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The Movie Donald Faison Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actor Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. (AP)

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor Donald Faison, whose credits include Clueless, Remember the Titans, the TV shows Scrubs and The Exes, the movie he could watch a million times is Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. "I want to say I saw it at the movie theaters 30 times," Faison says.


Interview Highlights

On when he first saw Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

"I saw The Empire Strikes Back the week that it came out. My father was a huge Star Wars fan. So when it came out, my dad took me, we watched it one time, and he was like, 'You want to see it again?' And I was like, 'Yeah.' And he said, 'All right, act like we lost something.' And so we started looking around our seats like we lost something. The usher left, and then they started letting in people again and we sat right back down in our seats and watched The Empire Strikes Back for the second time that day."

On why he loves the way that Han Solo interacts with Princess Leia

"You know, as a kid, I thought that was so pimp of Han Solo, to read the situation. And I was like, 'If I could read women like Han Solo reads women, I'll be all right.' I failed miserably, by the way."



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Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

All summer long, we've been asking people who work in film to talk about the movie that changed their life, including this one from the actor best known for his role as Christopher Turk on the TV show "Scrubs."

(SOUNDBITE OF "STAR WARS" THEME SONG)

DONALD FAISON: Hey. I'm Donald Faison. I'm an actor. And the movie I've seen a million times - wait, that's not possible - my favorite movie of all times is "The Empire Strikes Back" directed by Irvin Kershner, executive produced by the great George Lucas and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

JAMES EARL JONES: (as Darth Vader) Set your course for the Hoth system. General Veers, prepare your men.

FAISON: I saw "The Empire Strikes Back" the week that it came out. My father was a huge "Star Wars" fan. And so when it came out, my dad took me. We watched it one time, and he was like, you want to see it again? And I was like, yeah. And he said, all right, act like we lost something.

And so we started looking around our seats like we lost something. The usher left, and then they started letting in people again and we sat right back down in our seats and watched "The Empire Strikes Back" for the second time that day.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FRANK OZ: (as Yoda) Concentrate. Feel the force.

FAISON: We spent a lot of money at the movie theaters. I want to say I saw it at the movie theaters 30 times. "The Empire Strikes Back" takes place a few years after "Star Wars." When it opens up the rebel alliance, which Luke, Han Solo, and Leia are kind of the leaders of - they're running the show, and they're hiding out on this ice planet hoping that the Empire can't find them. And the Empire does find them.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FAISON: ...kicks their butt to the point where Han Solo is almost dead.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

HARRISON FORD: (as Han Solo) Hey, ah.

FAISON: Luke Skywalker loses an arm.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

JONES: (as Darth Vader) There is no escape.

FAISON: And Princess Leia realizes that she is in love with a scoundrel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: (as Han Solo) Come on, admit it. Sometimes you think I'm all right.

CARRIE FISHER: (as Princess Leia) Occasionally, maybe, when you aren't acting like a scoundrel.

FORD: (as Han Solo) Scoundrel?

FAISON: You know, I mean, after seeing this movie so many times ,there are a few scenes that stick out.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: (as Han Solo) Scoundrel? I like the sound of that.

FAISON: Han Solo and Princess Leia in the corridor right after Han Solo has told the general that he has to leave the rebel alliance because of the bounty hunter they ran into at Ord Mandell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: General, I got to leave. I can't stay anymore.

FAISON: Princess Leia, she overhears this and, you know, Han can tell that she's sad. She knows she's sad, but she's got pride issues. She doesn't want to tell him that she's really going to miss him and was hoping that they could develop some type of relationship.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) Han.

FORD: (as Han Solo) Yes, your Princess.

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) I thought you had decided to stay.

FORD: (as Han Solo) Well, the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mandell changed my mind.

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) Han, we need you.

FAISON: He's like, we need?

(SOUNDBITE MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: (as Han Solo) We need you?

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) Yes.

FAISON: Well, what about you?

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: (as Han Solo) Well, what about you?

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) I need you?

FAISON: She's like, I need...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) I don't know what you're talking about.

FAISON: And then she realizes she gave it up. She gave up the information he was looking for.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: (as Han Solo) Come on. You want me to stay because of the way you feel about me.

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) Yes. You're a great help to us. You're a natural leader.

FORD: (as Han Solo) No. That's not it.

FAISON: And he's like, come on. She goes, you're imagining things. He goes, am I? Then, why are you following me?

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

FORD: (as Han Solo) Afraid I was going to leave without giving you a goodbye kiss?

FISHER: (as Princess Leia) I'd just as soon kiss a Wookie.

FORD: (as Han Solo) I can arrange that.

FAISON: Then he yells, you could use a good kiss. You know, as a kid, I thought that was so pimp of Han Solo to read the situation. And I was like, if I could read women like Han Solo reads women, I'll be all right. I failed miserably, by the way.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF "STAR WARS" THEME SONG)

RAZ: That's actor Donald Faison, talking about the movie he could watch a million times: "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back." Faison currently stars in the TV show "The Exes." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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