C-3PO

[In 1997, Lucasfilm re-released Star Wars IV: A New Hope to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. At the time I worked on the arts desk of the Daily Express, and got commissioned to interview both Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO, and Dave Prowse, the man inside the Darth Vader costume. I met them separately, both with very different stories. Daniels did C-3PO’s movement and voice, and went on to play C-3PO in the three prequels that were subsequently a few years later. He's the only actor to appear in all six films, and is very much part of the Lucasfilm fold. Prowse thought he was the voice of Darth Vader too, until the first film was released and his words had been replaced by those of James Earl Jones. Prowse is now apparently banned from even attending fan conventions. I have the Darth Vader tape too, which I'll transcribe again and post here soon.
I interviewed Daniels at his home not far from Marble Arch. The interview took place in the sitting room of his basement. A photographer was taking pictures for the piece at the same time, who Daniels addressed occasionally. Between us on a table was the head of C-3PO, which, before the interview began, I held.]

Anthony Daniels: [Anthony is talking as the tape is turned on] I don’t really go to the movies very much. I don’t have references like that. I tell you something at this point, you can’t explain everything to everybody. you know the big thing is it’s there on the screen. If you want to, enjoy that. I’ve just come back from the States where I talked to a lot of radio television and newspapers. It’s amazing how insightful some people are and how uninsightful other people are.

CP: My first memories of Star Wars are purely playground. I saw it first when it came on television, but by then it was part of the culture anyway.

Tell me what is the thesis of the piece that you’re writing.

It’s how you feel about it now. Do you see it as a job, or as a major part of your life?

Oh it was both. It was certainly a very ordinary job. It was the next job in what had been up until that point an unstoppable career. I’d only been out of work for one day. pretty amazing, been acting a couple of years. It was another job, I’d finished a week before at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus, a week later I’m in the desert. I’d been working on the costume for six months so I was in tune with the whole process even before the camera turned on me, but 3PO, C-3PO sort of happened that first day in the desert. He arrived both physically and vocally. What was a bit strange was finding out months later that George [Lucas] as soon as he heard and saw my performance he thought, well I can fix the sound part. The odd rather magic thing happened when he tried to replace my vocal track, which I’d been doing through a radio mike. Sort of it was too late, sort of 3PO had become himself as an item, as a unit, one thing. People kept saying, George there’s nothing wrong with this performance, keep it, which in the end, he did. It was kind of good of him, because someone with a greater ego would say, no I’ll have what I want. because the only drama was that he’d never actually told me what he wanted. he’d never said, make this a sleezy car dealer from the Bronx, if he’d said that I would have done the most godawful [adopts American accent] “hey do you wanna buy a car? I’m C-3PO, make a deal here”. He never said that so I came in saying [adopts the voice of C-3PO], “I am C-3PO human cyborg relations”. He didn’t tell me he didn’t like it, he didn’t really ever say anything, so we just did the next scene. and um, [to the photographer] do you think that’s,

Photographer: That’s fine, yup, give you a clipboard if you want to hold it up,

AD: No no it’s absolutely fine, what a pro

Photographer: Been around a long time

AD: So that was a big surprise for me, but of course I’d been shooting for 12 weeks I thought it was,[pauses - photographer is trying to move C-3PO] hang on a sec, now the only thing is he needs to be slightly tilted we can’t do that without, boy am I a genius or what? I became very interested in technical things because of him [C-3PO]. [photographer is now trying to move a plant] Be careful, that belongs to my girlfriend. Was given to her by a multimillionaire that she worked for she got a job he gave every member of staff and it won’t die, so that’s about as high as it gets but these things shoot up [Daniels finds a security pass] oh look at that look at that. ‘HARPO’. I was on the Oprah Winfrey show this week, that was my security pass. Harpo Productions. [Adopts American accent] “Who are you, what’s your name? I’ve got a Daniels here. The talent here, get the talent on the set.” [To the photographer] Let me hide. [To me, pointing at my dictaphone] This is on? It’s going round. can i move him [C-3PO] a bit towards you, then he can hide that. ask me a question.

