Thank you Derek Lyons for your time for this Interview and the fans.
- Derek you played in one of the biggest SiFi movies of all time,Star Wars , Can you tell how you got cast for Star Wars?
My late father Peter knew many UK Stuntmen including Nosher and Dinny Powell, Roy Scammell from before any worked within it. He also got the director and former Stuntman Ray Austin and my Uncle Terry Duggan ( Actor) too. So in 1975 my father signed me up to Central Casting. A year later I got a call to go to Shepperton Studios and have some photos taken and be fitted into a costume. My agent told me it was a low budget film at the time! Then a week or so later I was told I got the part. Worked on THE STAR WARS as it was called for just over 2 weeks in one of the hottest summers ever! I was chosen to be The Medal Bearer along with a guy called Robert . And also as the Massassi Temple guard( Rebel Guard) alongside Lorne Peterson ( LUCAS FILM SPECIAL EFFECTS MAN).
- You played one of the Temple Guard / Medal Bearer , how many had this change your life?
Well I was so happy to have been chosen as these two characters Voren Na'al The Medal Bearer and Temple guard. I am also seen in the briefing room scene too with General Dodonna too! The Star Wars film A New Hope has been part of my life till now and comes up in many conversations with people when asked what films I have worked on. I am very proud to have worked on tis movie which is part of history now!
-Can you share with us What do you remember most of you work in Star Wars? Is there a special or funny moment?
I just loved being in a movie and on set, it was such fun even though I was very nervous then. One day I went to the Massassi Temple set on my own one afternoon and went up to the R2D2 Robot. (We never knew the name then by the way.) Anyway as I went up to R2, suddenly the top flew off and there was Kenny Baker Kenny said Hello! I was shocked at the time as I did not expect this LOL! Kenny had fallen asleep inside R2 LOL! This I am told happened a few times when the crew forgot he was in the droid !
-You had the pleasure to meet Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill ,How was they on the set?
Mark Hamill became a friend during the two weeks I was at Shepperton. We found out we had the same birthday, 25th September, but he is a few years older than me. We explored Shepperton Studios together one lunchtime, looking at the other sets, including the set from the musical Oliver and the castle set from The Pink Panther Strikes Again. We had some photos taken on the Oliver set with Mark and Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca) I used to have lunch at the The Shepperton pub with Peter, most days. Carrie Fisher was very sweet and I remember one day helping her remove a splinter from her foot! She was in some discomfort. I can't remember which foot it was. I was very shy in those days but offered to remove the splinter nonetheless. She kissed me on the cheek and said thank you and I went so very Red LOL!
- 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?
Well it was just another job and pleased it's still with us. But I think it's being destroyed now with too many spin-offs !
- Derek you not only played in Star Wars , also in Superman , Flash Gorden , Indiana Jones , James Bond and so many other Movies and Series like "The Bill" . Whats your personaly Favorite role so far?
I really loved working on Flash Gordon and meeting Sam Jones and Ornella Muti whom I became close too on the film. I made so much money on that one and am in the new documentary Life After Flash directed by Lisa Downs. ( Released in October 2017) . I love working on 4 James Bond films including THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. I am in another documentary called A BOND FOR LIFE by Benjamin Lind . ( Out soon). In the Living Daylights I played an MI6 Agent ! Loved that! Iso enjoyed also working on INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. Meeting George Lucas again who remembered me. Seeing and chatting with Harrison Ford and having nice conversations with Sean Connery about his son Jason whom was a friend of mine at the time. THE BILL TV series was like working with a family and I was on this for 5 years plus and had a part as PC CRAIG LOVELL. So it's tough answering this question!
- What can you tell us about the All Time Classic „Shining“ with Jack Nicolson? You played a Hotel Bellboy.
I had to audition as with many of my roles over the past 40 years. On THE SHINING Stanley Kubrick was a perfectionist in every way ! I went to Elstree Studios and had polaroids taken in and out of my Bellboy costume and waited a few days for Stanley to say yes or no! Thankfully he choose me! During my time on the film I learnt so much by watching Stanley work. Also became close to Jack Nicholson who invited me into his dressing room and chatted for an hour with him about movie and life. I also got on very well with Scatman Crothers who most days I had lunch with and he always insisted on paying for it! He told me that he was Godfather to Sammy Davies Jr and many more great stories.
-When you look back at you career so far what was the funniest moment you remeber?
I have so many funny moments in my career from falling back off my chair during a take on film RAGTIME and Stunt driving/doubling/ Standing in for Alec Baldwin. On SECOND NATURE with Alec Baldwin I had to drive very fast through the Car park at Heathrow Airport. On action I drove fast and drove into another carpark by accident and ended up in the Car Wash ! LOL! The 1 AD was saying on my Walky-talky where the hell are you Derek ? I told him and he laughed!! LOL!
HOW DID YOU ENJOY BEING IN THIS DOCUMENTARY ELSTREE 1976 ?
It was wonderful to have been involved with this superb documentary called Elstree 1976 produced by Hank Starrs and directed by Jon Spira. They filmed me over a 2 year period and recommend friends and fans to get a copy. I have a few for sale which I will sign. It's about 10 actors who worked on STAR WARS A NEW HOPE and asks about our lives in general. Really good to know the back story of the lives who were part of this amazing film. Also I am in process of writing my Autobiography titled 'A LYONS TALE- The Derek Lyons Adventure in film and beyond.
-Thank you Derek and when you would you can say some last words to your fans.
I like to just say that Acting is just a job really and I am very happy to have worked on some of the biggest iconic movies in my lifetime! Thanks for your support on Facebook, my official website and meeting all the wonderful fans at Conventions. May the Del be with you all! Peace, love, Buddha,Christ and Krishna blessings to all.
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