Astute fans often note Bulloch's only out-of-costume appearance in the 'Star Wars' saga -- in 'Revenge of the Sith' -- when he played Captain Colton, the pilot of a rebel blockade runner. 'Star Wars' is just one of three storied franchises Bulloch has appeared in (he only needed the helmet for the one). He played Smithers, Q's assistant, in the bond films 'Octopussy' and 'For Your Eyes Only.' On TV, he graced British sci-fi favorite 'Doctor Who,' where he worked with the first and third doctor in 'The Space Museum' and 'The Time Warrior,' respectively.
No matter what he does, Bulloch will always be known for his place in 'Star Wars' canon, but in his case, infamy has been very good to him. The international fan organization The 501st Legion, whose members make and wear screen-accurate replicas of imperial uniforms at various conventions and charity events, have made Bulloch an honorary member. He has even trooped with them in his own fan-made Bobba Fett costume as part of the UK Garrison.
His experiences traveling around the world to various fan conventions and events have been chronicled in a book he wrote called 'Flying Solo: Tales of a Bounty Hunter.' The original print run of 2,000 is now down to 1,100 and the memoir is only sold through his website. Still, the book is a far cry from the man himself, which is why we caught up with him during his latest convention appearance at Wizard World Comic-Con in Toronto.
Do you find yourself at conventions like Wizard World Comic-Con Toronto all the time?
Not all the time. Last year, I appeared a lot because it was the 30th anniversary of 'The Empire Strikes Back.' This year, this is the first one I've done. I love coming to Canada. You have very good beer here, so that's one of the reasons. We've had a wonderful time. The 'Star Wars' guys, we all meet up -- sometimes you don't see each other for six months -- then we meet up for the wonderful events and conventions. It reminds us of when we were filming 'Star Wars.' Chewbacca's next to me and I think, 'Oh my goodness, how am I going to look better than Chewie?' But Peter [Mayhew] and I are great friends. You meet and reminisce about the money days.
What was it like filming 'The Empire Strikes Back'?
At the time, it was my job. You go for a job and if you get it, you're filming. My audition was an interview. That was it. They didn't tell me anything about it, they just said, "Welcome aboard, Jeremy." I was told it was only going to be a couple of days, but I ended up doing three weeks on 'Empire' and four weeks on 'Jedi' and had a great time. I was in the theater in the evening, so I was surprised I was offered the part. But I fit in the costume perfectly, so I think that always helps.
Rumor has it that your height was why George Lucas chose you for the part.
Yeah, I think Boba Fett has to be tall. I'm six-foot. He's tall and stocky and I suppose I fitted the bill, so that's a lot of luck for me.
Boba Fett doesn't say much, so how do you attribute his appeal?
That's the reason, he doesn't say much. Actions are louder than words and he doesn't want to waste time. He's an assassin and he's the only one besides the Emperor who answers to Darth Vader. How does he get away with that? He met his demise in the sarlacc pit, and that was the only thing that I was upset about. They got rid of him too soon.
Did you know what Boba Fett's ultimate demise was going to be?
No, I didn't know, I didn't get a script. Some people did, but I got little bits of paper that would just say 'Boba Fett moves off to the right.' I didn't know Boba Fett was going to die in the sarlacc pit until it happened. In a way, that's how you do it because you prepare yourself when they say, 'This is it, you're going in.' I think that was unnecessary and I remember saying to George a few years ago, 'Did you mean for Boba Fett to fall into the sarlacc pit?' and he said, 'Oh yeah.' But later on it struck me when he said, 'Well, I didn't know Boba Fett was going to be quite as popular. Maybe I should've done a little bit more with him.'
Do you think Boba Fett survived?
Oh yeah, he could open a restaurant down there called Hooters or something. He's a mechanic, a good engineer and a pilot. I'm sure he could get out anytime he likes, so he's obviously enjoying his time. Of course, in the books he does get out.
Also, the fact that he's a clone opens the door for a version of him coming back.
You're right, now they've changed it. He is a clone, so he can appear anywhere he likes. Of course, you never saw my face, which is probably the best thing, really.
So when you were wearing the helmet and costume, what were you thinking to get into character?
When you look at yourself in the mirror with the helmet on it's almost like 'The Exorcist.' It's quite frightening. You just turn your head very slowly because you're aware of someone over there, then you turn slightly the other way and then you might just do two steps. Then I'd hold the gun with my hand cocked and ready. Boba Fett 'knows' and is very comfortable.
Were you mentally envisioning yourself as an assassin on the set?
Yeah, what you did is, when all of these people are around and Darth Vader is there, you just get into character. Not heavily, it's not as if I need several weeks' rehearsal. It's just his clothing, his gun, his ideal -- perfect assassin.
Of course, now there are people who are carrying on Boba Fett's costumed tradition, like the 501st Legion. Is it true you're an honorary member?
Yes, I have my own costume made by The Dented Helmet presented to me a few years ago. It's amazing, 26 different people had a hand in its construction. Someone made the gun, someone polished the helmet, someone made the costume and someone put the green paint on. When they presented it to me at the Dallas Comic-Con, I was quite shocked at how emotional I was. Because they loved 'Star Wars' they made the outfit for me. It was just fantastic.
What are you doing post-Boba?
I guest-starred as a creepy barrister on 'Law & Order: UK.' It was quite fun. I've just done a short film that takes place during the time of Jack the Ripper and will be premiering at a festival. There's no actual dialogue. Although I'm speaking, you don't hear it. It's an interesting experiment from a young director.
I guess the anonimity of the Boba Fett role gives you a chance to try a lot of different things. True?
It's very freeing. My son used to say to me, 'Dad, you put a bucket over your head and you become famous,' and it works. He was right.