Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to correspond with a real Star Wars actor!! Alan Flyng played several roles in Empire Strikes back and Return of the Jedi. The big two roles were a Stormtrooper during the Carbonite Freezing Chamber scene in Episode 5 and an Imperial Officer during the demise of the Executor scene in Episode 6. Alan’s other roles include films like Silver Dream Racer, An American Werewolf in London, Victor Victoria and Clash of the Titans. After discontinue his acting career, Alan began working in costume design.
Being a huge Star Wars fan, I thought it would be wonderful to ask Alan a few questions and to share them with everyone to commemorate the upcoming Star Wars holiday on May 4th!
Luke – With how popular Star Wars was when it hit theaters, what was it like to receive the call that you were casted to be in Empire Strikes Back?
Alan – It was not a huge deal, to be honest! I was working in continuity on other films at the same time and I was not sure how long they wanted me for Empire. I had obviously heard of the success of ANH, but this was two and a bit years down the line and there was no guarantee it would be as successful as the first. So, I duly turned up for my fitting and just launched into it…
Luke – Between being a Stormtrooper in Empire or an Executor Officer in Return of the Jedi, which role did you enjoy more?
Alan – The first role lasted a long time and was nearly always uncomfortable. The armor was tight on me and constantly split and stuck into me all over! But, apart from the heat of the closed studios and the real steam used instead of honey smoke, there was just the need to remain as attentive as possible and do whatever was asked of us. We were never told where inserts in tunnels fitted in, so it was a bit mechanical! We all were fitted as other characters too, as it was time wasted sitting around whilst they filmed close-ups of the principal actors or moved all the lighting and camera for other angles. So, I was also a Snowtrooper and a Hoth Rebel.
The second role, however, was executed (sorry for the pun) in a single morning wearing a uniform much too tight for me (which you can clearly see onscreen), but my face was on display and I had the chance to deliver lines to camera. So, I have to say the Imperial Officer was my favorite.
Luke – Were you a little short for a Stormtrooper?
Alan – Actually, no. I am 1/4 inch short of 6 feet and I had a muscular frame larger than most. Hence the fact I am referred to as ‘the chunky one’ in the Carbon Chamber set. 🙂
Luke – For which Star Wars character would you have preferred to be cast?
Alan – I have joked before I would have liked to have been Boba Fett, but in truth I would have rather have been the same Imperial Officer, but without the explosion and more scenes! 🙂
Luke – What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to autograph for someone?
Alan – I was once invited to sign a rather voluptuous young lady’s chest, but I couldn’t get a good grip! LOL! But I have autographed all sorts of body parts!!!
Luke – What’s your favorite part of being a Star Wars alumni?
Alan – Truthfully? Meeting the fans; getting the chance to travel and see places I’ve never been; making friends all over the world! I am blessed – for the little that I contributed; I am received all over with great warmth and friendship!
To learn more about Alan Flyng or to get info about purchasing a signed photo from Alan (proceeds go to charity), please follow these links
May the 4th Be With You!