‘Star Wars’: The C-3PO Costume Design Required Anthony Daniels To ‘Speak Out of His Butt’ When Saying His Lines
Anthony Daniels has continuously delivered memorable performances as C-3PO. Daniels’ iconic character became unforgettable thanks to his shiny frame, robotic movements, and computerized voice.
The C-3PO costume is one of the most complex in the Star Wars universe, and required several special accommodations. One of them included placing Daniels’ microphone transmitter into his underpants, right on his backside.
Anthony Daniels struggled to remember his lines when ‘Star Wars’ began filming
Although Daniels was already a seasoned actor, his experience was mostly in theater. Star Wars was his first time acting in a feature film, and he was very nervous during the first day of filming.
Unfortunately, Daniels’ nerves caused him to mess up his lines, according to a recent interview on WIRED.
“I think that my nervousness, my discombobulation of everything made me flumble the lines like crazy.”
C-3PO’s voice was fixed after ‘Star Wars’ filming ended
While George Lucas was initially understanding of Daniels’ mistakes, he eventually lost his patience and spoke to him. He reminded Daniels that he could alter his voice after filming, and told him to instead focus on mastering his lines.
“The third time I got it wrong, George kind of frowned and walked over and stared 3PO in the eye—and therefore me, in the eye,’ Daniels said. “[Lucas said] ‘You can say anything you like, don’t worry about the voice, I can fix it later.’ I was embarrassed because as an actor, I like to get the lines right.”
“Of course George knew that he could put in a proper voice later,” Daniels said. “‘Cause when your head is in a bucket, you don’t sound so good. … You can’t possibly use that kind of vocal quality.
Anthony Daniels had to ‘speak out of his butt’ while in the C-3PO costume
The C-3PO costume had an intricate design. With so many parts and pieces to work with, the production team had an elaborate method for getting the microphone near Daniels mouth.
“Even though the microphone was here [points to nose], and a little microphone cable was going all the way down my back into my pants, those two bits of plastic stuck together, and the transmitter was shoved somewhere really quite warm.”
Because the transmitter could only fit near his backside, Daniels was essentially talking out of rear during his scenes.
“Yes, I was speaking to you all of the time out of my butt,” Daniels added.
Anthony Daniels hated the C-3PO costume at first
By the time he’d begun filming his lines, Daniels’ C-3PO costume had been redesigned for added comfort. However, when he first put it on prior to filming, he hated the way it felt.
“I tried it on in the special effects studio at Elstree, and for the first time, I had that suit in its entirety around me,” Daniels said. “It was horrible. I had completely lost connectivity with my body, the world.”
The suit was so awkward that Daniels was barely able to walk around the studio.
“I literally blundered around the studio because I couldn’t really see, apart from the eyes in the center. And I had no idea what my elbows were doing, which were way bigger than my elbows. My shoulders were bigger, my legs were kind of trapped.”
Thankfully, Lucas and the team worked through all of their issues with the C-3PO costume and created movie magic.