You were talking about it being a job.

Oh, it really was a job. you know it was my first, it was the first film I’d ever been in so I didn’t know what to expect, I’d never read a film script, and boy was I confused but the one character I liked in the script was C-3PO, nothing to do with me I hadn’t written him or anything [to the photographer] Do you want to move?

Photographer: No no

AD: Do you want me to move?

Photographer: No, I’m fine I’ll just look around here

AD: Buy a new house?

Photographer: I’ll buy this one off you

AD: They’re only just big enough for two when you have two careers going on, storage space,

You were saying about how C-3PO

The script was written mostly written with the words you hear. But you could say, “good morning” or “have a nice day”, when you have row with a limo driver whose the way he said, “have a nice day sir” spoke volumes. The first time I ever heard that was a bus driver in LA, he said, “have a nice day”, I said, “thank you very much”. He thought I was a madman getting off the bus. I’d never heard it before. Twenty years ago, people didn’t say it. So the words were there but the interpretation wasn’t. That was up to me. I interpreted it the way it happened.

American language is quite automated anyway, so if you say it with an English accent it sounds like a robot

He wasn’t, the object was not to have an automaton, the object was to have a human who happened to be

You have that kind of

Well what I developed was not only the [adopts C-3PO’s accent] “I am C-3PO human cyborg relations”. There was kind of bleakness in the way he speaks, a kind of sad cadence which isn’t human. If you said that in real life, people would think you’re a wierdo. That’s another thing. Aside from the language he has this very bleak attitude, which is why I took the part of him originally.

So yeah it was a regular job and it was to begin with a nightmare. The suit had been manufactured over six months for me to wear to my body, and it didn’t fit. My body hadn’t changed, the suit had.  And so like here, in the crutch and everything, my neck, I came out looking not only that I’d been microwaved but I’d been cut up with knives as well, I was totally scarred and hot and cooked and disgusting. I felt bad when in the costume. All the others, the people playing human roles, were primped and prepped all day with make-up and hair. I would just get worse. It was very bad for your morale.

Did you realise during filming that it was something special

No, not at all. During filming I thought as a professional I can’t, I won’t walk out on this job even though it was difficult. Something nice, I found out that Alec Guinness, we had the same agent at the same time, he was saying that Anthony Daniels was doing a rather fine job. I felt a total prat because, especially in rehearsals, I would act as if I had the suit on, so get Harrison Ford and go[he starts moving like C-3PO]. The cameraman wants to know where everything is. Sort of, if it’s alright with Sir Alec, possibly it’s alright. If you’re playing a prat it can sort of rub off on you, you can feel a bit silly. Not that he [C-3PO] is a prat, I’m quite fond of him, I’m very fond of him. So that helped.

But all through we would say these lines that were very hokey, but if you say these lines with actual belief, if I believe it talking to R2, or to Luke Skywalker, then you might just believe the situation in the audience. If we don’t believe it, there’s no way you will. Although I thought it was a movie that I would never go and see, not my kind of movie at all. I asked for my money back when I went and saw 2001. “Bugger off,” the theatre manager said, it was in Manchester, they knew how to speak in those days. “Bugger off.” “It’s very boring.” “Bugger off.” I believe they’re going to re-release it [2001: A Space Odyssey]. I did have a private screening to look at the voice of Hal, funnily enough. Magic, but it wouldn’t work for this movie.

Um, so during filming, no idea. And George Lucas, it was like being in a world war situation. You had to get on and make the movie. The weather was terrible. The Tunisian food, I’m sure the tourist authorities have done something about it in twenty years but I wouldn’t hurry back. Everybody thought it [the film] was, what can I say, it was a poor TV nothing. Just George kept not hearing. You could see him, he got weighed down. There’s a wonderful picture of him sitting on the steps, just looking like a headache commercial. He doen’t want to be there, he’d already flogged it around the studios for years, nobody believed him, nobody believed him on set. Two unhappy people: me because of the suit, and him.

And the silence. My best friend was an object that never spoke, so I was having to remember both lines[adopts the voice of C-3PO, and begins reciting dialogue from Star Wars IV: A New Hope]:

C-3PO: Where you going?

[He pauses to make room for the bleeps that would have been added in for R2-D2]

C-3PO: well what makes you think the settlement’s over there?

[Another R2-D2 pause]

C-3PO: well that way’s much too rocky

[Another R2-D2 pause]

C-3PO: oh go that way you’ll be malfunctioning.

Now I can do it. But pressed in the suit in the desert, with the wind blowing sand and shit in your face, everybody’s in parkas, jackets with goggles and hoods, and I’m in a nightmare, I’m Joan of Arc, I’m pretending to hear voices but I can’t, I’m thinking, have I just said the right line or have I missed something out, and they were listening through radios and everything, R2 would then, oh all that, you’ve read all that. It was only then that I put my voice on. It was only my first time I’d been to the States and I never thought I’d go there again. George was impressed no only with my performance, which he didn’t like in the movie, but that I ate a huge hamburger with a knife and fork. He was aghast. twenty years ago, the only thing was a Wimpy in this country, remember? You’re too young you

We had a Wimpy

Where you from?

Near Peterborough. Near the Fens.

[He puts on a Norfolk accent] Fen country? My sister dun be from the Cambridge area. Huntingdon. Fen talk, yes.

So that was quite a shock. I thought I would never go back to America. The film opened, Star Wars opened in Hollywood with nothing, no publicity at all. I met someone who saw it with 50 people in the audience. The public just made it into an instant, instant cult. the public, not publicity. So the cover of Time and Newsweek were the first time that I knew it had even opened because it didn’t have a premiere or anything like that. I looked at this cover and thought, oh that film I made. It opened about 6 months after I finished dubbing. It all came back to me. It seems to be a success. They then flew me over to where they rushed it back to Mann’s Chinese Theater. They rushed me over to put my footprints outside, his footprints and my name, under Betty Grable’s thigh [Grable made an imprint of her legs in concrete in 1943]. I think this is a real claim to fame don’t you?

There was a story about George Lucas having a private screening with friends like Scorcese, and everyone hating it.

Yup, everyone hated it. Except George. The one person who’s believed all along, and even he didn’t believe it to this extent. It was 90% absolute slog for everyone, especially for him, and 10% magic, just that little something came in, the timing, the way it hit that little bit of mythic history that we have, Norse, Greek, Viking, Roman, myths in our background, Disney’s become a myth, Mickey’s become a myth, somehow George coalesced things together, you think about it, it’s a classic myth, it’s farm boy and you watch him become a hero, you watch his heroic struggle. I suppose his Achilles heel is that he happens to fall in love with his sister, which I know is fine in the Fens but in Hollywood, its probably fine in Hollywood. You take a very simple story, it couldn’t be more simplistic, The thing I like about the first one is it’s told with a tremendous simplicity. No matter what the spaceships look like, no matter how big the effects, still a very simple story. Local boy doesn’t even want to know about his background until his parents get wiped out, that’s called his motivating incident. [The photographer is laughing hard]. You like that one? So cheap. He’s pushed into action. He sits in Alec Guinness’s cave, I’m sitting there trying not to breathe, watch very carefully you can see. And then he goes on the trek. He picks up on the way the talismans of the journey: the two robots, the light sabre, its a very simple story, speaks somewhere down here, the stomach area.

But there’s also the thing that the sets look very realistic in that yes its a spaceship, but there’s muck on the sides

Well the reason for that, two reasons for that, one is to make them look part of a

A real galaxy

A real galaxy in an extant world. The reason 3PO tends to look a bit battered because, if he’s not like that, then you can see the tea lady approaching in the reflection on his shoulder. “The guy in the red shirt, sit down”. They used mostly wax to knock down the thing. [He pretends to be someone about to apply wax to C-3PO]. “Do you mind if we just?.” “NO NO.” I just had that hole to breath through, you see, so.

