Cast Profiles: Warwick Davis..


Warwick's career as an actor came about purely by chance. Back in 1981 his Grandmother heard a radio announcement calling for people under 4' tall to appear in a new Star Wars film, Warwick, who at the age of 11 was only 2' 11", was immediately measured up for an Ewok costume and started filming Return of the Jedi at Elstree Studios, London.

Originally cast as a background artist, Warwick's posture and gestures were so characteristic of George Lucas's vision of an Ewok that he was recast as Wicket who became one of the film's lead creature characters. "I based Wicket's inquisitive nature and movements on my pet dog." Toy figures of Wicket were released after the films opening and were labeled, Wicket W. Warwick. Warwick takes this as a huge compliment. In 1984, after the success of Return of the Jedi, Lucas went on to make two Ewok movies for ABC television, Caravan of Courage and in 1985, Battle for Endor. Warwick reprised his performance as Wicket in both.

Also in 1985, with George Lucas as Executive Producer, Jim Henson cast Warwick as a goblin in Labyrinth starring David Bowie.

In 1987 Warwick was, once again, called to Elstree Studios for a meeting, this time with Ron Howard and George Lucas. They discussed a new project Willow, written specifically with Warwick in mind. Before this Warwick's acting career had consisted only of roles involving creature costumes where his face was hidden. Willow was the first opportunity Warwick had to show that his acting talent extended beyond the portrayal of strange creatures to the depiction of real human emotion. In this epic fantasy Warwick co-starred with Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley. The film was privilege to a Royal premiere in the presence of The Prince and Princess of Wales.

After an extensive world-wide promotional tour for Willow, Warwick returned to England and was immediately back in front of the camera and behind the mask, this time for the "small" screen. He was cast in two series of BBC television classic The Chronicles of Narnia. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Warwick portrayed the swashbuckling mouse Reepicheep and in The Silver Chair he played Glimfeather the owl.

Next, Warwick received a call from his agent at ICM about Leprechaun. Up until this point in his career, Warwick had always been cast as a "goodie". On reading the script he was thrilled when he realized that the Leprechaun in this movie was a "baddie". "It is every actors dream to play an evil character, a part to really get your thespian teeth into."

In 1991, while shooting Leprechaun in Hollywood, Warwick had to endure three hours of prosthetic make-up every day for a month. The horror/comedy has achieved cult status with movie fans in America which prompted three sequels to be made.

In 1995, Warwick appeared as Grildrig in Gulliver's Travels. The Jim Henson production in association with NBC and Channel 4 set new television audience records by attracting a staggering 56 million viewers. Warwick co-starred with names such as Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Woodward and Peter O'Toole, to name only a few.

Warwick's most recent project is a feature film entitled, Prince Valliant. He plays the swashbuckling character of Petchet, sidekick to Valliant.

As well as the many roles on the big and small screens, Warwick has trodden the boards of theaters throughout the United Kingdom. For the 1996/97 Christmas pantomime season Warwick starred with Robert Powell in Kevin Wood's Peter Pan at the Wycombe Swan.

Even with a career as successful and diverse as his, Warwick still yearns for that perfect role. "My ideal movie would be set in a non-fantasy environment with me wearing jeans and a T-shirt."

To address this he has written his own script, a family action/adventure series for television, Spymaster. "There is a distinct lack of television that the whole family can watch together and enjoy on different levels. I think that children could relate more easily to characters of their own size, whilst the adults could laugh with the characters as they deal with life on the 'short' side." Several production companies have shown interest in the project, so Warwick's dream of that perfect part looks set to become a reality.

However, Warwick says he would always be more than happy to go back to that galaxy far, far away......



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