Sunday morning at LFCC and to start the day off on the right foot, we welcomed Christopher Lloyd to the main stage to answer questions from the audience and wax lyrical about Back to The Future (not as much as I’d have thought), his time of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Taxi, as well as other fond anecdotes form his time on set.
Setting the right tone, Lloyd jokingly addressed the audience with the killer line, “I bet you’ve all come here to get out of church, right?” And we were off.
Asked about his most important film he immediately answered with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
He couldn’t believe he was going to be in a film with Jack Nicholson and with Milo Forman directing too. He said that this role gave him the boost in confidence, “It was a big moment for me,” with Nicholson, “so in tune with his craft… this guy knew what he was doing,” and he took the time out to support the cast of relatively inexperienced actors, like Lloyd himself at the time.
With this film came offers, such as Lloyd’s role in the much loved sit-com, Taxi. Which, he initially didn’t want to do. “I had sold myself as a theatre actor; a ‘real’ actor’. Going to Hollywood, doing sit-coms felt like selling your soul. That was the prevalent attitude of the day. I didn’t want to do sit-coms. But, my agent eventually talked me into it.“
For a meeting with the producers of the show he scrounged clothes from his friends. “They immediately said, ‘Bring what you’re wearing Monday. You’re hired!’ And that became my look for the show.”
The audience were keen to talk about Who Framed Roger Rabbit and his role as Judge Doom, of course. Lloyd remembered “being scared at Disney’s movies. There was always one moment in the early animated films that terrified me,” he shared. Judge Doom was a character cast from a similar mould.
The late, great Bob Hoskins, apparently, suffered from nightmares while filming Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which he was constantly fighting Roger Rabbit due to all the green screening and acting against a stand-in device that would later be animated over in the final film.
One audience member joked that in Back To The Future 2, Biff Tannen runs America in an alternate timeline. following up with the witty question, “Are we living in that alternative timeline with Trump in the White House?”
And then onto his role in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, as the Klingon Commander Kruge. “I loved playing that part, even with 4 hours in make-up every morning.”
William Shatner had a reputation for being hot headed but Lloyd only remembered him as kind and not at all as others had said he would be, In fact, Lloyd let slip that he will be appearing in a new film alongside Shatner next year. He didn’t name the film, though.
He also had time to speak of Raúl Juliá, whom he played alongside in The Addams Family Values. Apparently, Julia—a keen opera fan–would sing the most beautiful arias between takes on set. Another time, while chatting with friends at dinner, his eye popped out and, without missing a beat, he simply popped it straight back in again. It was only later that he realised how much pain he was in and had to take several days off form the shoot to recuperate.
It was a talk of laughs and fond memories of lost friends as well as career highlights too. And, a great way to kick off the last day of LFCC. And, no church!