Bowie, who reported to the set in early June, also had to learn how to act with Labyrinth’s elaborate puppets. He found himself especially troubled by scenes with Hoggle, whose mouth opened and closed in front of him, but whose voice came from Brian Henson, sitting just offstage, speaking into a microphone and performing Hoggle’s mouth remotely with a waldo. “Once I’d overcome the disorientation,” laughed Bowie, “we all got along great!” “[Bowie] has been wonderful to work with,” Jim wrote privately, “and has added a truly magical spark as Jareth.” Jim also respected Bowie’s songwriting, giving Bowie—as he had Paul Williams —”a completely free hand” with the songs. While Bowie winkingly described Jareth as “a spoiled child, vain and temperamental, kind of like a rock ‘n’ roll star,” Jim found Bowie himself to be anything but spoiled or temperamental. “[He’s] a very normal well-grounded straightforward person,” said Jim. John Henson, who visited the set with a friend, was starstruck by Bowie, who greeted the twenty-year-old while still dressed as Jareth. When Bowie, finally out of makeup, sought John out at the end of the day, prowling the Elstree lobby in a bright red jacket, John was so awed by the sight of the musician that he and his friend ducked out of the studio without being seen.
"Supposedly, David Bowie went around looking for us for about an hour after," said John sheepishly. "But we were gone!" For his part, Bowie was impressed by Jim, who seemed constantly in motion, yet oddly unaffected by his own crazy schedule. "Jim is undoubtedly the most unflappable guy I’ve ever encountered in any profession," said Bowie admiringly. "I just can’t believe his capacity for work. For instance, he would finish shooting for the week on Labyrinth in London, catch an airplane to New York, work … over the weekend, then catch a plane back to London Sunday night and be at the studios early on Monday morning…. He’s desperately work-conscious but he seems to love it all. His calm spirit made the whole film a pleasure to work on, not just for me, but for the entire cast and crew."
Excerpt from the book Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones.