"Hollywood or Bust"The Bothan Spy's interview with Barrie Holland, published April 8, 2008
Barrie Holland, known to many by his nickname "Barrie Hollywood" (see more about that in his previous interview with The Bothan Spy) has recently been immortalized in mini-bust form by Gentle Giant. Rebelscum.com first proposed the idea, gained approval for it from LFL and in tandem with Gentle Giant, they will be exclusively releasing a Lt Renz bust later this year.
Barrie, or Lt Renz to give him his Star Wars title, has graciously agreed to give us his insight into this event.
Welcome back to The Bothan Spy, Barrie Holland!
Its a real pleasure to have you join us for another interview Mr Holland. Welcome once more.
Can you please tell us how this bust come about? Were you approached by LFL, Gentle Giant and/or Rebelscum to do it?
Rebelscum had the idea for a Mini-Bust of Lt. Renz. Philip Wise of Rebelscum approached Lucasfilm and won approval. Rebelscum did, of course, inform me that the approval was pending and that they were very excited about the prospect. It was a very pleasant surprise for me.
Action figures don't always match the person they portray very well, but this bust is very recognizably you. How does it feel to be immortalized as a Mini-Bust?
Amazing. Never in a million years did I ever expect to get such an honour! It gives me the feeling that my efforts over the years have not been in vain to be eventually immortalized in such a manner. I am so grateful to Rebelscum and Gentle Giant for doing this for me.I think the likeness is good. I hope that it will be popular. I know what you mean about some figures as regards the likeness. My artist was obviously brilliant in doing the work involved. It will be something for my grandchildren to talk about in the future.
When did the scanning take place and can you talk us through the part you played in the process please?
The scanning took place last October (2007) at the Gentle Giant Studios in Los Angeles, California. I flew there from Dallas, Texas after appearing at the Star Wars Fan Days Show. I had a head and body scan and was able to see the finished result come up on the monitor. As the head scanner revolves around you, there is an eyeline on the wall in front and the trick is to focus on this and not move or blink until the process is finished. If you do, apparently small lines appear on the screen image. As the scanner moves on past your eyes, your brain tells you to move with the Scanner but if you do, this ruins the process and you have to start again. However, being an old 'Pro', I did it the first time! Apparently it took Tom Cruise five times to get it right as he kept moving! Ha! ha! You can always tell who the 'Real Professional' is!
Obviously the outfit was a given, but did you have any input into the pose?
No. I didn't do or have any input in the finished pose ... but, I think that they did a great job! I am well pleased with it!
This bust is the first from Gentle Giant with a sound chip. It will play the iconic line "You Rebel Scum!" Did you do a re-recording or did they use the movie version of your voice?
Nor did I re-record that line "You Rebel Scum!" Well, not yet anyway ... I presume they will use the movie version.
There is also a signed card from you to accompany this item, another first for a Gentle Giant bust. This will make it all the more attractive to fans and collectors alike. Can you tell us how this great extra component came to be?
I have no idea apart from that it was the idea of Rebelscum. As it is the FIRST Mini-Bust to be a talking figure and have a signed card, it should have some impetus in the demand.
I am given to understand that initially there will be a limited edition of 2,500 figures coming out in July of this year. All of the 2,500 cards will be personally signed by myself to go out with the mini-bust. This will not be a Facsimile signature.
Will you be getting one of these for yourself? Or does the idea of having a 'mini me' on your mantelpiece put you off the idea?
Yes of course and for my son. It is a big honour for me ... particularly as I am the FIRST Imperial Officer to have a mini-bust made (apart from the late actor Peter Cushing). It will go in my study with my other awards and bits and pieces.
Since you did your original interview with The Bothan Spy, a number of regulars to the site had the pleasure of meeting with you at Celebration IV. Certainly one of the high points of a great weekend for me. In our previous interview, you were greatly looking forward to Celebration IV, did it generally live up to your expectations?
Celebration 1V was a great buzz for me as always. It was only the second 'Celebration' show which I had been to, as the first time was in Indianapolis two years ago in 2005 at 'Celebration III'. I didn't really get the time to look around 'CIV.' as I was busy in the autograph hall, but I had a great time again meeting the Fans and old friends.
It was nice to be with the other imperial officers. I am most grateful to C2 Ventures and Rebelscum for inviting me again.
If there were to be a Celebration V, perhaps to follow the release of the new animated and live action TV series, would you be interested in appearing?
