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Carel Struycken Is A Giant Talent At Pensacon


Pensacon has brought a lot of famous faces to Pensacola this weekend. One of those faces belongs to veteran character actor Carel Struycken, whose face and size have kept him on the big and small screen for years.

On the 90s TV series Twin Peaks Carel Struycken played a character known simply as "The Giant". Makes sense. The 7 foot Dutch born actor has been playing giants his entire career. He's  appeared in science fiction, fantasy and horror movies for three decades…but his first part came when a producer saw him walking down a very famous street. While living in Hollywood in the 70s and working on movies behind the scenes, he was stopped by a producer while he was walking down Hollywood Boulavard who told Struycken they needed someone like him for a movie.

That movie was the 70s musical Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He had several other roles after that but his career turned around while working for George Lucas in the TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. That's when Struycken realized that being an actor could be fun. He credits veteran British actress Sian Phillips, who he said helped him to look "more fearsome than I could have on my own".

Struycken is one of the few actors who have worked on projects in both the Star Wars and Star Trek universes, with a recurring role as Mr. Homm is Star Trek the Next generation. He is probably best known for his role as Lurch in the Addams Family movies. He says whenever those movie are on TV people start recognizing him on the street again.

Many of Struycken’s roles are non-speaking where his size and appearance make him the most visible character on the screen. He says staying in character in those roles can be tough. "You have to somehow get something across, and you have to do it physically you can't do it with words".

He says it take a lot of working with the other actors and the director of a project to make those non-speaking roles memorable. One famously quirky director he worked with is David Lynch, who Struycken says was quiet on the set and tried to set a mood that the actors worked to help create.

And with a new Twin Peaks series in the works for next year, Struycken hope he'll be working with Lynch again. "I'm waiting for the phone call".

Carel Struycken is a veteran character who has been working in TV and movies for over 30 years. He recently appeared on an episode of the NBC series The Blacklist. He'll be at Pensacon for the rest of the weekend.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.