Toen eind augustus de Britse acteur Guy Henry op de Power of the Force conventie aanwezig was moest ik hem de onvermijdelijke vraag stellen: is een interview mogelijk? Drie maanden (en veel geregel) later was het dan zover; ik kon hem vragen stellen over zijn verrassende rol als Tarkin in Rogue One en het in de voetsporen treden van de legendarische acteur Peter Cushing…
Interview met Guy Henry
How did you prepare for the part of Governor Tarkin?
I watched Peter Cushing’s scenes over and over to try to get as close as I could to his physical and vocal qualities and mannerisms. I am not a particularly good or accurate mimic but I hoped to find the essence of what he did and how he sounded. The rolled “R” sound is the key!
One of the things you absolutely got 100% right was the voice. You sounded just like Tarkin/Peter Cushing. How did you achieve this?
That’s very kind! I don’t really agree – I feel I might have done better had Tarkin been played by Peter O’Toole who was my hero and my imitation of him is REALLY good! I concentrated on one “template” line from A New Hope: “You would prefer another target, a military target?” I used to say this line over and over to myself before each take on Rogue One to slip as best I could into my version of Cushing/Tarkin’s voice.
Peter Cushing is a legendary actor and Tarkin an iconic character. Also, Star Wars fans are very critical. You could say that playing Tarkin could only fail. However, it turned out to be a massive success! Did you fell any stress or pressure playing the part and were you relieved afterwards?
I found the whole thing very frightening! Obviously the people making Rogue One made it clear that this was an extraordinary experiment, something that had never been done before in the history of film, and I was daunted by the whole thing. I didn’t want to let down Lucasfilm and Disney nor the Star Wars fans, but particularly I didn’t want to let down Peter Cushing, whom I’d always greatly admired. To be chosen to represent him was an honour. Sometimes the director, Gareth, would invite me to be “more like Guy” – they’d chosen me because they felt I was able to present the essence of Cushing’s style and persona and they didn’t want a slavishly accurate impression. I did say that if they wanted to employ a bona fide impressionist (I suggested British impressionist Rory Bremner) to make all the right sounds for Cushing’s voice I wouldn’t be at all offended but they said they wanted me and the performance I was able to give.
What did you think or feel when you saw your performance completed with the CGI on screen for the first time?
I was greatly relieved that it/I wasn’t an embarrassment! It could have been and I think some people thought it would be – including me!
As said, you got enormous praise. Not only from the critics, but especially from the Star Wars fans and even the Cushing estate. Do you think that is the most rewarding thing an actor can receive and far more valuable that winning an award?
I did a signing session at a film fair in London on Saturday and was so touched when some friends of Mr. Cushing’s long-time secretary, Joyce, said that she was in tears of delight when she saw the film. I believe she was moved to see “him” back on screen again. He was by all accounts a true gentleman and much-loved.
Most of your scenes were with Ben Mendelsohn. I have heard some funny stories about him singing and dancing on the set. How did the filming of your scenes go?
Ben was immensely supportive of me. He recognised that my task was a difficult (and possibly thankless) one. One day I was standing doing my lines behind camera, playing the scene with Ben on camera, and I was being particularly louche and superior in order to help make him angry towards Tarkin… Ben thought I was looking at the monitor on the camera rather than looking at him… he was very cross with me, but completely understood when I explained that I hadn’t been ‘monitoring’ him!
One thing I always like to ask Star Wars actors is if they have good stories of funny, remarkable or weird things that happened on the set. Do you have any?
I had a scene with Darth Vader which didn’t make the final cut. Quite possible because the lovely man filling the Vader suit that day, Spencer Wilding, was only a little taller than me, so I tried to shrink Tarkin by playing the scene in my socks with my knees bent… not the most relaxing way to play a scene!
When did you see the A New Hope for the first time? And what would you have said when someone had told you then that one day you would take over from Peter Cushing as Tarkin?
