Year 2003
Story by Chris Spice (Darth Spice)

 

MICHAEL SHEARD IS ADMIRAL OZZEL
Darth Spice had the pleasure of meeting up with Michael Sheard, who played the Imperial officer known as Admiral Ozzel in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. We hope you enjoy this exclusive interview.

THE INTERVIEW
DS: How would you describe the overall experience of doing a film such as Empire Strikes Back and how does it rank with the many other works you have done?"

MS: Speaking as the cards fall, that is my style. Nobody thought that Star Wars would achieve what it has. Even though A New Hope was a hit, myself and fellow cast members couldn't anticipate still having conversation about it twenty years later. As an actor it was viewed as just another job, fit in quite nicely between the stage and film.

DS: What was the greatest thing about being in a Star Wars film?

MS: To be quite honest it is the convention appearances. I have had the opportunity to meet so many different people. All because of a few scenes. I really enjoy meeting the people who have made these films famous.

DS: Other than Star Wars what would be your favorite of the films you have worked on?

MS: I do get this question quite often, however I was in a film with the great Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, and Richard Roundtree called "Rhodes" ("Escape to Athena" 1979 - ed.) which was the most pleasurable of my film career thus far.

DS: Back then Star Wars wasn't nearly as huge as it is today, were you allowed to keep anything from production?

MS: Nothing at all. No hat, or even my stripes! We even had to give the scripts back.

DS: Do you still have contact from anyone from the films?

MS: Well, mainly the ones I do the conventions with. How many of your co-workers do you interact with from twenty years ago?

DS: Got me on that one sir. However with your new action figure slated for release early 2004 do you plan to hit the convention trail hard?

MS: No, not really. I will go as requested. I enjoy sitting at home, my "armchair support" is very comfortable. I enjoy watching Football and what you chaps call "pool" on the tele. Again where the cards fall, I try to leave myself available to do all types of events and conventions.

DS: Are you frustrated, like some collectors, that it has taken Kenner/Hasbro so long to immortalize you in plastic?

MS: Not at all, business is business after all. They originally had me slated for a figure back before Kenner sold out to Hasbro (In 1991, Hasbro acquired the Tonka Corporation, including its Kenner Products and Parker Brothers divisions. - ed). Then the Phantom Menace came and I guess my figure was not top priority. One of the many things the Phantom Menace helped ruin.

DS: Yes, I heard you mention in the Q&A that you felt the prequels didn't measure up to the originals, could you elaborate a little bit more on that?

MS: Let's just say George is falling back a little too much on technology than film making, probably because he can afford it. There was simply too much animation everywhere in Episode 1.

DS: So it would be safe to say that you are not a fan of the next generation of Star Wars films.

MS: I do not care for the first two so far. They do not even come close to the level of brilliance displayed in Episodes 4-6.

DS: Do you have any plans to attend Celebration 3?

MS: Yes if asked I surly will be there. The last one was so incredible and I truly enjoyed it. To be a part of such an event again I can hardly wait.

DS: Are You a fan of Star Wars and do the fans sometimes bother you when they know nothing of your previous works?

MS: That is the funny thing about it, they always do. No matter where I go there always seems to be someone who knows me more than just my role as Admiral Ozzel, many recall the work from Raiders of the Lost Arc and The Last Crusade, and, of course, Dr. Who!

DS: Well, I for one can't wait to get my Admiral Ozzel figure and get your John Hancock on it. Perhaps next time I see you we can get that done. Thank you for your time sir.

MS: My pleasure old chap, Hope to see you all out on the convention circuit.