What a treat it was to grab a brief interview at the local StarFest Convention back in 2012 with actor and athlete David Prowse. Although best known for playing Darth Vader in the original ‘Star Wars’ films, audiences have enjoyed his acting in many other movies such as Casino Royale and A Clockwork Orange. Although he’s lost a few inches from his commanding stature of 6 feet, 6 inches due to some surgeries, Mr. Prowse had a presence that caught the attention of everyone in the media room. With charm and humor he told a few stories about his career that science fiction fans will enjoy.
Colleen Bement: I’m a big fan of Gerry Anderson’s show ‘Space:1999’. What was it like to work for Gerry Anderson on the episode Beta Cloud?
David Prowse: Yes, yes. I remember doing ‘Space:1999’. Martin and Barbara had two weeks off to have a holiday in the south of France. The whole cast was trying to kill me. They tried to electrocute me, and tried to set me on fire. It was a fun thing for me to do because I was the main character since the main stars weren’t there.
CB: Where you influenced by any actors or bodybuilders?
DP: Tarzan. Johnny Weissmuller. Had a spell in the hospital at age 13. I had joint problems because, you see, I was growing so fast, and they tried to put braces on me to correct it. Before they finally figured out when I was 15 that there was nothing wrong with me. Got into swimming and body building to strengthen and ended up weightlifting competitions. I started entering weightlifting competitions and even won the British heavyweight weightlifting title. Then in 1964 I decided to try a new profession.
CB: I’m assuming you’ve done many of your own stunts. Have you ever been injured on the set?
DP: No, I’ve never been injured. You see you only do stunt work that you know you can handle. Great heights, for example, you leave well alone. However, I did all of my own fight scenes.