ByCatrina Dennis, writer at
Host, Reporter, Podcast Queen | @ohcatrina on twitter/fb/insta |
Catrina Dennis

A little while back, I told you about one of the most exciting and pleasant experiences I've ever had: hosting a very special Q&A with Mark Hamill before an exclusive [Kingsman: The Secret Service](movie:713143) screening with a crowd of excited geeks like me. At the Q&A, we discussed how he found out about his original appearance in the comic book, and got an exclusive story from the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens about drone spies! Some wonderful folks captured footage, which you can watch here.

But that's not all! After the Q&A, Mr. Hamill and I sat down to discuss Kingsman, [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158), and his long list of iconic voice work.

But enough of me: On to the interview!

Here's what I walked away with after "becoming a Kingsman" under the guidance of Mark Hamill (sort of).

He's Not Playing Himself in the Film

Mark Hamill as Professor James Arnold
Mark Hamill as Professor James Arnold

In the comic that inspired Kingsman, he's Mark Hamill - but on screen, Hamill assumes the role of environmental activist and university professor, James Arnold, who definitely grabbed his style inspiration from Sean Connery's Dr. Henry Jones.

... I'm like a normal person that's swept into this bizarre fantasy world of super spies and megalomaniacal villains... and it just appealed to me, because it's so unusual.

Hamill's character serves as the outsider stuck in the middle of dangers beyond his wildest imagination. We're there with him, mouth agape, staring at the carnage and bad-ass action that practically explodes around him.

Luke's X-Wing Playlist would be Pretty Kinky if He Listened to Our Music

Getting down to that. [Sweet?!]. Beat.
Getting down to that. [Sweet?!]. Beat.

I'm a little obsessed with music (and I may or may not be secretly constructing the Ultimate Star Wars Playlist) so I just had to ask Mark Hamill this question. It's always fun to learn little nuances of a character through their music tastes, and according to Hamill, Luke's favorite band from our galaxy would be The Kinks.

Pete approves.
Pete approves.

This immediately made me think of "I Gotta Move," the B-Side to the band's hit song "All Day and All of the Night". It's pretty easy to picture Luke flying into battle with this supercharged song pumping from the hypothetical speakers of his X-Wing, especially with it's opening line: "I don't wanna get left behind..."

The Magic of Voice Acting is Anonymity

What's interesting about voice over is that you have this wonderful anonymity - people can't see you... and it liberates you to make choices that you wouldn't make on camera.
When kids come up to me and say, 'do the Joker voice!' I'll say, 'well, close your eyes' ... that's part of the magic.

I'm going to be honest: listening to Mark Hamill talk about his voice acting career was an amazing opportunity, but the icing on the cake was the fact that he humored be with some Joker/Harley Quinn banter. Life? Made.

Mark Hamill is one of the Most Pleasant People, Ever

I mean, look at him, obviously he is.
I mean, look at him, obviously he is.

The night was incredible, but it's the little things that will stick with me forever when it comes to my meeting with Mark Hamill. Our one-on-one interview was delayed by an hour, for the best reason ever: Hamill was taking the time out to meet fans, really talk with them, pose for pictures, and get personal. He even called someone's mother, just to say hello!

I was his final interview of the night, and even though it was late, he seemed as though he was in no rush. He took the time to play voice acting games, answer the silliest of my questions, and tell stories to the wide-eyed girl that first saw him as an eager young Jedi when she was four years old.

The Author and Mark Hamill
The Author and Mark Hamill

When you're gearing up to interview one of the legendary actors of your childhood, you never really know what to expect. "Are they nice in real life? Will they think my questions are stupid? Do I smell weird?" For the most part, interviews are usually very lovely experiences that deliver multiple scoops and stories for your outlet - but this one was certainly unique, and the amount of care that Hamill put into myself, along with every fan there, will forever stay with me.

Kingsman: The Secret Service hits theaters on February 13th, and I've written a full report on the night of the screening right here, so make sure to check it out!


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