Finding Ford – Interview One with Shane Rimmer – Stoke On Trent (01/10/16)
I have met Shane Rimmer and his lovely wife Sheila on a few occasions at conventions over recent years, and I think I can safely say as a result we have become good friends, its always a pleasure to see them. On our first meeting at Preston Comic Con I strolled over and said, “Hanover Street (1979)!!” to which Shane said, “My God you saw that one?” This lead to a little running gag every time we have met since, where I attempt to shoe horn his recurring line in the film; “I wish I was going with you” into conversations. Shane being the gentleman that he is takes it in good spirits, he even gave it a twist on one occasion saying, “You know I say that to Sheila sometimes when she tells me she’s off to Tesco!”
Hanover Street has always held a special place in my heart as part of Ford’s body of work, back in the late 80s and early 90s when I was discovering his back catalogue, not all of his films were available, and there wasn’t huge amount to choose from as he hadn’t been a leading man for that long. World War Two adventures, particularly centred around bombing pilots, had a little bit of a resurgence around this period too. Memphis Bell (1990) and an episode of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories called The Mission starring another favourite of mine Kevin Costner, both of which I had loved. Ford’s character Halloran, and Christopher Plumber‘s Paul Sellinger go under cover dressed as Nazi soldiers, so as a kid it felt like it could almost be another Indiana Jones adventure. Shane’s role and the interplay between him and the rather insolent Harrison Ford was always a highlight of the film to me, so I was delighted to finally meet him and wax lyrical about it. Although by Shane’s own admission I don’t think he was particularly happy with his own performance and felt that he could have been a lot tougher in the scenes, but that’s the mark of the man he is, very modest and always striving to better himself. Yes, there are some corny lines with regards to the romance between Harrison and Lesley Anne Down, but other than Shane’s scenes there’s some nice highlights. The chemistry between the three leads is great, there’s also a thrilling action sequence as Sellinger and Halloran escape the Nazi’s on a motorbike, with the stunt performed by another childhood hero of mine Eddie Kidd. The film also became the butt of a joke on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) during the shooting of Indy’s torture scene, Barbara Streisand appeared as a dominatrix (along with Carrie Fisher and Irvin Kershner) and did the whipping of Ford instead of Pat Roach, saying amongst other things; “This is for Hanover Street!” Check out the video and transcript here.
My fiance Gina is a huge fan of The Mighty Boosh and upon hearing that Mike Fielding and Dave Brown would be attending their first convention Stoke Con Trent, she was very keen to go, and looking at the guest list I spotted my old pal Shane, so it was a green light from me! I called Sheila in the week leading up to the event and she agreed with Shane that we could do an interview at their hotel, which as luck would have it turned out to be the same one as us. So we drove down with our baby daughter Luna on the Saturday, met up with Shane and Sheila and had dinner them, then did the interview in our room afterwards. We covering some of Shane’s career including Star Wars, of course Hanover Street, Thunderbirds and Dr Strangelove (he really is a legend you know). I’m a little green at this filming business and due to a problem with my Canon I had to go with a Go Pro and my iPad, and I did have some problems with the Go Pro and its battery life (more budget and pro equipment required methinks). So Shane kindly agreed to repeat part of the interview the next morning before the convention. I won’t go into detail about what was discussed as that will be revealed of course in the finished documentary, but I’m very grateful to Shane and Sheila for a lovely weekend, and I will be seeing them again in December hopefully. Shane was even kind enough to say afterwards, “You’re a very good interviewer,” which has given me confidence for the journey ahead, what a guy! My next interview for Finding Ford will be revealed soon, so May The Ford Be With You.
P.S. Keep up to date with the legendary Shane Rimmer and his appearances here.