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November 23, 2014

Fan Expo 2011 Day 4: Malcolm McDowell the Teacher, Robert Englund Casts Luke Skywalker and William Shatner Takes Charge

by Aaron Broverman, posted Aug 29th 2011 2:59PM
Time flies when you're having fun, especially at Fan Expo Canada. Sunday was the final day, and boy was it a humdinger. Fan Expo organizers made sure they went out with a bang with character actor Malcolm McDowell, ('A Clockwork Orange') Freddy Krueger himself (Robert Englund), and a special one-day-only appearance by William Shatner.

Couldn't squeeze it in to your weekend schedule? Thankfully, we were there in your stead, so why not find out what you missed? After all, just because you couldn't attend, doesn't mean you can't pretend...

Not-so Lucky Man
Malcolm McDowell's very first creative collaboration was with director Lindsay Anderson, who cast the actor in three of the five films he made, including McDowell's first screen role 'If...,' 'Britannia Hospital' and 'O Lucky Man.'

Though McDowell calls Anderson "One of the geniuses of his age" the 'Caligula' lead wasn't the luckiest man when it came to Anderson's attitude. "He could smell bulls--t at 3000 yards," says the actor. Anderson's bulls--t detector heightened particularly after 'If...' won the Cannes Grand Prix and McDowell tried to cozy up to the brilliant filmmaker.

"I was a cocky young kid and I put my arm around him and I said, 'Yeah, we're a great team Linds, let's make another movie!' He stopped, his eyes rolled back in his head and he said, Where do you think good scripts come from?' He said, 'If you want to work with me again, I suggest you write a good script.' He walked off and I went, 'F-- you! I will, I will write a good script. You wait, I will.' I wrote a very bad script, that's the truth, but it was enough to catch him and to fire him."

He was a real auteur, but he didn't write the movies himself. He always got a group of slaves (screenwriters) to write them who he kicked, bullied and cajoled and got these amazing scripts. Of course, 'O Lucky Man,' I wrote the first 45 pages and I took it to him and he said, 'Is this supposed to be funny?' and I said, 'Look, I'm from the north of England, I have a sense of humour. You're from the South, you don't have a sense of humor at all. He said, "Actually Malcolm, I'm Scottish.' I said, Yeah, you're Scottish when the bill comes at the end of the night."

Luke Skywalker Owes Freddy Krueger ... Big Time
Mark Hamill will forever be known as Luke Skywalker, but it never would've happened if his roommate Robert Englund hadn't gotten him off the couch. "I went up for the role of the surfer in 'Apocalypse Now' and I was across the hall from the casting office of 'Star Wars.' I was dressed in a military surplus workshirt with the sleeves rolled up. I was 22-years-old, muscly and tanned with long blonde hair. I had a pair of green Levis on and the casting lady from 'Apocalypse Now' sent me across the hall for 'Star Wars' to read for Han Solo.

While I was over there, I heard them talking about Luke Skywalker a little bit and I remember going home and telling Mark Hamill, who was crashed on my couch with a Heineken watching a rerun of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show.' I said, 'Mark, you should go up for the surfer in 'Apocalypse Now' because you look right for it, you look real young. There's also this part across the hall.' So, Mark went up for Luke Skywalker and the rest, as they say, is history."

William Shatner: Governor-General
William Shatner needs no introduction or moderators. When he took the stage, all you had to do was wind him up and watch him go. Maybe that's why there's always been a long-running initiative among fans to make him Governor-General of Canada. Shatner himself thinks it's a joke, but those in attendance at Fan Expo let him know that it's as real as ever for them.

"You think it wasn't a joke? If I were Governor-General, what should I do?" he asked, taking suggestions from the adoring horde, including, "MENTOR!"

"Mentor what? What should I mentor?"

"ACTORS AND ENTREPRENEURS!"

"Actors and entrepreneurs?" he pondered, taking a trademark pregnant pause before asking, "Does mentor mean giving them money?" Then, came his first decree as fictional Governor-General of Canada:

"I will give money to every actor and every entrepreneur shall receive a large sum of money in a check from me." Unfortunately, the bubble burst just as easily:

"I'm not going to be Governor for that. Are you kidding me? What does a Governor-General Do? You know what he does? One of the things he does, he welcomes the King and Queen. I don't want to welcome the King and Queen. This is an independent country, I'm tired of it! As a kid I remember King George V or VI -- one of the Georges -- came to Montreal. I remember running across a park to see him twice. Why would I do that? We became independent some time after that. I'm happy. I don't want to be Governor-General. What else does a Governor-General do?

"LOOK GOOD!"

"Drink? Well, I could manage that."

See you next year at Fan Expo!

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