In his defense, Mark Hamill seemingly didn’t mean to imply performing elaborate circus stunts doesn’t require immense skill or isn’t hard work in and of itself. No, what clearly frustrated him was that this offer was a blatant attempt to cash in on his newfound fame and had nothing to do with his qualities as an actor. “All of a sudden there are so many elements that aren’t in your control. You wind up almost being another one of the public watching this ‘public’ you,” he told Rolling Stone.
Continuing, Hamill made it clear his primary interest was developing his craft and not, per se, securing a big paycheck:
“I’d work for scale for somebody willing to take a chance with me, because it’s real frustrating to be in something this big and popular and not really feel you’re stretching yourself. I met Miloš Forman yesterday on an interview [for the film version of the best-selling novel ‘Ragtime’], and I would kill to work with that man!”
Although he would miss out on a role in “Ragtime,” Hamill would eventually find his niche as an incredibly accomplished voice actor over the decades that came after that interview. When he reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 2017 (following his brief cameo at the end of “The Force Awakens”), the strong critical response to his performance as the now older and far more disillusioned Jedi Knight was a testament to just how much he had evolved and refined his acting since his days whining about Tosche Station in “A New Hope” 40 years prior. Would that all deserving actors in Hollywood got a happy ending as well earned as Hamill’s.