Today I had the pleasure of an interview with the A New Hope Boba Fett actor, Mark Austin.
Boba Fett, in A New Hope, was played by a plucky animator by the name of Mark Austin.
Mark was given the chance of a lifetime to wear the Boba Fett costume for A New Hope: Special Edition. You know. The ones where George decided he needed to make some changes to the perfect movie.
Mark, after being jobless and searching for an opportunity was in the right place at the right time, and got THE call, and THE question, that every man wants to be asked, which was: “So, Mark, do you want to be Boba Fett?”
Our interview with Boba Fett began
DF: Thanks for chatting to me today Mark. To have a chance to speak to Boba Fett is a dream come true.
MARK: Thanks Tom
How did you get started in the movie business? What was the path that led you to getting to play the part outside of your other hugely impressive and successful career as an Animator/FX Supervisor?
DF: Could you actually see through the visor? What were you looking at? And how heavy was the gun prop?
MARK: The view through the visor was limited and it steamed up. Mainly because it was chilly in the stage. It kept fogging up. The suit was soft. The bracers hung heavy and made rings about my wrists that lasted days. The jetpack was also heavy and I had shoulder lines that lasted as long as those on my wrists.
I had tiny pieces of tape designating my start position and end position (for the first of the two shots where I entered screen right). Far to my right was a piece of masking tape showing Harrison’s eye-line. I had to start and stop at the set marks whilst looking to Harrison’s eye-line the whole time.
Holding the gun comfortably presented an unclear silhouette from the angle I was walking in. Steve asked me to hold it at an awkward angle giving a better read on it in camera. The thing is the awkward angle made walking naturally that much harder. The gun was a nice decent weight but not really heavy.
The afternoon shoot was more complex with start position, pause to scan docking bay and end position. My eyes scanned but the helmet T appeared to look into camera. If you could see my eyes you’d see me looking to the side but George loved it.
DF: And what were the cast like?
My role was blue screen. I met some cast briefly after but this is all I saw… A large sheet of blue.
DF: So, a pretty eventful day for you? Do many compete with that?
MARK: On the whole it was the most amazing surreal magical moment of my life and here’s that moment captured in s Polaroid taken by the head of the Archives, Don Bies.
DF: Mark, congratulations on an awesome career, and thanks so much for your time and sharing that with us at Digital Fox.
MARK: No problem, thanks for doc-ing it.
Well, that’s one off the bucket list for me.
Mark was such a top guy, and a lovely person to chat to. I can’t think of anyone more deserving to wander alongside the Millenium Falcon.