One of the most popular Star Wars characters is this notorious bountyhunter. His looks are cool, he's Han Solo's nightmare and is an unaltered clone. Did I mention he also escaped the Sarlacc?
I am talking about Boba Fett, played by English actor Jeremy Bulloch.
I have met Jeremy several times over the years, including in 2006, when I had the following interview (that premiered on Wattographs.com) with him about Fett, fanmail and PEZ-dispensers.
This is at least the sixth time you have been to the Netherlands. Do you like it here that much?
Yeah, the fans here are always enthusiastic and remember to say hello how are you. The hospitality is nice, the food is good, and I also like the beers. I’m back after three years and looking forward to the convention!
What is your favorite convention-country?
It is not necessarily a convention, but I liked Japan. It is because you go from one place to another by a very fast modern train. But, all around the world the fans are the same, there is enthusiasm and "Oh, I can’t believe you’re here!" We are all human beings, I just wore this rather cool looking costume. Of all the places you can go, Japan stands out, because Boba Fett looks just like a Samurai warrior.
Not many people know that Jason Wingreen provided the voice of Boba Fett. Did you ever meet him?
No, I never met him, but we spoke on the phone. We had a long chat and we’re both saying [with Boba Fetts voice] “What if he doesn’t survive, he’s worth a lot to me”.
He said: ‘I don’t understand why you didn’t do it yourself’. But, all the sound stuff was done afterwards in America, I live in England, so I understand they didn’t fly me all over the record the four lines.
What are your thoughts on George Lucas changing Fett’s voice to that of Temuera Morrison?
I can understand it. The ‘new’ version leads on, so that he is speaking like the super-clone.
But everyone remembers Jason Wingreens voice [with Boba Fetts voice] “Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold”. You remember that, so I thought it wasn’t really necessary to do it. Nothing against Temuera doing it, that’s fine!
Now, they are releasing the original versions on DVD. I think fans will be happy.
For more than twenty years, Boba Fett was a mystery. In Attack of the Clones we get to know the origins of Boba Fett and we see him as a little boy. What is your opinion about this? Didn’t this ruin the mystique that surrounded Boba Fett?
First thing I thought when I saw it was that it is great there is a story about Boba Fett. We know where he comes from, people will know more about him. Ideally, you would never see his face and think where he has gone, what he is doing. Never seeing his face would be the best. Is his face cut? Scarred? He should remain a mystery.
On the other hand, there is a far more interesting Boba Fett when people have this piece about ‘Oh, he was a clone’.
But that means [starts talking like a geek] "Mr. Bulloch, ehm, uhh, you ehhh, told me ehhh, he was you know ehhh a human being! No ehhh uhm you are telling me ehhh he is a clone!.”
I say: “It is Science Fiction. Anything can happen.”
But back to the point, it is still nice he is so much talked about. When we meet, the three Fetts; young Boba, Jango, and the older Boba it is so much fun.
I will see them again in Disneyland in June.
Suppose Boba Fett would get a part or cameo in the upcoming TV series. Would you like to wear the suit and helmet again?
Yes I would! But realistically, moving along with the years I think Daniel Logan would play him as he is nineteen, twenty years old; the right age to do it. But if they would ask me to play an alter-ego of Boba Fett it would be quite fun to do it. That is, if they get the series up and running.
What do you think of the fact that because Boba Fett was loved so much by the fans, he was ‘brought back to life’ in the books by explaining that thanks to his armor he escaped from the Sarlacc?
I think the stories are quite nice. He gets out with his jetpack and is helped by Dengar. Boba Fett is a canny person, and I think that he had done a movie straight after Return of the Jedi I think we would have seen him again, collecting his bounty, capturing other people. All the books are fun.
You keep up with them?
Yeah, I do. I don not necessarily read em, but people say to me ‘have you seen that bit?’ And I’m like ‘Oh, he gets out’. With all the comics and figures that people have…I think that is fantastic. You see a new figure and that keeps the interest in Boba Fett.
You get loads of fan mail and it seems you sign everything you get.
Well, that is not entirely true. I reply to everybody, unless people are like ‘Sign these for me and let the pen dry before sending them back’. And, they forget the return-postage!
I say it on my website; do not forget the postage.
When you have someone from America, it is $ 5 to return, and they enclose only $ 1. I reply saying ‘Do you think it is cheaper when you send it than when I send it?
There are charity-letters that have no ‘Dear Jeremy’ or ‘Dear Mr. Bulloch’. If they write ‘Dear whoever you are’ it goes in the bin.
I do pay postage for charity and I do give photos away, but if they have no care of whom they are talking to…
A lot of charities are also false; I call them up and ask if this person is working there and they say no.
That part is nasty, but going back to the beginning I reply to everyone.
Do you get a load of mail?
At the height it was eighty letters a week, now it’s around forty. It is a lot to do. Normally I do it in the weekend. When I go to America, I take a lot with me to do it there.
When you sign items you often add the quotes 'Be cool' or 'You're cool'. Any specific reason for this?
That’s a good question. There is a special reason. When I started doing events, little kids came up to me and said ‘You’re so cool’. But I do other things, like ‘Welcome to hell’, ‘Beware the Force’. Different things, but usually ‘Be cool’.
What is the weirdest item you have ever signed?
I think the weirdest items are the several tattoos. But, a dentist from Mexico had plastered teeth; on the front was the helmet of Boba Fett, I signed that.
Well, that is weird for sure!
You made a comeback as Captain Colton in Revenge of the Sith. Was it at your request? Or did George Lucas ask you?
No, it was through Rick McCallum, the producer. He said “we are coming to England to re-shoot stuff and do special effects and George would like you to play to part of Captain Colton”.
Did it feel good?
It felt the same. Same atmosphere as all those years ago.
What if you had to choose: Boba Fett or Captain Colton?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have Boba Fett sitting just like this and pulling his helmet off…and there’s Captain Colton. That would be cool. [laughs]
Boba Fett’s first ever appearance was in the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special. Did you see this show before you were cast in the role?
I have only recently seen it. I don’t think it is something that George Lucas likes very much. But it was the first time Boba Fett was there as a cartoon character. Before I started filming they showed me a figure, which I thought was strange; to have a figure already made before the movie.
Did you like the cartoon?
I liked the cartoon, only that part. Again, I only saw it recently, a year, six months ago at a convention where they were showing it.
What do you regard as the highlight of your career?
This is an extraordinary question. The highlight of my career…I’m close to fifty years as an actor and I am still working. Soon I will go through a DVD, a montage of faces and music, to show, especially America, what I have done all over the years. Then, for over an hour you can do a talk and see clips of me in the old Doctor Who, drama, comedy.
And so, when people say ‘what have you achieved?’, I say, well, I am still working as an actor and am also a PEZ and a LEGO figure. What more do you want?
How about your highlight in the Star Wars films?
Going to work every day. It was uncomfortable, the costume, but what fun we had! There were droids, wookiees, Han Solo….all these people. I enjoyed every day I worked on it
The obvious question: What is your personal favorite of the Star Wars movies?
The Empire Strikes Back. I think that one has everything. But I enjoyed them all. The prequels not quite as much as the originals though.
Last question: Are there any props you got to keep from the Star Wars movies?
No, and I didn’t take any. I am not a thief, but I wish I had. The gloves which were comfortable, the shoes…maybe the helmet. Maybe in the future I can ask George to sell me the original costume. That would be fun, but I doubt it.
It would cost you a fortune!
It would cost me loads of money yeah. Or maybe he will say ‘Please take it’.
I hope he will!
[Looks directly into the camera] Are you listening George?
We will send this tape to him.
[Laughs] Yeah, go ahead!