Paul Warren is a British actor known for playing characters in prosthetic makeup and creature suits in such films as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, Clash of the Titans and World War Z.
He began his film career as a body double for Daniel Radcliffe on the film Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Spending much of his time 20ft up in the air on the hydraulic broomstick system and performing other physically demanding activities, it wasn’t long before Paul started to get noticed as a versatile performer.
In 2007, he was recommended to the legendary Stan Winston Studio as a good choice to portray an emaciated version of the title character in ‘The Deaths of Ian Stone‘. The horror role required full body prosthetics and CGI head replacement with lead actor Mike Vogel. The invaluable experience Paul gained working with Stan’s crew to achieve this tricky effect is what ultimately set him on a path to becoming a creature performer.
His first creature role was in the remake of Clash of the Titans. Working with the Oscar nominated Creatures Inc, he underwent a 5 hour makeup process to transform into a tortured soul that pulls the boatman across the river styx. To add to the challenge of performing covered in such extreme silicone prosthetics, the scene was filmed in a large outside water tank at Pinewood studios.
In 2010, Paul was chosen by director Joe Johnston to be a visual effect double for skinny Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. Working closely with Lola Visual Effects, he helped bring Skinny Steve to life in the pre-production VFX tests and was on set as a visual reference for the recruitment scene. The remainder of body double duties on the film were performed by Leander Deeny and Paul went on to work on X-Men: First Class.
He has since gone on to appear in many films playing aliens and monsters, but most notably in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Paul is credited as a ‘creature and droid puppeteer’ and he plays an alien called ‘Varmik’. This character is of particular interest to Star Wars fans due to his origin and connection to the original trilogy. Varmik is based on 2 classic pieces of Ralph McQuarrie production art from 1975 – the cantina showdown and early Chewbacca designs. The former was a particular favourite of J.J Abrams’ that he wanted to bring to life on screen.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Paul plays a Dowager alien in the Canto Bight casino. The character created quite a buzz online when it was confirmed by director Rian Johnson that the animatronic space pug it holds was based on Carrie Fisher’s very own pet pooch Gary. It was affectionately known on set as Space Gary.