a pass on the floor and he’ll be there in costume. He’ll be doing that while we’re going to be doing more organized meet and greet.

I’ll be wearing comfortable shoes. No Louis Vuitton for this show. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: You keep on mentioning “The Hangover” movies. I understand you played the mother to Zach Galifianakis’ character.

Sondra Currie: Yes, I played Zachy’s mom. I did all three movies as his mom. It was fully a fun franchise to be part of and was a lucky one.

Latino-Review: So how was that experience overall? I know the franchise had ended.

Sondra Currie: It was really tremendous. We were together long enough to become a bit of a family. Todd Phillips was the same director who directed all of them. It was a really great working experience. The last one did well financially, but it wasn’t well received like the first film.

And the ending was changed in the last film. It was kind of a last minute change almost. There was a scheduled ending to be shot, but a week before that Todd decided to do away with it. He wanted a more of a surprise ending. I was disappointed, because I had a really good scene in the end. Never the less, he thought it was way better in the way he ended it. Did you see it?

Latino-Review: I did see it. Tell me more about this ending that was never shot.

Sondra Currie: It’s similar to the ending in the movie. It’ll be when Zach gets married to Melissa McCarthy. It has similar overtones to the first one only with a larger than life kind of wedding. Basically, I think he just wanted to change it up. There was a wedding in the second one. So the bottom line is that he probably didn’t want a wedding in the third one. It was everything in the first film, but magnified by fifty percent. He originally wanted to go out with a big blast and then he changed his mind.

Latino-Review: Hopefully I’ll see you at San Diego Comic-Con. I’ll be all over the place.

Sondra Currie: I’ll keep my eye out for you. Thank you for this conversation. Happy Sunday.

Interviews, TV, LRM Exclusives Sondra Currie, Ganymede Pan, Comic-Con 2014, SDCC 2014