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We Talk To Andor Actors Kyle Soller & Denise Gough On Getting Cast & Being In Star Wars
Andor is an upcoming Star Wars series, which starts streaming on Disney+ Hotstar on 21 September 2022.
The Andor series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.
Diego Luna returns as Cassian Andor and is joined by cast members Genevieve O’Reilly (who will portray a young Mon Mothma), Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough and Kyle Soller. The executive producers are Kathleen Kennedy, Sanne Wohlenberg, Diego Luna and Michelle Rejwan. Tony Gilroy is the creator and showrunner.
Courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar, we were given the opportunity to interview Kyle Soller (Syril Karn) & Denise Gough (Dedra Meero). However, for the purposes of avoiding spoilers, we can’t really talk about who their characters are. We’ll know soon enough when Andor eventually releases. This interview has been edited for clarity. Stay tuned for the video version of this interview and the review of the series.
Kyle Soller: I gotta be honest, Alleef. It’s feeling pretty good today.
Denise Gough: We’re getting asked this question a lot, and I wasn’t thinking about it at all, until the trailer coming out made me go, “oh”, then the poster, then I was like, oh, Jesus, I’m in Star Wars and I’m playing a female Imperial officer in Star Wars.
That might actually be quite a big deal, and then sitting here today, and all of your faces, you all look so excited, and I’m just starting to think, “oh my god, this is amazing!”. So now, I’m super excited about being in the Star Wars universe.
Kyle Soller: I met Tony (Tony Gilroy, the showrunner of Andor) when I was doing a play in New York.
Denise Gough: That makes sense that Tony would have seen that play and thought of you.
Kyle Soller: Maybe, yeah. And then I didn’t hear about anything for a bit, and then I saw the script and I was like, we both said this was, in a way…
Denise Gough: Any job.
Kyle Soller: …very un-Star Wars-y. I don’t really know what Star Wars means as a kind of adjective, but it was such an incredibly intricately-woven tapestry of woven characters and different storylines that it’s like Dickens-ian, almost. As you (Denise) say, it could be any other job. And the fact that it was Star Wars as well was kind of amazing, and so yeah, I spoke with Tony and he gave a big outline of what happens. And I said, “I don’t care. You’re amazing. You do awesome work.” And he surrounded us with the most incredible people.
Denise Gough: For me, I had done this pilot for another franchise that wasn’t picked up and so I thought to myself, “oh, okay, well that’s a sign, I’m meant to go back to the stage and that was a good little flirtation with big TV but I’m done, I’m okay”. And then, Star Wars rang and then I was asked to go and meet Tony.
I met him and he was talking a lot about his work, and I said to the casting director when he went to the toilet or something, and I said, “Why is he, surely I should be telling him what I can do”, and she said, “I think he really wants you to do this job”. And I had been, for so long in my career, you go into the room and you lay out your wares and you say, I can do this.
It’s usually me doing all of that, so to have this man who’s so accomplished and he’s casting this huge thing, sort of telling me about himself. I thought, “oh, so I have to think about it in a different way and so he had seen me in a play too.
And then, he said we’ll put you in a tape for Disney because Disney didn’t know who I was, and so he wrote me this scene, and when I read it, it was such a mish-mash of so many things and I realized that what he had done in the scene was he’d written one scene but on each line, it was like he had given this character another emotion to show, so he basically showed me a showcase of every kind of acting I could do and put me on tape.
And he read with me and then at the end of it, he just said, “you just go and enjoy yourself, I’m gonna go and get you this part.” And I thought, that was the kindest thing that anyone’s ever done in an audition because even if I don’t get it now, I’ll hate Disney, I won’t hate you (Tony Gilroy).
But obviously, I got the role, and he let me read the script, which a lot of times on these big things, they won’t even let you do that, right, so the respect that he had for the kind of work that I do and he said to me, “I just want you to come and do what I know you can do”. And I thought, to have an artist of his calibre on your side like that, it sort of makes you feel confident about going in.
And then when I saw who else he had cast, I was like, oh my god, he’s basically gone to the theatre every night to all the shows that I’ve watched with all the people that I love and gone, why don’t all you come and be in Star Wars.
So, I feel so at home with the actors that I’m surrounded by and on the set that I’m on and then it happens to be Star Wars. It’s such a gift. Yeah, we really like Tony, don’t we?
Kyle Soller: Yeah, we love him and we love Disney. (laughs)
Denise Gough: We really love Disney. We’re sorry if we seemed like we didn’t love them. (laughs)
In the meantime, check out the trailer below: