Dating Superman, why no one liked Harrison Ford and the day R2D2 bit my bum! (From Essex County Standard)
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Dating Superman, why no one liked Harrison Ford and the day R2D2 bit my bum!
NOT many film extras have dated Superman or had their bottom bitten by R2D2. Pam Rose did.
The London-based extra has a filmography most actors would dream of, ranging from Star Wars to Superman; up to more recent appearances in the Iron Lady and the Christmas special of Downton Abbey.
Pam will be one of the sci-fi stars talking to fans and signing autographs at this weekend’s Invasion Colchester and, judging by our conversation, she has plenty of great movie gossip to dish.
Particularly her relationship with a young, then unknown American actor – Christopher Reeve.
It was as an extra on the original Superman film, made at Pinewood Studios, that she met Reeve.
“I dated Chris for a while,” she reveals. “He was a lovely man, but just a little bit stressed about the film. It was the first one and he had grown up on Broadway. “Certainly, his parents didn’t approve of their serious actor son playing what was essentially a comic character.
“We got chatting and just hit it off on set. Each day after filming he used to bike to the pub where I worked in the evenings.
“After finishing filming, he went back to America but we remained good friends for a while.”
Before Superman, Pam found herself on another cult film, one which in later years would allow her to travel the world.
As Leesub Sirln, Pam was a blink-and-you-miss-her character in the background of the Cantina scene in the first Star Wars film.
“It was just a job,” she says. “I was told to go down to Elstree Studios where they were filming this new sci-fi film. “We didn’t know how big it was going to become.
“I had a great time doing it, mainly because I got a lot more money because of the time I had to spend in make-up. Three hours a day.
“That was the really interesting thing for me. I never spoke to Mark Hamill and nobody really liked Harrison Ford. There was something about him. Even my friend said she didn’t like him much and she had to kiss him!
“No, the main thing was the amazing make-up. I do remember chatting to Kenny (Baker, who played R2D2). He was lovely, but he did bite my bum once.
“Years later he told me, ‘You know, Pam I always fancied you’, but I’ve no idea why. They used to call me Egghead with all the make-up they plastered on me.”
Born and brought up on a Norfolk farm, Pam says the limelight shined on her from an early age.
“I don’t know how or why,” she begins, “but I was always ending up in the paper for one thing or another.” After moving to Chalfont St Giles, Pam left school at 16 and ended up at training to be a
In her spare time, she used to go to dances and it was there she was spotted by the producers of hip music show Ready, Steady, Go.
“I think they liked my legs,” she laughs. “Anyway, they invited me back every week.
“Then I did some modelling and then went to work in the casinos, first as a cocktail waitress and then as a dealer.”
Being a “bit of a card sharp”, Pam moved to Brighton to open up a casino there, and in the process got her first film job.
She says: “They were filming Oh What a Lovely War and were looking for extras, so my friend and I went down. I ended up working on the film for three months and at the end the agency asked me if I would stay on working with them.”
Since then she has divided her time between film work, what Pam calls her proper day jobs, and more recently travelling all over the world to sci-fi conventions.
She says: “This year I’ve been to Canada, Germany and Spain and I’ve got a trip to Denmark coming up. I love it. The fans are incredible and, of course, they love hearing all the stories.”
I bet they do.