He looked battered for a reason, and in the last scene I was supposed to walk down the long [he means the victory ceremony in the Throne Room of the Massassi Outpost], but I can’t do steps, it’s all faked. If I do steps, controlled thought if I count very carefully. Count wrong you get broken kneecaps, its as simple as that. I cannot go up steps at all. Just as if [adopts C-3PO accent] “I think I’ll stand up”, you see that [he displays himself sitting down], then cut away to you, and next time you see me I’m going [he has stood up], same as if I think [adopts C-3PO accent] “I’ll sit down”, cut and then I’m going [sits down again]. Because in the meantime taking all the costume off, put away the chairway cutaway and only from one angle do these legs work because they’re thin plastic. So at the end of so I said why don’t we polish me up. What we did at the end of each movie i’d always be burnished it was absolute hell for all the photographers.

So when the film came out here were you did you get more work from it or were you hidden in the costume?

I was very much hidden in the costume and the film company were very keen to maintain the integrity of the character, so they were very loathe to. In fact they told people it was a real robot, in as many words [adopts anonymous American accent] “there’s no human contribution here”. Now it would be a lie, it would be a lie to say that wasn’t difficult. Of course it was difficult, it’s like you [the photographer] taking the best photograph ever and not taking the credit for it, and you [me] didn’t have a credit and you writing Watergate and not getting a byline. I did this, and part of the deal as an actor is you expect some kind of reflection. That just couldn’t happen because the character was the one they wanted to talk about. It was difficult, but at least people liked the character i fought to play and he has gone on down the centuries. I’m sure he will go down the centuries, you become an image of something. So at least he became famous. You ask if it changed me career in so many words, not really, I suppose. Even to this day there are people who think I’m a real robot, which is good in one way, bad in another. And of course people people who knew there was a guy in there assumed it was somebody who was stupid enough to just be in the suit, people who assumed it was someone in there who was an actor assumed it didn’t need acting, you put the suit on, it does it all for you. Jeez. thats’ a. “Are you an actor?”. It’s very hard to be polite. The reason George chose me, you needed somebody who was quite good at mime, you needed somebody who can act and not do all that fake

You lifted your arms up a minute ago and you looked just like C-3PO

Oh right, well, yeah you know, given that his arms can’t come nearer to his face than this. And that pointing, if I needed to point, I’d smash the fingers down against my body, hold them there and go[adopts C-3PO accent] “Oh look”, very quickly the hands would unfurl. I couldn’t pick anything up, I couldn’t see, most of the time I couldn’t see R2D2, because I could have looked down  but it would have looked very odd. I certainly couldn’t see Ewoks but I didn’t want to, i trod on one once. I had no peripheral vision. I was on my own pretty much. It was difficult. So why am I telling you this?

So did you have the thing glued to your hand that you were speaking into?

Absolutely. Totally, and when I pick it up, what you can’t see is there was a sticky pad in my hand which I plopped down on it. Anything was faked, it was all faked. I get requests to go on shows, you don’t understand, and I’ve done some weird shows. the best was The Muppets and Sesame Street, because on those shows everybody’s weird, most of the characters have guys hands up their bums. I was pretty normal for them. I wanted to stay there with Miss Piggy and Cookie Monster.

Was Empire Strikes Back a completely different experience because you all knew it was a success or was it another job or?

Difficult one. It was different because, well, one was working with Harrison Ford. Suddenly it wasn’t Harrison, it was Harrison Ford. And It’s hard to pretend it’s not, you know what I mean? If somebody completely changes around you, so the Americans came back to the same situation like the Millennium Falcon as stars, into the same room, some of the sets were identical, they didn’t behave starry, but they were. The great thing for me was they’d remade my suit, really was wonderful, and we had Irvin Kirshner [the director], who was I have to tell you, is that he loved my performance, he told me, nobody had ever said that to me before, it was very nice, thank you very much,

Presumably George had the thing where it was the myth and you weren’t actors, you were there to fulfill his vision

Oh what a, what a good a extremely good way of putting it. I may have to steal that. He [presumably George Lucas] and I may end up on the same show [he whispers something about Selina Scott]. really the pinnacle of my career. No, The Osmond Show was. [whispers something else]

Being on Oprah’s pretty

Do you know she’s so nice.

