Barada, Biker Scout (Return of the Jedi)
Interview: April 2010
How did you get into the movie business? Was it something you always wanted to do?
One day I was lucky to walk in to the film industry, didn’t know much about it but was interested from day one. The movie was A Bridge Too Far filmed in Deventer.
How did you get involved with Return of the Jedi?
I was asked to work on the movie as part of the Stunt Crew.
When you got the job for Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars movies were very popular all over the world. Were you aware of this? That you were going to work on a movie that was going to be a blockbuster just like it’s predecessors?
To me it was just another movie.
You played the character Barada in Return of the Jedi. How did you get the Barada part? Could the stunt crew choose their roles/costumes?
I was given that part like all the other stunt performers.
You were there, back in 1982, when the Sarlacc scenes were filmed in Buttercup Valley, USA. Everyone of the main cast was there too: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams. How were they to work with?
Just normal people like you and me.
About the Sarlacc scenes: can you share your memories regarding the filming of these scenes?
Just one of the so many scenes in movies I worked on, nothing special, but it was very hot.
Return of the Jedi was directed by Richard Marquand, but George Lucas was also often around. Did they give you directions regarding how they wanted a scene or stunt to be?
Directors give the stunt coordinator directions, and the stunt coordinator gives directions to the stunt crew.
You also played a Biker Scout in Return of the Jedi. These scenes were filmed in Crescent City, California. This was a massive scene with all the troopers and Ewoks. What are your memories regarding these scenes in the forest?
All I remember is Ewoks jumping on me in a very uncomfortable stormtrooper outfit, and being kicked of my bike and hitting a tree.
You have worked with Peter Diamond, for whom everyone seemed to have respect. Did he teach you valuable things? And how was he to work with?
He was a great stunt coordinator, and he was the one that gave me the job.
Were the stuntmen in Return of the Jedi a ‘tight’ group? I bet that most stuntmen already knew each other from other movies.
Yes, but for the action to work out the way it did, the stunt crew needs to be a tight group.
You know about Lightning Bear, the ‘actor’ who claims he was in Return of the Jedi. It seems that no one really knows whether he is speaking the truth or not. You were in this movie, so I bet you can clear this up.
Lighting Bear is one of those people who is dreaming about working in the movies, and to him it’s real, but he did NOT work on the movie, or on any movie, that know of.
After Return of the Jedi you did two Indiana Jones movies: the Temple of Doom and the Last Crusade. What stunts did you do for these movies and in which scenes can we see you?
Like most stunt performers working for months on a movie, you will see me all over the place, fighting Indiana, falling of the bridge and getting blown up in a German truck.
I bet you saw this question coming: what is the most dangerous stunt you have ever done?
Stunts are not dangerous, if you know what you’re doing, big or small.
You were nominated for two World Stunt Awards for your work on Terminator III. Do you consider these stunts to be your best ones ever? If not: which ones are your best?
Same as before, just another job, but its nice to be nominated.
You are one of the most successful Dutch people in Hollywood, yet in the Netherlands most people (unfortunately) don’t seem to know your name. How do you feel about this?
The new generation doesn’t know me, but I left for Hollywood 14 years ago. The older movie industry people know me, and who knows, one day I may be asked to do a movie in the Netherlands again.
You have worked on a couple of the best known Dutch movies ever: Spetters, the 4th Man, Joep Meloen. What are the main differences regarding the making of Dutch and American movies?
Bigger budgets, a bigger more specialised crew, the latest camera and stunt equipment.
And here I get paid per week, and don’t have to wait for months like in the Netherlands.
You are a second unit director and a stunt coordinator now. Looking at the future: what are your future plans and what would be your ‘dream project’?
I want to direct a movie, but I have not found my dream project yet.