Warwick Davis

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Warwick Davis
Warwick Davis interviewed 2.jpg
Davis in 2007
Born Warwick Ashley Davis
(1970-02-03) 3 February 1970 (age 44)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Occupation Actor
Years active Since 1983
Spouse(s) Samantha Davis (m. 1991)
Children 2
Website
Official Website

Warwick Ashley Davis (born 3 February 1970)[1] is an English actor with dwarfism.[2] He played the title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun film series, the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi and Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films. Davis has also starred as a wizard dwarf in "dwarves assemble" (a short youtube show) and a fictionalized version of himself in the sitcom Life's Too Short, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Early life[edit]

Warwick Davis was born in Epsom, Surrey, to an insurance broker and his wife.[3] Davis also has a younger sister. He was educated at Chinthurst School and later the City of London Freemen's School. When Davis was 11, his grandmother heard a radio advert calling for people who were 4 ft. tall or shorter to be in Return of the Jedi.[4] To Davis, who was a fan of the Star Wars films, it was a dream come true. On the set of Return of the Jedi, Mark Hamill bought Davis every single Star Wars figure he did not have.[2]

Career[edit]

Davis with fellow Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels in 2010

Davis was originally cast as an extra Ewok, but when Kenny Baker, who was originally going to be Wicket, fell ill, George Lucas picked Davis to be the new Wicket after seeing how he carried himself as an Ewok.[3] Davis based his Ewok movements on his dog, who would tilt his head from side to side whenever he saw something strange. During production on the film, Davis was the subject of a short mockumentary film about his experience as Wicket, titled Return of the Ewok, made by Return of the Jedi's first assistant director, David Tomblin. The unreleased film was a fictional look at his decision to become an actor and act in the film and his transformation into Wicket the Ewok. Davis reprised his role as Wicket in the ABC made-for-TV films Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.

In 1987, Davis was called to Elstree Studios in London to meet with Ron Howard and George Lucas to discuss a new film project called Willow, which was written with Davis specifically in mind. Willow was his first opportunity to act with his face visible. He co-starred with Val Kilmer in the film, which received a Royal Premiere before the Prince and Princess of Wales. He then moved to television to be in the BBC Television adaptation of the classic The Chronicles of Narnia, specifically in Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (as Reepicheep), and The Silver Chair (as Glimfeather) and an episode of Zorro filmed in Madrid. In 1993, he played the villainous Irish goblin in Leprechaun. He then returned to the Star Wars universe, playing three roles in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace: Weazel, a gambler sitting next to Watto at the Podrace; Wald, who was Anakin's Rodian buddy; and Yoda in some scenes where Yoda was seen walking.[5]

Davis played the role of Professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter films.[6] Davis played a white-moustached Flitwick in the first two films, and then a black-haired unnamed chorus conductor (presumably Flitwick but not credited as such) for the third instalment of the series. In the fourth film, Flitwick is younger looking, with short, brown hair and a trimmed moustache. In addition to playing Flitwick, Davis played the role of the goblin Griphook in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, despite the role being played previously by fellow dwarf actor Verne Troyer.

In 2004, Davis played the character "Plates" in the indie film Skinned Deep, directed by special effects artist Gabriel Bartalos.[7] In 2006, Davis appeared, alongside fellow Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, in an episode of BBC's comedy series Extras as a satirical version of himself. Davis starred in the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as the "body" of Marvin the Paranoid Android (the voice was provided by Alan Rickman). In December 2006, Davis starred in the pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Opera House, Manchester, and again in 2007–08 at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

Davis appeared in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, in which he played Nikabrik the Dwarf, adding to his previous involvement in TV adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia series. He also appeared as a contestant on the 2007 series of Children in Need reality show Celebrity Scissorhands. Davis starred as a fictional version of himself in Life's Too Short, written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who also starred.[8] In December 2012, Davis returned to New Wimbledon Theatre to reprise his role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[9]

In late 2013, Davis appeared for one month as Patsy in musical comedy Spamalot, based on the film Monty Python's Holy Grail in London,[10] At the same time, Davis hosted a press conference to announce the Monty Python reunion.[11]

Other[edit]

In addition to his acting career, in 1995 Davis co-founded, with fellow dwarf actor and father-in-law Peter Burroughs, the talent agency Willow Management, that specialises in representing actors under five feet tall. Many of Davis's co-stars and fellow dwarf actors from Star Wars, Willow, Labyrinth and the Harry Potter series are represented by the agency. In 2004, the agency also began representing actors over seven feet tall who had also suffered from being confined to "niche" roles. Over 40 members of Willow Management were cast as goblins in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. In April 2010, Davis published his autobiography, Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis, with a foreword by George Lucas.[12] In January 2013 he appeared in a Comic Relief episode of The Great British Bake Off, winning that episode's title of "Comic Relief Star Baker".

In March 2013 he presented an episode of the ITV series Perspectives: Warwick Davis – The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz, in which he explored the story of the Ovitz family, a touring musical troupe which included seven dwarfs who survived the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp and the experiments of Josef Mengele.

