MeTV Talks To Mark Hamill

Bespin refugee - July 07, 2014
MeTV, the classic television network, talks to Mark Hamill about some of his favorite tv series, as well as some Star Wars tidbts.

"...The great Art Carney was on The Star Wars Holiday Special—did you have a chance to work with him?

No, I did not, unfortunately. It’s funny that you mention that, though, because LucasFilm officially said, “Don’t ever talk about it!” And I said, “Look, I think we have to own that,” if anything. I remember thinking at the time were doing it that it was a real mistake, because it wasn’t fitting in with anything we’d done before, and I said, “I’m not gonna do it!”

Well, I got a call and it was Mr. Lucas himself and he said they really wanted me to do it. The movie had been in the theaters for over a year and they wanted to keep a presence, with an idea towards the merchandising and keeping the public aware that we were there. It just seemed so odd. I said, “I’m not doing a musical number. Luke wouldn’t sing!” I mean, I’d done a Broadway musical, but I just didn’t think it was right for my character.

And so even though it came out as this kind of quirky misfire, I still thought we should own it. You know, just include it as a DVD extra, just to show how fallible we are! We make mistakes, too. But when I say this, I also point out what an excellent cast we had: Beatrice Arthur, and especially Art Carney, who I think is one of the all-time comic giants in any media. That’s my one regret. I wish I’d know what they were doing and when they were doing it, and I would have gone to the set just to meet him. I didn’t work with Peter Cushing in Star Wars, but I did make sure I got out to the set so I could meet him.

But that Star Wars Holiday Special was put together like a variety show, there was no priority put on who was doing what when, so I didn’t get a chance to meet him., unfortunately.

For the real Star Wars completist, though, that was the first introduction of Boba Fett, in animated form. That came out before Empire Strikes Back, so it’s probably historically significant to people that want to explore every bit of Star Wars minutia. I’m not one of those people, but I totally understand it, because I’m totally that way with The Beatles, or the Universal horror films—I’m a fan myself, so I can totally understand that mindset.

You mentioned Peter Cushing, what was he like?

A gentleman. So kind and gracious. He was surprised that I knew so much of his résumé. He was in one of my favorite Laurel and Hardy films, A Chump at Oxford, and that was one of his first films in Hollywood. And he played the off-camera to Leslie Howard in The Man in the Iron Mask, so they could do the twins. He told me that was the perfect entry into filmmaking, because he knew he would be cut out of it, so he had no stage fright. I asked him why he didn’t stay in Hollywood, because A Chump at Oxford was ’39 or ’40, and he said it was because of the war. He went back because of his patriotism.

But, what a delightful guy. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to meet him, and find out how erudite, and warm and witty he was."

You can check out the entire interview here: Part 1 - Part 2


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