Daar waar sommigen talloze audities moeten doen om een rol in Star Wars te bemachtigen was de manier waarop Stephen Costantino in 1982 een rol in Return of the Jedi kreeg wel héél bijzonder. Van origine is hij namelijk muzikant en had hij nog nooit in een film geacteerd! Eerder deze maand (december 2015) was Stephen Costantino bereid om een interview te doen voor StarWarsAwakens.nl. In dit interview spraken we over hoe hij gecast werd, zijn ervaringen op de set en uiteraard over zijn muziek!
How did you get cast for Return of the Jedi? I believe it has got something to do with your friend Corey Dee Williams?
I was in a band with Corey Dee Williams and we use to rehearse at Billy Dee Williams’ house where Corey lived. When Billy asked Corey to stand in for him on the set of Return of the Jedi in Yuma, Arizona we were going strong with the music and Corey was a bit reluctant due to being on movie sets with his dad before. Which is tough work! Then Billy gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse and invited me to come along and continue to play music on the set and entertain the cast and crew, which we did every night. I was never cast to be in the movie until about the third night when Howard Kazanjian, the producer, took Billy, Corey and I out to dinner and I asked if I could work or help out in any way. Howard said to be on set in the morning to work!
Did you get to choose your character? If so, why did you go for the Gamorrean guard?
I had no idea I was going to be the Gamorrean Guard on the barge when I showed up the next morning, let alone any character for that matter. I was excited to say the least!
Can you share some of your memories regarding the time you worked on Return of the Jedi?
There’s so many! Just to be around so many extraordinary people and talent was amazing to be part of. We arrived on a Sunday and everyone had the day off and was hanging around the pool. I remember meeting Peter Mayhew who was standing in the jacuzzi towering over me and thinking how cool is this! I also sat next to Carrie Fisher on the plane to Arizona and she was sharing her experiences and insight on all the influences that made up Star Wars.
Did any strange, weird or remarkable things happen during the making of the movie?
One night the power went out at the hotel and everyone lit candles and had a party and Corey and I entertained everyone playing live music. It was surreal! Stuart Freeborn always had fascinating experiences to share and the incredible story creating Yoda. Kenny Baker was one of the funniest pranksters I ever met. Everything was constantly evolving in the desert with this monolith in the middle of it all. Wearing the costume was a challenge. They had to put a blow dryer in my mask for air due to the heat. Corey would have to hold me up when they took off the top half! I loved every minute!
Before you got involved with Return of the Jedi, were you a fan of Star Wars? What did you think of the movies?
I was a huge fan! I went to see Star Wars on Broadway in NY when it came out.
In which scenes can we see you as a Gamorrean Guard?
I’m the guard who attacks Luke Skywalker on the barge and is sent into the Sarlacc Pit by his lightsaber.
How do you look back at your part in Return of the Jedi?
I’m still am in awe of it all and very grateful. Especially to Corey and Billy Dee Williams!
You have attended conventions and met many fans. What do you regard as the funniest, strangest or weirdest thing that has ever happened to you at a convention?
It’s incredible that I get to go out and share my story with Corey at the conventions. I never imagined it would be so big. I love the fans. I remember the first event I did and about 30 Stormtroopers approached Corey and I to make us honorary members of the 501st Legion and I couldn’t believe it. I was honored! It’s always crazy to meet the Gamorrean Guards on the road and how they are always trying to make a more comfortable suit! It’s quite a commitment and I have to give it up to those guys.
You have a passion for music. Over the years you have been in several bands, including one with Billy Wirth from the movie ‘The Lost Boys’. How would you describe your music? And who were your musical influences?
My music is amalgamation of all my influences and I feel fortunate to be able to express that in my songs. I was fortunate to be raised in New Jersey and New York in the 70s when music had no bounds and was diverse and I got to see and meet all the greats and visionaries. I love it all from jazz, R&B to classic rock.
Suppose you were in charge of the music of Return of the Jedi. Which existing songs from which artists would you use?
What are you doing these days? Can you tell us something about your current or future projects? I read you’re releasing an album this year?
I just finished my CD and very excited for everyone to hear it. It will be released by this Christmas and I’ll be signing them at shows. My label is Gamorrean Sound and my logo is a tattoo I have on my arm of the Gamorrean guard playing my guitar which I had done at Celebration Anaheim by Jersey Jay Wymbs! The logo is also the artwork on the actual CD which I think the fans will like. The CD is produced by Robert Margouleff and Pete Mills and features world class musicians. Robert Margouleff was one of the first pioneers of the synthesizer and produced Stevie Wonder and many others. I’m looking forward to sharing it with the world!
Thanks for the interview Stephen!
Wil je meer weten over Stephen en zijn muziek? Check dan zijn website waar je samples kunt beluisteren!
Speciale dank gaat uit naar Derek en Danny van CoolWaters. Cheers!
Meer interviews vind je (behalve op StarWarsAwakens.nl) op StarWarsInterviews!
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