I can imagine she is

Well I thought she’d be sort of, starry. She was very nice. Lovely to spend time with. The strange thing is it’s all edited, she’s very nice. Irwin Kirshner [adopts American accent] “I love what you do. Be in the scene, its really good”. The trouble was the script really wasn’t written around that.[adopts American accent] “Say something funny, say something funny.” And the character got slightly extended beyond what was in the script. The suit was so difficult in the first film that I really wasn’t written into the second one, because it was difficult working with me in the suit, there are scenes were I would just in the middle of the scenes the leg would completely open up. There’s a scene where I tap Hans Solo, he’s about to kiss the princess [adopts C-3PO accent],

C-3PO: Oh pardon me sir,

It’s wasn’t until a fan said have you looked at the Laserdisc on freeze-frame? because I remember[adopts C-3PO accent]

C-3PO: Oh pardon me sir,

Crash, the arm. If you freeze frame you can watch this gold thing petering to the floor. That happened so often it was easier to not have C3-PO in the scene. So Kirshner got really carried away [adopts American accent], “be in the scene”. Was strange because it was good for the character but not necessarily good for me. Then for the third one I said to George, look you’ve created this character, you’ve made him what he is, lets make him the way he’s meant to be. When I got the script for Return Of The jedi and the bits of the costume as well, I was delighted. With the scripts in some areas weren’t as good on film as they were on paper. There are rumours that I have negative feelings towards Ewoks,

You were king of the Ewoks

I was king of the Ewoks. Shows I had no taste. Reading that on paper was. I turned the page, all that about [adopts C-3PO accent]

C-3PO: It appears, Captain Solo, that you are to be the main course in a banquet in my honour

C-3PO would love that line because he has no sense of humour but he understands what’s going on, unless its’ humans kissing each other which he finds very odd, he tried it with R2 once to no great success. So the three films, C-3PO i liked him in Return Of The Jedi. Then the joy when a real fan, I’m always very uncool about being recognised. I was actually crossing the street in Chicago on Friday and I’m in the central island, and suddenly someone walks up to me, “are you Anthony Daniels”, yeah, “May I say”, and it’s just, because it doesn’t happen very often, I’m so uncool, somebody recognises me [he acts excited], oh oh, all that goes on, because it doesn’t happen. I think to be recognised all the time must be a bit of a chore, and I certainly know people who are recognised and been with them and it does get a bit, but it’s very nice occasionally, and from a genuine fan when they say might I have an autograph, it’s a delight if its for their, it’s very nice, it’s when it gets very commercial, its

When you see the films, do you actually think of you?

No. Absolutely not. It’s entirely him. and that’s not an actor being prissy. I can look at him technically and think, I should have… I mean simple things like if we were doing a shot and in the shot I had to look over there, if I was looking at you I could only look there so to trick it I would have to position my shoulders here look at the maximum torque here which then gives me a 30 degree angle. You [the audience] couldn’t possibly see what’s happening, and nor should you, but you know I worked out that with the costume on, I would have to find ways. When Alec Guinness has just been pulled apart, C-3PO’s sitting there almost still, that’s the way you can do sadness. this is where the mind comes in. The need to [he acts as C-3PO in jerked movements as he would while speaking]. If this is talking, you could only watch that for a few seconds. C-3PO to some extent would move when he spoke, so you knew where the words were coming from. If he did that all the time, it’d be god, shut up. So all that technical stuff but that’s a bit boring

