10 fascinating facts about actor Mark Hamill
The world knows him as the spine-tingling voice of the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series and other projects, and of course, we can’t wait to see him reprise his role as Luke Skywalker, the hero from a galaxy, far, far away, when Star Wars Episode VII hits theaters this December.
Legendary actor, Mark Hamill logged on for an incredibly insightful Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) interview with fans. Here are 10 of the most interesting things we learned:
1. His predictions on Luke’s lifestyle in the new films, and whether the Jedi will go ‘beard or no beard’
Well based on what has gone before, I have a feeling it’s beard, but I have no confirmation of that. My wife said if you grow a beard, you’ll cover up your cleft chin. That’s not something that occurred to me. But I can only guess.
Based on Obi-Wan I would have guessed I’d be living in an igloo or something. He was more spiritual, he didn’t have a wife or children. And when you find out one of the only eligible women in the galaxy is your sister, it really cuts down on your odds of hooking up with anyone. But that’s not what these movies are about. The charm of the trilogy is it appeals to the child in all of us. It goes back to playing in your backyard. It’s very primal, it’s good versus evil, a high sense of adventure.
2. His favorite lightsaber color
I just worked with Samuel L Jackson and he reminded me he had a purple lightsaber, which nobody had, I thought that was cool that he got his own color. My favorite is green, I’m happy with what I had. You don’t need to give me lavender or raw umber or whatever.
3. His childhood television heroes
I used to watch Superman on TV, and I loved the idea of flying. I used to wonder if I wanted to fly like Superman or Peter Pan. Peter Pan looked like it was more fun, Superman was so bolt straight. And I loved Zorro, the old Disney Zorro. What is it with guys with secret identities who go out and fight crime? And James Bond. I loved all that stuff.
4. His greatest inspirations
It’s hard to pick a single person. My older brother, Alec Guinness, Sam Fuller, I don’t know. The minute you say one person you think I should mention Harrison, George, Gary Kurtz, the list goes on and on. I love to be inspired by even the smallest aspect of someone’s personality. Maybe they have a tenacity or wisdom that I lack. To pick one is impossible.
5. The story of how he became the Joker
I thought no way would they have the person that played Luke Skywalker cast as the Joker – they are the quintessential extremes of good and evil. So I just assumed they wouldn’t hire me so I went in with no apprehension. I had been doing Amadeus on Broadway for the year. And so I was experimenting with that laugh for Amadeus and I brought it to the Joker audition and it player really well. I felt cocky when I left and thought “That’s the best Joker they are every going to hear – too bad they can’t hire me.” And then two weeks later when they called and said I got the job I immediately lost my confidence.
And then my friend told me you’re pretty brave. And I said why is that? And he said I wouldn’t want to follow Jack Nicholson on anything. And then I got even more scared. But fear is a great motivator.
6. His best memory voicing the Joker
I got to sing a really creepy version of “Only You”, a capella. That wasn’t something I expected to do as Joker – sing a song. But the Joker is never boring to me because he’s crazy. And if you’re crazy, you are unpredictable and you never do anything the same way. I was surprised how much I loved playing that role.
7. Why he always thought people would like Star Wars
I didn’t expect it to be a critical success, I thought people would like it, because it took so many elements from movies we were familiar with, pirate, cowboy movies, war movies, and added humor. That’s the thing that got me. Science fiction usually isn’t funny. They have an 8 ft furry dog driving a spaceship, he’s naked except headphones, that’s funny. Even if it doesn’t get great reviews it’ll be a cult movie. People will go watch it at midnight because its so unique. I thought it would be popular but never thought it would be on the cover of Time magazine.
8. What it was like to be mentored by Yoda
The minute I looked at him, he was real to me. You notice that with small children, the puppeteer isn’t hiding what he’s doing but the kids are zeroed in on Oscar or Grover or whoever, again its that childlike ability to believe and I never want to feel like I lose that. I was marveling at what a breakthrough puppet it was with the movement and the way they could build something like this, but if it hadn’t been for Frank Oz and Larry Kasdan writing that script it would have been a much different story. And I loved Yoda and still do.
9. Whether he was ever able to go pick up those power converters from the Tosche Station:
I get ribbed for that line because it was so whiney. And I remember at the time, I had to make it as juvenile as possible so that I can show how Luke matures later. So it should be embarrassing. It should be whiney and childish. But boy, has it come back to haunt me. I don’t think I ever got the chance to finally pick them up.
10. That Blue Bantha milk is not as appetizing as it looks…
It was ghastly! Since it was a prop, I wanted to matter of factly have a sip, but they used this milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It was sweet. It’s moments like that when I think, boy, I really am a good actor since I didn’t gag. I can’t remember the name, it comes in these triangular cartons, it’s everlasting milk or something like that. I don’t know if they still make it. It’s sweet and syrupy and yucky. If you want to try it go to a camping store and drop some blue food coloring in it and there you go.
[store-items character=”Luke Skywalker”]