‘Andor’ Lets Genevieve O’Reilly Finally Explore Mon Mothma’s Rebel Heart

There’s a narrative behind each character in Star Wars, regardless of how a lot display time they’re given. Andor, the newest in Disney+’s line of live-action Star Wars sequence, proves that to be true — and never simply with sequence lead Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). The identical degree of element is paid to Luna’s scruffy, hardscrabble spy as is paid to Senator Mon Mothma, a regal character who’s Andor’s reverse in each method — besides of their aligned mission to overthrow the Galactic Empire. Genevieve O’Reilly returns within the position of Mon Mothma and, over 15 years into her tenure because the Insurgent chief, lastly will get the house to indicate audiences how this senator developed her canny, steely resolve.

This a significant step for the Star Wars canon, as Mon Mothma’s presence has loomed giant since Caroline Blakiston first performed her for one scene in 1983’s Return of the Jedi — and it’s additionally a significant step for O’Reilly, who was solid as a youthful model of the character for a short look in 2005’s Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. She returned to the position for 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and once more in 2017 to voice the character within the animated sequence Star Wars Rebels. However Andor — even simply Episode 4 of Andor — supplies probably the most in-depth exploration of Mon Mothma in virtually 40 years. It’s a improvement followers have been ready for, and — as we realized in our chat with O’Reilly — a possibility that the actor clearly relishes. Gentle spoilers for Andor Episode 4 forward.


Decider: You’re enjoying Mon Mothma about 15 years after you first performed her, and about 15 years have handed within the Star Wars timeline as nicely. How has your method modified?

Genevieve O’Reilly: I believe she’s a girl in a totally totally different a part of her life. I really like that I’ve the chance to find her and to discover her at this stage of my life. The primary time I received to play her [in 2005’s Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith], was in fairly little scenes, however pretty little scenes as a younger actor. The chance now to discover her as a girl at this stage in her life, reflecting my stage, I believe it’s pretty that it’s occurred this manner as a result of she will be so wealthy and textured and sophisticated and nuanced in a method that wouldn’t have been accessible to me once I was 20.

Andor 4 - Mon Mothma and Perrin in dining room
Photograph: Disney+

We get to fulfill Mon Mothma’s husband Perrin, performed by Alastair Mackenzie, who’s a personality that we didn’t know existed earlier than Andor. And your dynamic is so fascinating as a result of he simply doesn’t actually get it or perceive the battle.

Effectively, isn’t it nice to see, to start with, such a home scene inside Star Wars? To see the Senator, to get to fulfill her with that type of presence that we come to anticipate of her, and in addition then to step into her household house and see her have an argument along with her husband, to see for the primary time her dwelling throughout the Empire and making an attempt to navigate this shadowy world throughout the Imperial Senate. Then she steps into her house and he or she has a husband who’s clearly a paid-up, card-carrying member of Empire. That’s a shock. So that you meet her and also you’re conscious, wow, she’s received as a lot a combat on her fingers at house as she has within the senate.

Mon Mothma in senate
Lucasfilm Ltd.

One in all Mon Mothma’s allies is Luthen Rael, performed by Stellan Skarsgård. In your scene collectively, you’re each enjoying two totally different variations of your characters. One is outward-facing, and the others are insurgents. Does it really feel such as you’re undercover your self if you’re enjoying that many layers?

It’s so pretty since you get to play, in that scene that you simply’re speaking about, throughout the similar scene I get to play the general public and the personal. We get to disclose her and Stellan and there’s an exquisite a part of the scene the place we’re, Stellan and I, have such a such a performative assembly and it’s so curated and we’re on the vintage gallery and it’s very lovely. You possibly can see these two persons are very profitable and really refined, after which we step behind, the set modifications, it’s way more damaged, it’s way more darkish, after which these two characters reveal that in personal, they’re struggling. They’re preventing. They each consider fairly passionately about [the rebellion]. However she additionally reveals that she has an terrible lot to lose, and divulges this harmful world that she’s navigating.

Andor ep 4 - Mon Mothma greeting Luthen Rael
Photograph: Disney+

Normally with Star Wars heroes, we see them with blasters and there’s operating and whatnot. However Mon Mothma brings that very same degree of depth to what’s basically paperwork. How do you play the stakes if you’re not within the midst of explosions?

All of us insurgent in several methods, proper? Every of us, all of us rebelled with the instruments that now we have at hand. And hers are actually mental instruments and her weapons are phrases in her political sphere. It’s murky, it’s darkish, it’s a lot grayer than I anticipated. There’s no explosions, but it surely’s harmful.

Again to Mon Mothma’s house life — it’s so uncommon that we get to see a ravishing house in Star Wars. So many individuals reside in caves or on spaceships. What’s that set like in actual life? Is it bodily?

In Andor, every little thing is constructed. It’s in digital camera. It’s beautiful to be part of and once I walked onto that set, it was simply gobsmackingly lovely. It’s marble and glass and really, very architectural. While you go in, there’s a bonsai tree sitting inside this marble. But in addition, I believe perhaps afterward within the season, you will notice there’s additionally an inverted giant bonsai coming by way of the roof. It was so lovely. I simply needed to reside there.

Andor ep 4 - Mon Mothma's home
Photograph: Disney+

Mon Mothma additionally has such wonderful vogue, as is befitting of her place in society. Do you will have a favourite look of hers?

I imply, all of them! That is Mon Mothma couture. Now we have by no means seen her like this earlier than. And I started working with the genius [costume designer] Michael Wilkinson. We had such enjoyable collaborating, and he’s such a curator of cloth. It was beautiful. She has lots of seems to be and it’s very refined and artisanal.

She’s received an extended option to go earlier than she finally ends up again within the outfit that we often see her in. It’s lovely to inhabit this lady in a special time. She clothes otherwise. She lives in a world I didn’t anticipate, and he or she feels totally different, so due to this fact I received to step into a girl in a really totally different time of her life and that concept that perhaps we’re all totally different variations of ourselves at totally different instances. It was an actual deal with as an actor to get to find her now.

New episodes of Andor premiere on Wednesdays on Disney+.

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