Saturday, February 16, 2013

Remember that Other Movie Mark Hamill Was In?

Unless you're a total geek or a die-hard Mark Hamill fan, one of two things just happened:  either you thought, "Mark Hamill was in another movie?" or you tried to dredge up some distant memory of something else you'd seen once long ago--probably Corvette Summer.

In fact...tell the truth.  When you hear "Mark Hamill," you picture this, don't you?

It's okay.  You're in good company.
It's a mixed blessing, landing an iconic role so early in your career that no one has ever seen you before.  By "mixed blessing," I mean nice in the moment and generally lucrative, but probably hell on the rest of your career.
It's not that Hamill hasn't been working, either.  In fact, his IMDB filmography lists 244 titles, while Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford's page lists only 69.  Granted, many of those were voice roles, but not all.  So what happened?  Why is Ford still a highly-regarded and well-paid actor at 70, while Hamill is "that guy who played Luke Skywalker?"
I can think of a few possibilities:
  • Mark Hamill is a crappy actor.  I have no idea whether or not this is true at this point, but it's one possible explanation.
  • A couple of bad choices right out of Star Wars set him on the wrong path, and he was never able to regain momentum.
  • It had something to do with the accident he had near the end of filming the original Star Wars movie.  Lore surrounding this accident is dramatic and varied, but at the time it seemed generally accepted that Hamill's appearance had been affected.
  • He's perfectly happy doing voice work and stage acting and hasn't tried to follow up his Star Wars success with other big movies.
At this point, I have no opinion as to which (if any) of these explanations is accurate, or whether it might be some combination.  But I'm about to start looking around, check out some of those other appearances and see what kind of information I can find.  In the meantime, feel free to share your opinions (or conjecture).


  1. In an interview a few years back, Mr. Hamill said that at one time he was approached constantly and was asked to play 'Skywalker' type roles. He turned the majority of them away because he felt that he would be stereotyped into the 'good guy' role. That is exactly what happened.

    But I'm sure that he's pretty content with his voice-over work and the numerous roles he has done over the years. Mark has even directed, wrote and starred in his own movie based on his lifelong love of comicbooks and cartoons, "Comicbook: The Movie".

    Look into it. He just released a film last November called "Sushi Girl" and received acclaim for his role in that. And now they are about to restart the Star Wars franchise again. Mark Hamill will always be know as 'Luke Skywalker', always. But he has done so much more in his 30+ year career than Star Wars and "Corvette Summer".

    Please try and go beyond Luke Skywalker.

  2. I was major ANNOYED finding out after loving the movie 'AMADEUS' that Mark Hamill had been doing the character in Broadway THEATERS for RAVED REVIEWS but not chosen like SO MANY OTHER ACTORS, to do it in the Movie. What like no one could see Mark as Mozart for the character and only think Star Wars? Hollywood is so fking stupid and prejudice, yet is considered 'liberal'.

    1. eta- read Tim Curry and others had been doing Amadeus before him in theaters.


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