Why was Prowse chosen to play Darth Vader?

Why was Prowse chosen to play Darth Vader? - Man in Gray Crew Neck T-shirt Holding Cigarette Stick

Everybody knows that David Prowse played Darth Vader in the old Star Wars episodes. He was a weightlifting champion and a bodybuilder.

Does anybody know who and why actually chose him to play this important role?

image of David Prowse as Darth Vader

Best Answer

In 1971, Stanley Kubrick cast him as Julian, the bodyguard of Mr. Alexander for A Clockwork Orange. And when such a great director casts you, it is a big thing. So for Star Wars, he did not even have an audition, George Lucas wanted him to have a role.

David Prowse as Julian carrying Malcom McDowell
David Prowse as Julian carrying Malcom McDowell in a Clockwork Orange

David Prowse says:

George Lucas was casting about and had heard favourable things about my work in Clockwork Orange and asked me to come in, which of course I did even though no one knew what the film was about!

It is also said that George Lucas gave him a choice whether he wants to play Chewbacca or Darth Vader.

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Why was Prowse chosen to play Darth Vader? - Side view of delighted mom and little girl lying on bed in bright bedroom and playing together while relaxing during weekend and looking at each other

Why did James Earl Jones play Darth Vader?

\u201cHe said, 'We don't know what we did right, so let's just try what we did. ' Naturally, I wanted to make Darth Vader more interesting, more subtle, more psychologically oriented,\u201d Jones said.

Why was Dave Prowse banned?

In 2010, Prowse appeared in "The People vs. George Lucas," a supposedly anti-Lucas documentary. The actor's relationship with George Lucas severed the same year, and he was banned from attending all "Star Wars" events.

Why did they choose Darth Vader?

Sidious had given the title of "Darth Vader" to Anakin Skywalker because at the time he believed that the fallen Jedi was worthy of bearing a Sith name.

Who was originally going to play Darth Vader?

James Earl Jones revealed in a resurfaced American Film Institute interview that \u201cStar Wars\u201d creator George Lucas paid him $7,000 to voice iconic villain Darth Vader. Late actor David Prowse donned the Vader suit for the film \u201cStar Wars: A New Hope,\u201d but Lucas disagreed with Prowse's natural voice for Vader.

How James Earl Jones Became the Voice of Darth Vader

More answers regarding why was Prowse chosen to play Darth Vader?

Answer 2

I don't know who chose him, probably a combination of the casting director and Lucas.

David Prowse was tall and imposing and the movie sets that the character appears in were shot in the UK, and he is English.

He did a series of short road-safety 'adverts' in the UK in the 70's - he was the "Green Cross Code Man" - where he had to wear a super-hero costume, stand tall, make obvious body-movements and gestures to teach kids to cross the road. Perhaps this role, whilst not 'serious acting' as some people would see it, showed Lucas that he had the skills to carry out the role of the expressionless Vader.

Green Cross Code Man

As for your 'important role' point, it was clear from the outset that they always planned to dub another voice onto the character. David Prowse has a regional west-country accent, more in keeping with a farmer than a galactic overlord. What they needed from him was someone with that physical presence, with some acting experience, and who would not be too expensive.

Answer 3

All they needed was a tall actor.

Since his face would not be seen, behind Vader's mask, and his character's voice would be dubbed by another actor, all that was required was height.

Several actors were perfectly qualified for the part. Dave Prowse was well known in the British film industry, because of his role in Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange', which was entirely filmed in England, and from his role as the Green Cross Code man in TV and cinema road safety adverts, filmed on behalf of the Central Office of Information, a public body.

He had played a lot of stunt work in films and on tv, including science fiction, having had a role in 'Doctor Who', in 1972, as the Minotaur in the serial 'The Time Monster', a role in which he also wore a face mask and had no dialogue.

Also in contention was the 7-foot-tall Richard Keil, who, also in 1977, was cast in the Bond film 'The Spy Who Loved Me', which was made in studios in England and on location in Egypt. Keil played 'Jaws', the enormously tall professional assassin, a role that he later repeated in a second Bond film, 'Moonraker', in 1979. Again, it was a part without any dialogue.

One might bear in mind also Peter Mayhew, who was cast in 'Star Wars' as Chewbacca, who also had the requisite characteristics of height and an ability to act despite being entirely concealed within a costume and mask.

So, the casting of Dave Prowse as Darth Vader was not entirely a forgone conclusion. There were other tall actors suitable for the part, who were working in England in 1977.

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