Alec Guinness's well-paid half day of work on "The Empire Strikes Back"

Originally published at: Alec Guinness's well-paid half day of work on "The Empire Strikes Back" | Boing Boing

6 Likes

Worth every penny. Especially since he wasn’t super enthusiastic about that character being the one he would forever be remembered for rather than any of his earlier, more “serious” acting work.

I wonder how much Carrie Fisher was paid for her appearance in Rogue One? (My understanding is that she didn’t even need to put in 4.5 hours of work for that one.)

11 Likes

That means that for 4.5 hours of work, he’d get a penny for every four dollars the movie brought in. At $400m in worldwide revenues on its initial release, that means that Guinness got $1m for that morning’s work, just in the first year, not including subsequent releases, home video releases, etc.

Man, too bad David Prowse didn’t get such a deal. :confused:

6 Likes

For the original SW movie:
Guinness had negotiated two per cent of the final grosses, to which Lucas added another quarter per cent. This made a stunned Guinness over $7 million immediately ($36 million today) and more than $100 million by the time of his death in 2000 at 86.

12 Likes

" I sense a great disturbance in The Force, as if millions of dollars were suddenly deposited in my bank account."

15 Likes
10 Likes

*looks at bank balance

Obi Wan Kenobi Reaction GIF by Star Wars

14 Likes

“The Prisoner” (50s movie, not the tv show) was really great.

3 Likes

Ha ha, “people are going to read too much into this stuff, it’s a simple story for all ages”.

6 Likes

We discussed this in the pub the other day. (We discuss a lot of weird shit).

David Prowse was the original ‘Green Cross Code’ man from the 70’s, who taught kids to look both ways crossing the street.
A big lad, 6 foot 5 or something, but decidely Cornish, which is why James Earl Jones was drafted in to do Vader’s voice.
Try doing ’ NO, I am your father’ or ‘Fully operational Death Star’ in a cornish accent and you’ll see the problem.

12 Likes

If you haven’t seen Bill Bailey talk about that then you’re missing out.

5 Likes

Oh, yes, I have. Bloody funny.
I’m from Bucks., so we have a “carrot-cruncher” reputation.
But we’ve been taking the mick out of this for years.
Bill does an excellent job of it.

ETA:

7 Likes

Oh yes, I have heard the raw footage before the dubbing, and yeah, it wouldn’t have worked.

But he still managed to project power and presence in the role. Pantomime with out dialogue. When the Falcon hits hyperspeed in ESB, the frustration in his movement is palatable.

IIRC he had some stipulation on getting paid more, but it was based on the films “profit”, not gross. And, I know this sounds crazy, but they juggle the books so that these films don’t make money on paper.

At least that is how I remember the issue being. I should probably google it and post an article. But I do believe more of the cast should have been better compensated considering how much money it made.

Fun fact I have met David Prowse and got his signature. My friend had previously given me a mounted signed photo, but I decide to give that to a nephew and just keep the one I have signed to me.

6 Likes

Bristolian!

4 Likes

I have to give some credit to Hayden Christensen for (reportedly) going through the effort to bulk up and take on some of the character’s physicality in the Kenobi show, although apparently there were several different actors wearing the suit at different times so it’s hard to know how much of that was really him. He could have easily just done a little bit of face and voice work for the show and left all the rest of it to other folks.

2 Likes

4 Likes

Why ya gotta put serious in scare quotes like that? Nobody’s acting in any Star Wars was anything to crow about (except maybe Frank Oz). But AG did some classic, memorable, dead-serious work in Bridge, Zhivago, and as Smiley.

4 Likes

So is that 2.5% something that gets passed on to his heirs or ended with him?

1 Like

The quotes weren’t meant as a criticism of any of his earlier work, more of a nod to the idea that all art is subjective and that many, many fans do in fact treat Obi-wan Kenobi as a serious role itself and I’m not going to try to convince them that they’re wrong

3 Likes

Ah!
I sit corrected.
Thank you.

1 Like