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    Why James Earl Jones Didn’t Consider Voicing Darth Vader An Acting Role

    In his autobiography, Jones wrote that “It was fun” playing Darth Vader. “I used to tell people that the film’s producers first called up Orson Welles, and he was busy, so they called up Victor Jory, and he was busy, so they called me.” Victory Jory was a Canadian actor who played the role of Oberon in the 1935 film version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” one of the very best of all Shakespeare film adaptations. 

    When pressed further, Jones recalled that playing Darth Vader was little more than a paycheck for him. He just needed a quick buck, and this George Lucas fellow had a little extra scratch to distribute. It was a casual quick job, and even Lucas seemed to think so. Jones said: 

    “After he put the film together, George Lucas decided that he wanted a voice in the bass register. I don’t think that David Prowse is a bass. David also has a slight Scottish accent. So, George began to look for someone to do a voice-over. I understand that George did contact several actors to read for the voice of Darth Vader before he contacted me. I was out of work and he said ‘Do you want a day’s work?’ and I said ‘Sure.'”

    Jones returned time and time again to play Darth Vader, a role he has voiced in six “Star Wars” movies and Lord knows how many video games, talking Hallmark ornaments, and other ancillary merch. He eventually came to love playing the character saying of the movies, “They were all a joy.” And, it seems, a really easy way to make a lot of money. 

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