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 Andreas Petrides - Obi-Wan's Stunt Double for Episode I
Several weeks ago TheForce.net's Brian Linder had the distinct
pleasure of chatting with actor Warwick Davis. Warwick has enjoyed a successful
career as an actor, since his 1983 debut, as Wicket the Ewok, in Return of the Jedi.
His career has come full circle, and Warwick returns to the Star Wars universe in
Episode I. In this exclusive interview with Brian Linder, Warwick discusses
Episode I, his take on the Ewoks, and a hilarious never before seen Star Wars short!
Brian: We know you're not allowed to talk much about the prequels,
but can you tell us a bit about your role in the new film?
Warwick: Well, I'd love to tell you, but I've signed a
nondisclosure agreement with Lucasfilm. However, I can tell you that my character is 3
feet 6 inches tall. Laughs
Brian: Very nice! : ) Can you tell us if you play
more than one character in Episode I?
Warwick: Yes, I play a number of characters.
Brian: Is one of
your characters human and not a creature in costume? In other words, will we be
seeing your face in Episode I?
Brian: How is Mr. Lucas holding up during filming? Does
it appear that directing is any less stressful for him this time around?
Warwick: Yes, he seemed to be enjoying himself. George has such a precise vision of
the "Star Wars" universe as a whole. This knowledge puts him in a unique
position as a director, he is able to instruct every production department in working
towards that vision. It is this that gives the films their unique continuity of look,
story and character.
Brian: Do you have any strong impressions about your fellow cast members from Episode I?
Warwick: Well...Liam Neeson. Off set, he's just a regular guy. On set, he is a true
professional with a strong screen presence. Ewan, is just very laid back, a nice fellow.
Jake is wonderful. He's doing very well, because he's having to act against a
lot of things that aren't actually there. My general impression of the cast was that they
were all thrilled to be working on "Episode I", as I was!
Brian: Do you surf the Web much? What places do you go on the
Internet? Specifically, do you go to any of the Star Wars sites or discussion groups?
Warwick: Yes, yes. I think it's fun to go for a little surf and see what's out
there. It's interesting to see what people are saying about me. I like keep up with
the latest rumors! A while back there was a rumor that I was going to do a film with
Demi Moore about the take-over of Commodore computers! I often visit
"starwars.com" and of course "TheForce.net"!
Brian: I like the sound of that! Have you been offered a role in the 2nd or 3rd prequel?
Warwick: Well...I've certainly hinted enough! Laughs - I have mentioned that I
would love to play a baddie in the prequel sequels. Perhaps the Emperor's shorter, nastier
cousin! As you know, the timeline of this trilogy will put the 2nd & 3rd prequels in
the future a bit from this first one, so there's no telling if I'll play one of the same
characters again, or what.
Brian: Do you have any "war stories" about the shoot?
Warwick: It was very hot! Just very hot! A trench was dug around the shooting
location in Tunisia. It was several feet deep, and was dug to keep all of the desert
creepy crawlies away from our camp. Snake catchers were employed to patrol the area and
make safe any locations. The cast had tents as dressing rooms, it reminded me of
"Lawrence of Arabia", the only difference being that Lawrence didn't have air
conditioning in his tent!
Brian: There are two kinds of Star Wars fans in
the world. Those who love Ewoks and those that do not. What do you think of
the varied opinions expressed about Ewoks?
Warwick: Well, I can see both sides. I love the Ewoks - let's face it, I am a bit
biased, Ewoks are the reason my career as an actor is where it is today (no jokes please).
However, I can also understand the argument of those who say that they're too cute and
don't fit into the "Star Wars" look. I personally like the early concept
drawings for the Ewoks that were more primitive. When the costumes were designed various
changes had to be made to accommodate the actors, so a compromise was reached. Even if the
look did not make it through to the finished film, George's concept of primitive creatures
bringing down the technologically advanced Empire certainly did, and it works great.
Brian: In the Star Wars Insider, you mentioned a short Ewok movie
that was filmed with all of the principle actors. What can you tell us about the
story of this film, and is there any chance that we might all see it one day?
Warwick: The film is called "Return of the Ewok". It was a short film made by
David Thomblin, (1st assistant director on ROTJ) which we shot during lunch breaks while
filming "Return of the Jedi". It's actually about me, age 11, trying to decide
on a career. I try soccer and weight lifting at Dave Prowse's gym before finally being
inspired to "be in the movies" when I see Mark Hamill outside a movie theatre in
London. The scene plays out like this: I am looking at movie posters of "Empire"
outside a movie theatre, the fight between Vader and Luke is shown, and at the point when
Luke backflips out of the shot, he lands outside the movie theatre in London . I tell him
- "Go back, you can do it!". He agrees, goes back in, and continues the
fight with Vader. Highlights of the film include me wearing Boba Fetts outfit, Wicket
visiting Yoda to get his intergalactic passport. There is a scene between Wicket and Darth
Vader in the Emperor's throne room, and a great moment when Wicket visits the dressing
rooms of Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill & Harrison Ford.
I would love the film to be made available to a wider audience because it really is a
priceless piece of "Star Wars" history. It features all of the principle actors,
and many other cast members too, so it might be hard to get permission to show it.
They would all have to sign a release.
Brian: We like to close all our interviews on a lighter note. So...was that a real rock
that you hit yourself in the head with in Return of the Jedi? Did they have a stunt
actor stand in for you? Hee hee. (Darin made me ask this!)
Warwick: Laughs - It was actually made of rubber! I still have those rocks
at home with my collection of movie props.
Brian: Warwick, thanks very much for this fantastic interview! It's been a great pleasure
talking with you! I'm sure I speak for everyone in saying we look forward to seeing
your work in Episode I!
Visit Warwick Davis' Willow Management, a casting agency for short actors!
Coming soon to the web: The Official Warwick Davis Web Site (TheForce.net will let you know when it goes online!)