Warwick Davis in 'Willow' (Photo: 20th Century Fox)
Warwick Davis has traversed the realms of many a sci-fi/fantasy franchise, from the galaxy far, far away of "Star Wars" to the hallowed halls of Hogwarts in "Harry Potter" to the perilous maze lorded over by David Bowie in "Labyrinth." He's also quite the horror icon after no less than six appearances as the ever-rhyming Irish demon in the "Leprechaun" series, which took him from the farmlands of North Dakota to the mean streets of the 'hood and even all the way into outer space.
Davis made his feature film debut at the age of 13 as Wicket W. Warrick, one of the most resourceful and, well, excitable Ewoks in "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983). He reprised the role in two made-for-television spinoff films, "The Ewok Adventure" (1984) and "Ewoks: Battle For Endor" (1985), and it was on the set of the latter that George Lucas first hinted that he may have an even bigger project in mind for the young actor, one that will put him center stage (and without a mask).
That project ended up being "Willow" (1988), a grand fantasy epic directed by a just-getting-started Ron Howard (the "director of 'Cocoon,'" as he was described in the teaser trailer). "Willow" tells the tale of Willow Ufgood (Davis), a farmer and amateur conjurer who finds himself on a dangerous quest after he's tasked with protecting an infant prophesied to end the reign of the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh), an adventure that teams him up with the swaggering warrior Madmartigan (Val Kilmer).
We spoke with Warwick Davis upon the 25th anniversary Blu-ray release of "Willow" about the project's origins, memories of '80s summer movie seasons, some rather impressionable fan experiences and, of course, Disney's resurrection of "Star Wars."
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