Tom Nightingale chats with Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch at the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the O2 in London…
It’s not every day you get to interview the most infamous bounty hunter in the galaxy or hear him sing a tune for that matter. We met Jeremy Bulloch, the accomplished actor of stage and screen who filled the shoes of Boba Fett. Despite starring in countless films, television and theatre, he’s an actor that doesn’t mind that his most notable role is Star Wars’ most feared Mandalorian. In fact, he talks glowing about his pride at being in one of the most loved film franchises.
We meet at the O2 in London, which is hosting Star Wars Identities (which we reviewed here), a unique collection of 200 props, costumes and artwork from the saga, which includes Boba Fett’s original costume!
So Jeremy, How does it feel headlining the O2 today?
I don’t think my voice would go with it, *he begins to sing surprisingly well!* no, I wouldn’t get away with it
Have you been around the exhibit yourself and does it bring back any memories?
Yes, last time I was here, I went around when it was almost finished and it has a lovely atmosphere, music, everything. It does bring back memories, you just see everything and go, wow! we were involved with that. It’s pretty good.
Everyone crowds around the Boba Fett costume at the exhibition; how did you get the part as Boba?
I was in the theatre and my half-brother Robert Watts was involved in Star Wars (he was the associate producer on The Empire Strikes Back). He knew George Lucas and he said ‘I need to cast somebody for a tiny part. If you want to do it, George has said that’s fine’. So I said yes but I was in a play and had to leave 4 pm each day, but they let me do it.
How did you decide to play the role of Boba Fett, after all, you never see his face?
You look at the suit in your dressing room and the first time I saw it in the mirror I was just standing and I realised the secret is, you stand still. It’s far more threatening than swinging a gun around. Like with the Jabba the Hutt scenes, I just stared at him. He couldn’t see my eyes but I just stood still, it looked more dangerous.
You mentioned Jabba who is also here at Star Wars Identities, what was it like on his palace set, with lots of puppets and animatronics?
It was fascinating to do and the lucky thing is that you have the helmet. I used to click the viewfinder down and then in some moody way, make a slow turn of the head and that’s virtually all I did! I was lazy that day *laughs*! No, it was lovely because you were part of this terrific film.
There are a lot of rumours about a possible Boba Fett standalone film, what would you think about it?
I could play a baby Boba Fett! Maybe not *laughs* Rumour goes around. I’ve finished my bits in the films, thrilled to bits and I loved it. My grandchildren think I’m funny and it’s part of your life you never forget. Everyone comes up to me saying, he’s not dead, he’s still alive. If he is, then that’s great, if he isn’t then it doesn’t matter.
How do you feel about the legacy of Boba Fett, did you ever think he would be so popular?
I never thought that was going to happen, but I actually feel quite proud of being part of it. When the premiere happened and came out, it was terrific. One of my grandchildren, she’s 8 and she still says “can we just watch the little bit of Star Wars that you’re in” and I say, “a little bit? It’s an important bit!” She’s funny and still loves the films. She’s the one that is the biggest fan.
Slightly changing the topic, but you worked on three James Bond films as Q’s assistant. I just wondered what it was like working with Roger Moore, who sadly passed away this year?
Roger Moore was just brilliant, he’s probably the nicest man I have ever met, he had the charm and everything. I remember working on Bond and, he would say to Desmond Llewelyn (who played Q) “come on Desmond hurry up, we’ve got to get going” and he would reply “Oh Roger, do stop it, these lines are difficult enough as it is”.
What are you working on at the minute?
I do the convention circuit, but there are the grandchildren as well. Do you know, I was a very good painter, I used to do people’s houses up in between roles. They say you shouldn’t say that, but why not? I was a good painter!
Thanks Jeremy, next time the Flickering Myth office needs a lick of paint, we will let you know.
You can see Boba Fett in the flesh (or at least his notorious costume) at Star Wars Identities exhibition at the O2. Even better, the show allows you to create a unique persona based on questions of “what forces shape you”. So, why not see if you have got what it takes to be a Mandalorian Bounty Hunter like Jeremy Bulloch!
Star Wars Identities is open until 3rd September 2017.