Yes, This is Mark Hamill from 'Star Wars'
Star Wars legend Mark Hamill plays against type with an incredibly memorable performance in the gritty gangster set piece Sushi Girl, and believe me, after watching him in this movie, you'll never look at Luke Skywalker the same way again.
"I've always felt like things that push you out of your comfort zone usually have the highest potential for satisfaction in terms of accomplishment," Hamill, now 60 years old, tells me during a break from Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego.
Watch the video clip above from the movie in which Hamill, who plays a wisecracking, sadistic criminal who is a bit light in the loafers, gets very creative with a set of chopsticks in order to get the answer he's looking for.
"In this guy's case, he really enjoys what he does," explains Hamill, who describes his character of Crow as "somebody that's really ultimately sentimental and maudlin, so it's a paradox."
Sushi Girl, coming to theaters in 2013, follows a group of gangsters who reunite for dinner -- fresh sushi atop a naked girl -- several years after a diamond heist gone wrong. Determined to find out where the missing diamonds are, they torture one of the members who last had the jewels in his possession. Directed by Kern Saxton, the film boasts such co-stars as Tony Todd, James Duval and Noah Hathaway (yes, the former child star who played Boxey on Battlestar Galactica in the '70s) -- and features cameos by Danny Trejo, Sonny Chiba, Michael Biehn and Jeff Fahey.
"You know, it reminded me of Reservoir Dogs, or one of those really gritty crime pictures, but at first I just couldn't conceive of myself doing it," says Hamill. "And it's funny, because it's so grim, and I imagined [the set] being grim – and we couldn't have had more fun."
Sitting cross-legged in a swivel chair during the interview, the iconic actor seemed at times to be floating like a Jedi using The Force as we talked about his career, which has been primarily defined by voice-over work since the early '90s. At Comic-Con, Hamill commands $120 an autograph, but for all the fame that Star Wars has bestowed upon him, it seems he'd trade a few X-wing fighters for a career renaissance as a character actor.
"I'd say to my kids, 'How come I never got offered parts that Steve Buscemi gets offered? How come I don't get offered the parts that Philip Seymour Hoffman gets offered?'" reveals Hamill. "So [my daughter] said, 'You know, if you turn [Sushi Girl] down, you'll never be able to make that argument again.'"
Could this be Hamill's "De Niro" moment? Is this the pivotal role that could finally turn people's perceptions of him from fresh-faced Jedi to chameleon character actor? "From your mouth to God's ear," says the Sushi Girl star with a smile.