I recently managed to interview actor Laurie Goode about his time playing Hrchek Kal Fas (Saurin) in A New Hope’s Mos Eisley cantina scene.
Hrchek Kal Fas was a male Saurin from Durkteel. He was a droid trader and the cousin of Sai’torr Kal Fas and wisely kept his bodyguard with him at all times. He was a patron in Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina when Obi-Wan Kenobi took Luke Skywalker there. He saw C-3PO in the cantina and tried to follow him, but lost him in the busy streets of Mos Eisley.
How does working on Star Wars compare to all your work on other projects?
Well, I was in the first film – Star Wars: ANH. It was different, to say the least, but at the time it was just another project. It didn’t strike me as being special until I saw it in the cinema. How does it compare to other projects? Well, the Stormtrooper/Saurin costumes were probably the most uncomfortable I’ve ever had to wear. The nearest I’ve been to the Saurin character is Tharil in Doctor Who, I guess.
You played three characters in A New Hope, how did you get you get the roles? Can you describe your time filming scenes?
One of my agents phoned me and asked if I was free to work on a film called Star Wars at Elstree Studios the following morning. I said I was, and the lady informed me I’d be replacing someone called Peter Jukes, as he was unavailable. Being on the film led to me playing Saurin. As for the X-Wing Pilot role, I don’t believe I appeared on camera. My initial stint was filmed over a two-week period. There was a lot of hanging about. Although it was early on in the year, it was quite hot. Many of us took off our Stormtrooper tops and sunbathed between shots.
You were involved in one of the greatest movie scenes of all time, with regards to the Cantina scene, what was that experience like? How long did it take to get into all your different costumes?
Well, Saurin was on the call sheet as one of “15 Creatures.” Again, someone else was due to play this character, but she cried off sick. I managed to get the top part and headgear on, but as the rest of the costume didn’t fit me. The wardrobe department made the remainder up with odd bits they had. It was very easy to put on, except the helmet. It was a tight fit and I had to breathe and look through the mouth.
What was your favourite character to play and why?
Saurin, I suppose. Although the helmet was tight, it was easier to relax in during breaks. The scenes were quite lively, which was fun.
What are some of your fondest memories from your time in Star Wars?
Well, it was a friendly atmosphere. I would quite often go to the bar lunchtime with Mark Kirby. Mark Hamill would pay the occasional visit. On the Thursday before the Easter Break, an assistant director announced that if we went to a certain stage at the end of the day’s filming, there would be an Easter surprise for us. Lots of people went home, but I ventured along, and there were cans of booze and Easter eggs to munch! George was there, in his chequered shirt!
Was there much interaction between yourself and the directors, if so, what sort of things would you discuss?
George would be directing the main players in a scene, but the remainder would be arranged by an assistant director.
If you could play any other characters, who would it be and why?
If I played any character, I guess it’ll be one I’ve made up – Duke Skyrunner!
What does Star Wars mean to you?
I consider myself lucky, really. I could’ve missed the phone call and not have been involved. To see the general interest in Star Wars growing all time is quite amazing.
Did you ever think your work would lead you to be in a franchise like Star Wars?
It’s been 42 years since its release and I don’t think anyone, way back then, could have predicted its incredible success.
What are some of your highlights filming Star Wars?
I have no particular highlight, I just remember everyone being so friendly. It usually starts at the top. If you have a friendly director, you have a friendly crew.
What are some of your favourite scenes from Star Wars and why?
If you mean those I played in, then it has to be the Cantina.
Do you attend many comic conventions, if so, what does fan interaction mean to you, and do you have any appearances coming up?
Some of these guys are so well informed. It sometimes amazes me. I’m down to appear here: http://www.mcsf.co.uk/
You can also purchase signed photos of Laurie at, https://scifisignersunited.weebly.com/laurie-goodes-autograph-shop.html
A big thank you goes out to Laurie for allowing me to interview him, it has been a pleasure!
May the force be with you!