What was actor Thomas Ian Nicholas doing Thursday at ONEOK Field?
Nicholas is best known for his roles in the “American Pie” movie franchise and the 1993 baseball movie “Rookie of the Year.”
In “Rookie of the Year,” he played a 12-year-old who pitched for the Chicago Cubs. Tulsa’s Gary Busey played a veteran pitcher who mentors the kid.
Nicholas traveled to Tulsa because he will be among celebrity guests at a Wizard World pop culture convention, scheduled Friday through Sunday at Cox Business Center. Doubleheader? He and his band are scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. Friday at The Venue Shrine, 112 E. 18th St.
Nicholas arrived early to do advance publicity for the convention. His publicity stops included ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, where he detoured for a photo op and a Q-and-A session. Among things learned: He said he has a tornado-chasing friend from Enid.
What’s your best Busey story?
Busey was very, very nice to me. He was the nicest to me, in fact. I know this because one time he carried me by my underwear across the lunch room in front of 100 crew members. But, remember, he was the nicest to me.
You wanted to get the autograph of Busey’s character in “Rookie of the Year.” Is there anybody in “real life” that you would like to get their autograph?
Well, I got Barry Bonds’ autograph because he was in the movie. Remember, (my character) Henry struck him out, along with Pedro Guerrero and Bobby Bonilla. So that was pretty cool. I once traded autographs with Roger Clemens. He got my autograph for his kids, and I got his autograph for me. So, I don’t know. There are definitely a lot of people I would still like to meet. I used to collect autographs when I was younger. I remember the thrill of getting someone to sign something. I haven’t done that for quite a while, but now that my son is 6 and my daughter is 2, maybe there will be a moment where maybe he will pick up the pieces.
Pitching for the Cubs would be a childhood dream for a lot of kids. What was your childhood dream?
I’m sort of living my dream. I started acting when I was 6. Much like Henry, I experienced my childhood dream during my childhood.
What’s something you didn’t understand about pop culture cons and comic cons until you were a part of them?
I remember the very first time I ever got invited to do any kind of comic con was in Wales. I thought, well, gee, I’m not in a superhero movie. I’m not in a Marvel movie or DC (movie) or even a fantasy (movie) outside of “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.” I guess “Rookie of the Year” delves into the fantastical realm to a degree, but, that being said, I didn’t realize there would be any interest in myself for these types of events. So that’s definitely something I have learned is it does delve into the pop culture realm. And I love being at them because I am a total “Star Wars” nerd. I loved “Star Wars” before it was everywhere, back when it wasn’t cool to love “Star Wars.” When they re-released the original (trilogy) I went to the theater and watched them back to back all on the same day.
Never say never. Will we ever see you in another “American Pie” project?
I think it’s possible, for sure. I recently ran into Seann William Scott on the Warner Bros. lot, and we were talking about how fun it would be to do another “American Pie.” And I agree. I think it would be a blast. I was the first to commit to “American Reunion.” I would be the first to commit to “American Pie V.”
For tickets and information about Tulsa’s Wizard World convention, go to wizardworld.com.