An interview with Anthony Daniels about why he dropped out of law school to pursue a career as an actor, what he learned from meeting George Lucas, why C-3PO has resonated with audiences, the hardest moment he’s had to overcome and his best career advice.
Welcome to the 62nd episode of 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel. As your host, my goal is to curate the best advice from the world’s smartest and most interesting people by asking them just 5 questions.
This episodes guest:
My guest today is the actor best known for portraying C-3PO in the Star Wars saga, Anthony Daniels. Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, Anthony studied law for two years at a University before dropping out to pursue amateur dramatics at Rose Bruford College. Upon graduating in 1974, he worked at BBC Radio and for the National Theatre of Great Britain. During his time there, he was invited to meet George Lucas, who was casting for Star Wars. Anthony got the part of C-3PO and has played the character in more Star Wars movies than any other actor. His Star Wars journey spans forty years and his perspectives, insights, and stories are captured in his new book “I Am C-3PO”. I’m a big Star Wars fan so I was excited to speak with Anthony right before seeing the new Rise of Skywalker film. I attempted to get some insider information from Anthony, but to no surprise, he wouldn’t tell me anything! So instead, I asked him about his experiences over the past several decades, what he’s learned and how he connects to the legendary character he portrays on film.
The 5 questions I ask in this episode:
- You dropped out of law school to pursue a now-legendary career in entertainment. Why did you decide to make this career switch especially when lawyers (on average) have more job security and higher pay than entertainers?
- You originally turned down a meeting with George Lucas who was casting for Star Wars. Why did you turn it down, then reconsider and how did the meeting change you professionally and personally?
- C-3PO is a robot but displays human qualities. How are you like the character you play on-screen and why do you think he resonates with so many people?
- What was your hardest moment as a performer that tested you and made you a stronger person? What can we learn from that experience?
- What is your best piece of career advice?
Follow Anthony’s journey: