Chris Bartlett Interview
Star Wars amd The Mandalorian
Chris Bartlett (born September 3, 1970) is an American actor. He is known for principal roles in The Mandalorian (2019). He was trained by original Star Wars C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels in the character performance for droids.
- Thank you Chris Bartlett for your time for the Star Wars Fans.
Of course! Thank you for having me. I'm a life long fan and I love the stories, droids, troopers, vehicles, planets, weapons, creatures... I love all of it.
- Chris you were the first actor to ever play a Star Wars character on the Disney Channel. You portrayed C-3PO and have performed the voice as well. How does it feel to be trained by original Star Wars C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels?
It has been my life's honor to work with Anthony (and it's pronounced "ANT-unnee" so when you meet him in person you can observe proper etiquette). He is professional, he has been generous with instruction and complimentary to me. He is a very creative performer and developed a keen collection of droid animation principles as well as Threepio's specific mannerisms. Learning from his personal instruction was fantastically candid and inspiring.
- Halloween, 2009, C-3PO was summoned to the White House to meet President & Michelle Obama. You were in the costume. What was this moment like for you to meet the First Family of America
As you can imagine, security was very high. i didn't know whether President Obama would be there. I was riding the elevator as See-Threepio with two stormtroopers, the doors opened and there he was! He said, "Whoa! You guys look awesome! Can I get on with you?" No matter your politics, he's a very warm and friendly person. And he's a Star Wars fan.
- Chris you not only play C-3PO , you also work in the New Star Wars Series "The Mandalorian".How did you cast for this Series?
The wonderful people at The Mandalorian knew of my extensive TV work as See-Threepio and called me in for a screen test for Q9-Zero. I did my best interpretation of a killer-bug-robot and got the part. Incredibly, that led to other characters like the Ferryman and RA-7.
- You played in three Episodes three differnt role´s. RA-7 Droid , Zero (Q9-0) and Ferryman. What was you favorite?
Without a question, it’s Zero. Look at him! I was first fell in love with his killer design, by Brian Matyas and built by Dawn Dininger and Tim Martin at Legacy Effects. Bad guys are usually more interesting to play. He has no moral concern for living things, or “organics” as he calls them. A droid with a gun who views himself as superior to people is an unpredictable and terrifying idea. Plus I got to fly the Razor Crest through hyperspace!
- Could you share some funny, remarkable, weird stories regarding the filming of your scenes?
I do all my own stunts on the show, which included two magnificent deaths. While filming the death of the RA-7 droid in the cantina (episode 7: The Reckoning) an enthusiastic stormtrooper collided with me, knocking me off balance and I missed the pad and I fell on the hard ground. That was painful and you can see that moment in the behind-the-scenes show, Disney Gallery/Star Wars: The Mandalorian, episode 1, at about the 13 minute mark. Ouch! But it’s part of the work in an action show.
Meeting Gina Carano for the first time, was exactly like you’d imagine... She is just like your next door neighbor - so genuinely kind and humble. We ended up standing together in between shots on the same episode and we introduced ourselves. I asked her what her role was and she said, “I’m a former shock trooper?” I didn’t recognize her. You’d never know that she is a world-renowned MMA fighter and action star, because that’s not her personality. She’s just a gentle, beautiful human being... who could, without hesitation, savagely kit your butt into the next parsec.
Seeing the Child for the first time was confusing. I’ll just say that. What am I looking at? How does this fit into the timeline? Working with him is as real as you can possibly imagine. Everyone carries him like a baby. His eyes, ears, head hands all move in real time and are very lifelike. Also, he’s very good at hide and seek.
- Please finish the following sentence: “Looking back at working on Star Wars: The Mandalorian …”
Being part of the Star Wars family has been my life for the last 14 years, but this new chapter has been life changing. This is such an exciting new era for the Galaxy we all fell in love with. We are fortunate to have Dave Filoni as the captain of this new dispensation of adventure where he knows and guides the growth of this universe, being faithful to the imagination and legacy of George Lucas. I’m grateful, as a fan, and as a contributor to this everlasting and ever-expanding, Star Wars story.
- Will we see you back in The Mandalorian Season 2?
I’m really looking forward to everything being revealed in season 2 in October!
- With a role in Star Wars comes a Big Fan Community, what are your first star wars fan experiences?
My first Star Wars fan experience actually happened in my mind as I prepared for these characters. I knew that we had an important responsibility to fans to make these characters believable and make the stories Move forward in a satisfying way while remaining true to Star Wars. So everytime I was preparing or filming, I wanted to do the very best work I could. I hope fans know that I and everyone on the show, had them in mind Because I’m a lifelong fan too and wanted to deliver a performance that I would want to see and feel, sitting in a theater or my living room.
After that, Covid hit and a lot of conventions were cancelled so the in-person connection Would have to wait, but online and via messages, fans have been incredibly kind. Most notable was when two talented artists began building their own screen-accurate Zero costume and sharing their progress with me. As a costume builder myself, I can appreciate the time and love that goes into creating something that closely resembles the real thing.
- When you not work as actor what are you doing Chris?
My day job is in video games. I am the UI/UX Director on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I’ve been an artist and director in games for over 15 years.
Thank you for your time Chris! Let’s end this interview with some words for the fans?
If you don’t currently know what you want to do for your life’s work, ask yourself what things you are curious about. Don’t worry about the amount of money you can make with them. Then study those things, even if you’re no good at them. You fill find that one of those things will grow, like a seed into a sprout in your mind.
That’s supposed to read “You WILL find that one of those...”