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Warwick Davis on ‘Life’s Too Short’ & Willow

Davis tells us about his new HBO series, getting his big break from George Lucas and a little Leprechaun for luck…

We’ve been Warwick Davis fans ever since Willow, or possibly since we knew he was the main Ewok in Return of the Jedi. The new HBO comedy Life’s Too Short stars Davis as himself, in a Hollywood spoof from writer/producers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. When Davis met the Television Critics Association, I got to ask him a lot of questions about real and fake Hollywood life.

 

 

CraveOnline: Did you ask George Lucas to appear on the show?

Warwick Davis: No, we didn’t, no. I mean, he would certainly fit in. I think I should pursue him for a Willow 2or something like that.

CraveOnline: How instrumental was he in giving you both costumed and uncostumed work?

Warwick Davis: To write the film Willow, which he did, he was inspired by me when I was 13 and he wrote that one, in about ’83 he had the original idea. Yeah, for him, he gave me a great opportunity in Willow, something quite unique as well. The character was billed as the unlikely hero and indeed it was an unlikely role for a short actor at that time as well.

CraveOnline: How many of your own personal experiences informed what happens in the show?

Warwick Davis: Yeah, I mean a few of the things that happened in the show happened to me. The things that hadn’t happened to me that Ricky and Stephen wrote, I always wonder why they hadn’t happened to me. They’ve managed to kind of get inside of the head of a little person so well and so believably that I was thinking, "That’s a scenario that should have happened to me by now."

And I’m sure some of them will come back to haunt me. I think it was always fun to sort of play out those scenarios that had happened to me in reality and with Ricky and Stephen’s added spin on those, which was so fantastic. It’s what made them so funny. What starts as an amusing anecdote becomes hilarious once they get their hands on it and put it in the series.

CraveOnline: Did you have a wish list of guest stars?

Warwick Davis: I never could have envisioned that we would have the sort of caliber of guest stars that we ended up getting. Ricky would text me just, "Do you know who we just got?"

The name of Johnny Depp would come to me on my phone and I couldn’t believe it. It’s great that they wanted to be involved and they were all an absolute pleasure to work with, really just terrific people and just gave so much to their day on the show. Some of them I knew before. Some of them I didn’t but they’re all really fabulous people.

CraveOnline: Did you want to make jokes about the Leprechaun series?

Warwick Davis: I do talk about most of the work that I’ve done in the series. Particularly Willow comes up quite a lot. We did some stuff on Leprechaun, but I don’t know whether it’s in. A lot of my body of work I talk about and my career history.

CraveOnline: Were the Leprechaun movies fun to do?

Warwick Davis: They were a lot of fun. For me it was just go crazy and I had total free reign on the character. I’m amazed how popular those films are. I didn’t know there were so many deranged people in the world but there are fans everywhere. I can see them coming a mile off when they recognize me.

CraveOnline: Once you went to the Hood and went Back to tha Hood, you got everyone.

Warwick Davis: Absolutely. I’d love to do another one. I’d love to do more. I talked to Johnny Depp actually while we were shooting Life’s Too Short and I said, "You know, once your franchise kind of dries up a bit, should we combine the two and reboot them?" So a Leprechaun vs. Pirates movie, you know Pirates love gold, Leprechauns do, maybe he steals my goal, something like that. He looked mildly impressed.

CraveOnline: Leprechaun was the first to go into space and all the horror franchises followed you.

Warwick Davis: Yeah, we just said, "He’s dead, where can he go next?" And we just kept finding new places for him.