Of course, who wouldn't? I enjoy doing shows in the states as it is one of my favourite countries to appear in and there are so many loyal fans there. Years ago, I had many friends in the American military and I have always been very pro-American. I still keep in touch with some of them to this day.
No doubt you have attended other fan events since Celebration IV. Can you bring us up to speed on your experiences please?
Yes, after 'Celebration IV' Los Angeles, I was invited to 'Celebration IV Europe' in London by another American agent friend of mine Derek Maki. Once again, mainly thanks to his professional courtesy towards me, I had a very pleasant time at the three-day show in July with the other actors. After this show, I was invited in September to Japan to do shows in Osaka and Tokyo by my Japanese friend and Agent Dr. Abbey. I appeared with my friends and fellow Actors Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), Lightning Bear, David Ankrum, and Ian Whyte. I was there for two weeks and I had an absolute ball! I have many fans and friends there. Tokyo is one of my favourite cities. Everybody is so polite. I was then back home five days and after a quick turn-around I was off to the Star Wars Fan Days Show in Texas in October which was another great fun weekend meeting friends and fans. After that, I went onto California to do the mini-bust preparation. Upon returning home from there I went onto a show in Holland at the beginning of November with my actor friend Derek Lyons. We were originally meant to do a big show in Germany but this was cancelled at the last minute. We still stayed in Germany and were driven across the border to the Dutch show by our friend Markus Rau of the German 501st Legion. All-in-all, 2007 was a fabulous year for me on the show circuit and now in 2008 I have the mini-bust ... whow! What next?
Do you find the smaller events have their charm, or does the large event hold greater excitement?
I do attend smaller events sometimes here in Europe: England, Wales, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. They all have their individual charm and the nice thing about them is the fact that you meet many old friends and fans. I am doing a 'mixed' Show (not just Star Wars actors) in Wales in June and as this is a first for the organizer. It should be interesting and fun. Later in the year I am appearing at a show in Norwich for the Norwich and District Star Wars Fan Club of which I have the honour to be an executive officer.
Departing from Star Wars for the moment, a new (but generally secretive) Indiana Jones movie is imminent. As someone involved in the previous releases in that series, can you tell us if you were involved? If so, can you give any clues to what we might expect?
No, sorry, I have no info on that as I am not involved with it (which is a pity as I worked on the original trilogy). I am sure it will be a great success. I think Harrison should have done another before this instead of waiting 20 years as he is ideal for the part and they were all box-office hits!
Do you think we might see Lt Renz in another guise at some point in the upcoming live action TV series?
Wouldn't that be great! As I am twenty-six years older now since I appeared in Return of the Jedi and my character didn't get killed off, perhaps I could come back as 'General Renz' now. I think that I deserve the promotion anyway after capturing Han Solo in the Bunker all those years ago! ... no mean feat! ha! ha! To paraphrase Arnie, "I'll Be Back!" ... I WISH!
Can you tell us what the future holds for Barrie Holland - any plans or projects in the wings?
Nothing particular at the moment. However, I am booked for a few shows this year.
The main one so far being 'Jedi-Con' in Dusseldorf, Germany at Easter. This is a three-day Show and is officially backed by Lucasfilm. Attending shows in Germany is another great pleasure for me as I have many friends there and the fans are always enthusiastic and great to talk to.
Finally, I hope that your readers have enjoyed my comments in answer to your questions and as always it is a real pleasure for me to do another interview for The Bothan Spy and I would like to thank Brian Hurt and Kevin McDonnell for arranging for me to do this once again.
I would also like to thank my good friend Philip Wise of Rebelscum.com for all of his efforts and help in bringing this ,mini-bust to fruition and immortalizing my figure of Lt. Renz in the Star Wars hierarchy ... as without his input it would not exist.
In the meantime, don't forget to buy the mini-bust when it comes out in July ... before I buy the lot and put them everywhere in my home!..."You Rebel Scum!"
I have a great quote here underneath a photograph of the late James Dean which reads...."Dream as though you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today"
All that's left for me now is...'HOLLYWOOD OR BUST!' ....Ha! ha!
Thank you very much...
BARRIE HOLLAND...LT. RENZ..IMPERIAL OFFICER..RETURN OF THE JEDI.
Thank you Barrie Holland, for sharing your experiences with us once more. It's always a pleasure to talk with you.
Lt Renz Mini-Bust will be available exclusively through Gentle Giant Ltd and Rebelscum.com later this year.
Limited to an edition size of 2,500, you can read more about it at Gentle Giant's website and at rebelcum.com.