Actor James Earl Jones turns 90.
If you don’t know his face, you should know his name. If you don’t know his name, you definitely know his voice as he is behind some of the most famous voices or the most recognizable voices. We’re talking about the legend himself, the great James Earl Jones who was born on Jan. 17.
This man is the voice behind some of the most loved characters. For instance, he lent his deep and authoritative voice to the biggest fictional bad guy, Darth Vader. If you don’t know him from there, you’ll recognize his unique vocals as Musafa, the OG Lion King.
Besides these two vocal roles, Jones has done a number of impressive characters throughout his career and, as he turns 90, he’s ready to get back on screen in the upcoming ‘Coming 2 America,’ and he’s “feeling fantastic and grateful.”
In an email chain he exchanged with Dailymail UK on the occasion of his birthday, Jones joked that he would “keep having to remind me that it’s his birthday.” “I’ll make an exception and enjoy a slice of strawberry shortcake, my favorite!’ he said.
Thinking about his iconic roles in Star Wars and Lion King, Jones said that looking back at his life and career; he feels proud of his work and accomplishments. “I love growing older and wiser with time,” he wrote.
The ongoing pandemic has forced Jones to isolate due to his age. According to one of his interviews with USA Today, he feels that the pandemic isn’t as big of a deal for someone like him who has seen many tragedies and crises throughout his life.
“I can say that those of us who have lived 90 years have no right to be surprised,” he said.
Jones wishes that the world is in a better place by the time he turns 91. “In order for us to heal and move forward, we need to learn to love and respect each other. That will be my wish when I blow out my birthday candles.”
Jones said he would spend his birthday reflecting on past years and thinking about what’s coming next.
The voice artist’s career is embellished with great achievements, but you should know that nobody’s perfect. Along with his accomplishments, Jones too has a few things he regrets, not like most of the people who have no regrets, and here’s his biggest regret of all times.
Let’s find out what he regrets about the most.
In 1977, Jones walked into a recording booth at Goldwyn Studios. He went there for a voice role in a low budget futuristic space movie called Star Wars. Little did he know that these recordings that he’s doing in a small studio in Hollywood would make him the most recognizable stars in the United States and the world.
Within a day, Jones did all the voice-over tracks for a character named Darth Vader. The reason Jones had to lend his voice to the character was that it required a low and gravelly voice, with each syllable delivered as if it were a death sentence, and the actor playing Darth Vader failed to meet these requirements.
The second option for the director was Orson Welles, but then his voice was deemed too recognizable; using him would mean there would be no mystery left. So, lastly, the director then called up Jone’s agent and offered him a day’s work, which he took gladly. But because he never appeared on screen, Jones thought of his role in the movie as minor.
What he did next is something Jones regrets to this day. He requested to not be given credits, so in the first two movies of Star Wars, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, nobody found out that Darth Vader’s voice was actually Jone’s. He took his role to be as important as Mercedes McCambridge’s in The Exorcist, who voiced the devil in the movie. Her name was listed in the special effects team in the credits.
What’s interesting and pretty hard to believe is that when Star Wars was being produced, no one thought it would be a hit. There were a number of production disasters that had everyone convinced that it would be a flop.
In order to save costs, the director offered Jones points instead of shares for his work. Points are like shares in the movie’s future. But because Jones was near broke at that time, and highly doubtful that the movie would be a success, he asked to be paid in cash. This has got to be one of the most regrettable decisions anyone has ever made in film history.
Jones received a total of $7,000. “$7000 was big money for me in those days. I was broke and needed the money to pay rent and buy groceries!” said Jones years later in an interview. But how could he have known that Star Wars would become a massive hit all over the world and end up earning $775 million on box office? The movie made its director a multi-multi-billionaire.
This bad decision cost Jones tens of millions of dollars. Ugh, that must be painful to think about. Nonetheless, years of hard work and efforts have now made Jones a man with a net worth of $45 million. So, we’re sure he’s doing fine.
What do you think about Jones’s decision? Let us know on our Facebook page and while you’re at it, hit the like button too. Also, check out the celebrities who have no regrets and are total jerks in real life!