Some actors are really good at being bad. It appears as though Ben Mendelsohn is one of them, especially in his role as Director Orson Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As evil as he is in this role, he is so sweet in person and quite funny.
Here’s what Ben Mendelsohn had to say…
About his character
“I play 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.”
Being a Star Wars fan and now being a part of the Empire’s side
“No. 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? … I wish I could have told myself at various points through life, don’t worry. One day you’ll be in Star Wars. That would have been good turn but there you go.”
Playing evil roles vs. good roles
“Well, I do think there’s a certain palette of emotions that you get to work with more if you’re playing you know the bad guys like the angry, resentful, enraged sort of stuff…look I consider it a real honor to be playing you know bad guys in this film and there will 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 but it’s fine that everyone else does.”
On hearing he was being considered for the part
Well, I sort of got summoned to go and meet. And he basically told me the story and he told me who he wanted me to play. And I, I was just a little concerned. I thought like are you sure? but I was incredibly flattered…It was one of those things that got a little bit foggy because I started to get a little bit overwhelmed by it. So you know I was pretty sure by the end of it that he had offered it to me. And you know and I’d rang in and reported as much. But then I had to keep it quiet for a very, very long time.”
On who is more dangerous: His character or Darth Vader
“…I mean 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 you know 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…You know Emperor’s here and how close can you get? And I think Krennic is going for that number…I think he regards Darth as the emperor’s kind of pet and you know he’s all fascinated with him and stuff like that. He’s a very impressive dude…He’s like a very important figurehead. But in terms of the strategies and what we actually have to get done you know whatever. He’s a great car, you know? But someone’s got to drive it.”
Atmosphere on set
“…the atmosphere onset you know it changes but it was, it was, it was –. 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 his character
“…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 you know it’s all very sort of you know Royal Shakespeare you know bad guy kind of very straight kind of stuff. So I wanted, I wanted Krennic to sound like enough of one of those guys.
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…”
The most difficult part for him
“I think it was the first few days of being there and walking in front of having taken storm troopers into those Imperial sets and stuff like that. It took a while to sort of just be able to go, okay, okay, okay. You’ve got this. Like you got this. That was difficult…”
On whether or not he kept something from the set
“You know what’s fantastic about this country. And I do love this. You can take the fifth here, you know? What a beautiful country.”
What’s it like visiting LucasFilm Headquarters? Read about my experience here.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Adventures arrives in theaters everywhere on December 16th!