Greg Proops and Scott Capurro
Fode and Beed (The Phantom Menace)
Mr. Proops, how did you get the part for Fode in Episode I?
GP: I was performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the casting person saw me do stand up. Same with Beed who is my pal Scott Capurro. We auditioned as a team in London and got it.
Mr. Capurro, can you tell something about the audition?
SC: Greg brought me along. I think the casting agent wanted two fast talking Americans. We auditioned somewhere in north London. Greg improvised. I played along. Or tagged along. We were in an office. The lady interviewing us was very nice. It all seemed rather civilized.
Mr. Capurro, can you tell why you auditioned for a part in the most successful saga ever. You must have been I fan I guess?
SC: Sure. And when I told other comics I was auditioning, or had auditioned, they seemed so envious. The films cross generational divide. I felt hip for the first time ever.
I assume you have seen the original trilogy many years before you were cast for Episode I. Suppose someone had said to you at the moment you saw the movie that you were going to be in a future Star Wars movie. What would you have said?
GP: You’re far too trusting.
SC: Will I be on the cover of Time?
At first, both of you were in heavy makeup and blue bodysuits because your faces were going to be in the movie and only your bodies were going to be CGI. During the process Lucas decided that everything, including your faces, was going to be CGI. What do you think of this decision and how was your initial response?
GP: George Lucas has his vision and I was but a prawn in the salad. The face make up was quite good and took several hours to do.
SC: I was surprised how much the CGI still looks like us. Sorry, I was alarmed at how much I actually resemble an alien. I guess our heads didn’t match our bodies, but I could’ve told them that on the shooting day.
Can you tell something about the days you worked on Episode I. How was the atmosphere and what instructions did George Lucas give you for instance?
GP: George Lucas is as low key and cool as anyone spending a zillion dollars. He would say “that’s good, want to do it again?”
SC: I was on the set only for one day. I did meet the gorgeous Scotsman Ewan McGregor. We shook hands. He of course wouldn’t remember that moment, but I’ll never forget it. The rest of the day was a glamorous haze of rubber heads and food on trays. Mr. Lucas was incredibly patient and kind. It was hard to believe I was in a Star Wars film. It felt like we were playing, but that’s the fun of making a movie I guess.
In the end, what do you think about the whole podrace scene?
GP: I think it is a classic scifi homage to the chariot race in Ben-Hur and of course the most thrilling part of the picture.
SC: It’s fast and thrilling. Proops is very funny.
How do you feel about being a part of the most popular movie saga ever?
GP: I love it. People write me from all over the world. It is film immortality of a special kind as the fans are very devoted. I understate.
SC: Fortunate. Graced. I hope it happens again.
Mr. Proops, recently you returned to Star Wars, this time for the Clone Wars TV series as Tal Merrick. How was it to return to the ‘world of Star Wars’?
GP: Great. I got to play a bad guy and so I was nasty ad threatened the Princess. Unbelievably fun.
Is there any chance you’re going to do more work for Clone Wars or other Star Wars related projects?
GP: I hope so.
Mr. Capurro, for your part as Beed you had to speak the alien language Huttese. Did you have any idea what you were saying? And how did you prepare for your lines?
SC: I asked for cue cards. I tried to memorize the lines, but I was nervous and wanted to be exacting, because I’m both lazy and anal. it’s a curse.
Mr. Proops, suppose you could voice any Star Wars character you want to. Who would you choose and how would you voice that character?
GP: I did voice the two I wanted. I am lucky. You cannot improve on James Earl Jones and Alec Guinness.
Mr. Capurro, you have gained success with your provocative humor (I like this by the way). What is the reason that you are provocative? Or do you see it another way?
SC: I just joke about whatever I find funny, whether that’s provocative or not is up to the viewer. God that sounds smug, what I mean is I have no control over what offends audiences. I don’t know them. I’m just a comic, not a therapist, although I’ve hired several. Therapists I mean.
Mr. Capurro, looking at the future: what are your plans? Are there any interesting projects on the horizon?
SC: I’m hosting a live chat show in London. Several celebs who owe me a favor or two will be dropping by. And then there’s the endless comedy circuit. Hurrah.
I have saved the funniest question for Mr. Proops for last: I know you’re a huge baseball fan (of the San Francisco Giants). Well, I am a huge fan of Dutch soccer team PSV Eindhoven. Suppose PSV is playing against their rivals for the championship….and PSV wins. How would Fode’s commentary be?
GP: It is so hot it’s a Dutch oven and PSV has cooked their goose!