Interview with Phil Brown - Owen Lars
Owen Lars is one of the most intriguing characters in the Star Wars universe. Actor Phil Brown was asked to play the role in A New Hope, and we'll see some of his motivation since we get to see the younger version of the character in the upcoming Episode II. Until then, TFN's Joshua Griffin got a chance to talk with Phil about Star Wars, acting, and more.
TFN: Can you describe your experience playing Uncle Owen?
Phil Brown: If by this question you mean did I enjoy the experience of working on
Star Wars, then the answer is definitely yes I had never been to Tunisia
before. I found it an exotic and interesting part of the world. The other
people involved, actor and crew, were a great joy to work with.
How did you come to be cast as Owen Lars?
Lucas was casting in London where I was living at the time. Perhaps
he cast me because of my resemblance to Alec Guinness, a contemporary and an
old friend of mine. But after all. I have been an actor all my life and
fairly well known. So it was not unusual that I should have been called for
Did Lucas give you any backstrory for your character?
No, I guess he expected me as an experienced actor to find my own way.
Did you make up one to draw on for inspiration?
I had no need for a backstory, for the simple reason that
I approached the playing of this role in the same way that I approach any
role, be it in theater, film, or TV.
Ll authors be they screen writers or playwrights are story tellers. I read
Lucas? script and determined why Uncle Wen was in the story in the first
place. Authors do not put characters in a story if they do not have a
function. Upon reading the script it was quite simple to determine why my
character was there and upon that I built my approach to the playing of the
Did you receive any additional roles as a result of your appearance in Star
No, this, what seemed to be a very unimportant role, occurred at the end
of my acting career.
With Wen Lars having a prominent role in episode ll, have you been following
the news and production rumors?
Not really. I only hope that they make a single action figure for him as
they did not do for my character. Every fan I speak to complains that I
donut have a single action figure.
What is your reaction to Joel Edgerton cast as a younger version of your
I can only wish him luck in having as many devoted followers as I have
Do you attend conventions and meet SW fans?
Yes, I manage to attend one or more events every month all over the
United States and Europe. I think it is quite amazing the enormity of the
following that Star Wars has had. It has really touched the hearts and lives
Unlike Alec Guinness who grew to regret playing the venerable Jedi knight in SW, what are your thoughts about your performance as Owen Lars in a
I certainly have no regrets about playing this role which seems to have
been so important to so many young people over the years.
It is very rewarding to meet fans young and old who have a genuinely personal
relation to Uncle Owen.
What projects have you worked on more recently. And what do you have planned
in the future?
My most recent projects have been to recover from a heart attack,
quadruple by-pass, and a stroke! And to move on from 84 years to 85, to
finish the book I have been writing about my experiences in the shadow of
the Hollywood Blacklist and to get myself to the next convention date where I
expect to meet more fans.
Thanks so much for the interview - also of note is that Phil will be appearing at
MegaCon in Orlando March 2,3,4 and Creations GrandSlam, Pasadena Mar 30,31. Apr 1.