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  Indiana Jones - Specials

INTERVIEW - MICHAEL SHEARD



I had the chance to ask actor Michael Sheard some questions. He was the U-Boat captain in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and Adolf Hitler in 'Last Crusade'. He also played with Harrison Ford in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Force Ten From Navarone'.

Michael was born in the Scottish city of Aberdeen, the son of a minister of the kirk, Donald Marriot Perkins (Sheard was his mother's maiden name). He attended The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, leaving to do two years National Service in The Royal Air Force as an Aircraftsman.

He has appeared on stage and screen, most notably in BBC Television's Grange Hill and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back as Mr. Maurice Bronson and Admiral Ozzel respectively. He has worked with some very famous actors and actresses such as Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir David Niven, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Elliot Gould, Roger Moore, Jeremy Bullock, Stefanie Powers, Susan Tully, John Wayne, Todd Carty, Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Glenda Jackson MP, Sir Sean Connery and Harrison Ford.

Michael is married to Ros Sheard whom he calls 'Dearly Beloved' and has three children.

Ferbruary 04, 2003

1. How did you get the parts in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and what do you think about your characters?

-Question by Peter99-



You've not read my books! 'Yes, Mr Bronson'; 'Yes, Admiral'; and 'Yes, School's Out!' (If this is going online I can't miss the opportunity to give them a plug can I) I never play a part that doesn't interest me. Indeed I'm about to play Hitler again in 'The Escape of Adolf Hitler'! This answer in fact partly answers your number two question as well. I'm a working actor with, though I says it as shouldn't, a very good reputation. I've done over 800 TVs and 45 movies. I've also played a lot of Germans. So when 'Raiders' was being cast, the casting director - who knew me and my work - phoned my agent and asked if I'd like to meet Steven. I met him at his hotel, he had a terrible cold, and he offered me the part.

2. A scene with you in Raiders of the Lost Ark was deleted. Why, and what exactly was it about?

-Question by Peter99-



It depends what you mean by deleted. The weather got in the way. We were filming the exteriors in the sea off La Rochelle and were due to go to Munich to continue the sequence - there's a large tank there capable of taking at least part of a U-Boat. But the weather got in the way and the schedule had to be changed. They went off to Tunisia and I went to Scotland to make a TV series which I'd already signed to do. So I could complete my part in 'Raiders'. Steven did say that he'd find me something else. And he did, in number three! It's all in my books - details of how to order them- signed -can be found on: www.michaelsheard.com!

3. Why do you think are the Indiana Jones movies so popular and successful?

Heavens, there are so many reasons! Great stories which caught the imagination of the public; great performances; good scripts; excellent direction; understanding and superb producer; those and many more. Plus that 'something' in the air (if you can tell me what it is I'll make us all millionaires), which determines that this (or these) movies will be hits.

4. Can you tell us something funny about the production? Did something go wrong and how was the mood on the set?

Funny? Well it certainly wasn't funny for me! But, standing for days, as I did, in the conning tower of a barge which has of course been made to look like a U-Boat but has no ballast, made me feel sick as a dog - sway one way, then the other, then back again. Everyone but me thought that was funny! We had a great time in La Rochelle and certainly on 'Raiders'. Read in my first book about the night Harrison and Sean had their costumes on above the waist but swimming trunks below. It was hot that night!

5. How would you compare the directing technique of Irvin Kershner, with whom you worked on The Empire Strikes Back, to that of Steven Spielberg?

-Question by Toht-



Both different, but both excellent, and both very nice people. Steven loves creating and if something happens in rehearsal he'll use it. Come to think of it they're not that different! Irvin - who of course was George's teacher at film school - worked in the same way, allowing the actor to create as well. I did my death in 'Empire' in one take!

6. Did you meet George Lucas and how much involved was he on set on the Empire Strikes Back and also on the Indy films?

-Question by Toht-


Of course we all met him. He was totally involved on all the movies. And he was -quietly- on the set a lot of the time. Though I guess he had to spend some time away in his office!

7. What do you think about a fourth Indiana Jones movie and would you like to be in it again?

-Question by Willie-


It'll be a huge success and if there's a part for an extremely talented actor like me I'll very gladly do it! That's a thought actually, I'll give Harrison a ring and see what's cooking.

8. You also played with Harrison Ford in Force Ten From Navarone. So you did four movies with him (Indy1+3, Star Wars 5). Did you develop a certain friendship or something like that and are you still in contact with him, or the others.

-Question by MolaRam-



See above. Very nice guy - again, read my first book! He was going to write the foreword to it but he was filming in a jungle somewhere and couldn't be contacted when the time came. So I got my chum Roger Moore to do it instead.

9. You are well known for your part in The Empire Strikes Back. What do you think about the new Star Wars movies?


I did yet another TV interview yesterday (I love 'em) because I'm well known for lots of things! And I do many Sci-Fi conventions - 'Star Wars', 'Dr Who', 'Star Trek', 'Blake's 7', 'Space 1999' etc (I love them, too). I think all these films and TVs are tremendous entertainment. Long may they continue. Yes, the new 'Star Wars' movies as well. For whatever is said about them, the children love them and they keep the flame alive and I get invited to more conventions! Now, to learn much more, read my books! See you all at a convention and if there isn't one near you start your own - I'll get you the guests!

Many thanks for answering these questions. The entire Indiana Jones fan community and I thank you very much for your co-operation. Not everybody takes so much time to please his / her fans.

It's a pleasure. By the way, I hate the word fan - it stands for fanatic and none of my many convention friends are fanatics. I call them Apps in my books - Appreciators!

 

If you want to know more about Michael Sheard visit his official website.

copyright 2002 by HOLO GraFX for www.indianajones.de


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