Oscar Isaac & Lupita Nyong’o Share Experiences On The Star Wars Set
Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles.
Guys, I’m seeing the movie tonight!!! I can hardly contain myself!
Today I am sharing another amazing interview that I conducted during the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS press junket! So far, I have shared my interview with Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Kathleen Kennedy. Now, I’m excited to share my interview with Oscar Isaac & Lupita Nyong’o below!
What can you tell us about your characters?
LN : “I can tell you that my character’s name is Maz Kanata and she is a pirate and owns a bar.”
OI : “I can say that Poe Dameron is a pilot, not a pirate and he is committed to the resistance and to defeating the first order. He believes in the force and he can be a little reckless in wanting to prove that he is a leader and a hero and I think he also has that swagger and confidence that comes from people that can soar above everyone else and do all these things at once, like flying a fighter jet and getting into these dog fights and be so close to the edge of death and that definitely influences how he operates in the world.”
What’s it like stepping into and becoming part of the most iconic series probably of all times? Did you grow up with the Star Wars movies?
LN : “I was born into Star Wars. I feel it was a very normal part of my childhood. It would come on public holidays on national television. We only had two channels, so Star Wars was on and everybody watched it and everybody was familiar with it because it was all there was to watch on TV and we all loved it and so it was just a very normal comfortable, cozy part of my imaginative folklore and it wasn’t until being cast in it that I realized what it meant on a meta level to the world and how big the fan base is, how dedicated, how enthusiastic people are about this world that George Lucas created. I felt it dawned on me for the first time stepping onto the actual set that I was a part of it because I looked around these and there were these very expansive sets and so much detail taken into the creation of every single thing – the textures, the colors. You really did feel like you were on another planet and I think that was the time when I realized that I was a part of something that has and will continue to go down in history.”
OI : “The first movie I ever saw in the theatre was Return of the Jedi, amazingly. It’s pretty crazy that I’ve done this one. I’m gonna stop doing movies now ‘cause I feel like I’m really into a symmetry. It definitely changed my mind, my life. It blew my little kid brain. I was a huge fan and my family were very big fans and every time a new film would come out we’d throw themed parties and memorize the fight scenes to a T. So, for me Star Wars always represented and meant quite literally coming together as a family and having a great time. But at the same time, it’s that thing where there’s this ownership over it and there’s an intimate relationship with it and then also it just is something completely outside of anyone’s real reality and then suddenly to actually be asked to join that and not only be in it but to contribute something and create a new character, which it really was that. It was an evolution. The character changed so much from what originally was there when JJ and I first met to what ultimately ends up on screen. It really did feel like creating something. You really feel receding of all the water ‘cause the tsunami’s about to hit. It’s a cultural phenomenon and it’s just hard to process.”
What’s the best advice you received about stepping into the Star Wars universe?
OI : “I didn’t get too much advice about it. I mean for me it was less about advice and I guess it was self-advice just to try to do what I was hired to do which is not worry about that stuff so much and just try to make an interesting, compelling, hopefully truthful character and not get too overwhelmed with all the other stuff around it.”
What was the first thing that you did when you found out that you actually got the part?
LN : “I took out my suitcase. I really did. I got my suitcase.
I literally found out like two days before I needed to be in London so I had to pack.”
OI : “I was in a hotel room in London so I just blasted the Star Wars theme and I grabbed the shampoo bottle and started using it like an x-wing.”
What was the audition process like?
OI : “I went in and I auditioned. Met JJ. Then a few weeks later I went in and I read with John and I took some pictures next to Daisy. Then I did a couple of scenes and then that moment when I found out at the hotel that was about an hour later when I went home.”
LN : “I met JJ to audition for something that I believe may have been Star Wars the week of the Oscars when I was nominated for an Oscar, so I was in quite a whirlwind and I don’t really remember much about that audition. Then a few months after that, I was in Morocco and I received a call from JJ saying this is the character I’m thinking. She’s CGI, are you interested? And I said yes, I would love to see the script. So they flew someone to Morocco with the script for me to read and I read it over about two and a half hours. I was immediately intrigued by it and motion capture was something that I was interested in doing because I think it offers the actor an unique opportunity to play something that’s not limited by your physical circumstance and especially after playing Patsy who was so much about my physical circumstances. I wanted to get as far away from that as possible so that I’m not trying to second that experience at all and I can learn something and be in a completely new turf and for me motion capture was that. I was very interested and a few days later I got the call from my agent that I should pack up.”
What was it like to see your character for the first time?
OI : “It’s strange. Again it’s difficult to process. It’s a lot of mixed emotions because you’re seeing it as a fan. You’re seeing the new thing. You’re exhilarated by that. You’re understanding what the world is because it’s one thing to see it all put together. I was being affected as a viewer and then also the memories of what shooting was like and what takes were used and what takes were not used and what was moved to another place and how it affects the thing. There’s so much going on that it’s a very trippy moment.”
LN : “When I signed on to play Maz, they were still developing the character and her role in the film and what she was going to look like and all that. They welcomed me into that conversation which was really cool and to see the early stages of her and how she’s evolved over time and because she’s CGI they’ve been working on her for a long, long time. To finally see the film and to see what became of her and somehow it’s me but it’s definitely not me; it’s bizarre. I’ve never seen myself like that in another body all together. It was just as confusing and bizarre and titillating. Then you see the whole film as well and it’s overwhelming. I mean it’s overwhelming and it’s beauty. My take away from seeing the film was that it is a seamless. It felt to me like a seamless continuation of the Star Wars saga and because what they’ve done is kept the integrity of the world that George Lucas created and somehow they have managed to integrate all this new technology and these new storylines and they work effortlessly together and it’s a beautiful, visual experience and a moving story and I think the fans will be equally thrilled by this amazingly creative world.”
What’s next for you?
OI : “I have to finish filming a movie called The Promise that I’m doing. Shooting it in Spain. The film takes place in the beginning of World War One in Turkey and I play an Armenian doctor in it so yeah, I’m finishing that up.”
LN : “I just finished a play called Eclipse that is by Dania Gurira who is an actress on The Walking Dead. She plays Michone and we just finished that at the Public Theatre in New York and we’re moving to Broadway in February, so very excited about that. It’s gonna be the first play on Broadway that is written by a woman, directed by a woman and starring just women. So that’s a great milestone. And then I have the Jungle Book coming out in April and Queen of Katwe coming out soon.”
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th! OMG, the movie releases this week!!!