Ooooohhh girl! We all knew Miss Thang, C-3PO was the biggest bitch in the galaxy but squirrelfriend is letting… Them… Have it! Or rather, the actor who has squeezed himself into that lanky gold suit of armor for going on four decades, Anthony Daniels is. Daniels is spilling the tea on Disney and their “Kremlin” levels of secrecy surrounding the new ‘Star Wars’ flick, this winter’s highly-anticipated ‘The Force Awakens’ and what it’s like working with series creator George Lucas versus young gun J.J. Abrams. Caution, Mister Daniel’s tongue is sharper than a lightsabre!
First, there was a Twitter… shall we say incident. Daniels casually tweeted that he’d met one of the new actors from ‘The Force Awakens’, but moments later, the Stormtroopers pounced. “Immediately I received a message from Disney: ‘Remove the tweet! You’re not allowed to say that!’ Honestly. It’s a kind of Kremlin attitude.”
But he doesn’t stop there, adding:
“The secrecy has been beyond ludicrous. For heaven’s sake, it’s a movie. When I got the script, it was typed in black on paper of the deepest red so you couldn’t photocopy it. I got a hangover just reading it.”
And what about working with newcomer Abrams as opposed to Lucas who remained a guiding force through the prequels. Daniels sort of diplomatic. Sort of.
“Ah, the prequels… The effects are clever but pointless. The skill is there, but so what? Coldness, that’s the word. Bleakness, even.
“[Lucas] has changed a lot over the years, but I think he finds it slightly hard to collaborate. He made decisions that I believe might have been better discussed with other people. J.J. is more collaborative. He likes to listen… It became clear early on that with J.J. we were getting back to the old-fashioned kind of film-making. We have walls. Actual sets!”
He is of course referring to the heavy reliance on green screens for CGI environments in the prequels. Abrams has been a champion of utilizing practical effects, like the ones Lucas employed in the original movies, the ones that Abrams grew up loving. (Check out the DVD extras on the ‘Star Trek’ movies for a fascinating look at Abrams’ use of practical effects.) Prior to making ‘The Force Awakens’ Daniels demanded that he appear in costume in the movie rather than having C-3PO rendered in CG with Daniels just supplying his voice.
Though Daniels may be critical of certain aspects of being part of a modern day legend, he is grateful for the lengthy career, stating “I don’t think I’m very good at other things. I wanted to act but I didn’t want to play Hamlet. With ‘Star Wars,’ my life jolted sideways. I look at other actors now – they’re all terribly good – and I think, ‘How do you know how to do that? How?’ Because I seem to have forgotten.”
Then again, how many of those actors had their own cereal?
For someone so shiny, C-3PO throws some serious shade! But then, Daniels is hardly the only vet who is fed up with some of the shenanigans they have to endure as part of this franchise. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have both refused to hold their tongues in recent years, when it comes to things SW related.
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