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AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN

Interview with Anthony Daniels, Actor

Aired May 3, 2002 - 09:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: The Force is alive and well, and will be back in theaters soon. The newest installment in the "Star Wars" saga opens in Theaters May 16. George Lucas' latest episode, "Attack of the Clones" is expected to thrill fans with its high-definition digital format, but they are already out in force in Indianapolis at the "Star Wars" convention, and that is exactly where we find Anderson Cooper this morning.

Good morning again, Anderson. You look like you're having fun.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I am having fun here. It's a lot of fun, and, as I said, you know, there are like hundreds -- or maybe a couple thousand people lined up. They anticipate maybe 25,000 people here over this weekend. It is just an enormous gathering of "Star Wars" fans who are, to say the least, excited. Some may even say obsessed, but we won't really go into that right now. I am honored to be joined right now Anthony Daniels, the man who plays C-3PO. You have been playing C-3PO for 25 years. Extraordinary.

ANTHONY DANIELS, ACTOR, C-3PO: I know, isn't it scary? You would think I would get a life by now. And I am not obsessive, OK? But I think some of those guys out there...

But the excitement here is extraordinary. It is really good.

COOPER: It is. It's very exciting. Now, you must get this all the time, people coming up to you and asking you to do the C-3PO voice.

DANIELS: I do, and I was kind of huffy about doing it, but now I have no problem because I am kind of proud to have played that role. And it is 25 years since I first said, "Hello, I am C-3PO, human- cyborg relations." But you look a little tall to be R2-D2.

And the weird thing is all the faces happening inside as C-3PO talks, because you can't sort of act the role just with your voice, you know.

COOPER: I must be nice to finally do it without the costume.

DANIELS: It is kind of scary for people. They kind of walk away in the end.

COOPER: Now, what do we have here, some amazing costumes.

DANIELS: Yes, a favorite one of mine, because the sand person really harks back to Episode One that we -- or, Episode Four, rather, the first movie we shot, which become "A New Hope." They are really bad guys, the sand people, who tried to wipe out my master at the time, Luke Skywalker.

And what you have to remember is Peter Diamond's sand person was fighting in this costume, and he couldn't see anything, so it nearly caused the death of Mark Hamill there.

COOPER: Amazing. And what is over here?

DANIELS: Well, here is kind of a favorite thing, because here is another sort of speeder bike that -- we eventually saw the type in "Return of the Jedi." And this is out on the planet Tatooine. And it is right next to a very, very important character to the movie, and for other reasons, it's Anakin Skywalker, who is like the biggest baddie ever. He becomes Darth Vader, widely known across the galaxy as the creator of C-3PO, and I think we should all honor him for that.

And here you have the costume from "Attack of the Clones," pretty good. Played -- played wonderfully by Hayden Christensen.

COOPER: Well, I know you have a big weekend ahead of you. You are the host of the celebrations this weekend.

DANIELS: I am indeed. I have got to learn my lines -- I have got to write my lines.

COOPER: I want to wish you a lot of luck -- all right. It was great to meet you.

DANIELS: And you.

COOPER: All right. Now, inside right now, we are going to go inside the -- there are many, many fans gathered, the excitement is really building. A lot of people are dressed up in costumes, we have a lot of people dressed up as storm troopers. A lot of Boba Fetts. There is a lot of video games which are out now. Lucas Arts has come out with a whole new line of video games, also, that will be used on the computer.

But really what makes this convention so special is the fans. As I said, about 25,000, maybe 30,000 fans expected over the weekend. I am joined now by a couple of major fans. You are super fans. Now, introduce yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am Jay Nuno (ph), my armored friends are Scott Sendawak (ph) and Kevin Wilson (ph), so...

COOPER: How big a fan are you? How excited are you about "Star Wars"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty excited, especially -- I'm from Indy, and getting it here, we've been really pumped up about having it, especially with the new movie coming out and everything.

COOPER: Now, how much do these guys typically spend on "Star Wars" stuff? I mean, how much did this outfit cost?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say he has spent upwards of $1,000 on it, probably, let alone the man hours they put into it, customizing it, so big work.

COOPER: And where -- do they sell these? Do you have to make these?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They sell models of them, and you have to basically mold it into your size, so they come one size fit all, and they cut it down and make it personalized, so...

COOPER: What is it about "Star Wars" that draws you to it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just -- it's just a lot of fun. It's something that's basically timeless. You know, when I saw it in '76, I loved it then, and I have loved it ever since, so there was never a gap, and now with the new movie coming out, it has just regenerated it for a whole new generation of fans.

COOPER: What do you looking forward to most this weekend? I there one thing you are particularly excited about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is so much to do, it is hard to tell. I really want to check out the people in the autograph booth, and some of the presentations, so...

COOPER: Who could take who? Boba Fett versus one of the storm troopers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't get in the middle of it either way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...storm troopers. We have got a lot of us, so -- there is only one Boba Fett.

COOPER: It is these kind of debates which will be held all weekend long, no doubt. Who could take who, that sort of thing. But it is a lot of fun this weekend, and it is going to be going on all weekend here in Indianapolis -- back to you, Paula.

ZAHN: And what, Anderson, people may not know is you do these devastating impressions of people -- we want you to bring home C-3PO, now that you have had sort of the personal introduction to the language. Do you want to try right now -- I won't put you on the spot.

COOPER: Yes they are -- no, no, no. There is whole host of characters, though, I could do for you, believe me. It is quite an assortment of people here.

ZAHN: Well, Monday morning, we will give you the time to do any of them that you want to do. Hey, have fun this weekend. Thanks, Anderson. Thanks to all of those "Star Wars" fans.

COOPER: Thanks very much.

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