But you don’t see it as you

No no. And when I’ve been in the studio with friends, and I’ve said I’ll see you later, and then I go and get changed and come back as myself, none of my friends have ever dealt with it well, they go into real strange mode. Years ago I was on the Noel Edmonds show, and we rehearsed like this [in normal clothes]. I said to him, “Noel, you’ve got to get used to the fact,” C-3PO’s voice for the scene was prerecorded and being played into another monitor, “you have to get used to the fact that it’s not me, you’re talking to this”. When I came back on as C-3PO, I was going, [adopts C-3PO accent] “hello,” and I saw his eyes, he couldn’t relate, he was getting totally out of sync with the questions, he was saying somthing and there was nothing I could do about it, he couldn’t cope with it. And one of the reasons 3PO worked so well is that Luke Skywalker looks very sincerely into his face and said [adopts American accent] “You know 3PO I really tihnk you should go back”, as I said, reality in Mark [Hammill]’s face reflected back. What did throw me in Star Wars, I knew what we’d shot and i knew what else had been shot, and [adopts C-3PO accent],

C-3PO: And don’t come after me begging for help, because you won’t get it

I walked off into the desert that way, and walked on this way. And then I walked on this way again. And I kept coming. What they had cut out was lots of scenes in a coffee bar with local boys hanging out with the local hooker and the local bar girl discussing how boring life was and making fun of Luke Skywalker for being like a wimp or whatever. Those scenes George decided slowed it down, which left me coming on and I sat there actually faintly embarrassed. I don’t seem to be doing quite a lot in this movie. [To the photographer, who has finished and packed up] You want to get out?

[The photographer says yes. For a couple of minutes, I’m left alone with C-3PO’s head]

How are you for time? 

It’s 3 o clock. fine. it is a bit of a nightmare at the moment because I’m trying to cram a lot into this week. Right yes. Maybe another few minutes we can talk.

How do you feel about it now?

Looking back, its the biggest thing I’ll ever do to be realistic. It’s given me experiences that, I conducted the London Symphony Orchestra at the gala night at the Albert Hall, and then John Williams [composer of Star Wars music] flew me to the Boston Pops. Extraordinary experience addressing thousands of people  in the Albert Hall, in front of a symphony orchestra. I’ve tap danced on The Muppet Show, I’ve appeared on the Osmonds show, I’m a constant feature in all the Disneyland parks throughout the world, Startours ride, my character is there. I’ve done weird things. What it all means I don’t know but it’s certainly filled up the gap between then and now. Now I write and it’s very hard not to sound like a crazed company man if you knew me I’m not. This is one career I have. Star Wars is a career. Now I write the new improved wonder column in the official Star Wars magazine [he takes out some copies], it will show you my sense of humour. I poke fun at the whole myth of this. You shouldn’t take it too seriously. I get more recognition from this, two weeks ago in my local M&S, :oh you’re Anthony Daniels”. They recognised me from this [the column]. You can read that one first if you want. These are memories of mine on the set. I also write for the English Star Wars magazine. Each year, for a job I never wanted, I’ve done something. Last year we did the CD version of Return Of The Jedi, the audio version, and now there’s all the re-release stuff. I’ve done a lot of commercials and voice overs, did an anti smoking commercial, a pro-immunisation commercial, using the power of the character to get a message across. Because it shouldn’t always be give me money for doing this, it should also be, why don’t I do something good for a change.

What about the new prequels?

Yes, because however old and wrinkly the characters etc [he means that while the actors would be too old to appear in the film, he is hidden]. All the plans for the sequel are utterly secret. Well the odd thing was, Star Wars was a completely “who cares?” film. “Oh you’re in this film Star Wars? I hear there’s robots in there.” All pretty silly. As soon as it came out, everything changed and prints were being stolen from theatres and copied overnight. Security became an issue, and in the second movie a lot of people were not given scripts. People were given pages, sometimes people in costumes were given fake dialogue like “Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday” [he does this in a West Country accent, not unlike that of Dave Prowse] that would be put in later by whoever the voice was. Because there was great concern that word would get out, and ultimately word did get out about one particular effect and one particular character, plot