I saw A New Hope in a remastered version whilst filming a TV series in Leeds more than a decade ago. I thought it was a collection of outtakes! I’d know idea who was fighting who, or why – I still don’t! I saw Rogue One first at the London premiere – though the very kind producer John Swartz did give me a sneak preview of the work in progress a little before that. If someone had told me I’d ever pretend to be Peter Cushing – and get praised for it! – I wouldn’t have believed them!
You have done a lot of work for the Royal Shakespeare Company playing many different roles, like Captain Hook in Peter Pan. What excites you more: playing classic parts in plays everyone loves… or important parts in blockbusters with huge fanbases like Star Wars and Harry Potter?
My old hero Peter O’Toole when asked whether he preferred theatre or film said: “Whatever I’m NOT doing at the time!”
There are more Star Wars movies coming up: besides Episodes VIII and IX there’s a Han Solo spin-off and a rumored Obi-Wan movie. Since Tarkin is alive in that time period I was wondering if you will ever return as Tarkin (or maybe as another character?)
I’ve heard rumours that there might be a film involving the story of Tarkin’s life – if so, nobody who might actually make such a film has mentioned it to me!! We shall see….
Meer unieke interviews vind je op: Star Wars Interviews – ‘Mem-Wars’ from a galaxy far, far away…
Collector’s Edition: #2 Shane Garrad
Collector’s Edition is een onderdeel op deze site waar we , in samenwerking met Echo Base, een aantal vragen stellen aan hele fanatieke Star Wars verzamelaars, over hun passie en over hun collection. In dit tweede deel een kort vraaggesprek met Shane Garrad, ik heb Shane zijn collectie ontdekt door zijn Instagram en ik wist direct dat hij meer dan geschikt was voor deze rubriek.
Hi Shane, please introduce yourself.
How did you get into collecting Star Wars?
You have a big Star Wars room, what is the focus of your collection?
What is your most valuable item?
Any white whales you are still searching for?
Any items in your collection that were exclusive for Australia?
Is there a big collectors scene in Australia?
Collector’s Edition: #1 Mark Newbold
Collector’s Edition is een nieuw onderdeel op deze site waar we een aantal vragen stellen aan hele fanatieke Star Wars verzamelaars, over hun passie en over hun collection. In dit eerste deel een kort vraaggesprek met Mark Newbold, oprichter van de site FanthaTracks.com en vaste schrijver voor Star Wars Insider en StarWars.com.
Hi Mark, please introduce yourself!
My name is Mark Newbold. I am the editor in chief of Fantha Tracks and I’ve been writing for StarWars.com, Starburst magazine (the longest running Sci-Fi magazine) and since 2006 for Star Wars Insider. I worked for De Agostini’s, build the Millennium Falcon, right now I am working on the Spanish version of the Fact Files series. I started a website in the ‘90s and there was not so much Star Wars going on at the time. So for a while it was a Star Trek site (don’t tell anybody) and then it became more of a general sci-fi site. And when it was clear in the late ‘90s that Star Wars was coming back, I started with the website and collecting again.
When did you start collecting?
Pretty much since the beginning. I saw the movie a couple of months after the release, it came out in December 1977 in London so probably I saw it in the months after that, I was six at the time. My aunt bought me a Star Wars magazine and that was the very first piece of my collection. In the years after ’83 there was nothing Star Wars anymore, and we made fanfiction. And in the 90’s when it was clear that Star Wars was coming back, I started with the website and collecting again.
What is the focus of your collection?
The problem is that I have no main focus. I like to collect all little bits and pieces, like stickers and buttons. It took me a bit, but I’ve got all the vintage figures together. I don’t need to have them in mint condition or anything so that made it easier. And I’ve also got a lot of Star Wars books. And I have different formats of soundtracks and audio books, laserdisc and games.
The good thing is I am not a completionist, so I don’t care too much about that. I like to collect small things. I always say that I would not be bothered if everything in my collection room would fit in the palm of my hand. I like it to have it a bit chaotic and have full shelves. Friends can come over and look around and pick things ups and ask questions. The most fun about collecting is the stories behind every piece.
What is the most valuable piece in your collection?
