Week 23 – Christopher Lee

For this week of #SiPgoes53, we’re starting the month of June with another movie celebrity, Christopher Lee.

The actor

Christopher Lee has a cinematic career spanning almost 7 decades. He is best known for his iconic roles as a villain. Most notably, Dracula for the oldest ones, Count Dooku and Saruman for the youngest ones. In addition, he’s also known for playing other villains such as the Creature of Frankenstein, Lord Summerisle, Sir Henry Baskerville or Francisco Scaramanga.

One key feature of Christopher Lee such was his iconic strong deep voice which led him to also to voice acting. I can only recommend listening to the beautiful original poem of the Nightmare Before Christmas he narrated.

Although limited by his age, Christopher Lee continued acting until passing away 4 years ago (on Friday) at the age of 93.

I always ask myself ‘well, what else could I do?’. Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.

Christopher Lee

The singer

To me, Christopher Lee is also of importance for his work as a music singer and narrator, and in particular as the oldest Heavy Metal singer. Having grown up with French dubs of Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, I actually heard Christopher Lee’s true voice for the first time as a teenager while listening to Rhapsody’s Magic of the Wizard’s Dream.

Following this first collaboration with a Heavy Metal band, he continued to do narration work for Rhapsody. (I can only warmly recommend the wonderful 16-minute long “Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight” which ends with Lee’s beautiful narration.) Later he also replaced Orson Welles as the narrator of Manowar’s re-recording of their first album. His last musical appearance was as the narrator on the opening track of Hollywood Vampires, a rock band formed of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry.

But next to these collaborations with existing bands, Christopher Lee also ended up with his own personal project and released two concept albums about Charlemagne. He even became the oldest person to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his heavy metal version of Jingle Bell.

My Elven Charlemagne, inspired by the cheesy but never tiresome video clip of the Bloody Verdict of Verden.

Your image

What will you create for this week? Which aspect, or role, of Christopher’s Lee life will you reuse? Let us know and don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Christopher_Lee.

Week 14 – Robin Williams

For the first week of April, our human being is Robin Williams. Comedian and actor, he has played in many iconic films.

The comedian

He started as a stand-up comedian in the Bay Area during the 70s. Then began performing on TV and in movies in the 80s. It’s with Good Morning Vietnam, for which he got a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor, that he became a renown actor. He won and got nominations to the Academy Awards for many of his appearances in movies in the next years. Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting.

Other well-known roles in Hollywood blockbusters include Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Flubber, the Bicentennial Man or Night at the Museum.

Besides his career as a standup comedian and an actor in live-action movies, he also performed as a voice for animated characters. Most notably, he is the iconic voice of Aladdin‘s Genie. He also gave his voice to the robot of one former attraction at Disneyland, the Timekeeper.

The man

Besides being an incredible comedian, Robin Williams also had a life with struggles. Before becoming a movie star, he developed an addiction to cocaine. Following the trauma of the death of John Belushi from an overdose, Williams decided to stop drugs. He started cycling and developed a passion for it. Later he admitted it saved him.

However, in the 2000s, he started drinking again. He was also someone suffering from severe depression which led him to end his life in 2014.

Robin Williams in SiPgoes53

To me, Robin Williams is one of those iconic actors from the 90s. It’s one of the persons on our list that yells “nostalgia” at me. As much as I love Dead Poets Society (try to not cry before the end of the movie), if I had to choose a single of Robin Williams’ roles for toy photography, it would be Hook.

Directed by Spielberg (another human being of SiPgoes53), the film act as a sequel to Peter Pan. Williams portraits an adult version of Peter who has forgotten about his past life, is married, work and has children. However, he has to go back to Neverland to save his children kidnapped by Captain Hook, portrayed by another fabulous actor, Dustin Hoffman. A wonderful critique of adult life and a story about how much we need to keep our inner child alive.

In addition to the great cast (which also includes fabulous actors such as Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, and Maggie Smith) and a beautiful soundtrack (composed by no one else than John Williams), the movie is visually stunning. It has that kind of atmosphere screaming “Adventure!” that makes me want to play with my toys in front of a camera.

But what will you create this week? Will you also take inspiration from one of Williams’ roles? Or maybe the more serious aspects of his life? Or you will look for something more remote, like the name of his daughter inspired by a famous video game princess?

In any case, don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Robin_Williams!