Wednesday, 11 January 2017


LAST WEEK, PETER WAS TREDING FOR QUITE A WHILE! #TRENDING and Mask! TWO great things making me smile today. Tarkin trending..who would have ever thought it? And discovering the plaster cast that Peter had made of his face for the make up in 'Top Secret' with Val Kilmer, was instrumental in bringing the #Tarkin effects to #RogueOne! It's a #happyfriday


No performance from 2016 was met with quite the fascination of Guy Henry's turn in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — and he wasn't even one of the few actors not involved in the film's worldwide media blitz.
The British actor was tasked with playing Grand Moff Tarkin, with his performance capture work and visual effects wizardry helping resurrect the character played by the late Peter Cushing in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. Rather than recasting the role, Industrial Light & Magic recreated Cushing's actual likeness for a performance not quite like any in film history. 
Reached by phone in Great Britain Friday, Henry spoke about the unprecedented responsibility he felt to honor Cushing ("It was genuinely frightening"), his offer to let director Gareth Edwards recast him ("I won't be offended") and speculation that the story of Carrie Fisher's Leia might continue through such technology. ("He declined to comment on Fisher, but did offer this of the technology: "I think and hope it won't be a commonplace thing.")

During the 18 months you kept this a secret, did your family know what you were doing?
The very, very closest of my family and friends — I graciously allowed them into the secret, because I think I would have gone mad otherwise. My name began to be associated with it occasionally. People would ask. At work, [the team behind the BBC One series] Holby City had to know I was doing something in it, but even my agent, when I was asked to meet Gareth Edwards, she didn't really know why. They didn't tell her. It was quite a responsibility really, and I'm glad it was kept secret right up until the very last moment.

How did Gareth Edwards and Industrial Light & Magic's John Knoll convince you this would all work out?
I felt I couldn't feel too responsible in the sense of the way that it looked. I had to trust John Knoll and Gareth and the team, who were convinced they could make it work. Vocally, I'm not a mimic. I'm genuinely not an impressionist. I'd be doing my very best to do my Tarkin, the rolled "r" and the voice as best I could, and Gareth would say, "OK relax on that. Just be a bit more Guy now." I had to trust that they saw something in the reel of my work that convinced them it could be the tribute to Cushing everyone wanted it to be. It was very, very frightening, in all seriousness.

Did the reshoots affect you much?

Because the story was changing all the time, I kept thinking I had finished. "The responsibility has lapsed. Thank God, I can lie down." Then they'd say, "Actually, can you come in next week and do half a line here and half a line there?" It was genuinely frightening, because I didn't want to let down a huge movie, and equally, I didn't want to let down Peter Cushing.

Do you remember much about what changed and when you finally ended your work?

It was quite difficult to remember what the last bit was. I would literally be called back to do half a line a bit differently. Half a line that had a bit more stress to it because something else had altered slightly what had happened to a different character. It was immensely detailed. It's something of a blur.

Did you have doubts this would work?

Normally as an actor, you are you pretending to be another person. Here, I was me pretending to be Peter Cushing pretending to be Tarkin. I said at one point, "I won't be offended if you feel the voice isn't good enough or isn't right or is too young." There is a famous impersonator here called Rory Bremner. I said, "I won't be offended if you want to get him. I just want it to be good. Don't worry if you have to ditch my voice." They stuck with me gamely.

When did you finally see what it would look like?

They snuck me in to show me [early]. I thought, "We might be all right here." It was only after the London premiere I knew for sure it worked. I'd had several glasses of white wine. I wasn't able to eat, I was so frightened. "If I haven't done good enough here, it's going to be so sad. That would be very bad." I don't mean bad career-wise. I had not done any interviews. "Don't bother about my name." I'd be referred to as a stand-in and a voice double who was a disaster, and I could go on. But I didn't want to let Peter Cushing down.

Have you heard from the Cushing estate? One of its executors has praised your performance.

I haven't first hand. If that is the case, which I gather it is, I'm so delighted. The reason for doing it was honorable. When people were talking about the ethics of bringing someone back who was long dead, I could see that if it was done for the wrong reason or something a bit seedy or just for the sake of it, that would have been wrong. When John Knoll pitched the film, obviously Tarkin is such a big part of the original. Not to have Tarkin in it would be just a shame, and I think they have done it very honorably.

Before Carrie Fisher's death, Lucasfilm said Tarkin was a special case and it likely wouldn't be done again. Do you think this will become more prevalent in other Hollywood films?

MORE ON TARKIN: Some of the more eagle eyed of you out there spotted this quick shot in the video feature we posted a few days ago about the technology behind the creating of Cushing's Tarkin for Rogue one. In the background of one shot, we see a set up of Guy Henry, as Tarkin.... and the back of Princess Leia! A shot obviously not featured in the film, Rogue One. Weird? Odd? What do we make of that??

FREDDIE JONES' Professor Richter is a masterclass in pathos and madness. In 1969 Richter was Cushing's Frankstein's latest creation off the slab . . and it was Richter was reigned down the ultimate in revenge on his creator, Frankenstein. Does this make him our Monster this week ...or just another victim of the Baron's quest to create life…!


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