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'Willow' star Warwick Davis takes inspiration from Mark Hamill's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' performance

[This article contains spoilers for the first two episodesWillow. ]

it’s been years later Warwick Davies last played Willow Goode, the Nelwyn wizard, but now he’s back to lead a new generation of heroes on another world-saving adventure in the Disney+ series Willow. Davis first joined the Lucasfilm family as the brave young man in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Wicket the Ewok, and his Star Wars

collaborators will finally inspire his latest performance as the older Willow.

Specifically, Davis cites Mark Hamill in Rian Description of Luke Skywalker Johnson Star Wars: The Last Jedi .

“One thing I noticed in particular was Mark Hamill coming back as Luke Skywalker [in Star Wars : The Last Jedi ] and how he took that approach,” Davis told The Hollywood Reporter . “I think he’s really funny, of course it’s not the intended approach. He sees it from a completely different angle, which I do too. I’ve noticed that Mark isn’t trying to play younger characters. He’s just leaning on his In the more mature years, that’s what I did as Willow.”

In a recent conversation with THR, Davis also discusses his family’s role on the show, before recalling 709 Movie involving Val Kilmer’s beloved gangster Madmartigan.

Congratulations on the return of our greatest wizard.

thank you very much.

Warwick Davis in Lucasfilm’s WILLOW( Warwick Davis) exclusively on Disney+. ©1988 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. all rights reserved. Lucasfilm Limited company.

so indeed Jonathan Kasdan is in the period to begin assessing your interest in this revival Solo: A Star Wars Story ?

He sure did. We were on the set of Solo and I looked like an old Willow with my long hair like Weazel. He starts talking about how much he lovesWillow and how inspired he was by the film as a young writer. But what really pushes it to its climax is when Ron Howard starts directing Solo. He then chatted about Willow with Jon, who again stated that he was a big fan of the movie. So Ron and Jon hit it off, and they started talking about the future of Willow. “What would it be? Another movie? A TV series? Where would it go?”

Then John started writing and coming up with ideas. Every now and then, he’ll call me and say, “Hey Warwick, I’ve come up with this great idea. What do you think?” That’s how projects go, really. For me, it’s always something that’s going to happen, but before you start your first day on set, I learned that as an actor, you should never take for granted that these things are going to happen. Development of TV and film projects is notoriously slow and very unreliable, but it all worked out.

Sure, it’s been talked about for years, but had it gained any real traction before then?

I don’t think there is necessarily any discussion at the top. It was really the fans who started shouting louder. They always ask me, “When are we going to see a sequel to Willow?” Never really heard any high level chat. I’ve mentioned it to George Lucas and Ron Howard. I said, “Willow has a lot of fans. Do you think we can make a sequel?” But these things need to be carefully considered, because Willow was not a huge success theatrically. It didn’t make a lot of money, and to make a sequel you usually have to have box office success to back it up. So Willow certainly doesn’t have that, but it has a fan base and love, which isn’t always enough to make a sequel.


( LR): Dove (Ellie Bamber), Kit (Ruby Cruz), Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel), Graydon (Tony Revolori) and Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) in Lucasfilm’s WILLOW exclusive on Disney+ on air. ©1988 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. all rights reserved. Lucasfilm Limited company.

Have seen your compatriots Star Wars Collaborators revisit their legacy roles decades later, did you learn anything from their example that helped shape your return as Willow?

One thing I noticed in particular is that Mark Hamill is back as Luke Skywalker (Luke Skywalker) and how he went about solving this problem. I think he’s really funny, of course it’s not the intended method. He saw it from a completely different angle, and I did too. I noticed that Mark didn’t try to play younger characters. He’s just leaning into his more mature years, which is what I do as Willow. I’m52 Now. My first time playing this character and I just . So I thought, “Well, let’s not deny that you are . Let’s use it to make this character more interesting, more grounded, more well-rounded.” In this series, we find that Willow’s world is very different from ours. It was a different world than the last time I saw him. He is very troubled. He’s had a lot of dark experiences in his own life, so he has to take it all. As an actor, I have to add all this knowledge to the character’s situation and use it to reflect in my performance.

Did it take a minute to feel like a willow tree again?

Just like an old sweater or a pair of cozy slippers. As soon as I put on the wig and the blue tunic, I looked in the mirror and said, “Okay, Willow’s back.” So it was relatively easy to put those shoes back on. it’s been34 years, but it feels like yesterday.


Harrison Davis , Samantha Davis, Warwick Davis and Annabelle Davis at the “Willow” premiere. Matt Winkelmy Yay/WireImage

After all these years, how would you describe the experience of bringing your own family into this world?

Annabelle [Davis] and Harrison [Davis] and my wife [Samantha] were really happy to be involved [Davis], who was once again a Nelwyn villager. She played a villager in the movie, so things come back to square one. But my daughter Annabelle is a well-known actress in her own right and playing Mims was a real joy for me. That’s pretty cool. And Harrison, my son, is the unsung hero of the series because he’s my stand-in. He’s someone you shouldn’t really see or even know. So he couldn’t take compliments the way Annabelle did, but nonetheless he did a really important job for me.

What is your most vivid filmmaking memory?

One vivid memory is how difficult it was sometimes to work in the snow and ice. Conditions in New Zealand are very difficult. But the ones that stood out to me were the other guys I worked with, Ron Howard and Val Kilmer. I certainly couldn’t have achieved what I’ve achieved in film without both of them. I was very young, very naive, very inexperienced, but between the two of them, they allowed me to mature as an actor and to go through the physical stamina of doing a film like that. They helped me take on the responsibility of being the lead in such a huge project. As a performer, Val’s humor, energy and advice have been truly invaluable to me.

I always loved the moment when Willow was down in the snow and Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) picked him up and put him shoulders. Is that scripted?

I don’t think so. I actually fell over, and Val, being his actor, used it to do some improv in there. It feels like Madmartigan would actually do that, but yeah, that’s awesome, isn’t it?

In the second episode, there was a flashback between Willow and Willow and Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) was heartbreaking. They disagree on how to raise Elora Danan (Ellie Bamber). Do you think he will be cured by this?

I do not think so. She told him, “You’re not a great wizard, and you never will be.” I mean, literally, those words really hit his heart. For him, it was like getting punched. These words are like a parent speaking to a child, trying to encourage them to do something. Sometimes you have to provide reality to motivate someone, and for Willow, her words made it clear that maybe he shouldn’t continue to live off his past success at Bavmorda. At the end of the film, he fools her into thinking he’s performing real magic tricks when it’s just a gimmick. So [Sorsha’s words] now motivate him to go and achieve. They inspire him to really hone his skills as a true wizard and save the world.

So we interview Willow’s daughter Mims (Annabelle Davis), but where is his son Ranon at this point?

Well, we really don’t know where Ranon is at the start of the series. He’s out there somewhere, but we don’t know where he is. Something happened to Willow that only I know at the moment. It’s something that Jon gave me so that when we find Willow at the beginning of the series, I’ll have some idea of ​​where Willow is. So there are still some stories to tell.

1235273631220906 Willow is now on Disney+ . This interview has been edited for length and clarity .



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