The Star Wars films have always had a passionate group of fans. One fan, Canadian actor Charlie Ross, loves Star Wars so much that he’s made a career out of acting out the entire trilogy onstage—by himself. Ross will perform the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy at The Gateway Playhouse on Friday, January 25.
How did One-Man Star Wars come to be?
After I graduated from university, I was spending a year or two digging, but in Canada, so really having to go far for the jobs. I kind of wanted to get something of my own happening. I tried doing some standup, and that was crazy and weird, but this was something I tried which was meant to be a comedy sketch, as in not supposed to be an hour-long show. But the comedy sketch went so well. It really became obvious that this wasn’t just a comedy sketch. It could be something really weird, a little longer.
Did you study acting in school?
I went to university and got a Bachelor in Fine Arts in theater/acting, which is relatively useless you plan on trying to make it in that vocation. I figured if it didn’t work out in the acting world I could try to make it in the public sector or something, work in the government. My dad thought it was ridiculous, me spending any time or money on an arts degree. I think in some ways he was right.
Which Stars Wars film is your favorite?
You know, I don’t want to not answer the question, but it always felt like it was one continual story, very much like Lord of the Rings. You don’t want to take out any book out from the series, or movie from the series, I think the first film had the greatest effect on me because it’s what I was first introduced to. As a kid I found myself wanting to be Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in equal measure.
Are there props and sets to go along with the show, or is it just you onstage?
Just me! I wear dark clothes. I give it a neutral look. I wear a pair of coveralls, it’s industrial and weird. The main idea was that, at the time, I didn’t want to invest a bunch of money on a bunch of costumes and props and crap and just make it that. I didn’t really think people would be able to follow it, but people’s general knowledge of Star Wars is enough that even if you don’t know every detail of what I’m doing, your mind fills in the blanks.
What are your thoughts on the prequel trilogy?
I’ve got lots of thoughts! My main thought is that it’s very difficult to spend time filling in the blanks, the details, the backstory to something that’s already loved. To me it’s almost like the person that has to design a monster that’s always been off-screen because I think in some ways our imagination does more work and better work in filling in the blanks, even if it’s a mystery. They were almost doomed to be at the mercy of critics, both professional and the couch critic. Given what they had and given what they also produced, I guess they sort of did their best, but when was the last time George Lucas had actually made a film? I mean, maybe he never really made a film with that much control.
Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know?
My wife will be 39 weeks pregnant. It’s crazy! By me actually being at the show, it’s maybe the last show I do before I’m there to catch the next child being born. It’s really going to be me, sort of the Black Hawk actor coming into town and zipping out as fast as I can to get back. I’m just hoping no babies are born while I’m away!
See One-Man Star Wars Trilogy at The Gateway Playhouse, 215 South Country Road, Bellport, on Friday, January 25. For tickets and more information, call 631-286-1133 and visit thegateway.org.