Face To Face With The Masters
Any citizen of the galaxy may be summoned to answer to the Jedi Council. Here you may read the transcripts of such sessions.
Cellblock 1138 - 1997-1999 - 2000 - 2002 - 2003+
Femi Taylor (Oola)
It Ain't Easy Being Green
Oola pics scrounged up by Davin Felth, Femi Taylor pics
courtesy of Paul Maner
I (Scott Chitwood) got to meet Femi Taylor at her first ever convention appearance. It was
in Houston. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly suprised! She was extremely
friendly and polite to everyone, from the youngest fans to the oldest. Femi seemed
genuinely glad to be there and interacting with the fans.
When I met her, I asked to get her autograph on one of my original Return of the Jedi
movie posters. I was one of the first in line, so she hadn't used her paint pens very
much. They simply weren't writing well. Femi then tried pushing down on them and the pen
went BLOOP! There was a rapidly expanding blob of permanent paint on the poster. "Oh,
no! I'm sorry!" she said. "Uhhh...that's OK!" I said, trying not to freak
out. Her signature looked like FemO Taylor! Ack! Playing it cool (and having the help of
nearby Jeremy Bullockh (Boba Fett)), we got it pretty well cleaned off. A little while
later, I approached her again and asked if we could interview her for you all. She said,
"Sure!" Maybe she agreed out of sympathy? Nah! She's cool that way!
So, at the cost of a slightly smudged ROTJ poster, we bring you this interview with
Femi Taylor! (Man, the things we won't do to get you Star Wars news! :)
TF.N - HOW DID YOU FIRST FIND OUT YOU GOT THE PART OF OOLA IN RETURN OF THE JEDI?
FEMI - After the initial audition at Twickenham film studios , where we met the
director to have a chat and to see if he was interested to invite us back for a recall, we
were put through this gruelling dance audition. Back then, the film had no title. To the
30 girls who had been recalled back, it was cocooned by secrecy, so no one knew how
important it was winning the audition. Then one of the girls asked the director, Richard
Marquand, what the film was for, and he said it was for the next Star Wars film.
I gave the choreoghrapher who took us through the audition a ride up into London, and
he said I was not supposed to know this , but my strong audition performance won me the
role. My reaction was ecstatic. I did not want to get too excited, because it had to come
officially from my agent. When I returned home after the show, and back then I was
performing in the original cast of the West End production of "Cats", my agent
had called and confirmed what Anthony van Laast told me in the car.
TF.N - WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU SAW THE MAKEUP AND COSTUME?
FEMI - Well my reaction to the costume was fine, I thought it was a very clever design
and it did equate to the character Oola. The only thing I was worried about was how my
parents would regard the piece of costume. The make-up I also thought was a perfect
concept for Oola, it just was not very pleasant standing for 3 hours having it applied.
TF.N - WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF OOLA AND HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR
FEMI - Originally Oola had quite a bit to do. I was setting the scene for Carrie
Fisher. Richard Marquand showed me the storyboards. Oola was going to escape, run away and
meet her destiny. Unfortunately the budget did not allow the character to go that far. But
by him telling me the story, my thought process during the the Jabba scene was that I was
held in captivity to give pleasure to this slug-like creature Jabba, and my hopes were to
escape from this horrible existence, or barring that way, to die cleanly and well &
escape that way. My sadness came from my life being at the mercy of his webbed hands.
TF.N - WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING ON THE SET WITH AL THE ALIENS AND THE BIG SLUG, JABBA?
FEMI - The set was incredible. A palace had been made that took up one huge studio
space. It was like going back in time. I did not have much contact with the other monsters
& aliens because in the original scene Jabba had requested for Oola & the multi
breasted fat dancer Yarna to perform. Working with Jabba was quite difficult because he
did not know my moves, and a couple of times I nearly got strangled. Every step had to be
monitored for the puppetiers who were operating Jabba, so they knew how to give & take
whilst I was in movement.
TF.N - DID YOU FILM ANY SCENES THAT WERE CUT FROM THE FILM?
FEMI - I only filmed the two scenes.
TF.N - DO YOU HAVE ANY INTERESTING STORIES OF WHAT WENT ON AT THE SET?
FEMI - I do not have any stories that happened behind the scenes. Everyone was focused
on the timing of things. So when I was on set, everything had been planned and there was
no time to sit around and wait. The waiting I did was in the dressing room, because of
being green I could not go anywhere.
TF.N - HOW DID YOU GET THE ROLE AGAIN IN THE RETURN OF THE JEDI SPECIAL EDITION?
FEMI - The casting director had tracked me down when I was in New York. She expressed
that George Lucas was restoring the third Star Wars film, and the Jabba scene was one that
he wanted to concentrate on and by a miracle the casting director suggested to try and
locate me. Apparently there had been a lot of doubt that I would not look remotely the
same, because it had been made 15 years ago, and that's a long time. Through society's
eyes I should be 2 stone heavier and at least have 2 kids. I was delighted to return to
continue with Oola, especially being the only original cast member.
TF.N - WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH GEORGE LUCAS AGAIN? WHAT WERE THE OTHER ACTORS
FEMI - George Lucas was wonderful to work with, seeing as the first time I worked with
Richard. George knew exactly what wanted, and expressed this as he directed me, through
his calming, quiet self. The others back in 1982 were all a pleasure to be around. Working
on set with them, for me, was not enough time to form some sort of friendship with the
major actors, because I was either on set ready to rehearse then shoot, or I was back in
my dressing room.
TF.N - WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP BUSY THESE DAYS?
FEMI - I was in the West End musical Jesus Christ Superstar, and finished that late
last year, then I recieved a phone call asking if I would like to do the film Cats, so I
went straight on to do that, which should be out sometime later this year.
TF.N - IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER PART IN STAR WARS, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE?
FEMI - I have no idea what other part I would like to play in the Star Wars films/
prequels. I guess thats the exciting aspect about the business, you just don't know what
is around the corner.