George Lucas has never really been known as an “actor’s director.” Just watch any of the Star Wars prequels and you’ll understand why. Best case in point is British actor Terence Stamp, who recently revealed his distaste of George Lucas’ directing style.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Terence Stamp spoke quite candidly about his role and experience working with George Lucas on Star Wars. Stamp played Chancellor Valorum, Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Stamp says:
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.
Lucas’ films are much more known for their visual panache and technological innovations than their engaging narratives and acting. But to get a better idea of Stamp’s experience, the 74-year-old actor continued:
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.
Terence Stamp is no slouch! He’s a very dynamic and passionate actor. Just take into consideration his award-winning roles in movies such as Billy Budd, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and The Limey, and let’s not forget his over-the-top performance as General Zod in Richard Donner’s Superman movies. If only Lucas could’ve tapped into that energy, maybe The Phantom Menace could’ve been a much better movie. We could have had something similar to this moment from Superman II…