The star of Willow, Leprechaun and Life’s Too Short also talks magic, the Hulk, and his mysterious fight with a shark-boy.
Photo Courtesy of MGM
It was an amazing experience - I was 17-years-old and it was the first film I’d appeared in where I wasn’t behind a mask. It was an epic undertaking, as we traveled all over the world, from the UK to America to New Zealand, so it was a massive, massive project to work on. Val [Kilmer] was really great to have around - he was a fun guy to be with and always kept me laughing.
Can you still do the disappearing, reappearing pig trick?
Yeah, I can still do it! I was actually taught magic by a magician named David Berglas, who is a member of the Magic Circle. It was interesting having to learn real magic, the rings, and the pig trick. I learned various other illusions that we didn’t use, but it was an interesting process to go through. Amongst other things you have to learn various skills like horse riding, sword fighting, scuba diving, and so many different things just to pull off something in the film to make it look like you know what you’re doing.
Wait…there was scuba diving in Willow?
Well, that was from a scene that was cut. I think it’s a deleted scene on the Blu-ray – there’s a scene that occurs right after I go to the island of Fin Raziel. In the actual cut that exists now, there’s one of those famous George Lucas wipes, and we end up seeing Willow sat on the shore talking to Fin Raziel. You’ll notice that I have wet hair at that point, and it’s never explained why, but in between that there’s a huge storm that brews up - I get thrown overboard and attacked by a shark-boy creature and nearly drowned. I spent two weeks filming that sequence!
We spoke to your Return Of The Jedi co-star, Mark Hamill, a little while back, and he gave us his predictions for the new Star Wars movies. As the man who played Wicket, do you know if they’re bringing back the Ewoks?
I don’t know anything about the films and what they’re planning to put in, but I can’t imagine there will be Ewoks, really, unless the story picks up exactly where it left off. Unless maybe Wicket stowed away on a ship somehow and pops up? I can play something else - I’m not just about Ewoks, I could play a villain or something. I’ve been dropping a lot of hints! Not to anybody directly, but just to the media, like this. So if you can publish that request, because I know J.J. Abrams reads Maxim.com all the time, so if you could put that one in, it would be useful, thank you.
We’re sure he does! Do you have a favorite film in the Leprechaun series?
I like number three. I like the humor in it, really – there’s a wackiness to it. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all… well, none of them did. But I like the whole Vegas thing, and the fact that the Leprechaun can just walk around without attracting attention because people in Vegas are used to seeing weird things. It’s funny, if people didn’t steal his gold, he would be a good guy to hang out with. But these people just keep messing with him and stealing his gold - that’s going to annoy you! It’s a bit like the Incredible Hulk - he’s alright to hang out with until you make him angry. People don’t seem to get that with the leprechaun.
You also had two Leprechaun movies set in the hood, and one in space – where else would you want to take him?
I’ve always wanted to make a pirate leprechaun film, because pirates love gold and leprechauns love gold. Johnny Depp was up for it! I actually really did pitch that to him and he seemed to be up for it, but I guess the people who actually put money into it weren’t too up for it.
Would you see that as a fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie, or a sixth Leprechaun movie?
I don’t think they would lend us Captain Jack. I think it’s a Leprechaun film - I don’t think it’s a Pirates film, to be honest. It’s a match made in heaven - if the pirates stole the leprechaun’s gold or the leprechaun decided to steal their treasure, there is a lot of potential!
This is rapidly becoming a very surreal conversation.
Well, it was with Johnny when I was having it with him. He was like, “Have you been drinking..?” I was like, “No, I’m serious. I’m just telling you, I think it’s a good idea.”
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
How was it working with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on Life’s Too Short?
I had a blast working with those guys! I just finished working with them again a couple weeks ago - we filmed a special which features Val Kilmer, so it all ties up very nicely with what were talking about today. It’s the first time I’ve worked with him since we filmed Willow, and I think we both look really good still. You look at us on screen and there’s not a lot difference in 25 years, and we haven’t been re-mastered, either - what you see is what you get with us two, and I think we looked damn good.
Would you be up for making Willow 2 if it came along?
Oh, of course- and not only because we’re desperate for work! I think it would be fun to explore those characters again. We know the character and we know the world, so lets go play in it again!