Whatever occurred to Sam J. Jones? After saving the universe in 1980 sci-fi fundamental “Flash Gordon,’’ the film’s charismatic star mild into obscurity, in no way reaching the levels of fame his now-legendary breakthrough perform had appeared to all nonetheless guarantee.
The documentary “Life After Flash,’’ which on Friday opened the 44th Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival (the fest continues through Feb. 18 on the Somerville Theatre), explores the actor’s unusual career trajectory. In metropolis for the fest, the actor, now 64, spoke to the Globe about the doc and a fateful battle with Hollywood mogul Dino De Laurentiis.
Q. How did it actually really feel to be approached by “Life After Flash’’ director Lisa Downs?
A. It’s a little bit of disconcerting. First of all, you’re like, “Hold on, I’ve a wide range of years left.’’ And secondly, you haven’t any idea what it’s going to be. You can’t write the script until you’re accomplished filming, because you don’t know what you’re going to grab. For me, it’s a dos and don’ts of life. I converse about a alternative I was confronted with, why I chosen what I did, and the implications that adopted.
Q. A dispute between you and De Laurentiis led to “Flash Gordon’’ sequels being scrapped. What occurred?
A. He didn’t pay me my weekly wage. I didn’t actually need it — I was making $4,000 a month per diem — nonetheless by week 8, I’d known as my illustration out from LA. [Before they arrived,] Dino said, “Why don’t you step into my office? I’ll offer you what you want.’’ And I said, “I don’t assume that is likely to be very wise of me. You’ve accomplished 300 movement photos. I’m 23. And I’d conform to what? I wouldn’t know what I’m agreeing to.’’ In hindsight, I’d signed a six-picture deal, so I should have gone in there, appeased him. But my attorneys said the one technique I’d receives a fee was to not current as a lot as work. I went with that, with out contemplating of the end result. I didn’t know it was the three largest days of filming, with 400 extras, and I’d decided to not current up, costing the funds a fortune.
Q. This impacted your career. Did you and De Laurentiis converse as soon as extra?
A. I did identify him years later, asking for forgiveness. I said, “We’ve had this rigidity over our relationship for years; please forgive me for any harm or harmful decisions on my half.’’ And his reply was, “Bah! Sam! It’s okay!’’ I believed that was cool.
Q. You portray a villain in “Axcellerator,’’ one different film at this fest. What it’s like performing in smaller-scale initiatives?
A. The freedom’s unbelievable. You should share the director’s imaginative and prescient. But be all ears to totally different actors, and you’ll get some precise magic happening, from improvising. As actors, it’s possible you’ll give to at least one one other.