From the extended clips we saw, it was clear that Diego Luna makes an awesome rebel spy and officer in Rogue One. We sat down with Diego and spoke with him about his role in Rogue One and his love of Star Wars during the Rogue One Press Event. I’m sharing some of my favorite parts from our interview below. Including why he would have been a stormtrooper if asked and how his son practically pushed him out the door each morning he was working on Rogue One. 🙂
Who is Captain Cassian Andor
My character is called Cassian Andor and he’s a captain; an intelligence officer for the rebellion. He’s a pretty damned good rebellious captain. He’s in charge of the most important mission for the rebellion and he has to make sure this thing works together.
But he’s a spy, so he’s quite a mysterious man. He has a lot of information he would like to forget, you know? He doesn’t like war, but he believes in the cause and would do anything for the cause. He’s ready to sacrifice everything and he’s a true hero. He’s the kind of heroes we could be, right? He doesn’t have special powers; he’s no Jedi. He’s just a man with conviction and knows that working together as a team makes you stronger. So that’s Cassian.
As a super fan he would have played a Stormtrooper
When Gareth sat down with me and he started talking about the film, and about the theme, and about the rebellion, and about the moment in the history of Star Wars when this happens, I suddenly was listening a speech. I would join (the film) just as a fan, just as part of the crew, or whatever, you know? If he would’ve said I want you to be a Storm Trooper and just wear that outfit and be miserable for quite a long time until Felicity’s character kills you, I would’ve said yeah, let’s do it. I’m glad he didn’t say that, but I would’ve said yes because I think this film has a lovely message behind it. It’s about people getting involved and taking control of their reality.
How growing up in theater helped his perception of fiction
I bring my kids to see how we’re doing it (the movie) so they can see it more from the perspective I see it and get less affected by the story. I grew up in theater, so I used to witness things I probably should not had witnessed but because I was watching from the dressing rooms or from the inside of the theater, I always saw the actor coming out and he was alive. I saw the actor coming out crying and then going, oh my god, what happened, what was that, and then getting ready for the next (scene). Realizing those tears didn’t mean what people thought it meant. I understood that the representation is fiction, that it has to look real but doesn’t mean it is real.
His son is a huge star wars fan
I invited my kids to witness this process also because my son is huge fan of Star Wars. He knows the world of Star Wars better than I do. He’s eight years old but he has seen everything and I didn’t want it to stop him (from seeing Rogue One)because everyone’s gonna be talking about it. I want him to feel part of this, you know? And he’s so excited.
I like telling this story because it’s true. It’s just, this film is important for me as an actor for many reasons, but one is because it connects me with the kid I was. At seven years old, six years old, I saw A New Hope. I saw it because I wanted to belong to the world of my cousins. All of my cousins were playing something I didn’t get. I wanted to be part of that universe and be a part of that gang and belong to that. But it also connects me with my kids as a parent. And as a fan, it connects me with my son, you know?
I share the excitement with him. When we were watching The Force Awakens, we were there holding hands and enjoying the moment. It wasn’t me (saying) okay let’s watch this cartoon, and let’s talk about what they’re saying, and I wasn’t the dad there. It was two pals watching a film, and that was very sweet.
Star Wars wasn’t work to his kids
My work is something that has always separated us, you know? It represents something very negative to my kids. It’s what keeps me away. It’s that thing that I go do that they cannot be part of. And then I finish the films, and they cannot watch them. I did show my son Cesar Chavez but he just didn’t want to watch it. He fell asleep. But my stuff is not meant for them, until I did The Book of Life. That’s the first film I could actually share with my kids.
So this is special because (when) I am telling them that I’m going to work, my son instead of crying goes “yeah, yeah, go, go. I mean, you’ve gotta be on time, Dad, and make sure you do it right, please. Do what Gareth says. Don’t mess up!” 😀
Training to be Captain Cassian Andor
I went to the gym, a place I didn’t like before and they got me into a whole program of gym, food, they were even taking care of my sleep. It was necessary because I’ve never worked seven months in a film so intense and every day we were doing something crazy – running, jumping, climbing, and it was hardcore scenes.
And Gareth really likes things to happen. He doesn’t like pretending. He goes we’re gonna do this, so you’re gonna be running, and there’s gonna be explosions, and these guys are gonna be shooting from this angle, this from this other angle, and you have to make it work. He gave us military training. I had two, two weeks of a military training where I learned how to patrol, and I did a camp with ex-militaries, and I was hearing all their stories. I spent a lot of time with them and that was very helpful. But he (Gareth) actually thought a soldier was gonna come back from these two weeks. And I go like that takes years, and he goes, no, no, you’re the captain.
It Painful To Keep Star Wars Set Secret
It was difficult because I’m a fan, so I would go home and be like oh my god this is great. But imagine you’re a fan, and they tell you, you’re gonna go live this amazing experience of actually live that world from the inside, but you cannot tell anyone. And you go no, that’s a dream, it’s not happening until I tell my best friend. It’s not real until I share this with my father.
Obviously, it makes sense for the idea of actually hiding everything from people, and I love that because the experience of watching it with an audience that doesn’t know what’s gonna happen, it’s so unique and it doesn’t happen anymore in cinema. So that is very cool. But the process of living through this was painful and very frustrating because amazing stuff would happen, or very difficult things happened, and I had to talk to myself about it. And that also created a nice, beautiful family because we were going through this, and we had the same thing. We couldn’t tell anyone out there, so Felicity was my shrink, my friend, a little bit of everything, and I was the same for her, you know? And that kept us sane basically.
Check out the clip below for scenes featuring Cassian and Jyn. Plus check out what I learned during my interview with Felicity Jones about her role as Jyn Erso. Be sure to check back next week for every more exclusive #RogueOneEvent interviews!
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.