• Yoda impressions no more: Frank Oz tells Star Wars fans he won't do the voice

      With Obi-Wan actor Alec Guiness, George Lucas's sci-fi epic may have made him extremely wealthy but it also brought him into contact with Star Wars fans, who would mob him outside classy London theatres in the hope he'd sign their pictures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and say "May the Force be with you".




      He even made one young fan cry when he told him that watching Star Wars over and over again would have an "ill effect on your life".

      Guinness passed away in 2000 but, like the Force, his grumpiness lives on.

      Frank Oz, who played Obi-Wan's pint-sized spiritual mentor, Yoda, has told the Los Angeles Times he hates it when fans ask him to talk backwards.

      He said his characters are "too sacred for such tripe".

      "You wouldn't parade your kids around like that, would you? They're part of me. I wonít use them as a party favour to impress people."

      Although Oz doesn't like doing impressions, he is keen to talk about Yoda and his roster of Muppet voices, which includes Animal, Bert and Miss Piggy.

      - "With Yoda, it was right away - I picked him up and immediately knew who he was. I have no idea why."

      - "I canít tell you where I got Miss Piggy. She's so incredibly layered. Itís an organic process, I think. Experiences from my own life filtered into my comedic vision. Animal came from mud in my soul."

      The most touching part of the interview is when he talks about his friend, Muppet creator Jim Henson, who died more than 20 years ago.

      "I learned a huge, huge amount from Jim. I learned how to film from him, how to direct. We were like brothers working with each other.

      "My fondest memories are the hundreds and hundreds of Bert and Ernie (scenes) with Jim. Years of joy."

      Maybe he's a softie after all.

      via News.com.au


      Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment...#ixzz21dYNQYNq
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      Comments 11 Comments
      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        Given his attitude toward the recent Muppets movie, I'd say Oz is turning into a grumpy old man.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        The article is misleading though. The first part is talking about Alec Guiness. But doesn't mention that til 3 paragraphs in after the massive picture of Frank Oz and Yoda. And the title of the article makes it sound like he's not willing to do the voice anymore at all. I can understand him not wanting to be asked to do Yoda or any of the Muppet voices by fans. It's gotta get annoying after a while. But it's clear he's happy to talk about the characters. He's certainly not as cranky and asshatty as Alec Guiness was.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Honestly, I don't blame either one of them. Just because they starred in some extremely popular movies doesn't meant that they are obligated to "perform" for over-enthusiastic fans at the drop of a hat for the rest of their natural lives.

        I don't see either of them as "ungrateful, grumpy old men" I actually see "fans" who have no regard whatsoever for other people's privacy.
      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        I was also considering his refusal to voice any characters in the new Muppets movie because it wasn't "his" Muppets. (Seemed more like the real Muppets than the last couple of movies, Oz or no Oz.)
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
        Honestly, I don't blame either one of them. Just because they starred in some extremely popular movies doesn't meant that they are obligated to "perform" for over-enthusiastic fans at the drop of a hat for the rest of their natural lives.

        I don't see either of them as "ungrateful, grumpy old men" I actually see "fans" who have no regard whatsoever for other people's privacy.
        In Alec Guiness' case it was just being an "grumpy old man". When you make children cry you've gone too far.
      1. happy's Avatar
        happy -
        I love to make children cry.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Article clarity fixed.

        I don't think Guiness meant it to be a grumpy old mean person, he played a role and wanted to live his life, not to live Obi-Wan's life. He was absolutely right that devoting one's entire free time and life to watching Star Wars wouldn't be healthy, there has to be more to life than just 1 thing.
      1. morpheus282's Avatar
        morpheus282 -
        Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
        Given his attitude toward the recent Muppets movie, I'd say Oz is turning into a grumpy old man.
        Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
        I was also considering his refusal to voice any characters in the new Muppets movie because it wasn't "his" Muppets. (Seemed more like the real Muppets than the last couple of movies, Oz or no Oz.)
        The last few Muppet movies have all been bad. After Jim died, it just hasn't been the same. The most recent piece of tripe wasn't a Muppet movie at all, it was a Jason Segel movie that the Muppets co-starred in.

        Now that I'm done ranting, I don't really blame Frank for not doing the voices. It's one thing if he does a few Muppet performances on stage at a convention or something, or if a fan recognizes him and just has to walk up and say hi (which is pushing the line a bit to me), but when the guy's out having dinner and someone asks him to do Yoda... I belive I'd have to smack someone for that.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Quote Originally Posted by morpheus282 View Post
        The last few Muppet movies have all been bad. After Jim died, it just hasn't been the same. The most recent piece of tripe wasn't a Muppet movie at all, it was a Jason Segel movie that the Muppets co-starred in.

        Now that I'm done ranting, I don't really blame Frank for not doing the voices. It's one thing if he does a few Muppet performances on stage at a convention or something, or if a fan recognizes him and just has to walk up and say hi (which is pushing the line a bit to me), but when the guy's out having dinner and someone asks him to do Yoda... I belive I'd have to smack someone for that.
        I liked Muppets from Space, that movie had the originals' heart.
      1. morpheus282's Avatar
        morpheus282 -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        I liked Muppets from Space, that movie had the originals' heart.
        Muppets from Space was definately one of the better post-Jim efforts, but it's still missing something for me. I've gone into every Muppet related project hoping they'd be wonderful, but everything after Jim died just seems to miss the mark. Sometimes it's close (Dinosaurs) and other times it's just not worth the effort of filming (Muppet Treasure Island). I guess it's all subjective, but I'm going to blame my opinions on spending way too much of my childhood in front of an old CRT television watching the Muppet Show and Saturday Afternoon Movie airings of the Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan. Sitting through them with my own kids has given me the opportunity to laugh at all the jokes I missed because they weren't aimed at me at that time. Maybe I'm just too old now to appreciate them on the level of a child as well as that of a parent, or maybe they just don't make them like they used to. Either way, I'll keep watching them as long as they keep making them.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        IMO, The Muppet Movie is fantastic, but Great Muppet Caper and Muppets Take Manhattan are both guilty of being lesser products - I remember feeling that way in the theaters when they first came out, and I was a little kid at the time. They're not bad, but they are I think examples of diminishing returns, and Muppets from Space outshines Muppets Take Manhattan simply by having more heart.
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