Star Wars: The ‘New rubbish dialogue’ Letters From Alec Guinness to Anna Kaufman as Read by Oscar Isaac

Oscar Isaac was a reading guest for “Letters Live” where he read letters from another Star Wars alum, Sir Alec Guinness, where Guinness talked about his experience on the Star Wars set.

To be fair to Guinness, all the actors had stated in previous interviews that they were skeptical of the film’s success and raised concerns over the bizarre dialogue they were having to read. With such a classically trained and universally successful career that Guinness was accustomed to, it only makes sense that the uniqueness of such a new film as Star Wars must have had him confused and worried over his decision to be part of the franchise.

Although the video highlights from the recent Letters Live event are not yet posted, you can read the letter that Isaac read from that was posted by Mashable.

My dear Anne,

The sun has shone all over Easter and that has meant out-of-door life; bees humming in the cherry blossom; Walter on guard against birds having it off in hedges; daffodils wilting; balsam poplars scenting the air; baby ants on the march into the grubby kitchen; good wine to drink, and all fairly idyllic except for the presence of my provoking, irritating and unbalanced daughter-in-law. And her squabbling children. The children are more or less alright, I suppose, except for their foul manners and nasal cockney accents. Merula has now got them for the next ten days and I bet that once their parents have gone on their (separate) holidays the children will prove angelic. That has been the pattern before. I have returned to London this evening for my stint at the studio for the rest of the week. Can’t say I’m enjoying the film, new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper — and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me keep going until next April even if ‘Yahoo’ collapses in a week.

Thank you for you your card about that. Strachan and I have tried to probe where it is ‘arch’ — and I have decided either that Queen’s English and U.S. usage of the word are at variances, or that you (forgivably) misread the tone of some of it — which is somewhat belligerent and harsh and far from coy. I do think the first half is a bit cool, and I’m not sure how to remedy that, except by possibly throwing in some coarse stuff and hitting up the ironies. Anyway, it was nice of you to read it, and good of you to take it seriously. We have settled on a youngish designer called Bernard Culshaw — I’ve only seen one set of his, and that about six years ago, but think he’s got the right style and understanding. Eileen Atkins has expressed enthusiasm for it and promises to play Vanessa (et al) if a possible film she’s keen on doesn’t materialise. We shall know in two weeks. If she does it I’ll feel more confident than with the alternative, who is good on T.V. but something of an unknown quantity in the theatre. My chum Mark Kingston will play the other man. Stella is still a blank in our minds — but the casting of Vanessa must be done first.

Dined a week ago with your little mum, who was looking better and in better spirits than I’ve known her in years. Bright but not brittle, and in full command — so it seemed — of her life. Gavin was present (with broken foot) and a garrulous French woman with Islamic leanings. A friend of the Shit of Persia.

The Ehrenpreis Swift volumes (1 & 2) arrived safely and I’m in to them. Rather dry and too academic but full of useful information. I can’t remember what you said about Vol 3, and can’t put my hand on your letter. It doesn’t exist? It’s out of print? It was never written? But what the Hell do I owe you anyway? Please! I have a lot of dollars dwindling slowly in L.A. — You are welcome to some of them. And who knows what my next demand may be! Probably toilet paper.


Another bright day has dawned. A letter from Nancy Green in the post. A nightmarish night going round and round in my head my invitation with [unknown name] (a-in-law). Isn’t it wretched how difficult unpleasant thoughts are to shake off. I had to sit up and read for ½ hour at 2. am. to exorcise myself. Garson Kanin plagues me about ‘Mr. Maugham’ but ‘Yahoo’, if it does nothing else, has enabled me to side-step that one.

I must off to studio and work with a dwarf (very sweet, – and he has to wash in a bidet) and your fellow countrymen Mark Hamill and Tennyson (that can’t be right) Ford — Ellison (? – No!*) — well, a rangy, languid young man who is probably intelligent and amusing. But Oh, God, God, they make me feel ninety — and treat me as if I was 106.

*Harrison Ford — ever heard of him?

Ever heard of Harrison Ford?!!

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About Wookiee Steve 706 Articles
From the moment Steve first watched Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater when he was a child, he wanted to be Luke Skywalker when he “grew up” (and STILL does!). He now shares this passion with his wife, two daughters, friends and fans. Steve is the Founder of Star Wars Reporter.