The galaxy lost a true warrior last year when Peter Mayhew left us. One of the cast members of the original trilogy, his stories fascinated fans for decades and here is an interview, conducted for Rolling Stone, with Peter recorded just before the release of The Force Awakens.
RS: What was it like doing a scene with Harrison Ford for the first time in three decades?
PM: It was very interesting. Harrison is a magnificent teacher. He teaches you what to do and how to do it. You just follow — you work off his words to get the reactions for Chewie.
RS: How have you coped with the acting challenge of playing this character over the years?
PM: George [Lucas] told me right away it was going to be a mime character, because they put the noises on afterwards. It makes it easier for me because just try making loud enough noises through a mask! It’s very hard so you do as well as you can, and then they take it to the sound studio and put their own voices in it. It’s not easy, really.
RS: A lot of your fellow actors told me that it was an extremely moving thing to see you in costume in the Millennium Falcon again — and as a fan, it was amazing to see it in the trailer, which you helped debut at the Star Wars Celebration in California.
PM: I had goosebumps, I tell you. You can imagine how weird it felt to have seven thousand people looking at that trailer and standing up cheering because they wanted Chewie in the movie. It was a phenomenal experience. And I won’t ever forget it.