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Cellblock 1138 - 1997-1999 - 2000 - 2002 - 2003+

Interview with Peter Diamond - Star Wars Stunt Man

Here in a joint effort of TheForce.Net and MovieHeadlines.Net we have an inside look at the production of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, from the man behind the exciting stunt action in Hollywood's most successful films. Although not involved in the prequels, TFN's Joshua Griffin got a chance to talk with Peter about Star Wars, stunts and more.

Can you give us a bit of introduction about yourself?

Peter Diamond: Hello, I'm just a normal person doing a what I consider to be a normal job. I fenced in the British Army then gained a Actor's Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, have made numerous guest appearances on TV and films including Star Wars, Highlander and Zorro TV series as well as directing the Zorro and Highlander TV series.

What exactly does a stunt arranger do?

Working from the writers script on the action sequences try to achieve his ideas and the Directors thoughts to create an exciting sequence.

What kind of experience did you have before getting into stunt work? What would you say to someone wanting to come up in your field of expertise?

My background consists of as a Theatre fight Director at the British National Theatre's - Stratford and Shakespeare, so for someone wanting to get into this job I would have to say that they should try to get a good theatre background.

How did you come into contact with the production team and work on the original Star Wars? It seems like there was a several year gap in your movie work and Star Wars became your big break.

Before Star Wars I had many years experience in British TV and films including 15 Hammer films - so my background was taken into consideration by Lucas when hiring me.

And you're career really took off from there?

Not really, I have always diversified and made a living in Dr. Who, The Saint, Musketeers, Ivanhoe amongst many.

Can you summarize your role in Star Wars? I understand you also had small uncredited roles as a Stormtrooper, a Biker Scout, Garouf Lafoe and a Tusken Raider.

Lucas wanted a particular style of swordplay - I offered up other types of fencing, but he stuck to his ideas so I came up with what he wanted. My appearances are all down to the fact that they needed a stunt man to play the parts.

What is your favorite scene from the Star Wars movies, and your favorite you had a part in?

The Cantina - meeting Harrison Ford for the first time in a British Studio and his charismatic character - also my part as Garouf Lafoe.

Which is your favorite classic Star Wars movie, since you were a major player in all three? Why?

The Empire Strikes Back - because as a behind the scenes problem it was the hardest to achieve certain effects mainly dealing with how to show Luke being sucked out the window to the over hanging ledge in the centre of Cloud City and how to get him aboard the Millennium Falcon.

Now, I assume you've had a chance to see Episode I - what are your thoughts? We're you excited about the return to the galaxy far, far away?

I took my grandchildren to see it and they appeared to like what they saw - so I think the younger filmgoer has made it a success.

Thanks so much for your time - and look for part 2 featuring his work on Indiana Jones tomorrow on MovieHeadlines.Net!

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