Interview with Alan Flyng
Today i have the pleasure with Alan Flyng , he played an Imperial Officer & Stormtrooper in “Star Wars”
Thank you Alan Flyng for your time for this little interview.
- Alan you played in one of the biggest SiFi movies of all time,Star Wars, Can you tell how you got cast for Star Wars And how did you get your part assigned?
- I had a call from the agency handling bit parts, stand-ins and extras called Central Casting, asking me to attend an audition for a day’s work. Nothing was told to me in advance what sort of work it was. I took the train out of North London to Elstree, Borehamwood and arrived at the studio with approximately ten others.
We were there to be fitted as Stormtroopers. The criteria was simple – if the costume fitted, you got the job! The armour was very thin and split easily and was made all to one standard mannequin size. So, it fitted where it touched! In fact, I was more heavily built than some of the others and it was a struggle to close the armour around me, but I succeeded! Instead of one day, I spent almost seven weeks, on and off, on the film and also appeared as a Snowtrooper and Hoth Rebel Technician, amongst other things, as we were also used for second unit shots to fit into other scenes and occasionally to work with the stunts in close contact with the main actors.
Most of that work was directed by George Lucas himself, who was very vague about what he wanted us to do, so we often spent hours redoing the same actions with no specific direction from him. He stopped us when he saw what he wanted!!! In the Carbon Chamber, I was in the forefront because of my size and worked closely with the actors, specifically Harrison Ford.
- What would you say how much changed The Empire strikes back & The Return of the Jedi your life?
- Not a lot really. It was just another job amongst countless others. In those days we commonly worked almost each and every day on another project, as required. We could be doing a TV show or drama or any number of films. England then was used by the Americans as a cheaper off-shore service industry and so American films came over in significant numbers. Even when I did my part on Return of the Jedi, I was in and out in a morning and in Wales the next day starting a new film called Giro City with Glenda Jackson.
-The Star Wars phenomenon was huge when you got your part for the Return of the Jedi. Did you watch 16 years later the start of the new prequel Movies?
- No. I was in the middle of my subsequent career of 30+ years in Costume Departments. I had put acting aside and it was just one of many careers I have had.
- Star Wars is still a great theme and after all this years actors will booked for Conventions all over the world. What do you feel now that you decided to attend conventions and signing autographs for the fans of Star Wars?
- I enjoy most conventions very much. I am retired from film now due to my health, but I have great fun and enjoyment from meeting Star Wars fans and answering their questions as honestly as I can. I became a film costumer and designer after Return of the Jedi, so many fan costume makers seek my gelp and opinion on construction and sourcing material for accurate costuming. I am a bit of a polyglot and find fans abroad pleasantly surprised if I answer in their own languages.
-When you had the choice for a day with one of all the actors of all 6 movies which one will be your favorite?
- Peter Cushing, with whom, after Return of the Jedi I made another three films. He was a great man and a good friend, eventually. I admired his work ethic and the fact that no-one could catch him out on his continuity. He kept a little black book in which he wrote down his action and relative position on each set, as well as notes on his costume such as how much shirt cuff showed, the position of the knot of his tie and things like that, which are so important in the edit.
-What do you remember most of you work in The Empire Strikes Back?And what in The Return of the Jedi?
- I remember one Stormtrooper falling off the elevated rostrum upon which the Carbon Chamber was built. He had been directed by the camera operator to take one too many steps to the right for a new set-up and tumbled 5 or 6 meters onto the concrete floor of the stage we were working on. Luckily he wasn’t too badly hurt but his armour shattered into sharp slivers and was destroyed. Health and Safety was not observed like it is today!
- What are your plans for the future?
- More conventions whilst my health allows. That’s about all for now.
- One last Question,Star Wars VII and J.J. Abrams coming soon,what do you think about and will you watch the next generation of Jedi Knights?
- No, I am not overly excited by the prospect of the forthcoming films. I am not a fan of Disney and their micromanagement of film projects, which I have experienced on more than one film in the past. Money is king to them.
-Thank you Alan Flyng and when you would you can say some last words to your fans.
- Try to come and meet as many of us attending conventions in your countries when you can, because none of us is getting any younger! We do (most of us) really appreciate you making the effort and above all else, I ask you to enjoy Star Wars for what it is – an entertainment made with blood, sweat and tears by countless talented actors, technicians and directors. Thank you.