Davis is a founder of The Reduced Height Theatre Company, which stages theatrical productions cast exclusively with short actors and using reduced height sets. Their first production was See How They Run, touring the UK in 2014.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Unlike most dwarfs (70%) who have a condition called achondroplasia, Davis' dwarfism is caused by an extremely rare genetic condition called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED). He has said the only real drawback to being small was the associated health problems. Of his own dwarfism, Davis has said, "As you get older, you can suffer from painful hips, and our joints wear a lot quicker than for people of average height".[citation needed]

Davis is married to Samantha (b.1971) and has two children, daughter Annabel and son Harrison.[14] They live in Yaxley near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Warwick's wife, Samantha has achondroplasia, and his two children also have SED.[15] Samantha is the daughter of his business partner Peter Burroughs, and the sister of actress Hayley Burroughs. Davis met the Burroughs family while filming Willow, where they had minor roles as Nelwyn villagers.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Return of the Ewok Unreleased
1983 Return of the Jedi Wicket W. Warrick
1984 Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure Wicket W. Warrick
1985 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor Wicket W. Warrick
1986 Labyrinth Goblin Corps
1986 The Princess and the Dwarf
1987 Conor Finan's Adventures in Naas
1988 Willow Willow Ufgood
1988 Prince Caspian Reepicheep
1990 The Silver Chair Glimfeather
1991 Zorro Don Alfonso Episode: "The Jewelled Sword"
1993 Leprechaun Leprechaun
1994 Leprechaun 2 Leprechaun
1995 Leprechaun 3 Leprechaun
1996 Gulliver's Travels Grildrig
1996 Leprechaun 4: In Space Leprechaun
1997 Prince Valiant Pechet
1998 A Very Unlucky Leprechaun Lucky
1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Yoda (walk-in shots)
Weazel
Wald
Young Greedo
Extra
1999 The New Adventures of Pinocchio Dwarf
Pepe the Cricket
1999 The White Pony Edgar Rod
2000 The 10th Kingdom Acorn the Dwarf
2000 Leprechaun: In the Hood Leprechaun
2001 Snow White: The Fairest of Them All Saturday
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Professor Flitwick
the voice of Griphook (played by Verne Troyer)
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Professor Flitwick
2003 Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood Leprechaun
2004 Ray Oberon
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Professor Flitwick
2004 Skinned Deep Plates
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Marvin the Paranoid Android Voiced by Alan Rickman
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Professor Flitwick
2005 Small Town Folk Knackerman
2005 Extras Himself
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Professor Flitwick
Ministry of Magic Employee
2008 Agent One-Half Agent One-Half
2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Nikabrik
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Professor Flitwick
2009 Tell Him Next Year Santa's Elf Short film
2010 Merlin Grettir[17] Episode: "The Eye of the Phoenix"
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Griphook[18]
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Griphook
Professor Flitwick[18]
2011 Life's Too Short Himself Creator
2012 An Idiot Abroad Himself[19] Series 3
2012 Chingari[20] gangster boss as featured on An Idiot Abroad 3
2013 Doctor Who Porridge Episode: "Nightmare in Silver"[21]
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer Old Hamm
2013 Top Gear Himself Episode: Series 20, Episode 1
2013 Ashens and the Quest for the Gamechild Himself/ The Silver Skull Unmasked
2013 Dwarves assemble Dwarven wizard Episode: Series 1, Episode 8
2014 Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis Himself/presenter Current series
2014— Celebrity Squares Himself/presenter Upcoming series for ITV
2014 Get Santa Filming

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davis, Warwick (2011). Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis. John Wiley & Sons. p. xv. ISBN 1-118-11939-8. 
  2. ^ a b Swann, Liam (29 July 2011). "Warwick Davis talks exclusively to MCMBUZZ!". MCM Buzz. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Warwick Davis: the quintessential Ewok". The News and Courier. 24 November 1984. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "'Star Wars' – Warwick Davis Q&A". Time Out London. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Warwick Davis, "To play Yoda, thrilled I was: Warwick Davis reveals how being only 3ft 6in couldn't stop him making it big in Hollywood", Daily Mail, 11 April 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  6. ^ Wigler, Josh (29 June 2010). "'Harry Potter' Star Warwick Davis Recalls Emotional Final Day on Set". MTV Movie News. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Skinned Deep at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ 'Life's Too Short' BBC Pilot, Warwickdavis.co.uk, 22 April 2010
  9. ^ "Snow White Wimbledon Tickets – 2012 Pantomime New Wimbledon Theatre". Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Les Dennis and Warwick Davis join Spamalot cast". BBC News. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Monty Python to reunite for live one-off show in London". BBC News. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Davis, Warwick; Lucas, George (22 April 2010). Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis. Aurum Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-1-84513-531-7. 
  13. ^ Jaques, Adam (22 September 2013). "Warwick Davis: The actor on his best role, 'Star Wars' vs Harry Potter and the joy of 'Columbo'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Warwick Davis takes his children and wife on day out to television studiosDaily Mail
  15. ^ McGrath, Nick (31 March 2012). "Warwick Davis: My family values". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Warwick Davis: Willow DVD commentary.
  17. ^ Truitt, Brian (23 June 2010). "'Merlin' star Colin Morgan talks dragons and guest stars". USA Weekend. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  18. ^ a b "Spoiler alert! Scenes from the last instalment of Harry Potter and a heartbreaking farewell to a faithful friend". Daily Mail. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Warwick Davis joins Karl Pilkington for Ricky Gervais' An Idiot Abroad 3: The Short Way Round – Sky1 HD". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Hollywood actor Warwick Davis shoots for 'Chingari'". The Times of India. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "BBC – Blogs – Doctor Who – Confirmed for 2013: Cybermen and Stellar Cast". 7 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 

External links[edit]