Nicholas, of 'American Pie' fame, highlights celebrity lineup at Wizard World Comic Con
He's a pretty recognizable fellow himself, having been the lead actor in "Rookie of the Year" and a main character in the four "American Pie" movies.
But, when he appears at the Wizard World Comic Con events, Thomas Ian Nicholas admittedly comes off as a little bit of a fan himself.
"It's one of those opportunities to connect with people in person," says Nicholas, who'll appear at Wizard World Portland this week at the Oregon Convention Center. "I've been acting for 32 years, and I still get starstruck if I see someone who I look up to.
"If I see them at a restaurant, I don't want to bug them. At Wizard World, you're here to say hello."
Nicholas stands as one of the bigger stars at Wizard World Portland, along with Henry Winkler, Sebastian Stan, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ian Somerhalder, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Bonnie Wright.
Nicholas likes the fan aspect of Wizard World. "Where else can I go where I'm essentially set up at a booth and many people come up and say they enjoy my work," he says. "And, I get to say thank you for watching. It's a win-win situation. I enjoy connecting with people who enjoy my work. ... There's such a good vibe at Wizard World Comic Con, it's for the whole family."
Nicholas, 37, knows full well that people associate him with the 1993 movie "Rookie of the Year," when he played young Henry Rowengartner, who receives a strong pitching arm through an accident and plays for the Chicago Cubs, as well as the 1999 hit "American Pie" — and the three subsequent "Pie" movies. He plays Kevin Myers, who plays the boy next door and Tara Reid's boyfriend.
"I've obviously done other things, but it's hard for me to outshine a billion dollar franchise," he says. "I don't mind the references. I don't mind the success of four movies.
"It's also the 25th anniversary of 'Rookie of the Year,' which I did when I was 12." He's had other key roles, such as in "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" and "Walt Before Mickey" (playing Walt Disney).
He currently has movies in pre-production. A film he's developing is a comedy in which he spends the majority of it making fun of himself and his work.
"As I get older, I'm more apt to make fun of myself," he says.
He'll be at Wizard World to promote the story "Handbook for Mortals," a fantasy/magic book series that will be made into a feature film this year. He's producing it. He's also been busy with "Living Among Us."
Nicholas looks forward to being in Portland; he's written songs with songwriters here. Also a musician, he'll play with his band at Wizard World.
Nicholas is from Las Vegas, but he couldn't help pull for the Chicago Cubs as they won the 2016 World Series, winning the championship for the first time in 108 years.
Every year he throws out a ceremonial first pitch and sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch at a Cubs game. His band usually plays in a bar across the street from Wrigley Field.
"I love the Cubs," he says. "They're the first team that I have an affinity for. Filming on Wrigley Field for an entire month (for 'Rookie of the Year') created a love for the Cubs."
Wizard World Portland Comic Con is an event that celebrates movies, TV, gaming, graphic novels and more, and it's also big on cosplay. It takes place 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, April 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.. For more: wizardworld.com (check for tickets).