Actor of the Week: Mark Hamill
It’s Actor of the Week time again, and this week we have someone who is very special to Life of Films - the iconic Mark Hamill. Mark is an obvious choice for Actor of the Week, given that he is a crucial figure in one of the most successful movie franchises of all time - Star Wars.
Mark Hamill had dabbled in acting from a young age, but the role which made him a household name was his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. For anyone who has been living under a rock all these years, Star Wars: A New Hope sees us follow a young farmer boy, Hamill’s Skywalker, who becomes intertwined in the battle for the galaxy, for it to only become apparent that this was no accident, and that Luke’s destiny is to help conquer the evil Galactic Empire. With help from Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, smuggler Han Solo and his Wookie First Mate Chewbacca, Luke goes on an adventure that changed the face of cinema forever, with Hamill being smack-bang in the center of it. With A New Hope being such an incredible success, George Lucas and the gang went on to make two more films, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In these sequels we follow the progression of Luke and his evolution into one of the greatest Jedi to have ever lived.
Luke Skywalker is one of the most iconic characters in cinema history, with Mark Hamill being a huge part in this. Sure, the character itself is brilliantly created, but it takes an outstanding actor to then bring that all to life. I grew up on Star Wars, and it is something that is very close to me, and that, in turn, making Luke Skywalker one of my favourite movie characters ever.
So you would think that with Mark Hamill taking on such an iconic role, and knocking it out the park, he couldn’t really do much else to compete with it. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this, but you’d be wrong. After Star Wars, Mark took on voice acting, and he has also become a legend within this field. The amount of characters he has voiced are too many to name, but there is one character he has played which shows us that playing iconic role seems to be in Hamill’s blood. This is the role of Batman’s nemesis - The Joker. Whenever you see that Hamill is voicing The Joker, you know that you are in for a treat, which is exactly how I felt when I saw he would be reprising this role for the award-winning Arkham computer games.
Some people say that Heath Ledger’s Joker is the best Joker ever, and I wouldn’t disagree, but I believe Hamill’s Joker is right up there with him, as they are uncomparable. They both may play the same character, but they have been played from completely different angles, making them both just as enjoyable. Heath’s Joker was very dark, but funny in areas, where as Hamill’s Joker for the Arkham games was more funny, with flashes of that pure darkness. I could watch Hamill’s Joker all day.
Mark has made a welcome return to the big screen of late, recently appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where he was, disappointingly, only in it for about 2 minutes, but making me very much excited for the next chapter, The Last Jedi. It seems we will get our fair share of the most powerful Jedi to have ever lived in the next instalment. I cannot wait to see how Hamill takes on this role, as it’s going to be a completely different Luke to what he is used to playing, and we are used to seeing.
Hamill has also appeared in an unlikely film called Brigsby Bear, which came out this year, and was very well received, only highlighting to us that Hamill can really do no wrong.
Mark Hamill is, without doubt, a legend, and someone that means a lot to us here at Life of Films. It is an absolute pleasure to write this article on him, as Mark Hamill changes people’s lives everyday when they watch Star Wars for the first time. Mark, thanks for giving us something so amazingly unique, the amount it means to so many is incredible. The Force will be with us, always.