Rude Chewbacca

Then I saw Peter Mayhew, walking with Chewbacca's limp, about to pass me in the hallway. He was huge! Over seven feet tall!

I always liked the character of Chewbacca in the _Star Wars_ movies. He just seemed lovable and cuddly. So I was excited to hear that Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrays Chewbacca, was going to be in town at the comic-book convention.

It was my first year at the convention, and I was overwhelmed, in awe, of how many celebrities were there! I saw Jason Mewes and Joss Whedon, who were both great with their fans. I saw Lou Ferrigno playfully flirting with a fan. Everyone was happy to give autographs.

Then I saw Peter Mayhew, walking with Chewbacca's limp, about to pass me in the hallway. He was huge! Over seven feet tall! I walked up and asked, "Excuse me, could I please have your..." And before I could even get the word _autograph_ past my lips, he yelled, _"No!"_ down at me and my barely five-foot-tall frame.

Maybe he was having a bad day, but Chewbacca is no longer one of my favorite characters. If you go to a comic-book convention, booked as a celebrity there to give autographs, why yell at a little girl asking for one?


Lynn_Fox says,

I worked with Peter Mayhew a few years ago, and while there's no excuse for being rude, I think I can explain his reaction. Peter's autographs are practically his only livelihood right now, as he gets absolutely no other work acting. I'm not sure if you went into the autograph hall at the convention, but he gets paid up to $20 per autograph, depending on whether someone buys a photo with the autograph. So, if someone at a convention asks him for a free autograph, he sort of feels like they are asking him for a big favor. He can also get sort of grumpy because his height and girth are the result of a disease that cause him great discomfort. He can barely get through the day without having to take several rests, and it hurts him to walk. He has spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital having surgeries, and the ailment will probably shorten his lifespan.

So, you're right. He's kind of a curmudgeon in public. But if you were to spend some quality one-on-one time with him, you'd find him to be one of the kindest, gentlest, and funniest people on earth.

Indysyz says,

The internet is peppered with anecdotal instances in which Mayhew was nice, though there are just as many that describe him using various expletives. For fans that clearly look up to Mayhew and the character he portrayed I'd imagine they would hope to meet a more consistent temper - especially if they're paying(@ NYCC) $30 for perhaps three seconds of work. Surprisingly, some folks do have to work a bit longer than that to make it back.

I understand he has issues, but that knowledge only goes so far when you're the one who's kindly paid for curmudgeonly behavior. If you've paid and then met a grouch, how can he be one of the kindest, gentlest and funniest people on earth?

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