Imperial Officer (The Empire Strikes Back)
Interview: August 2016
Hello Mr. Flood! Can you tell how you got cast for The Empire Strikes Back?
My first movie was The Empire Strikes Back. I was busy doing commercials and modelling work, when I was asked by an agent if I’d like to work on a new sci-fi movie. I thought that sounds exciting, so off I went to Elstree studios to be fitted as a Stormtrooper. When I arrived the first assistant director took me to one side and asked me if I’d like to play an Imperial Officer, of course I said yes.
What did you know about Star Wars before you got cast?
I knew absolutely nothing about Star Wars at this stage.
Can you share some of your experiences regarding the making of the movie?
I remember travelling on the train to Elstree every day for about three weeks. I used to share the train carriage with two other lads who were cast as Stormtroopers. One day just as lunch was called the first Assistant director asked the Imperial Officers working on the set if we would mind doing a few photo shots for publicity. We were asked to keep it casual, no posing. When we did the shot I couldn’t resist a little pose, so there I am tilting my cap, stealing the shot! Ever the professional! (Editor’s note: the photo Tom mentions is at the top of this page)
How do you look back at your part in The Empire Strikes Back after three decades, especially since Star Wars is still so much alive these days?
Looking back it was my first time on a film set, I was very excited. I never thought people would want my autograph 30 odd years later.
You have attended conventions and met many fans. What do you regard as the funniest, strangest or weirdest thing that has ever happened to you at a convention?
Actually I’ve only ever attended one convention, which was the Birmingham Comic con two years ago. So I ‘m a virgin soldier. The convention was brilliant. So many people, so many fabulous costumes. Lots of people wanted my autograph, that’s when I learned that my autograph was quite rare, and not many collectors had it.
You have appeared in the Terry Gilliam movie Brazil in which you worked closely with Robert DeNiro. I’m sure there’s a great story you can share?
Brazil was brilliant for me. I was cast as one of Robert DeNiro’s men dressed in combat gear boots and with a machine gun. I spent all my time charging around the set like a lunatic. Actually it was not so much fun as it sounds, because the set was at the top of a gas cooling tower in southeast London. We had a narrow platform with a track on it for the camera. The platform was shiny and slippery, either side of us was death. On the first day whilst waiting at the top of the platform I felt a presence behind me, I turned around and there was this very handsome man smiling at me! The man himself: Mr. Robert DeNiro.
My final question: what do you regard as the highlight of your career?
Playing at the Glastonbury festival with the musical theatre company ‘Katastrophe’.
That’s a legendary festival indeed! Thank you for your time!