Anthony Daniels, the actor who has played lovably finicky robot C-3PO in six “Star Wars” films, has no stomach for the saga’s three prequels, over-reliance on special effects or for Disney’s “Kremlin attitude” when it comes to leaks about the seventh installment in the space epic, a new interview reveals.
Daniels told the Guardian how he was slapped by Disney for an off-hand tweet in which he revealed he had met an actor who plays a character in “The Force Awakens,” the “Star Wars” installment due out this Christmas.
“Immediately I received a message from Disney: ‘Remove the tweet! You’re not allowed to say that!’” Daniels recalled. “Honestly. It’s a kind of Kremlin attitude.”
“The secrecy has been beyond ludicrous,” the 69-year-old actor added. “For heaven’s sake, it’s a movie. When I got the script, it was typed in black on paper of the deepest red so you couldn’t photocopy it. I got a hangover just reading it.”
Daniels told the newspaper how the role of C-3PO had come to dominate his career, so that he could hardly imagine playing another role now. He said he had deeply enjoyed working with “Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams, whom he credited with a back-to-basics approach.
He said “Star Wars” creator George Lucas “has changed a lot over the years, but I think he finds it slightly hard to collaborate,” adding, “He made decisions that I believe might have been better discussed with other people. J.J. is more collaborative. He likes to listen.”
“The Force Awakens” recaptures the inspiration of the original film, he said. “It became clear early on that with J.J. we were getting back to the old-fashioned kind of film-making. We have walls. Actual sets!”
He contrasted that approach with the saga’s three prequels, which he suggested became overly focused on technical mastery over storytelling.
“Ah, the prequels,” Daniels told the Guardian. “The effects are clever but pointless. The skill is there, but so what? Coldness, that’s the word. Bleakness, even.”
Daniels may have fallen out of love with some of “Star Wars’” history but he acknowledges that C-3PO made his career. He laughed about taking directions via a GPS navigation device that used the character’s voice. And he is signed on for two more sequels.
“I don’t think I’m very good at other things,” Daniels said. “I wanted to act but I didn’t want to play Hamlet. With ‘Star Wars,’ my life jolted sideways. I look at other actors now – they’re all terribly good – and I think, ‘How do you know how to do that? How?’ Because I seem to have forgotten.”