Terence Stamp Says Working On 'Phantom Menace' Was "Boring," But He Had A Crush On Natalie Portman

News
by Joe Cunningham
January 30, 2013 4:58 PM
7 Comments
  • |

You know how it was no fun to watch those “Star Wars” prequels; it sounds like they were no fun to make either. Well, that’s according to two of the actors who played minor roles in “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace,” anyway. British comedian, actor and presenter Peter Serafinowicz provided the voice of Darth Maul in Lucas’ first prequel, while Terence Stamp took on the cameo role of Chancellor Valorum, and it sounds like they both had similarly disappointing experiences.

Stamp recently told Empire (via Den Of Geek) that he hadn’t had the best of times working with George Lucas, stating: “We didn’t get on at all. I didn’t feel he was a director of actors, he was more interested in stuff and effects.” That won’t sound all that surprising to anyone who’s ever watched a film directed by Lucas, so why did Stamp say yes to him in the first place? Well apparently he wanted to meet Natalie Portman, but when he arrived on set the young actress was absent and Stamp had to instead act against a piece of paper stuck on the wall. “It was just pretty boring,” said Stamp…and it certainly sounds it.

Serafinowicz, meanwhile, has gone on record in the past about his brief and awkward meeting with George Lucas in a recording studio, for which he was paid a pittance, before having to pay for his own ticket to the film’s premiere and being bitterly disappointed by what he saw. Serafinowicz himself interviewed Stamp last year while presenting a show on BBC Radio 6 Music and asked him whether he’d had a similarly demoralizing experience, and that interview helps puts Stamp's more recent comments into context.

“I must admit, I had a terrible crush on [Natalie Portman],” Stamp said of why he took the job – who troublingly at the time of filming was around 60 years-old, while Portman would have not yet turned 18. Putting that creepy bit of info to one side, Stamp also spoke of his lousy pay (“2 and 6 and a toffee apple”) and how he was also convinced to take part by the promise that he’d be playing a man who was essentially “the President of the Universe.” Apparently Lucas also gave Stamp a present for coming back for an extra day’s unpaid work to pick up a shot he’d earlier missed…a set of Star Wars stencils. Maybe J.J. can tempt him back for the next trilogy with a set of crayons?

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

7 Comments

  • TH | January 31, 2013 11:43 PMReply

    Natalie Portman's probably flattered that some old geezer had a crush on her when she wasn't even legal age. After all, she signed a petition to free Roman Rapist Polanski when he was arrested in Switzerland to be deported to the USA for a rape he committed on a 13yr old girl back in the 1970s.

  • cattt | January 31, 2013 1:50 AMReply

    It's not surprising that the SW prequel shoots were boring. redlettermedia.com has brilliant reviews of the films and they show some behind the scenes footage too. Every dialogue scene has two people sitting on a couch and it's shot like a soap opera. Lucas is sitting behind the monitors drinking coffee. He's barely interacting with the actors.

  • Stevo the Magnificent | January 30, 2013 10:26 PMReply

    It wasn't just Terence "kneel before Zod!" Stamp or Peter Serafinowicz that were disillusioned with their experiences working on 'The Phantom Menace', Liam Neeson briefly retired from acting because working with George had been so crushingly boring and mind-numbing...

  • TheoC | January 30, 2013 7:08 PMReply

    I had completely forgotten he was in that. It was brief, but he got to play crucial part in a scene about trade embargoes (REALLY!!!!).

  • triguous | January 30, 2013 6:57 PMReply

    Helpful hint: At what time during the interview does the boring Star Wars experience come up?

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Beefaroni | January 30, 2013 5:31 PMReply

    Both of these actors had maybe 4 lines each. Regardless of Lucas' reputation as a director of actors, if someone of Terence Stamp's talent needed direction to do what was basically a cameo, then I'm terribly unimpressed with Terence Stamp. "welcome your highness, the chair recognizes the senator from naboo, and the point is conceded" Those were the only lines he had in the whole movie.

  • CB | January 30, 2013 5:25 PMReply

    Lol, well-written article, man. So true!

Email Updates