Mark Hamill Says Carrie Fisher Helped Him Embrace His Role As Luke In Star Wars
Mark Hamill is now a loud-and-proud geek icon. The actor is a frequent Twitter user and interacts and jokes with his fans all the time about his iconic role as Luke Skwalker in the Star Wars saga. Back at the start of his career, though, he wasn’t quite as keen to embrace his status as a sci-fi legend. In fact, it took another star of the franchise to help him accept that he will always be Luke: his on-screen sister, Princess Leia herself, the late, great Carrie Fisher.
The actor told this tale while chatting on the Sway’s Universe show. He explained that Fisher helped him come to the realization back when he was starring in a Broadway production and had elected to remove any mention of Star Wars from his bio.
“I remember Carrie came to see a Broadway show I did and she goes, ‘What’s with your bio?’ and I said, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ and she said, ‘You don’t even mention the movie by name.’ I said, ‘They’re in there!’ She said, ‘Yeah, “Mark Hamill, known for a series space-themed movies, made his Broadway debut…” and blah, blah, blah. Get over yourself. I’m Princess Leia, you’re Luke Skywalker. Learn to live with it.’ As usual, she was miles ahead of me.”
Hamill then went on to relay a similar story from much later on: from when he and Fisher were approached to reprise their roles for the modern Star Wars movies. Hamill says that his instinct was to play it cool, while his co-star leapt at the chance to play Leia again. Once again, the actress made him realize that opportunities like this don’t come around very often and he shouldn’t shy away from them.
“When they said, ‘Do you wanna come back to the movies?’ I kept a straight face, and Carrie yelled, ‘I’m in!’ immediately. Later I said, ‘Carrie, poker face, at least play hard to get. Like that girl in high school that won’t date you, makes you want her more.’ Again, she cuts right to the chase, ‘Mark, what kind of roles are there for women over 50 in Hollywood?’ and, boy, is she right there. As brutal as it can be for guys, it’s a million times more intense for women.”
Nowadays, Mark Hamill is very protective of his character. As has been talked about a lot, the actor had problems with Rian Johnson’s depiction of a disillusioned Luke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – though he’s made sure to point out that he ultimately thinks it was the right direction in the end, despite the fact that many fans would say otherwise.