British actor Terence Stamp may have 79 films to his credit, but after his recent comments about the rocky relationship between the actor and George Lucas during the filming of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, he probably won’t be invited back to reprise his role as Chancellor Valorum.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Stamp was quite candid about his trials and tribulations working with the Star Wars director and producer:
“We didn’t get on at all. I didn’t rate him that much as a director, really. I didn’t feel like he was a director of actors; he was more interested in stuff and effects. He didn’t interest me and I wouldn’t think I interested him.”
Stamp spoke about his strange experience with Lucas on the day he was set to shoot a scene with Natalie Portman:
“I came all the way back from Australia to do it. I didn’t want to but my agent leaned on me and I wanted to meet Natalie Portman because I’d seen her in The Professional. And I did meet her and she was absolutely enchanting. But on the day I’m supposed to do my scene with her, for which I’d traveled halfway around the world, I said, ‘Where’s Natalie?’ And George says, ‘That’s Natalie,’ and points to a bit of paper on the wall. It was just boring.”
Although Stamp’s role in The Phantom Menace was small, the always charming actor appeared in many outstanding movies over the course of his career. He was unforgettably beautiful and innocent as the doomed sailor in Billy Budd. Stamp’s performance in the 1962 film based on the Herman Melville novel earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and he received a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Male Newcomer.
During his 51 year long journey as an actor, Terence Stamp appeared in films by some of the greatest directors in the cinema, including William Wyler’s The Collector, Modesty Blaise for director Joseph Losey, and John Schlesinger’s Far From The Madding Crowd. Stamp even took on the role of a middle aged drag queen in Stephan Elliott’sThe Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Stamp is probably best remembered by contemporary American audiences for his supporting role as General Zod in Superman and Superman II. In 2008, Stamp portrayed General Ludwig Beck in the Tom Cruise vehicle, Valkyrie, and in 2012, Stamp was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor inSong for Marion.
Now 74 years old, it is highly doubtful that Stamp is even slightly concerned about offending the tender sensibilities of Mr. Lucas. After all, Lucas is probably more than a little bit pleased with his four billion dollar payday from Disney, and the ever debonair Mr. Stamp is still having a wonderful life speaking his mind and doing things his way.