Genevieve O’Reilly, on Andor: “This series achieves the best of Star Wars, which is to marry the epic with the intimate”

Tall, distinguished and mysterious: Mon Mothma He is one of the most magnetic characters in starwarspresent both in the original trilogy and in the prequels directed by George Lucas, in animated series and now in Andor. After his decisive role in rogue one, Genevieve O’Reilly once again puts herself in the shoes of this rebellious senator and spoke with THE NATION about the challenges that his character will face in the new series that premieres this Wednesday on Disney +.

With extensive experience in Hollywood, thanks to titles such as Avatar either the legend of tarzanO’Reilly undoubtedly found his most popular role in Mon Mothma. After Caroline Blakiston played her in return of the jedi in 1983, she took the role in the prequel in 2005 in Revenge of the Sith and repeated it in rogue one in 2016 and in the animated series Star Wars Rebels.

Preview of “Andor” – Source: Disney PLUS LA

Now O’Reilly is back to being Mon Mothma in Andorwhere he shares the poster with Diego Luna (Cassian Andor), in a story set five years before rogue one which will take place over twelve episodes in its first season.

-His first participation in the Star Wars universe was with this same character in Revenge of the Sith, which was originally going to have more presence but many of its scenes were eliminated in the edition. How do you remember that experience?

-With love! It was one of my first jobs as an actress and I remember the impact of being in that new world where things seemed unique: being surrounded by blue screens, sets made to scale, a cinematographic environment that I had never entered before. I remember the costumes, exquisite. And the pleasure of working with Natalie Portman, an extraordinary woman and an incredible actress. It was a pleasure. It is a moment in my life that I remember fondly.

-And this return, now in series format, is it very different? What are the challenges for an actress in an environment full of special effects?

-I believe that starwars does it very well from the beginning, and that Andor continues in that tradition of pairing the epic with the intimate. They are stories that are as universal as they are familiar, and that is very welcome by the actors. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to play on such a large scale and yet have what drives your character to be wonderfully human, motivated by her ideals, by the things she dreams of achieving, the goals she sets for herself. It’s a truly cinematic situation but in scale. In his heart, Andor he is beautifully human.

Genevieve O'Reilly is back in the shoes of Mon Mothma
Genevieve O’Reilly is back in the shoes of Mon Mothma

-And what can you tell us about your character? The last time we saw him was in redone, but Andor It is a prequel to those events. What are we going to find in the series?

-We are going to meet Mon Mothma in a place where we have never seen her before: she is immersed in the Empire. Her world is the Empire and high politics. Right now she is from high society and she looks different from how we have seen her before, but, nevertheless, in her heart she is the same woman because she always maintains her ideals. She fights for what she believes in, but in this case she is the voice of diplomacy. In a way, Mon Mothma is fighting with words for the same goal that Cassian is fighting for on a battlefield. The idea that we all have of Mon Mothma is a kind of statue woman, right? Like a firm pillar to lean on, someone very noble and very distinguished. But now we are going to be able to see her behind the scenes, who is the woman behind the statue.

Cassian Andor, in the skin of the Mexican Diego Luna
Cassian Andor, in the skin of the Mexican Diego LunaDes Willie

-Andor It is a longer series than the usual ones in starwars, has twelve episodes in its first season. Do you think he streaming provides more possibilities when telling stories?

-What platforms allow us streaming It is a long-form narrative, ideal for investigating and knowing more about a character. Artists now have more time to tell a story and that is why they can be more ambitious, braver, more risky, and I think that for actors and actresses it gives us the peace of developing a character in a way that cannot be done within a two-hour movie time slot.

-It seems to be a very positive challenge for the actors…

-Streaming is a very exciting place to work as an actor at the moment because I think we are faced with the possibility of telling a story in a way that we had not done before. And I feel that with starwars in particular, it allows telling the epic side by side with the intimate. Now we can touch universal themes through family dynamics or different characters, giving space to those people, their fights… I’m very happy that the fans see that in Andor.

Genevieve O'Reilly was applauded in the last edition of "Star Wars Celebration"
Genevieve O’Reilly was applauded in the latest edition of “Star Wars Celebration”Jesse Grant – Getty Images North America

-How was the experience of working with such a diverse cast, led by Diego Luna?

-In this series I have had an extraordinary group of actors. I became a fan of all of them. I think the diversity in the cast is something to be proud of, and I’m not just talking about ethnicity but also age, gender… It’s a really very special group and I’m honored to be a part of it. I am proud that our producers and creators allow so many female voices in a narrative of starwars to have other points of view, other sounds. We come from different parts of the world and yet we fit perfectly into a universal story. Everything happens on different planets in a galaxy far, far away, and yet they are united by a story, a strong and diverse narrative.

-Sometimes that diversity generates division among the fans of starwarswho can be toxic in social networks… Did you experience that in the first person?

-My experience with the fans of starwars is that they are incredibly passionate. Not only because of this story but also because of the characters and I can say that it personally makes my work more valuable. When they approach me it is always as part of a celebration. They are people not only interested in movies or series, but also in the culture and narrative of starwars, and I think that’s really special. I love being a part of that.

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