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Galactic News

Wednesday December 12, 2001
Christopher Lee's Interview

The Official Star Wars Site has provided a lengthy interview with Mr. Lee from the Star Wars Insider. Details of Lee's prequel character are still under wraps, but he is known to play a key part in the development of the plot of Episode II. And it's safe to assume that, judging by Lee's phenomenal body of work, his new Star Wars character will be another unforgettable creation from the man who first gained fame as Dracula and, at age 78, is still going strong with a role in not only the new Star Wars trilogy but also the upcoming three-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Here are a couple of the questions asked:

Your character has been enigmatically described as "A Charismatic Separatist." Can you elaborate a little bit on that?

I am a little amused at the description they gave me -- well, they're entitled to write that I'm full of charisma. It will be more than just another part, obviously -- it will be another arrow in my quiver. I'm looking forward to it enormously. But when people ask me whom I'm playing, I am simply saying to them, "I have signed a confidentiality agreement. I'm afraid I cannot tell you this. If you want more information, you must get onto Lucasfilm." And that will be my answer every single time.

I was the repository of many secrets during World War II, and if I talked, people died. I was in special forces intelligence, and I'm not prepared to say much more than that. I never have been. I signed the Official Secrets Act, which is for life. What I'm getting at is that I can keep a secret, and if I'm asked not to say anything, I don't. Ever.

Were you surprised when you were asked to join the cast of Star Wars?

Yes, I was surprised, and very pleased. I had no idea this was going to happen, absolutely none at all. My agent in London received a query -- would I be interested in appearing in the next Star Wars film? To which I said, "Yes, I would indeed." That was the first approach. I met Robin Gurland in London. We did not discuss the character. She wasn't even here for that purpose -- she was here to cast a young boy. I met her with my agent, and we had a very pleasant conversation over lunch. We did not go into any details, and there was no discussion of any story or character or part -- and there was no offer made.

When I did tell her that I would be interested, then queries started coming through about availability, about wigs, clothing, dates. There were various inquiries as to my appearance at different ages, photographs, measurements, where my wigs would be made.

Then I had a long conversation with George Lucas, and he said to me, "We're going to have a lot of fun," and that's a word that should be in capital letters. When I did 1941 with Steven Spielberg, we had a lot of fun. When I did Gremlins 2 with Joe Dante, again demanding in many respects, we had a lot of fun. When I did Sleepy Hollow, we had a lot of fun. Similarly, we had fun on The Lord of the Rings, which is a colossal epic. But in order to have this fun, you have to be able to relax, and it comes from the top. It will undoubtedly be the same thing on Star Wars, I know that.

It's wonderful when somebody says to you, "We'll have a lot of fun." Lucas has said that to me, Burton has said that to me, Dante has said it to me, Spielberg has said it to me -- four of the biggest and most successful directors in the cinema. They are wise enough to know that it is absolutely vital that you should be able to relax. You don't relax when somebody says, "Action." But between takes, you can sit on the set and have a laugh with someone. It doesn't happen that often these days, with people rushing onto a set looking at their watches.

For the entire interview, head over to the Official Star Wars Site!

Jedi Power