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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+

Interview with Mark Hamill - Director and Star of Comic Book: The Movie

Conducted January 20, 2004 - Part 4

As I wound down my interview with Mark Hamill, we drifted back to discussing some of the cameos in ?Comic Book: The Movie?. One of them who briefly appears is Ron Pearlman who will soon be seen in Hellboy.

Mark Hamill's Comic Book: The MovieMark Hamill: Ron Perlman, funny in the movie cause he was the only guy that I wasn?t able to go to and say, ?Here?s what we?re doing.? We just come upon him! You can tell he?s ready to crawl out of his skin. He so doesn?t want to be there. And later I said?I didn?t say it directly to him?but I said, ?Let him know if he doesn?t want to be included in the film, I totally understand.? Cause I?ve worked with him a lot of times. He was on Phantom 2040. Gosh, I?ve worked with him at least a dozen times as a voiceover artist and I have the greatest respect for him. So I?m really sensitive to people saying, ?Are they just being nice or do they really not want to be in it but they?re just being nice to me?? And since he looked that way, I said, ?He so doesn?t want to be in this. Let?s take him out.? And we were just amazed when he said, ?Oh, no. I?ll sign the release.? Again, I loved it because it was so different from the more enthusiastic participants.

Scott Chitwood: As our conversation wandered around, the subject of the old Batman TV show starring Adam West came up.

MH: You know, I know that the Adam West version comes in for a lot of criticism, but it really served its purpose. I mean, it became so mainstream that it wound up being in Time Magazine and places that Batman had never been before. And even at the time, I was 12, 13. Here?s the deal. I was young enough so that when I first started watching I thought it was straightforward. By the time seven episodes had gone by, I went, ?Oh, wait a minute! They?re making fun of this!? You know, as they?re climbing up the rope and he turns to give Robin a lecture on civic duties and so forth, I thought, ?Oh, god?? So I got right away, or not right away, but soon enough that they were doing sort of a parody.

SC: I watched it as a kid on reruns and I always thought it was serious, I guess.

MH: Well, you know, that?s the beauty of it. I remember babysitting for kids going, ?Why are you laughing?? But it single-handedly gave us that label of ?Pow!? ?Biff!? ?Bam!? Even the New York Times, some respected journal like that, will always fall back on those same old clich?s when they talk about comic books. ?Pow! Bam! Biff! Mark Hamill directs a comic book movie!? There was talk of putting those kind of things in (Comic Book: The Movie). Even when you see the Commander Courage cartoon where he socks the guy, it would have been accurate to put a ?Bam? or a ?Biff? in there, but I said let?s not just because that?s what everybody expects. I think that?s probably what?s my guiding light. Even accepting a play where I played a gay dance instructor. They were thinking, ?Weren?t you worried that?s gonna?? Well, hmmm?No. Not really. Why not? No one will expect it and part of the play was that he was passing as straight. He talked about his wife and he turned out to be pathological liar, almost. And I just think that for me the most fun is as long as I?ve been careful with my money and I haven?t gone crazy and I?m not destitute, to try and take the chances that I wouldn?t be able to take if I were pigeon holed into having to deliver the same kind of product time after time. As much as I admire the way these guys become gigantic stars and get the big money and so forth, it?s the old syndrome of they make a movie that ONLY makes $80 million and it?s considered a failure. Good grief! If I had one movie that made $80 million I?d be so thrilled. But then it?s because you?re so straightjacketed to playing this specific type. You don?t want to see Sylvester Stallone playing a gay dance instructor, that?s for sure.

SC: I?ve seen you?re pretty active on your bulletin boards for Comic Book: The Movie website.

MH: Yeah, I try. I was just there last night looking at what?s going on and there?s a pretty funny trailer. I?ve posted. I forget what my handle is?

SC: MarkHamill!

MH: It is?

SC: I think so!

MH: Well, I do it in various guises. In fact, I think there?s three. I do MarkHamill, ******, and *******.

SC: Can fans go there and chat with you about the movie and everything?

MH: I?d love it! Because I think this goes a long way showing people that I?m much closer to them than they would ever imagine and that I?m not aloof and it?s not that I?m sort of some kind of hermit that doesn?t care what they think. I love the internet for that very reason.

SC: So you?re pretty plugged into the internet? Do you surf around a bit?

MH: I do, I do. Like video games, though, it?s very dangerous because you sit down, you mean to do one or two things, and the next thing you know three hours have gone by. Between trying to help my daughter with her homework and coming up with something beyond Comic Book: The Movie, who has the time? It?s really hard!

SC: OK, well thank you so much for taking the time chat with me.

MH: Thank you, Scott. Thanks for all your interest and I?m keeping my fingers crossed that this will really give me the chance to do more like this. I love comedy and I really love small stories about small people with really big ideas and big dreams. To me the outer layers are about comics and comic book characters, but at its heart and soul, it really is about people.

SC: Yeah. I think this has all the makings of a cult classic. I know people are going to be quoting Ricky from now on.

Captain CourageMH: Yeah! Good! There?s so many quotables in this movie. I mean, as I was editing I said, ?We?ve gotta keep that in cause that phrase is gonna wind up on a t-shirt.? In fact, in the very last scene at the end of the credit roll is Matt Kenny going, ?It?s a collectable!? And they had big fights over that. They go, ?Nobody can understand what he?s saying!? ?It doesn?t matter. If it?s baby talk, people will know.?

With that, I concluded my chat with Mark Hamill. It was quite an experience and I must say that I was surprised how down-to-earth he was. It really felt like I was talking with a fellow comic geek when chatting with him.

Comic Book: The Movie is now in stores and you can pick up your copy today. I think you?ll enjoy it.

Click here for: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

Related Links

Comingsoon.net rates this movie 8 out of 10. Click here for full review.

Click here to view a video clip of Kevin Smith and Mark talking about the original Commander Courage.

The DVD released on January 27th. You can order it from Amazon.com today!

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