Alan Austen - The Star Wars Interview
Alan Austen began his acting career in 1979. He appeared in many films as a supporting artiste, including notably as one of the Stormtroopers responsible for placing Han Solo in the carbon-freezing chamber in Das Imperium schlägt zurück (1980).
Thank you Alan for your time for this Interview and the fans.
-Alan you played in one of the biggest SiFi movies of all time,Star Wars ( The Empire
strikes Back), Can you tell
how you got cast for Star Wars?
I was cast through Central Castings, the organisation that supplied supporting artists to films being shot at the Major London film studios. My booking was on a daily basis. I was the correct size to fit into a Stormtrooper costume.
- You played one of the Stormtrooper for placing Han Solo in the carbon-freezing chamber, how many had this change your life?
Being chosen to place Han Solo in carbon was very lucky for me. The director liked the way I moved in the costume. I already had a rapport with Harrison Ford, so it just worked. Because of this fact, a year later I was cast in Raiders of The Lost Ark. My conversations with Steven Spielburg convinced me to work towards becoming an actor. So, yes Empire did change my life.
-Can you share with us What do you remember most of you work in Star Wars? Is there a special or funny moment?
So many special moments as I was making new friends with my fellow storm troopers. We all had a sense of humour and if you fell asleep on set between takes, you never knew what the boys would do to you. One guy woke up to find himself tied up with ropes and chains. A big stand out is when we arrested Carrie as Liea. Something funny happened and Carrie could not stop laughing. It's captured in the famous photo. One day I'll tell the story of what made Carrie laugh
-You had the pleasure to meet Harrison Ford ,How was he on the set?
Harrison is a very private man and does not make small talk. I was a little in awe of him, but in the Hoth snow tunnels I found myself alone with him. I was dressed as a Hoth rebel. I struck up some small talk with him and after that he would always say 'how's it going Kid?' . When we met again on Raiders, he remembered me well. On set Harrison is a real professional and often says something funny after he knows the take is in the bag. As an example on Raiders, whilst tied to the stake with go Karen Allen whilst the ark was being opened, his line was 'don't look at it'. After delivering the line several times he finally said ' oh go ahead and look at it' reducing the whole cast and crew to laughter. He is a great guy.
- How do you look back at your parts in Star Wars after three decades,
especially since Star Wars is still so much alive these days?
Looking back after all these years to my time working on Star Wars, I just think how lucky I was. I miss the people that I met, I think about those that passed away to soon. I miss the laughter, the friendships. Carrie died on my birthday and it hit me hard. So many memories were brought back. Star Wars will live on long after all of us that took part. That makes me proud and happy to know that future generations of fans are yet to be born.
-Alan you not only played in Star Wars , also in Doctor Who (Kara Gaurd) ,Indiana Jones (soldier), Flash Gordon (Mongo Man) and so many other Movies. Whats your personaly Favorite role so far?
The Empire Strikes Back will always be top of my list. However. Absolute Beginners with David Bowie is a close second. I played a teddy boy and all of my friends from the business were involved in different scenes , so it was a happy set. It was also my last film as a supporting artiste. I was becoming well known in UK television by then.
_ Whats your future projects? On iMDb i see a Project called: Salient Minus Ten ,a Film by Emma Dark.
Yes Emma Dark asked me to audition for Salient Minus Ten. Even though I had retired from acting, I liked the script and thought if I don't get offered the role, then I'll stay retired.
Luckily, Emma offered me the lead character and I loved making the film.
It's in post production at the moment so I can't say more until it's released
-Thank you Alan and when you would you can say some last words to your fans.
I would like to say a massive thank you to the fans of Star Wars. Thank you for your passion and your love.thank you for keeping the dream alive. May The Force Be With You.