With the sad news that Carrie Fisher has passed away at the young age of 60, here’s a clip of her being interviewed along with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill on the Today show back in 1977 after the release of “Star Wars.” Princess Leia will be missed . . .
Considering the title and the involvement of director Jon Favreau, whose pre-“Iron Man” background was mostly in comedy, I had assumed it was going to be a science-fiction comedy along the lines of “Men in Black.” I was apparently wrong. Anyhow, watch as Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and a bunch of mysterious whatsits face off in the first trailer for the long-awaited, and apparently quite tense, “Cowboys and Aliens.”
Speaking of tension and Harrison Ford, I’m a little bit afraid to watch what might become Mr. Ford’s rather legendary “Conan” appearance last night, in which most viewers agreed Ford was in some way altered — perhaps by booze, perhaps something prescribed as medicinal.
All I can say is that, if true, it wouldn’t be the first time. L.A. science fiction geeks of a certain age remember a radio interview given by a young Ford and Mark Hamill before the release of the very first “Star Wars” in which the twosome, who apparently were convinced they were the stars of a movie that might, at best, become an obscure cult item, were fairly obviously under the giggly influence of some pretty good cannabis. The late host of Pacifica station KPFK’s “Hour 25” radio show, Mike Hodel, often said it was a low-point of the program.
We here at Bullz-Eye always knew that we wanted to run a piece in conjunction with the release of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” but what we didn’t know was what kind of piece it would be. We considered the matter, and we came to the conclusion that it would’ve been a little too easy to whip up a list of our favorite Hollywood wizards. In the midst of the discussion, however, an observation was raised about the film itself: what’s going to happen to these kids – Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson – after the last of the “Harry Potter” books has been adapted for the silver screen? Will they be able to rise above their roles and find work elsewhere, or are they destined to be remembered solely as Harry, Ron and Hermione? From there, we quickly began to bandy about the names of other folks who have and haven’t been able to score success in other cinematic identities, and the piece began to write itself. Ultimately, only one of our selections seemed impossible to pigeonhole as either “Forever Typecast” or “Escaped Typecasting,” and when you see that actor’s name, we think you’ll nod your head knowingly and understand exactly why we had that problem.
Here’s a sample of the piece, to hopefully tempt you into checking out the whole thing:
Mark Hamill, AKA Luke Skywalker:
Mark Hamill may not have had much in the way of cinematic credits when he was introduced to the world as Luke Skywalker, future Jedi, in “Star Wars,” but he’d sure as heck done his time on the TV circuit, appearing on everything from “The Partridge Family” to “The Streets of San Francisco,” even playing a guy named Doobie Wheeler on “The Texas Wheelers.” But when you’re the star of the greatest space opera of all time ,you’ve got to expect a certain amount of blowback, and Hamill got it in spades. Despite starring in the fondly remembered “Corvette Summer” with Annie Potts and being directed by Samuel Fuller in the critically acclaimed “The Big Red One,” things just weren’t happening for the guy outside of the “Star Wars” universe…well, unless you consider being third-billed to Kristy McNichol and Dennis Quaid in “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” to be happening, that is. Post- “Return of the Jedi,” Hamill did a few straight-to-video features before realizing that he might well find more luck off the camera and in the recording booth. Having already worked for Hanna-Barbera in the early ’70s, it was a quick transition for Hamill to return to the world of voiceover acting, and it was a move that paid off in a big way. Whether you’ve known it or not, you’ve heard his dulcet tones providing voices for “The Adventures of Batman & Robin” (The Joker), “Spider-Man” (Hobgoblin), “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Ozai), and “Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!” (The Skeleton King), among dozens of others. Good for him, we say. But the truth of the matter remains: when you see his face, Mark Hamill is still Luke Skywalker.
Got the idea? Great! To see the rest of the feature, either click right here or on the big ol’ image below: