If you follow me on social media, you know that I recently went to Ireland with a number of other reporters to interview Mark Hamill for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray release. While that would have been enough to get me on the plane, that was just the beginning of the trip, because the day after talking to Hamill we all left Dublin and traveled around the beautiful country to visit some of the amazing locations where Rian Johnson filmed Episode VIII. As a life-long Star Wars fan, getting to see some of the locations where they filmed the latest sequel was something I’ll never forget, and over the next week, you can expect a lot more coverage from my visit.
But let me jump backwards.
The day before we all took turns talking to Mark Hamill in Dublin (he was there as the International Guest of Honor at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade), we attended a special event at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin with Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F. O’Malley. Over the past few years, the Embassy has been the location of a newly launched Creative Minds Series, which invites prominent U.S. artists, writers, filmmakers, digital culture innovators, and musicians to share their experience with young Irish audiences. Their goal is to find ways to create new collaborations and encourage more creative economic linkages between young people in the United States and Ireland.
After mingling with the guests and taking in the striking location, we were able to watch a great conversation between Mark Hamill and moderator Aedin Gormley, who presents the only dedicated Movies and Musical show in Ireland on their leading national radio station.
During the extended conversation Hamill went in-depth about how he first got involved with Star Wars and shared some fantastic behind-the-scenes stories I’d never heard including how he shared the script with just about anyone that wanted to read it, how Lucas had a second set of actors that almost played Luke, Leia and Han, what it means when George Lucas says, “just do it and we’ll talk about it later,” what he learned from Carrie Fisher about appreciating Star Wars, and so much more. In addition, he shared the story about how he got cast as the voice of the Joker and his hesitation about taking on the iconic role, the lunch he did with Lucas and Fisher where Lucas told them his plans for the future and Fisher’s reaction, how he never thought he’d get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and so much more. But I think my favorite part was watching Hamill do a great Harrison Ford impersonation. Trust me, if you’re a fan of Mark Hamill, you’ll really enjoy this in-depth conversation.
Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is a listing of everything he talked about. A big thank you to Disney for providing me with the video from the event.