There are few things the Internet collectively gets more excited about than Reddit Ask Me Anything sessions. One of those things is Star Wars; so, it should come as a surprise to no one that Mark Hamill’s Ask Me Anything session earlier today was surrounded by an absolute flood of interest.
Like with any other interviews, AMAs only work when the participant is willing to be honest. By his very nature, Hamill isn’t exactly Robin Williams, but he was still extremely candid and willing to answer a very wide variety of questions today.
From his voice work on Avatar: The Last Airbender to little known facts about Star Wars, the actor criss-crossed in a variety of directions. Here are 13 of the most interesting topics he covered…
Mark Hamill once climbed inside of Jabba The Hutt. You know all the little goofy things you would do if you were on a movie set and no one else was around? Mark apparently did them, and one day while the puppeteers were at lunch, he decided to climb inside Jabba The Hutt to see what the hell was going on in there. Turns out it’s like "a sauna". "It's like a big rubber enclosure. All the puppeteers had gone to lunch and I wondered, 'I wonder what it's like in there."
He considers the character of Luke Skywalker to be bigger than him. Don’t expect to hear any complaints from Hamill if the films are remade down the line and someone else puts his spin on his most famous character. He’s very proud to have played him. He’s overwhelmed by the idea that his portrayal will live on, but he doesn’t think he solely owns the character. " Luke is immortal and I'm just an actor who got the honor to play him."
Mark Hamill was positive Avatar: The Last Airbender would get canceled before it found an audience.. He read the script and absolutely, positively loved it, but he couldn’t quite figure out who would actually watch it because it was so "deep" and "intelligent". Fortunately, he accepted the role of Fird Lord Ozai anyway, and it proved to be a great decision. " I was really delighted when it found an audience and it showed that parents watch what their kids watch, and that a serious show that dealt with important issues could find an audience."
He’s been married to the same woman for more than thirty-five years. Yes, you could have just looked that up on Wikipedia, but since I highly doubt you regularly check out Hamill’s page and relationships that make it over the long haul are really damn cool, it’s worth pointing out. The two wed in 1978 after she served as his dental hygienist. As far as advice, he offered up this gem: "A really short manual would read "Don’t cheat", because that seems to be where people break up. When you go through tricky periods you have to work on it and having children helps because you know you’re trying to find a way to make everyone happy."
Mark Hamill's greatest memory voicing the Joker was singing "Only You". " That wasn’t something I expected to do as Joker - sing a song. But the Joker is never boring to me because he’s crazy. And if you’re crazy, you are unpredictable and you never do anything the same way. I was surprised how much I loved playing that role."
Mark Hamill was surprised by Star Wars’ success. More specifically, he didn’t really think critics would be on board with it, but given its unique approach to sci-fi, he thought it might develop legs and wind up being a cult classic. Here’s a portion of his exact quote: " I thought people would like it, because it took so many elements from movies we were familiar with, pirate, cowboy movies, war movies, and added humor. That's the thing that got me. Science fiction usually isn't funny. They have an 8 ft furry dog driving a spaceship, he's naked except headphones, that's funny."
Hamill refused to confirm anyone was returning for Episode VII, except for R2-D2 who he said "hasn’t stopped beeping about it". Sorry. I know you wanted more, but unlike Carrie Fisher, he’s a little more tight-lipped when it comes to details he’s not supposed to share.
He hasn’t watched any of the Stars Wars movies since they were in theaters. He’s apparently not the type to "goes back and rewatches old stuff", but he will defend what Lucas did with the prequels. Here’s the exact quote that most people would consider a little over the top: " I thought the prequels are amazing by the way. If we were a garage band, they were a philharmonic."
Mark Hamill did the Star Wars Holiday Special because he wanted to be a team player. Originally, they wanted him to sing a song in character as Luke. The idea was it would keep Star Wars in the public consciousness, but obviously, it didn’t turn out exactly as they’d hoped. " I think we shouldn't be ashamed of it. They should put on the extra of the DVD's - it shows how incredibly fallible we are! At that same time, it did introduce Boba Fett in an animated sequence, so it's significant in that respect."
Being cast as The Joker terrified him. Most actors get really nervous before they go into audiences, but Hamill had no problem trying out for The Joker because he didn’t think they could possibly hire the guy who played Luke Skywalker to play such an evil lunatic. So, he went in, had fun and went on his way. Two weeks later, they called him, said he won the job and the nerves came on immediately. They only got worse later: " And then my friend told me you're pretty brave. And I said why is that? And he said I wouldn't want to follow Jack Nicholson on anything. And then I got even more scared. But fear is a great motivator. "
In the original Star Wars script, Luke’s buddy joins the Empire, and he’s happy for him. When asked if there are any scene he would change or wish weren’t cut, Mark Hamill discussed a scene in which Luke proved just how apolitical he was at the beginning of A New Hope. "There was a scene at the beginning of the first movie that was cut out. When you're first introduced to Luke he's on the farm and he sees the Robots, when R2 and C3PO eject he races to the club, and you see what his life is like on Tataouine. This beautiful actress calls him wormy. I loved it bc you saw that he wasn't well liked by his peers, and he bumps into Garrick Hagon, and Luke is really excited bc he has joined the empire, and Luke is so anxious to get off the farm and find his lot in life. He's thrilled that Biggs has joined the Empire, and feels as soon as he'd get the chance he'd join the rebel alliance. this shows that Luke is apolitical, and joining the empire is even attractive to him. "
Harrison Ford couldn’t believe Mark Hamill didn’t tell him Empire’s big reveal while they were shooting the film. You would think someone would have told Ford. You would think, given his incredible star power, that he would have been in the loop, but that’s how crazy the secrecy surrounding the mystery really was, and it led to a little tiff at the actual screening. " Irvin Kirshner brought me aside, and said "I know this, George knows this, and you'll be the third person who knows. If it goes out we'll know you leaked it." So i was terrified of being the one to ruin it. I remember when they screened it, Harrison turned around and said "I didn't know that! Why the f*&^ didn't you tell me?!"
The Bantha Blue Milk was disgusting. Seriously. Don’t ever try it unless you want to feel like Mark Hamill. In which case, take a triangular carton of non-refrigerated, everlasting milk from a camping store, drop food coloring in it and throw it back. " It's sweet and syrupy and yucky."
To read the entire AMA, click here.