Friday 20 October 2017

'Family used to scribble numbers on grandad's original Star Wars script' - actor Jack Olohan

Eddie Byrne in Star Wars with Carrie Fisher
Eddie Byrne in Star Wars with Carrie Fisher

Elaine McCahill

A Dublin actor who featured in the original Star Wars movie "didn't have high hopes for the role" and left his copy of the script beside the phone to scribble messages on.

The late Eddie Byrne played rebel General Willard in A New Hope in 1977 and acted opposite Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in a scene leading up to the destruction of the Death Star.

Eddie lived in Clontarf with his family and intermittently jetted off to work in Hollywood. His grandson, Jack Olohan, also an actor, told the Herald about Eddie's role in the Star Wars franchise.

"My grandad had an established movie career; he worked with the likes of Marlon Brando," Jack said.

Actor Jack Olohan - Jack's grandfather appeared in the original Star Wars movie 1977
Actor Jack Olohan - Jack's grandfather appeared in the original Star Wars movie 1977

"For some reason, this low-budget, dodgy science- fiction movie landed in his lap and he didn't have major hopes for it, but he agreed to it anyway.

"My mother remembers the script was left beside the home phone for people to scribble numbers and messages on. The original Star Wars script was there and they used to doodle on it - hearing my mum talk about it is gas.

"He was supposed to play a larger character but he just has one scene with Princess Leia where he discusses Alderaan with her," he added.

Jack (34) is a huge Star Wars fan and will be one of the first in line to see The Force Awakens at midnight tomorrow.

Jack's mother, Catherine, is also an actor. She plays Judith Dillon in Fair City.

Jack, meanwhile, has landed roles in Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful and will appear in the new series of Vikings.

Herald

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