ABOVE: GIF FILE OF CUSHING
TONGUE TIED TARKIN!
It's a well known fact, that Peter Cushing was a perfectionist. He prided himself on being 'off the book', not only knowing his lines, but everyone else's too. His use of using props while delivering his lines, was legendary, something that even Christopher Lee commented on, in being envious that Peter could light a pipe, fold a newspaper and kick off his shoes, and STILL deliver his lines. Lee admitted he was hopeless with props.
ABOVE CLIP: CUSHING TONGUE
TIED TARKIN WITH AUDIO
The only noted time Cushing had trouble with lines was during the making of the BBC SHERLOCK HOLMES television series in the late 1960's. Many of these were broadcast live, with film inserts. Time was extremely tight for production, leaving Cushing with limited time to not only absorb the dialogue, but also the meaning. Cushing wasn't difficult, but wanted things done properly and felt compromised. It's one of the few times where on screen, in some scenes Cushing often looks uncomfortable. But, he coped and pushed on...
Our GIF above also shows the flip side of Cushing's frustration with dialogue. Many of the cast of Star Wars over the years have commented on George Lucas's dialogue, Harrison Ford probably the most. Here Cushing forgets the line in his interplay with Princess Leia played by Carrie Fisher. It's fun to watch the usually well controlled Cushing 'loose it', exclaiming 'What is it called????' This recently found outtake, will no doubt join the other Cushing /Tarkin tale reguarding, filming most of his scenes in Star Wars..in his carpet slippers, after finding at short notice that his costume high leather boots were two sizes too small! The stuff of legend!
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