Exclusief interview met Julius LeFlore (Weequay en stuntman in Return of the Jedi)
Niet alle personages in de Star Wars films worden door acteurs gespeeld. Sommige rollen vergen gevaarlijke stunts en kunnen dus alleen door een ervaren stuntman worden gespeeld. Goede voorbeelden zijn de henchmen van Jabba the Hutt tijdens de Sarlacc Pit scenes. Hier waren diverse stuntmannen bij betrokken waar Julius LeFlore er één van is. Zijn CV is behoorlijk indrukwekkend want naast Return of the Jedi (waarin hij een Weequay speelde) was hij ook te zien in Ghostbusters, Police Academy, Die Hard en Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Onlangs was hij bereid een paar vragen voor StarWarsAwakens.nl te beantwoorden!
How did you get started in the movie/stunt business?
I was a former gymnast and went to stunt training classes.
How did you get cast as an actor/stuntman for Return of the Jedi?
I was hired by the stunt coordinator Glen Randall as Billy Dee Williams’ stunt double and I was a high fall specialist and acrobat. They needed my skills in other areas as well.
I read that you were the only stuntman who was willing to dive head first into the Sarlacc Pit. How come you were the only one?
At the time I held the world record for high falls. Along with my gymnast background I was the only one confident to attempt the daring stunt.
Can you share some of your memories regarding the time you worked on Return of the Jedi?
It was a very grueling and physically demanding job. A lot of people, crew members, were getting hurt. And it was a pleasure working with the English stuntmen at the time. It was also a pleasure meeting and getting to know Billy Dee Williams and the rest of the cast who were all very nice.
What do you make of the continuing popularity the Star Wars franchise has engendered?
It’s amazing how the interest is still there. I think it’s great.
I had a look at a list of all the movies and series you have worked on. It’s endless! Which ones did you enjoy working on the most, and why?
Return of the Jedi, due to the long standing fan base. All the other movies are basically forgotten.
Of all the stunts in all the movies you have ever done: which one are you most proud of and which one was the most dangerous?
My 98 foot high fall while being tied to a chair, thrown through a window, crashing through a basketball hoop in the beginning of the movie Night Shift. I am proud of this stunt I did because everyone else turned it down. My most dangerous stunt was a building to building jump 16 feet across with no net. That was while I was doubling Bill Cosby in the movie A Piece of the Action.
What are you doing these days?
I’m retired from stunts and only stunt coordinate for films and television.
Thanks for the interview!
Speciale dank gaat uit naar Derek en Danny van CoolWaters. Cheers!