Looming just around the corner is another convention for Texans to attend! Located at the Irving Convention Center, Dallas Comic Con’s Fan Days presented by FAN EXPO is an all fandom inclusive comic, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event featuring exciting family-friendly activities.
This year’s celebrity guests include Elijah Wood and Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Adam West and Burt Ward (Batman), Alex Kingston and Paul McGann (Doctor Who), James and Oliver Phelps (Harry Potter), and more!
With so many different franchises to choose from, attendees are guaranteed to find something that tickles their specific fandom fancy. Among the celebrity guests is actor Clive Revill, known to Comic-Con attendees as Emperor Palpatine from The Empire Strikes Back. Our editor, Kimmie Britt, had a chance to chat with Clive, who is every bit as charming as his iconic character was not.
Kimmie: When did you know that you wanted to get into acting as a career?
Clive Revill: I was born in New Zealand in 1930. You are sitting down, aren’t you?
K: *laughs* Yes sir!
CR: I’m now 84, but at that time I was in New Zealand. It was only four years after the second world war, and I had become fascinated with the theater. I did amateur dramatics in high school, and they loved it. Then, I auditioned for The Old Vic Theater School in London, and I was accepted on scholarship when I was twenty years old. So I went to London, and studied at The Old Vic, which was probably the best classic, and totally unique drama school that has ever been. Stayed there for two years, and went out to my first job, which was on Broadway, curiously enough. In 1952, I made my debut on Broadway in a Charles Dickens play as Mr. Pickwick. After that, I went back to England and went into repertory in Ipswich, and I was there for two and a half years working on a different play every two weeks, which is where you really find yourself. How did I start? How does anyone start? It’s like anything else, really. And when I saw the possibilities open up, I took them. And that’s what happened.
K: Were you a fan of Star Wars before being cast as one of it’s most iconic characters?
CR: Well, the director was an old friend of mine. He called me up one day and said, “Hey look, I want you to come down and do something.” And I said, “What is it?” And he said, “I’ve got this thing I’ve been working on. Can you come and help me out?” So I agreed and went out to this recording studio and I looked around and I said, “Is this it?” And he says yes, yes, yes. When I told him I knew nothing about it, he gave me a run down about the character and the situation, because these were still early days for Star Wars. And I asked him how he wanted me to do it and he just said to try it out. So I get in close and try a few different things and he whispers, “That’s it. That’s what I want! Do it again.” And that’s the story of how I came to be the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back. It’s a very small role, only about four or five lines, but because he is the fulcrum of the whole plot, the master, he ties it together.
K: Did you have any idea that the Star Wars franchise would become as large as it did?
CR: Oh, no! No! I’m not exactly sure that anybody did! It took hold of the audience’s imagination. Imagination is in everyone and the moment you don’t see something, that’s when your imagination goes wild with possibility. That’s what made Star Wars one of the most, maybe even THE most, opulent and successful franchises in the history of motion pictures.
K: Of all the characters you have portrayed, which has been your favorite?
CR: As a matter of fact, because I had a classic training, you always went to the truth of the situation and the character. But favorite? I was in “Irma La Douce” in Las Vegas at one point, or when I was being stabbed to death by Glenda Jackson in “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade” with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Or standing on the stage with the Sadler’s Wells Opera House doing CoCo. I don’t think anyone else has ever done that! I’ve had a wide, wide career but I never went out and rattled the bushes. I was well represented but I saw that the whole industry had changed and did not seem to include me and what I was doing. It had changed. And I look at television these days and very little is left to the imagination.
K: Do you have any interesting fan experiences from the conventions that you have attended previously?
CR: I’ve never done anything like the convention in Dallas! I’m sort of tickled pink.
K: Are you excited to experience your first fan convention?
CR: I wouldn’t say I’m excited, I’ve been around too long, nothing much excites me anymore! *laughs* I’m moreso intrigued by it. I feel as if I’m being given a treat. I’ve never experienced this kind of event, but I get mail all the time from people who live for these kinds of moments and I respect that. They live for the “Once upon a time…” and the fairy tales, and Star Wars is a fairy tale as well. ‘There is a great disturbance in the Force.’
K: I’m sure you’re going to be saying that quote all weekend!
CR: No, I’m not! *laughs* We’ll see.
Dallas Comic-Con Fan Days is a three-day pop culture extravaganza October 17-19, 2014 at the Irving Convention Center, Irving, Texas, USA, where Clive Revill, and many other celebrity guests from all your favorite franchises, will be signing autographs! Tickets are available in one day and three day and can be purchased on the Dallas Comic-Con website at http://dallascomiccon.com/tickets. Be sure to check back here at Sub Cultured and on our Facebook page for all your fandom needs!