Hot on the heels of the announcement last week that he will be at Celebration Europe II, actor Ian McDiarmid gave an interview to SciFiNow in which he discussed his upcoming convention appearance and his impressions of Star Wars fandom. McDiarmid also discussed his stunt-heavy Episode III lightsaber duels, but he said that he didn't do those stunts himself.
Because I had the great good fortune to have a brilliant stunt double, he was called Michael Byrne, who did all the really serious work. I had to learn the moves, so that they could cut away and the close-ups looked convincing and so on, but all the skill really was Michaelís and not mine. And indeed in that fight Sam Jackson, who was also very good and worked very hard, and was very, very patient with me. The day we did that fight I also had to do the scene at the opera so it was a very, very busy day.
And itís all extraordinary when youíre doing these movies, you think ďMy god, this doesnít come out for two years! Maybe we can do it tomorrow!Ē But no, the pressure is always to get as much done as you can, for financial reasons, in the course of the period that youíre there. But that also made it kind of exciting, really, because you donít have too much time to stop, to think and work out the detail. And so youíre pushed back on your instincts and as an actor I always really like that because I think, with any luck, thatís where the best acting can come from.
Ever since his appearance at Celebration VI last summer, McDiarmid has demonstrated his enthusiasm for Star Wars and his understanding of its impact on society. It's refreshing to see such an accomplished performer engaging with both the franchise and its fandom. Check out the full interview over at SciFiNow.