The Art of Star Wars signed by Ralph McQuarrie at a book signing in the mid 90’s. Nobody was in the queue behind me, so I got 5 minutes to talk with him, I wish I could say we had some deep conversations but it was probably small talk about the weather. Later, a friend of mine took the book to a convention in Paris and got it signed by Joe Johnston and that was the only time it left my side. If something would happen or if I could only keep one thing, it would probably be this this book.
What item took you very long to get, but in the end, you found it.
I was searching for years for SP FX: The Empire Strikes Back on VHS (a television documentary special hosted by actor Mark Hamill, about the special effects of Empire) and I knew a friend of mine had it and after some years he told me that he knew I wanted it. I made him an offer and in the end agreed on half of it and now I have it.
Any big wishes you have or white whales that you are after?
Luckily I don’t have one now. Like I said I love to collect everything, and I am not a completionist. It’s a shame because I like to look for something and search for something. It was a lot of fun in the days before the internet. I loved going to conventions and comic stores searching for that special missing piece.
I know from your social media that you visited Steve Sansweet at Rancho Obi-Wan, what is your relationship with him?
I contacted him when I was writing a piece for Star Wars Insider about the connection of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. And he was at the time still working for Lucasfilm so he could help me with advice on that article. And couple of years later I interviewed him for Star Wars Insider, and we stayed in contact through social media. I met him again at a convention and we became friends. I was at Rancho Obi-Wan for the Guinness Book of Records party. And a couple of times after that. we stayed at Steve’s house and hade breakfast with him, he is a very friendly and very funny guy. If you have the chance to visit Rancho Obi Wan, you should definitely do so!
De verzameling van Mark Newbold
Volg Mark Newbold op FanthaTracks.com en op Twitter @Prefect_Timing
Exclusief interview met Nick Stanner (Stunt performer – The Mandalorian)
Wat zou Star Wars zijn zonder goede stuntlui? Iemand moet de stormtrooper zijn die door een vlammenwerper in rook opgaat of van een rots af valt!
In The Mandalorian ging stuntman Nick Stanner meer dan 30 keer ‘dood’ en was hij als diverse personages te zien. Van Mandalorian tot stormtrooper! Onlangs interviewde ik hem voor StarWarsInterviews.com en zoals altijd is het ook hier te lezen!
How did your journey in movies start? How and why did you become a stuntman?
Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska I was not around film at all. I grew up competing in Gymnastics for my parents’ club all the way through college. I was always flipping off something and in eighth grade I remember watching a movie, not sure which one, but I mentioned I wanted to “do that” as I pointed at the screen. My mom asked if I wanted to be an actor, and I said, “No, I wanna do the cool stuff!” Mom said Oh a stuntman?! I said yeah, and went back to being an eighth grader. Fast forward to after college, I was looking for a new apartment in Lincoln Nebraska where I went to collegians was telling my mom and she said, “I thought you said you wanted to go be a stuntman! When are you going to do that?” The second I heard my mom say that and I knew she supported me no matter where I was, I decided to leave. I headed to Florida to get involved with the live stunt shows at the theme parks like Indiana Jones at Disney, Sindbad at Universal and many others in the Orlando area. Once I got into some of those shows I started to meet people in the film industry.
How did you manage to get hired for The Mandalorian TV series?
One of my best friends that I met at the very first show I did when I moved to Florida was Ryan Watson, the Stunt and Fight Coordinator for The Mandalorian now. We have known each other since 1999. He is one of the best in the industry for fights and creative camera work.
Which characters did you play as a stuntman? The Mandalorian himself?
I played a mandalorian, but not THE Mandalorian. The Mandalorian stunt double is Lateef Crowder. He is amazing with movement. I played numerous characters. I died 32 times in the first eighth episodes, many as a stormtrooper. I did all the high falls so any time someone falls from a roof, that’s me. You can count at least four in the final battle in episode 1. 3 falls in one circle of the gun and one when IG-11 shoots me before they walk in the door. That’s a couple examples, but I am all over the place. I also was the green face guy with Carl Weathers and speeder bike trooper.
You just mentioned that you ‘died’ 32 times. What was your favorite death scene?
Each death was unique. My favorite is high falls, which is why I get to do them all, but being torched by mandos flame thrower as a stormtrooper.
Which of these characters was your favorite?
They are all fun to play, but there is nothing like being a jet pack mandalorian flying on wires. Kids dream come true!
Did you meet the Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal? How was he to work with?
I met everyone and worked with the whole cast! It’s an amazing crew with no lack of talent and everyone is very down to earth. Being there every day, I had a chance to get to know everyone pretty well. Pedro is a jokester so we got along great. I’m a big comedy fan so I enjoyed Bill Burr.
Did any weird or funny things happen on or off the set?
There were a few funny moments on set. Lots of laughs all around really but when it was time to work playtime was over. Off the set there was plenty of laughs and good times. When you’re working 10-14-hour days it takes the whole crew to keep everyone in good moods and in the film biz there is no shortage of laughs.
What is your favorite anecdote regarding the production of The Mandalorian?
My fave laughs, not sure of anecdote, was when Bill burr would mess with the crew. He has such quick wit and had the entire crew laughing!
Were you a Star Wars fan before you got cast?
I was a so-so Star Wars fan. I liked the movies, mainly the first 3, and saw them pretty young. Being involved has brought me a little deeper into the world but I would not consider myself a diehard fan.
The question I have to ask every stuntman: what is the most dangerous stunt you’ve ever done?
Most dangerous stunt would be getting hit by car in Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon, or a 9-story high fall while being lit on fire, but it could be being hung underneath a helicopter by 75 feet of cable and flown over Los Angeles! Hard to pick just one, they are all super fun to me!
Meer unieke interviews vind je op: Star Wars Interviews
Exclusief interview met Jake Cannavale (Toro Calican)
In aflevering 5 van The Mandalorian maakten we kennis met de jonge premiejager Toro Calican, gespeeld door Jake Cannavale. Speciaal voor zustersite StarWarsInterviews.com beantwoordde hij kort enkele vragen!
How did you get cast for The Mandalorian and were you a Star Wars fan?
They asked my agent if I would like to be in it. And I’m a massive fan and always will be.
How did the shooting of your scenes (most of them with Pedro Pascal) go?
They went very well. There was not a single difficult person to work with on that entire set. In my so far very short career that’s already not something I take lightly. Pedro Pascal was awesome! Mad love to Pedro.
You were directed by Dave Filoni, who many fans see as George Lucas’ heir. What is your opinion of him?
Other than the fact that he genuinely loves The Phantom Menace I have literally nothing bad to say about Dave. He’s the man. I loved working with him as an actor, and I have nothing but faith in him as a fan.
Did any weird or funny things happen on or off the set?
During me and Ming’s fight scene, Dave told her stunt double -whose name is also Ming- to actually kinda beat me up…it looked fantastic.
What is the best memory you have regarding The Mandalorian?
Probably knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that I can pull off a blue leather outfit.
Besides acting you’re also a musician in a band called Vixen Maw. How would you describe the music you make and who are your musical influences?
Vixen Maw is an experimental grindcore band. I would describe us as the musical equivalent of getting lobotomized by an unlicensed brain surgeon with Parkinson’s disease and medical fetishism. I don’t like to speak on behalf of my band members (or anyone, as a general rule) but I can say we are all pretty eclectic in terms of our musical tastes, with extreme music being the anchor, or epicenter, so to speak. So our influences are pretty all over the place. I will say that we are currently writing a new album from our own respective quarantine spots and some of the bands I’ve been listening to for inspiration include Chepang, Bandit, Narayama, Vulva Essers, Cloud Rat, Botch, Wormrot, Coke Bust, Gulch, and Bryan Adams.
You’re almost 25 years old. Where do you see yourself in 10 years and what are your career goals?
In ten years I see myself hopefully having had enough memorable screen time to be sampled in some kids shitty grindcore band that his parents are sick of hearing rehearse from their garage. Also I would genuinely love to be writing for a living. Theater, film and animated television.
Meer unieke interviews vind je op: Star Wars Interviews