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+
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
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.