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Warwick Davis ‘Pocket Warwick’ Interview


Warwick Davis, the star of movies such as Harry Potter, Return of the Jedi and Willow, has taken the time to speak to us (via our sister site, The Smartphone App Review) about his latest project, Pocket Warwick. The conversation soon turned to other subjects, including Idiot Abroad 3, so read on to find out more..

Smartphone App Review: Hi, thanks for agreeing to speak to me, have been a fan ever since I went to see Willow when I was 10 years old.

Warwick: No, thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you, and you are making me feel old now!

SPAR: Congratulations on the app.

Warwick: Thank you, it is weird that it is out, because I have been talking about it so much, playing it so much over the last few months of development, it is weird now that other people have seen it. Because you kind of nurture this thing, even though it is only pixels and data, and once it is done, off it goes into the wider world and you kind of feel protective about it.

SPAR: It was a labour of love, then?

Warwick: It had to be, it is a huge investment in time and money and you have to love doing it, which is why I embarked on doing it, as I thought it would be a challenge. Something that I have not really done before, at all. I have done work on other people’s games before, but never my own thing.

SPAR: So, was the game your idea, or did the app company approach you to do something?

Warwick: It was my idea, I’m a fan of games and apps, and I’m a fan of my iPhone and always have it with me, and I love performing and acting, so I thought, ‘how can I combine all these things together?’. Really I want to be in the phone, so in the game I live in the phone, I live in the device, I’m in there. I thought that the player could look after me, and as I am an actor, they could try and help my career. So, you have to make sure I go to auditions, and get parts, and at the same time live and eat and look after me. The balance of those two things is what interested me. You have got to get your Warwick from being a z list celebrity and get him on the A list.

SPAR: How much input did you actually have on the development of the game, on a weekly basis?

Warwick: This isn’t an endorsed app: there is a bit of my soul in here. Blood, sweat and tears went into it, and I was a little bit like a director, I would be with the programmers asking them to do this and that. I didn’t realise that some of the stuff I was asking for would take so long, what seems a fairly simple thing can take a long time and have a knock on effect. It was a steep learning curve, but I recorded hours of audio sound-bytes, and all the facial expressions, which I had fun doing. I wrote all the film titles, over 350 now.It was fun writing them because you have to spoof a film that already exists. I cant believe some of these films haven’t been made, i think at some point I’m gonna see if we can develop some of them into actual films.

SPAR: Our review went up on the day of the release, and we gave the game a strong score. We have to go through a lot of apps, and it is nice to see that a little bit of love and effort has gone into one of these games.

Warwick: Thank you. There are a lot of celebrity endorsed apps out there, and a lot of them are a bit shallow, so I wanted to make sure that this was a bit deeper than that. I don’t see why more actors don’t get involved in this world; it is fascinating. It is as rewarding as working on a TV production or a film, and there is as much creativity that goes into it. The great thing is that, although the game is finished, it isn’t a finite version; we can continue to add things.

SPAR: So there will be future updates that add content?

Warwick: Oh God yes, and what I want to do it make the updates work in parallel with what I am doing in the real world. So, if you see me in a TV show, there will be costumes from that appearing in the game.

SPAR: So, the frog suit then…

Warwick: Yes that video had come out, so that is a great example. I did stick that in there just for Ricky Gervais actually, for his own amusement.

SPAR: I also spotted a few things from Life’s Too Short.

Warwick: Yes, the game is laced with a lot of things like that. In Idiot Abroad 3, which is on Sky in a few weeks time, there are times when Karl and I have to wear outfits, and those outfits may pop up in Pocket Warwick.

SPAR: I am so excited about Idiot Abroad 3.

Warwick: It is so good, I tell you. It sounds weird, after I have done Harry Potter, but Idiot Abroad is one of the best things I have ever done. I get asked about it all the time. ‘Have you done it yet?’, and ‘Is Karl really like that?’. Yes, he really is that miserable. It is so much fun, I am so proud of it, and it just works.

SPAR: I can imagine you really enjoying the trip, and Karl hating the fact that you are enjoying it.

Warwick: He had more to moan about this time. I was loving it.

SPAR: When you are hating something, it always makes it ten times worse when someone with you is really enjoying themselves.

Warwick: That’s what he said. Not only is he moaning about where we are or what we are doing, he is now moaning about me being there. The more miserable he was, the happier it made me, so you have this great relationship that develops. A lot of fun to shoot, really hard work though.

SPAR: Ricky put a clip up of you and Karl in the panda suits.

Warwick: Yeah, Pocket Warwick might get a panda suit.

SPAR: So, do you plan anymore apps for the future, or will it just be Pocket Warwick?

Warwick: I do actually have another idea for an app that I have discussed with the guys that helped me with Pocket Warwick. Really just an idea at the moment, but I do think it is something that nobody else has done yet.

SPAR: OK Warwick, thanks very much for talking to us, and good luck with the app.

Warwick: Thanks Simon, really appreciate you taking the time to chat to me

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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.

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