A few days ago, I had the most amazing time visiting Skywalker Ranch and Lucasfilm. We had the chance to see 28 minutes of footage from Rogue One: A Star Wars Movie in addition to interviewing the cast and director of the movie. Yesterday I shared with you my interview with Felicity Jones and today I’m excited to share with you my interview with Diego Luna from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story! Read on for 5 things we learned from Diego Luna.
Character of Cassian Andor
Diego Luna shared with us a little about his character, “My character is called Cassian Andor and he’s a captain; he’s an intelligence officer for the rebellion. He’s a pretty damned good rebellious captain, you know? 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 like the kind of heroes we could be, right? He doesn’t have special powers; he’s no Jedi, no. He’s just a man with conviction and that knows that working together as a team makes you stronger. So that’s Cassian.”
His Love of Star Wars Connects Him With His Son
I wrote last year how I love seeing my husband and son experience the bond of Star Wars together and Diego feels the same way. He told us, “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, you know? All of my cousins were playing something I didn’t get. I wanted to be part of that universe and be part of that gang, you know? But it also connects me with my kids as a parent. And as a fan, it connects me with my son.
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 like let’s watch this cartoon, and let’s talk about what they’re saying. I wasn’t the dad there. It was two pals watching a film, and that was very sweet.”
Starting Out in Telenovas
When asked how he went from telenovas to Star Wars, Diego shared, “I don’t know how it happened. I have no idea. I started at six years old doing theater, and then around ten, I did my first film, and that’s when they invited to do TV.
I would say that those first years of doing TV, they were difficult in my life and I’m so glad I survived, you know? Because the fame that TV brings is quite unhealthy, I think. It’s too fast. Everything happens too fast and while in cinema, at least I’ve been working for two years for this to come out. So I’m ready for this moment, you know? It didn’t happen to me. I worked to be here.
In television, that’s not the case, you know? In television, you’re shooting something one day, and it airs the next day- the reaction hits you two days later, and then people forget the next Monday because there’s someone else in TV. So it’s a weird thing to digest, and then when you’re getting used to it, it’s gone, and you go like, what? Oh, now you don’t care? No, there’s a new one- move, move away, there’s someone else. I, I don’t find that healthy.
But cinema, it’s different. Cinema is different, and it stays there, you know? You can always go back to that and remember where you were. It leaves a stamp and I feel just very lucky to be doing what I’m doing now.”
Diego Had an Intense Training Schedule
“I went to the gym – a place I didn’t like before and they got me into a whole program, they were even taking care of my sleep, you know? It was necessary because I’ve never worked seven months in a film so intense and everyday we were doing something crazy- running, jumping, climbing, it was hardcore scenes.
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- how would you do it? And he gave us military training. I had 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, you know, from these two weeks. And I go no! That takes years, and he goes, no, no, you’re the captain. Solve this. And I had to – okay, then talk to Felicity and start to organize a plan, and then execute, and he would be following us – kind of this covering and improvising on the way, reacting to what we were doing.
So it was a free process. It’s was full of that feeling of not knowing what’s gonna happen which brings some interesting tension and gives you those little moments of vulnerability that Gareth was looking for.”
Star Wars is About Freedom
“The theme is freedom. Living in Mexico and growing up there, I see beautiful things. I hear amazing stories, but there’s also a contrast there, you know? Those who have are very few, but they have a lot.
We have one of the richest men on the planet in a country that has so much poverty. So that contrast shaped my view and to me, my point of view. The film, it’s a way to get all that out, you know, and put it in the table and make sure you share it with others and you generate a debate, and some things starts from there. 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 just as a fan, just as part of the crew, or whatever, you know? 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 said that, but I would’ve said yes because I think this film has, has a lovely message behind it – it’s about people getting involved and taking control of their reality, you know?
We need that in this world that is going crazy now. We need also to live different as a society and understand the diversity, culture and racial diversity- it just makes us stronger and more richer, you know, and that there’s a great thing there for us to find.
The film takes so much time of your life. It’s so challenging; it’s so risky, suddenly everyone has an opinion in a second and that’s tough to take, so you don’t wanna do it about a theme you don’t care about, you know? You don’t wanna be three years talking about something that doesn’t mean anything to you.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters on December 16th! Watch the trailer below and don’t forget to grab your tickets for it now!
Disclosure: Thanks so much to Disney for bringing me out to San Francisco for the event. All thoughts and opinions are my own.