I loved listening to Ben Medelsohn talk about his Star Wars experience in Star Wars and playing the big bad guy in Rogue One. Check out a few things I learned during my Ben Mendelsohn Rogue One Interview
Who is Director Orson Krennic
He is the director of military intelligence and operations. And for the purposes of our film, it means he’s the dude that built the Death Star and is bringing it to its final brilliance.
On being cast in the Empire
No, I mean but that’s the folly of youth, isn’t it? No one imagines that they’re going to end up on the side of the Empire. But you get older. You know you come to realize the peace and stability in the galaxy is worth fighting for and that all these airy, fairy ideals of the rebellion are very well and good but what happens when they get into power. No, I didn’t (image being cast in the Empire) but I wish I could have told myself at various points through life, don’t worry, one day you’ll be in Star Wars.
On his unlikable sociopath phase
I do think there’s a certain palette of emotions that you get to work with more if you’re playing the bad guys like the angry, resentful, enraged sort of stuff. Look I consider it a real honor to be playing a bad guy certainly in this film and there’ll be one or two more. Yeah, I consider it a real honor. But look, I’ve had a long and varied career so I don’t associate myself with my characters you know but you know it’s fine that everyone else does.
Krennic vs. Darth Vader
In a personal sense? I don’t think there’s any competition you know in a one-on-one. But I think the Empire being what it is, Darth’s pretty good but I’d hate to see him go up against a couple of squadrons. I’d hate to see him go one-on-one against the Death Star. And so really that’s about influences and where you sit. The Emperor’s here and how close can you get? And I think Krennic is going for that number (2?). I think he regards Darth as the emperor’s kind of pet and he’s all fascinated with him and stuff like that. He’s a very impressive dude but what does he do? He’s like a very important figurehead. But in terms of the strategies and what we actually have to get done, whatever. He’s a great car, you know? But someone’s got to drive it.
Set atmosphere for the Empire side
The Empire’s a bit more of a solitary place in that way. But I had a good group, a good little cadre with me. I had the dude that’s my second in command and the death troopers with me. But the atmosphere on set it changes but you can’t have a bad day. You look up and you see storm troopers around and stuff like that in your workplace. You really can’t have a terribly bad day.
On preparing for the role
When we were going into this, the main thing that I looked at was just the officers in the original film. And then you sort of have to do a bit of a rewind and think about what it was like when they were making it in ‘77 because they were all very British. And it’s all very sort of you know Royal Shakespeare bad guy kind of very straight kind of stuff. So I wanted Krennic to sound like enough of one of those guys.
But then after that and that costume, you know what? I mean you put that costume on and you’ve got those boots on and you have that cape. And all of a sudden you just feel that power. And basically the thing about those guys like the thing you saw last night is that from his perspective they’re (rebels) just in the way. They’re just in the way. And I mean, I’m sorry but she came out with a gun ready to shoot me. I mean ridiculous! Like what are they thinking? But that’s a very good set up I thought. I thought that that set up told us a lot about what we were doing in this film.
On keeping Krennic’s cape
That would be the thing to keep. Look, they’re very good at not letting you keep stuff from the film. Let me tell you what’s fantastic about this country. And I do love this. You can take the fifth here, you know? What a beautiful country. 😉
Favorite Rouge One Scenes
That scene with Mads, that’s amongst my favorite. That was an incredibly, brutally difficult day. We were in Iceland. It was absolutely prohibitively freezing. And the weather changed greatly. There’s a scene with Darth Vader that it is pretty special. That’s pretty special. And there’s also another scene which you guys haven’t seen I think that is in the Imperial territories that was wonderful to do as well.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY OPENS IN THEATERS ON DECEMBER 16TH!
Disney hosted me during the #RogueOneEvent press event. As always, all opinions, and experiences are my own.