|sent from: London, UK. destination: Wandsworth, London, UK|
We were ready to shoot my scenes as Count Dooku for some pick-up establishing shots in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. A couple things came clear very quickly – I knew a lot more about the shots we were filming than anyone on stage, and that we needed a director. I knew the shots because I had watched and re-watched all the online animatics, so I knew the context. And although the stage crew were incredibly good – I cannot fault the ILM stage people! – there was also a lack of focus, and it wasn’t clear what kind of performance was needed. Thankfully, the amazing Dennis Muren came in, saw what had been shot, and declared it lacking. We had a director. Over the next hour we worked on my transformation into Christopher Lee, the posture, the walk, the attitude. It was a real lesson in the power of a director. I walked into a chamber on Geonosis to interrogate Obi-Wan, I escorted delegates through a corridor deep underground. I spoke to a droid as Count Dooku is readying his escape before being confronted by Obi-Wan and Anakin. I tried not to freak out and in truth I can’t remember. I know the wardrobe person knew how much this meant.. everytime she came to adjust something, I couldn’t help saying “THIS IS SO COOL!!”
Here’s some proof of my Count Dooku-ness..
In a fun post-script to this story, a couple of years later when we were working on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, they needed a close-up of Dooku for a shot where he loses his hands. John Knoll played Anakin, and I reprised my role as Dooku, sans all the hairpiece make-up etc. Here’s a photo from that shoot.
Thankfully John resisted cutting my actual hands off, leaving that to the CG which was added later.