Jay’s #TBT: The Time I Interviewed the Kindest Man in Show Business, Peter Mayhew
Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca up until 2015, has passed away at the age of 74. Here's my story of how I managed to interview him at Geek'd Con.
Peter Mayhew was the headliner at the very first Geek'd Con event in Shreveport. This was as big as anyone could reasonably imagine for this first-year event, catering to the true geeks of the Ark-La-Tex. Mayhew was one of the most beloved actors and people across any fandom you can think of.
I remember being nervous just to meet him, let alone actually interview him during his panel.
To make matter worse, at that time years ago, I had never seen one single second of any Star Wars film. I kept that a secret though, once I found out I was given the opportunity to interview him. Still, I studied and prepared all night the night before, to try to prepare myself for that panel.
Peter, from the very first conversation we had backstage, to afterwards when it was all said and done, was simply the nicest guy I had ever met. He was beyond conversational and complimentary of me, and I remember thinking, "People on his level in life aren't supposed to be this nice." I mean it, he was as genuine as you can possibly imagine.
After the panel, I turned to him and admitted that I had never seen any films up to that point, and he made me promise to watch all of them by the end of the week. To which I accepted, and followed through.
Also, towards the end of our conversation, he tells me, "Oh, and since you haven't seen any of them, I can finally get this off my chest.... Han dies in "The Force Awakens." He says this with a laugh, and I didn't take it serious at all since getting to know Mayhew in that short amount of time, I knew that he loved a good joke.
A few months later, I'm at a midnight showing for the Force Awakens, and what do you know? Yep, Han Solo totally dies and Chewbacca told me about it three months beforehand.
Peter Mayhew will be missed by millions across the world and rightfully so. Here's a few clips of our panel together in Shreveport.