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Interviews -
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+

Jeremy Bulloch

May 2000, by Ben Hagood (Guest interviewer)

TFN is pleased to present this interview with a character from the Star Wars universe that fans of all ages have come to know and love. The man behind the mask of Boba Fett, Jeremy Bulloch, talks candidly about everything from his reaction to Independence Day in 1994 to his favorite movie role aside from the bounty hunter. This interview was conducted as a special guest interview with Ben Hagood at the May 2000 Sci-Fi Expo in Texas and is an exclusive to TFN.

"As you wish..."

With these words, the deadly silent bounty hunter we know as Boba Fett came into being twenty years ago. His armor bristling with hidden weaponry and scarred with the results of battles long forgotten by all but himself, he stood among the other hunters on the bridge of Vader's flagship, alone aware of Solo's plan for escape, figuring it out before even Solo himself. Behind the secretive visor of the lethal hunter's helmet stood actor Jeremy Bulloch. A veteran of stage and screen, Bulloch would don the armor again for Return of the Jedi. Ironically, what seemed like a small role for Bulloch would garner more attention for him than any other character he has portrayed. On May 7, at the Sci-Fi Expo in Austin, Texas, I was given the chance to talk with Jeremy about his career and what the future holds for the man we know as Fett.

BH: What did you think of Star Wars when you first saw it?

JB: Well, I watched it like everybody else did and took my children to it, they were very young then, and I thought, "What a lovely film." It's unusual, it was something completely new. It's like a fairy tale, a fantasy, and I loved it. Little did I know that I was going to be involved a couple of years later.
The Star Destroyer scene was the most amazing thing, it just engulfs you. You feel claustrophobic in a way. It's been copied hundreds of times, and it's never to the same effect. When I saw Independence Day, they tried to copy it, and you felt this ship overhead, and I thought, "Ooh, this is going to be good." But, after a while I got bored. I thought the special effects were superb, but it got too jokey. There was no threat, no suspense, and it lost me for while. But again, they used that scene. Star Wars did it the first time, and it's sort of gone from there. It's still a marvelous story. The whole thing's wonderful.

BH: And it's really stood up. I mean, the other big movie at the time was Smokey and the Bandit. They were the two films competing for number one. There's no way that movie could have lasted for over twenty years.

JB: Well, it's extraordinary, because it was made with not a lot of money to begin with, and people just took to it. It's one of those lovely things that could've easily not happened and just disappeared, but it didn't. To use that phrase, "the rest is history."

BH: How did you end up with the role of Boba Fett?

JB: Well, it's like anything, you go for an interview. I was told at the time, "They're filming this scene with some bounty hunters," so I went up, and I literally fitted the suit. I was being dressed in it as I interviewed. Very nice, you know, "Oh, Jeremy, could you just put this on, and then the armband," and, "can you put the helmet on here?" It was strange, because I was just sort of offered the part then. I didn't think it was meant to be 'big' at all, because I didn't do much in it. But I was very pleased when they asked me back to do Return of the Jedi. Although, I saw a Boba Fett action figure, shown to me in the studio before I started the film. I thought, "Crikey! That's amazing. They have a toy of the character." But then someone told me his first appearance was in the holiday special, which I've only seen recently."

BH: It's pretty bad. (laughs)

JB: It's not very good, no.(also laughs) It's something I don't think George Lucas likes very much.

BH: Besides Lieutenant Sheckil, were there any other non-Fett roles for you in the Trilogy?

JB: No, there were no other parts. It would have been lovely to have played about six or seven parts, but I think to have played Boba Fett was enough. To play Lieutenant Sheckil was terrific, but it was just a day when David Tomblin, the first assistant director (who is one of the best I've ever worked for), said, "Jeremy, there's a sequence here. We'd like you to do this thing with Carrie, as an Imperial officer. Go into wardrobe and get changed into something." So I did it, and got back into the Boba Fett outfit to finish a scene we were doing early that morning. There are people who say, "Did you get paid any extra?" I say, "No. I just did a day, and that was just part of it." It was nice, because everyone was working together on that film. That's what I liked about it. We were involved in a science fiction piece, and you were a very small cog in that big wheel.

BH: What's your favorite role thus far?

JB: My favorite role was in the theater, a play I did called Dangerous Obsession, where I played a businessman. It's quite a nasty piece, where this man threatens the two of us. It's only a three hander. It's been ten years ago now. We played it out of London for three weeks, and we came into the West End, and it was a good hit. It was taxing, because I had to break down and plead for my life every night, and cry. From this strong, arrogant businessman, I become a gibbering wreck. It was most exhausting, But I did it for two years, and I got more satisfaction out of it than anything. I never stopped talking, as well. It was the arrogance, and this man comes along and threatens us. The whole play takes place on this wonderful set, like a birdcage, and he locks us in, but it's our conservatory. A very English home, and he just locks the door. Then there's the threat, the gun comes out. There's a wonderful effect where, right at the end of the thing, he comes with a gun, and I said, "Oh, don't be silly, put that silly toy away." He's rather a weak, mild-mannered sort of guy, and he just sort of comes out and says to me, "You're not listening to me, Mr. Driscoll. I've told you what I've said, now listen to what I'll do." I start to get up, and I've got this wine glass in my hand, and he fires the gun. Set to the glass, I had a little charge, and I pressed it. It was sugar glass, and it went 'POW', like that, all over. The audience in the first row used to lift up out of their seats. The curtain closed, and there was no applause for what seemed like a minute, and they finally all inhaled, and you could feel it. It was a great psychological thriller. In the second act, you see the true character of this arrogant man just disintegrate. It was taxing, but a good part to play. I really enjoyed it. I did it for two years, and then suddenly at the end, I thought, "That's enough." I couldn't have done it any longer, I was exhausted. We did 8 shows a week, and I never missed a show.

BH: Are there any projects in the works right now?

JB: There are several. There was a project called First Frontier that I was going to be involved with last year, but that's been on hold now, so I don't bother talking about it. It was a bit like Babylon 5, really. I was going to be playing a character named Abelard Kennard, who is 300 years old. I was this 300 year old man digging for ore, and he's drunk all the time. It was just going to be one episode, but they started to think of working the character into many episodes, but he comes back in alien form, so you really don't know which character he is. It's a really wonderful story but if it's not going to be done, there's really not much point in talking about it.
Then, last year, Kenny Baker, Dave Prowse, and I were involved in a CD-ROM roleplaying game, Zelen Ghorm, which we shot in Sweden. Kenny and I play an old priest and a young priest, and Dave plays this sort of "sand warrior". It's got really marvelous 3-D animated graphics. We were working on that for 5 days, and that's supposed to be coming out in November. They spent a lot of money on it, and it's a wonderful piece. They used us because we were in Star Wars, and it's a way of selling it. We had a blast doing it. There's another project, Master Race, possibly in Australia next year, but again, until it happens, there's really not much point in talking about it.

With this much in the works for Jeremy, it seems as though we're sure to see the face behind the mask after all. He holds his secrets nearly as well as the hunter he became famous portraying, but time will tell if they are to be revealed. Let's hope they are.

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