Exclusive Interview: Warwick Davis Reflects on Leprechaun Franchise, Harry Potter and More
Just when you thought it was safe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Lionsgate is unleashing a trio of cult classics that’ll have you thinking twice about stealing any mysterious pots of gold you may find.
The original Leprechaun is now available in High Definition on Digital Download, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-Views. The third and sixth installment in the series are also available in HD for the first time as well.
Since getting his start in the industry as Wicket in George Lucas’ Return of the Jedi in 1983, Davis has starred in countless classic films including Willow and the entire Harry Potter series as well; but for those of you who fancy horror over fantasy, then undoubtedly you know Davis best as the evil mythological character who has been terrorizing anyone looking to steal his gold since the first Leprechaun flick was released back in 1993.
During our interview with the actor, Davis reflected back on his experiences working on the entire Leprechaun series as well as being part of the Harry Potter films and even chatted a bit about what he’d like to see happen with the newly announced franchise reboot that Lionsgate and WWE unveiled their plans for just yesterday.
Read the highlights from our exclusive interview with Davis below, and make sure to check out the brand spanking new HD releases of Leprechaun, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood and Leprechaun 3 on VOD courtesy of Lionsgate.
Dread Central: Is it surreal to you at all that after almost 20 years, people are still enjoying and celebrating Leprechaun and its sequels as much as they do?
Warwick Davis: It’s quite amazing, in fact. I love the Leprechaun movies and I love that people always ask me about them. We had no idea when we were making that first movie that there’d even be one sequel, let alone five, and even though we haven’t made a Leprechaun film in almost ten years, people still love them and talk about them a lot. That’s pretty incredible.
Making the sequels was always interesting for me. See, with the first one I just had a lot of fun playing this character because I never assumed it would go any further. Then when the sequels began to happen, and each time I got to step back into those shoes, I think it got a little easier. It was freeing in some ways because the Leprechaun already had a following for the sequels so it was like I got to have fun with the audience more so than the original film. That’s a great freedom to have.
DC: The Leprechaun series has gone to some rather interesting places throughout these films- was that always surprising, or at least refreshing, that they didn’t have you always doing the same thing over and over with your character?
Warwick Davis: Definitely. I don’t think the sequels would have done so well with the fans had we just made five different versions of the original as sequels. And when you think about it, the Leprechaun HAS gone to some pretty extreme locations- they sent him to space and to the hood. How crazy is that? Although I personally think the Leprechaun is very well-suited to be in the hood; he’s a dastardly little creature and that environment suits him.
But the great thing about this creature is that he is a mythological character so if he dies at the end of a movie, he can regenerate for another one. There are no real rules, no kind of throughline you have to follow. We never have to acknowledge any sort of continuity so that’s why these movies are so great- there are so many fantastic worlds and possibilities you can explore with a character like this.
DC: Well, let’s go back and talk a bit about the hood sequels–
Warwick Davis: Oh I really think those are some of the best ones we’ve done! (Laughs) Well, I really love all these movies, but those were so much fun because they had such a different feel and I think that’s when the Leprechaun was really in ‘his element.’ I think the most terrifying thing I’ve ever had to do was to perform the Leprechaun rap; I had no idea what I was doing and I had to ask for help from some of my co-stars even. I just remember they handed me the lyrics and told me to just ‘do my thing’ and I just panicked. I think I pulled it off okay; fans still ask me to this day to perform the rap, but I honestly don’t even remember the lyrics that well.
DC: Even though there have been six movies- is there a story line you would have loved to see happen for the Leprechaun? I’m sure that has to be on your mind now considering the reboot announced yesterday, too.
Warwick Davis: Well, when it comes to the remake or the reboot or whatever it may end up being, I pretty much only know as much as you or anyone else seems to know right now. I just know Lionsgate and WWE are making it, but from what I’ve heard, I do think it will end up being more of a reboot than a remake. But no one has called me about it yet so I’m not sure what is happening with it exactly. I do know that if they did call me, I’d love to do a seventh Leprechaun movie.
I think people tend to forget that the Leprechaun movies are actually pretty physical movies so I don’t know if I can be doing these in 20 years; I’d like to do them sooner than later if I do get called to be this character again since it’s definitely a physical role and I’m not getting any younger (laughs).
What I always would have loved to see happen in the Leprechaun world, though, is more leprechauns. There can’t just be him out there so I always imagined that after he left the human world, he’d go back to his own leprechaun family, his leprechaun wife who is actually far more evil than he is. I think it would be funny to see this demented character being terrorized by his even more demented wife; and just imagine their kids!
DC: You’ve been involved with so many great franchises throughout your career, I’m sure it has to be amazing to look back on films like Willow or the Harry Potter series and see how impactful they are on fans.
Warwick Davis: It is pretty amazing to see what I’ve been able to accomplish in almost 30 years now. Willow was always one of my favorite movies to have done, and being a part of something as huge as Harry Potter is still something that I can hardly believe. And what’s been so great about the movies that I’ve been lucky to be a part of – whether it’s the Leprechaun movies, Willow, Jedi or Harry Potter – is that these movies still continue to resonate with fans after each passing year. I’m incredibly lucky to have had the career I’ve had so far, and I don’t think anything could possibly top being a part of Harry Potter. Well, maybe Leprechaun 7 if I get to be a part of that (laughs).
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