Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
The stars of
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
In the summer
of 2001 I attended the Trek Expo in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While there I met many
Sci-Fi stars and even a few childhood heroes. By pure luck I was granted the
incredible opportunity to interview two of the most important actors ever to
be involved in the science fiction genre. Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
played astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank Poole in Stanley Kubrickís wildly
popular 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Aside the importance of it being the year
2001, this was the very first time these two had appeared together since the
filmís original release, I figured it was a terrific chance to ask a few
interesting questions. Hope you all enjoy.
Mark: Well this is
the year, and this marks the first time you guys have ever appeared together
at a convention. Looking back at the film, does it amaze you how much of the
speculation came true?
Having known Stanley, and knowing how he had his finger on the pulse, I think
I was less amazed because of who he was. Some of the processes used in the
film have indeed come true, and we are but a heartbeat away from achieving
HAL. I think the life we are living now is just a blink in the eye of
I have mixed feelings about that. Some thought weíd be further along than we
are now, and to be honest so did I. Many people have argued that since there
are so many problems here on earth, why should we go into space? Personally I
feel there is no connection between manís adventurous side and the starving in
Vietnam, although many people have tried to say that sort of thing. I do
think weíve come a long way since then.
Mark: Did either one of you realize at the time, knowing what you did about Kubrick and film in general, that this would be such a historic picture?
There was no doubt in my mind that it would be an important film, although at
the time I couldnít say to what extent. Iíve always considered it to be one
of the greatest movies ever made. Iíve never seen a movie that featured more
elegance and grace.
Not in the least! My point of view was that it would easily be the most
important movie of that year, but I had no idea it would become one of the
most important films in a historical sense. Even the
voted it #22 in the 100 greatest films of all time.
Mark: In light of the recent death of Stanley Kubrick, what for both of you
were some of the most memorable moments working with the legendary director?
Well there were so many. For me the most moving moment came when I first
started working on 2001. I was already in awe of him, and he had very much
already become ďStanley KubrickĒ by the time the film started. I had some
trouble trying to work in the surroundings, and was having a hard time
grasping the concepts behind the film. I remember Stanley pulling me aside
and apologizing for doing something wrong in hiring me without first creating
a directorial situation with which I could be comfortable working in. I loved
every minute of it all, simply because it was so intense.
Working with him? Iíve always felt that I never worked for anyone who had his
overall level of technical knowledge and uniqueness. It was all very
Mark: Keir, you recently worked on an episode of WITCHBLADE, the new comic
book based series for TNT. Since this is a comic book website, and WITCHBLADE
is held in pretty high regard with the fans, could you describe your part and
what it was like working on the series?
I actually play a recurring role for a character named Doctor Imo. In the
show I assist the villain, Kenneth Irons, and will show up from time to time.
We shot in Toronto. Iíve done many films there, as well as some theater work
and other television series. In a sense Toronto feels like home to me. I
just recently shot what I believe was episode 11, which was actually directed
by James Whitmoreís son. Itís been a fun experience so far.
Gary, you have a huge Sci-Fi connection working on both 2001 and one of the
most memorable not to mention most important STAR TREK episodes (WHERE NO MAN
HAS GONE BEFORE) of the original series. At the time you did STAR TREK,
did you have any clue that the series would take off the way it did?
That episode is what got it on TV. I remember shooting the pilot, which was
sent to New York to be reviewed. I thought it didnít have a chance! There
were hundreds of pilots shot every year, and only a select few ever made it.
Granted it was no comparison to doing 2001. STAR TREK was six days of my life
that just happened to turn out great. I think itís important because it
wasnít just another STAR TREK episode, but rather the one that started it
all. I was a lucky fella.
Mark: Keir, over the years many people have had conflicting opinions on just
what exactly the ending of 2001 is supposed to mean. From your perspective,
what should we take away from it?
My opinion on that isnít any more valid Iím afraid. Kubrick never explained
the ending to us, or what his intentions were. I do know that he didnít
intend for it to be a predictable film, simply because wasnít very esoteric
about the way with which it was made. We actually saw it as a theatrical
audience like everyone else. I think youíre supposed to interpret the ending
for yourself, and try to take away from it what you personally think it means.
Last question. How do you guys feel about the 2001 we live in now?
Iím a happy person. I will say that Iím a little disappointed we havenít done
more in space. Iím a big Sci-Fi fan, and I read Sci-Fi quite a bit. Iíd
really like to see us go back to more cerebral science fiction. I think
whatís really unique about the movie 2001 that not many people know is that
Stanley Kubrick actually replaced a director named Anthony Mann. Had that not
happened, then itís possible he might not have become a director of such
Well I think the biggest difference is that weíre not poised on nuclear war
like we were back then. Most people donít realize that the bone hurled into
the air by the ape at the beginning of the film, which cuts to the image a
spaceship orbiting the earth, was actually supposed to symbolize a nuclear
weapon looming over our planet. I think all things considered weíre much
better off now.
Check out Gary Lockwood's new book
KEIR DULLEA -
GARY LOCKWOOD - MARK WALTERS
TREK EXPO 2001
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
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