Great Scott! Iconic actor Christopher Lloyd has been speaking to GQ about some of his iconic characters, chief of which has to be Back to the Future‘s Doc Brown. As can often be the case, Lloyd initially discarded the script after reading it, but he got it out of the waste paper basket, met Bob Zemeckis and “it all came true.”
A significant change came during production when Eric Stoltz (who starred in ‘80s movies Some Kind of Wonderful and Say Anything, as well as ‘90s movies Pulp Fiction and Jerry Maguire) left the role of Marty McFly over creative differences. This had a big impact on Lloyd.
“There was another actor. And Michael came in after we shot for six weeks, they just decided that they needed somebody with a comic flair, you know? And (Eric) Stoltz is a wonderful actor. I had no idea there was a change coming. We were asked to come to one of the trailers at one o’clock in the morning. Spielberg was there and he made the announcement of the change.”
Lloyd continues; “My biggest fear was that…I was really working to get Doc right. And I thought ‘I don’t know if I can get it up to do that again.’ I was worried about it, but it all worked out. Michael, we had a chemistry which lasted the whole time. We could come back after a break and it would just be there. We didn’t have to work for it. So that was great.”
While Lloyd has gone onto many other roles (with a whopping 240 credits on his IMDb), including in The Addams Family and more recently – Nobody and The Tender Bar – he will always be associated with Doc Brown. As Lloyd says; “Nothing else I’ve done has had that kind of impact.”
If you love the nostalgia hit of Back to the Future, find out whether it made our list of the best ’80s movies.