Mel Brooks photographed in NYC in 1976, the year he directed and starred in 'Silent Movie'. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Power Naps Were Mel Brooks' Key To Problem Solving On Spaceballs
Considering that Mel Brooks was already in his 60s when he co-wrote, directed, and acted in “Spaceballs,” he understandably needed some rest every now and then. The comedy legend played not one but two roles in the space opera parody of “Star Wars”: President Skroob, who ruled over planet Spaceball, and Yogurt, the master Schwartz user inspired by Yoda.
Although the roguish Han Solo-inspired Lone Starr, played by Bill Pullman, had to try and defeat Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), Mel Brooks' real villain in “Spaceballs” was his fear of running out of brilliant ideas to lambast and poke fun at the "Star Wars" universe. Pullman, in a previous interview, revealed one way Brooks used to avoid hitting a creative wall on set.
According to Pullman, Brooks often took time for himself to keep his creative juices flowing and energy levels high, saying: “Mel used to do these power naps where he'd lay down for just five minutes, and I have never seen anything like the spirit that would return to him. He'd come back with all these great ideas and solve problems. It was quite dazzling.”