Mark Hamill interviewed at Imperial College London in 1978, shortly before the UK release of Star Wars.
This is a fairly lengthy video — almost 30 minutes, including the interspersed movie clips — but well worth it if you’re interested in the early days of Star Wars. Topics covered include the nature of Star Wars as space fantasy (contrasted later on with Trek as sci-fi), acting around the sfx and creating authenticity out of nonsensical worldbuilding gobbledygook, Luke as a Lucas avatar, the economics of being a film vs. tv actor in the ’70s, and dealing with the explosive beginning of Star Wars fandom as one of its primary actors.
Hamill has a really wonderful interview presence here: he’s poised, insightful, almost serene but with a delightful streak of deadpan goofiness. It’s not even snark, really — he just comes out with the most ridiculous commentary in exactly the same register he uses to talk about the audition process or the challenges of overseas press junkets. Contrary to popular presumption (the “Hamill is a terrible actor” meme, etc) he’s not much like Luke Skywalker at all, but you can see the quirks here and there that he brought into his performance.
Seriously, if you have half an hour to spare today, spend it on this.
This is great, both for the information and for Mark’s periodic trolling. Also, I love that when he tried that godawful line, he did it “as” Luke, and you can really see the difference. His voice, mannerisms, smile, everything, it’s not Luke at all. The voice isn’t as surprising to children of the nineties, I suspect (Luke Skywalker is the Joker?! is practically a fannish rite of passage), but he does have a very charming not!Luke smile.
Though when he says that he’s getting a little tired of Star Wars and you realize it’s 1978 … oh, sweetie.
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