Whether wandering past the vast amount of watering holes on 6th Street, catching a screening at the Alamo Drafthouse, or lining up for world-class BBQ at Iron Works or Tex-Mex at Guero's Taco Bar, this year's South by Southwest attendees are bound to bump elbows with a celebrity or two who are worth bumping into: for the annual Austin, Texas, film, music and interactive-arts festival.
Our picks for five celebrities scheduled to attend SXSW and worth bumping into:
The Geek God: Joss Whedon
We've already mentioned our excitement for the world premiere of Whedon's long-delayed but much-buzzed-about horror film "Cabin in the Woods," and in addition to his promotional duties for the film — which he co-wrote with director Drew Goddard — Whedon will be appearing at the Austin Convention Center for "A Conversation With Joss Whedon" at 11 a.m. Saturday, which will encompass his beloved past, present and future. Look for the jolly ginger to be doing the "crazy legs" at an impromptu dance party or having animated conversations with fans.
King of Cartoons: Seth MacFarlane
The multitalented man behind "Family Guy" and "American Dad" will also be featured at the festival in a fancy Q&A setting via "A Conversation With Seth MacFarlane," 11 a.m. Sunday at the Vimeo Theater, during which he'll discuss his animation domination, recent foray into music and his anticipated upcoming directorial debut, "Ted," a live-action/CG-animated comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.
Surprise Music Superstar: Jay-Z
Because SXSW originated as a music festival, it's no surprise that a few of the biggest names in the industry descend upon the fest each year, but 2012 marks the first-ever solo appearance by superstar Jay-Z. After bringing down the house with his brief set as part of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music show last year, Jay-Z announced he'll be playing his first solo set at SXSW on Monday. The "Amex Sync Show Presenting Jay-Z," which will be live-streamed on YouTube.
Locally Grown Treasures: Matthew McConaughey and Robert Rodriguez
Alright, alright, alright — Texas golden boy Matthew McConaughey will be rolling through for the premiere of his action-packed, slightly deranged and extremely violent NC-17-rated film "Killer Joe" on Saturday evening. We hope he sticks around long enough for some BBQ and beer with the locals. Robert Rodriguez, who has previously attended the fest to promote his feature-film projects, will be on hand for a night of Latin-fused rock and roll by Chingon & Tito and Tarantula. Their music has been featured on the soundtracks of Rodriquez's films "Desperado," "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Machete."
Random but Awesome: Tie — Morgan Spurlock and Epic Meal Time
Award-winning documentarian and master of making us think, Morgan Spurlock will be on hand for the screening of "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" and as part of the panel "Changing the Channel: The New Golden Age of TV" at 3:30 p.m. Monday, where he will discuss the upcoming second season of his Hulu series "A Day in the Life."
Also noteworthy in a completely different capacity are the crew from Internet phenomenon Epic Meal Time. The masters of outrageous menu items will appear at their Saturday afternoon panel "Meat Is Might: Epic Meal Time Rules the Web" and will likely make an appearance at the official SXSW screening of their show at the Alamo Drafthouse on Sunday.
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