Was that Dave Prowse

Well you’d have to ask him. That made, It’s a responsibility, if you hold something that’s secret to keep it secret. Not out of any. There’s two reasons for it. It’s somebody’s copyright idea, if something gets out, somebody can make a very quick cheap version very fast, bring it out, ruin the storyline. The other thing is there’s a hell of a lot said for keeping a surprise for Christmas Day. You don’t tell someone in July they’re getting a new bike. You hope it’s going to be a surprise for them. And anybody who says, “I know what you’re getting for Christmas, it’s this”, it spoils the fun ultimately. So security became of paramount importance, often with hilarious results. When you get the producer arriving without a security badge and the security following the letter of the law and not letting him in, I love that. Everything goes wrong when you institute these rules. But when you have newspapers hiring the Norwegian army to look for a body in the snow, and actually they’re not, in fact they’re making flyovers of the set in Norway. People went to endless lengths to find out what we were doing, so security on the next ones are equally important.

Do you still have good relations with Lucasfilms?

I write for their sodding magazines so… George gave me a quick smile on the Oprah show. He was on via satellite, so he couldn’t actually see me but he could hear. I talk to them several times a month. We go through times of not, they’re eight hours behind which means my evenings are a little difficult sometimes. I like to think my relationships with George et al are warm and productive and friendly. I like george. He’s the real reason. I didn’t want the job, i’d walked into the office, I don’t know if you’ve met him, he’s a very unassuming, very, you can’t help but like him actually, he’s a tough businessman and he’s got the guts to make all this happen, but he’s a nice person, I admire I do admire him for what he’s done. He did it. Nobody else helped him. we all worked for him but nobody really helped him. To begin with. now they’re all falling over themselves.

Do you still [perpetuate the myth]. If you’re asked where you were built

It depends who asks. I do follow the Santa Claus rule, that I want young people to believe in the story. I’m not going to spoil things for people. “Do you want the truth or do you want me to make something up?”, and I assess. Some poeple will run into a room, “Where’s the gold man? I heard the gold man?”. They’ve heard I’m coming, and somebody says, this is Anthony. Biggest anti-climax in the world. That’s difficult. I try and support the myth. Some of the stories in here [the magazine] totally ruin it, because I tell the truth about what’s happening. So yeah one of these is all about having tea, what it takes to serve tea to 200 storm troopers. It’s all true. All that is one career, another one is an ordinary english television actor, things like Prime Suspect, Famous Five, Indiana Jones Chronicles, I do a lot of film dubbing work in Soho, voice work and in fact I’ve got into production and post-production side, because I got very involved in the whole process, because when you’re are constantly on set as I was, and often I’d be on set longer than anyone else because it would be easier not to take the costume off. So I was there for everything while the effects guys tried to make it all work. I would irritate them by, i went onto use that, first i created the Guinness Taste Sensation a couple of years ago which was this huge mobile exhibit two trucks bigger than this room, each with a sensory thing, fibre optic techniques projection effects, some of my things are in the London Dungeon. Then I have various business interests, Cyberdrome, Crystal Maze. I do other things. My life as an actor is not crammed full of appointments every day so I’m not going to sit around doing nothing.

What’s the question you’re most asked?

Is it hot in the costume? The other day i wrote an interview with myself of all the stupid questions:

Was it hot in the costume?

Did you get the part because you fitted the costume?

You’re very tall for the costume. Oh, you played the other one.

is that your voice?

They’re all real and all. Its usually, how do you go to the bathroom?

The thing I’d ask is, how do you keep your arms like that all that time?

It’s called acting. if you saw me off the set, I can actually walk normally. Its on the word action you have to come alive. So as soon as cut, you see the whole thing just like, and I would keep very still, which made it disconcerting for people, because they would very quickly forget I was in there. And disconcerting for me. It took acting and it took a bit more, because I’m acting through the suit, in spite of the suit. The same performance without the suit would have looked very peculiar frankly because it was slightly bigger than life-size. The design brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

That’s fine

Yeah. People magazine interview me…[tape off]