By Jon Waterhouse
You didn’t need a souped-up Delorean and 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to get back to the future at DragonCon this year.
It was a mini reunion of sorts as “Back to the Future” cast members Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and James Tolkan sign autographs and chat with fans. Thompson played Marty McFly’s mom, and Tolkan served up some nastiness as principal Strickland in the film. But it was Lloyd who stole the show as Doc Brown, the frizzy-haired inventor who sends Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) 30 years into the past.
Lloyd took some time to step back into his own past and talk about the ’80s time-traveling classic.
MTV Geek: Your role as Doc Brown in “Back to the Future” is something that seems to keep coming back, whether it’s video games or other projects.
Christopher Lloyd: It’s amazing, because back when we did the film and it was released we were just hoping it would have a good run. And then the sequels came up, two and three, and it just doesn’t die. [Laughs] It just keeps manifesting itself in one way or another, and it’s a delight. It’s especially gratifying that so many generations [have enjoyed the movies.] Parents come up to me who were children when the film first came out 25, 26 years ago. And they now have kids who have seen it and are as enthralled by the trilogy as they were. So it just keeps running along, and it’s wonderful to see so many people loving a film that meant a lot to them. Many people come up to me who saw the film when they were young, 10 or 12 years old, and they say it changed their lives and gave them a direction. It’s just great to see that and be involved in a project like that.
MTV Geek: Why do you think “Back To The Future” has such staying power?
Christopher Lloyd: Time travel is a universal fantasy I’m sure we all have. At one point or another we think, “Gee, if I could go back to this or that time in the past, or if I could just jump ahead 50 years or 300 years into the future to see what that would be like.” It’s kind of a universal fantasy and the film kind of answers to that. And then there’s the relationship between Doc Brown and Marty. It’s a classic mentor relationship. There’s this young man who has this older guy who fascinates him because of his spirit of discovery and the excitement of that. Finding out about new things and new ways life can be lived I think is another great universal situation. And it’s a family picture. There are the time travel aspects between Doc and Marty, but Marty has a family. And we see that family evolve. It’s got a lot going for it.
MTV Geek: I read that out of the three “Back To The Future” films, the third one is your favorite, because it’s a Western and a love story.
Christopher Lloyd: That’s right. Doc meets somebody he falls in love with, something he did not include in his life. His life was [about] inventing things, being a scientist and inventing time travel. So he had no time for romance. And then bingo, out of the blue comes this lady, and he’s just blown over by her, totally smitten. So that’s a lot of fun. …And it’s a Western. Westerns are always exciting with horseback riding and all that business. So out of all the three that was the most fun for me being Doc.