Warwick Davis (Return of the Jedi, Willow, Labyrinth, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Leprechaun) participated in a reddit AMA today! As always, it pays to read through the entire AMA, but ten specific items have been culled for your enjoyment and edification. Before we get down to business, Mr. Davis was hoping that everyone would visit the Force for Change initiative. Through your contribution, you will be entered to win a trip to the set of Star Wars Episode VII (you could actually be in the movie!), and you’ll also be helping out a great cause.
Okay, here we go… Topics covered here vary and range from his involvement with Star Wars and Harry Potter, to Willow, Labyrinth and Doctor Who.
10. Of the characters you played in The Phantom Menace, which was your favorite?
I think it was the character that you see watching the pod race, which George named Weazel, because I quite like characters who are more mysterious, who you don’t know that much about, and he’s quite intriguing because you don’t know much about him other than he likes to gamble on pod races. I think he’s my favorite. Although, I played Yoda for one scene as well.
9. What movie was the most fun to work on?
Although I had a great time making all the Leprechaun movies, I think my experience as an 11 year old on Return of the Jedi takes it, because being a Star Wars fan, I was literally living out my dream with my on screen hero[e]s.
8. Slightly different from #9, what was your favorite film to work on?
Sometimes I’ll have a great experience on a film because the script is fantastic, other times the experience is good because of the cast and crew. But I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed each and every film I’ve ever appeared in.
There’s a great script for a film that’s not out yet called Get Santa, that is an example of a great script.
As for a great cast and crew – that would be Harry Potter. You become very close with all of them because they all mostly worked on all of the movies. I worked on the Harry Potter series for 11 years.
7. While on the topic of Harry Potter, how about Professor Flitwick’s evolving appearance?
I really liked the look of Professor Flitwick in the first few movies. He was really quite endearing. The new look was a more spritely Flitwick that appeared in film three onward, and allowed me more scope and range as far as my performance went.
I feel really honored to have been involved in all eight movies as more than one character. It was a dream come true to play one character in one film, let alone several characters in all. I would just thank the amazing makeup team that allowed me to do that by transforming the way I looked.
6. How do you feel about taller actors being digitally altered to play characters with a smaller stature, and vice versa?
I believe that actors should play their type. A short actor should be cast as a short actor. A disabled actor should be cast to play a disabled character.
5. Do you feel that your size ever limits your career choices?
Obviously, the roles for me as a short actor are more limited than for an average size actor. But, I’ve been very conscious in my career to focus on my performance skills, so that when roles do come up, I’m well positioned to audition for them and hopefully get them.
4. How about that David Bowie in Labyrinth?
Here is a little side note. Today is the 28th anniversary of the Labyrinth opening in the US. So, I haven’t seen David Bowie since we filmed the Labyrinth, but when working with him, he was a very down to earth, but talented guy.
3. Any fun behind-the-scenes stories you feel like sharing?
Let me think. It’s funny when you try and then can’t think of anything. I mean, its kinda out there a bit, but the characteristics of Wicket in Return of the Jedi were modeled on my pet dog who used to tilt his head from side to side when he heard a strange sound. I felt this would work quite well for the character. Also, the food that Princess Leia gives Wicket by the log was actually one of those healthy but horrible tasting rice cakes. And one final snippet, Wicket’s tongue is not animatronic, it’s actually my own tongue.
Is Wicket’s voice really your voice?
Wicket’s voice was actually recorded by a Native American.
2. Willow is a classic, and you were only 18 when you played that role? Amazing!
I was actually only 17, if that makes me even more amazing.
1. Who inspired you to become an actor, and who would you like to work with one day?
Well, nobody inspired me to be an actor. I became an actor through the fact that my grandmother heard a radio commercial asking for short people to be in Star Wars. Since then my inspiration has come from John Candy, Steve Coogan, and Will Ferrell.
Also, do you play video games?
As for video games, when I have time, yes, my favorite type of games are simulation games, like driving, that sort of thing. But my son Harrison always beats me on that sort of thing. We play a lot of those war games, particularly Call of Duty. He kicks my ass.
*Bonus* This is a hard-hitting one – What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Umm, it’s porridge and that’s the name of my character in Doctor Who.
You can follow Warwick Davis on Twitter @WarwickADavis
Image belongs to Warwick Davis
Questions were paraphrased, of course. 😉