The Ewok and Flitwick star talks to SFX on the launch of his new app, the PocketWARWICK [video]
Ahead of his appearance at MCM Expo in London this week, we speak to the hero of Life’s Too Short about his upcoming projects
TV and film star Warwick Davis (familiar to all from the likes of Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi, the Harry Potter films, Leprechaun and many more) has just released his new mobile app, PocketWARWICK, in which you control the life and fame of your very own Warwick Davis. Ahead of his appearance at MCM Expo this weekend, SFX caught up with the star to discuss his leap into the world of casual gaming.
How did the idea for PocketWARWICK come to you?
“I was thinking how to combine my love of acting with my love of my iPhone! How can I get the two things together? Literally I need to get inside the phone. Hang on, maybe we could have this little character that lives in the phone and then that became PocketWARWICK who lives in there. I started to think well it would be good to sim my career a little bit, and the idea of being an actor and having to balance the survival and looking after yourself, feeding yourself and making sure you’re comfortable, with going out and getting work through auditions. So that’s the gestation of it I suppose. Beyond that, when you start working with creative people you start throwing ideas around and the result is the game that you can get.”
How much were you involved in development?
“I was totally involved all the way through. I acted like the director of a film, in a way. I’d go to the developers’ offices and sit behind workstations with them and just say ‘can Warwick do this?’ Apart from recording all of the dialogue for the game and all of the photographs that I had taken for the facial expressions, also writing all of the content. There’s all of the film offers that Warwick’s ‘agent’ sends through, I had to write all of those. The only thing I didn’t do is sit there and write code. I’ll leave that to the professionals.”
You had to come up with the titles of in-game movie offers and you had a competition on Twitter to help out…
“It was fun! And it raised awareness for the game, but I can plug those straight into the game and it would appear as a task sent through by Warwick’s agent to players all over the world. I love the ones that have a spoof on an actual film but with a height pun built into it. Those are great but I also like the ones that are just obscure. I came up with loads by just combining words together. Skeletal Mass doesn’t really mean anything but you could imagine it’s a film somehow.”
You said it felt like a director’s role. How much did it differ from your acting roles?
“There was a lot of performance-based work. Sitting there directing, you kind of have to describe it in emotional terms and [the developers] have to translate that through their programming into what you see at the screen. They are just very good at that. I don’t know whether I just got lucky that this particular development house were very, very good at managing to interpret what I was on about or not! But it was a rewarding process all round.”
Were you always into your iPhone games and apps?
“I still remember stuff like iPint which was one of the first apps I ever got, but there was something about it that was novel. You could show somebody ‘look I’ve got beer in my phone’, that’s cool, and some of what PocketWARWICK is about is also that novelty factor. You could show somebody down the pub ‘look I’ve got Warwick in my phone and look what he does when you do this’. There’s that side of it, but also that side where you could sit for a good few hours and involve yourself in the much deeper, challenging aspect of it. How do I get him from being Z-list, all the way up to A-list? He kind of combines the type of gaming that I like. Sometimes you’ve got five minutes at a train station, other times you’ve got hours when you’re on a plane. I wanted to make sure I ticked the boxes of things that I like to do.”