Star Wars Rogue One - Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, K-2SO

How did this whole thing even come about? Was it just “We need this CG robot character…let’s get Alan Tudyk!” You seem like a go-to guy for so many specific and peculiar characters. I just watched you play a chicken in Moana last week. 

Right!

Are you on somebody’s weird role list? We have an impossible and weird role! Call him!

I think I am on the weird role list! “We have a pirate in a dodgeball movie. You know what? Let me call, I got a specialist. I’ll call in a specialist!” I had played Sonny in I, Robot, so I’m one of the few people, probably the only actor…and I’ll probably be proven wrong, there’s probably a movie out there somewhere that I don’t know about….but I’m probably one of the few actors who has played a robot in a big action movie and did motion capture for that long and has tackled a project like that. So when I first talked to [director Gareth Edwards], I approached our conversation that way, like “Here’s what you’re going to want to do.” I really just laid it out for him in a way that as somebody who has some insight into what he’s about to tackle. He then asked me to audition and I auditioned and he gave me the role. I do feel that once a character has an accent, once a character has a limp or a lisp or some kind of extra special thing that other actors aren’t going to gravitate towards, they start looking for specialty character actors. After doing this for awhile, I guess I’m on that short list for some people…and it’s a great list to be on!

This is the part where I would ask you if you’re prepared to be known as a Star Wars character for the rest of your life. Because once you’ve been in Star Wars, the headlines are always “Star Wars actor joins this project.”

Riiight.

But people already know you! You were in Serenity and Firefly. I told someone I was interviewing Alan Tudyk and they asked “Who’s that?” and I showed them your picture and she said, “I love that guy!” How does it feel to be in these big things without being chained down by them?

Lucky. A lot of people don’t pigeonhole you if you’re bouncing from this project to this project. They don’t even associate you as the same person a lot of the time. I’ve met a lot of people who have only noticed, halfway through a movie, “Wait a moment, I know who that guy is!” It’s a compliment. I have no idea what it’s going to be like to be a Star Wars droid for the rest of my life. I am already a spaceship pilot for the rest of my life because of Joss Whedon’s show Firefly and the movie Serenity. This is going to be a little different. Luckily, I don’t have to give up being the pilot from Firefly, so I can just be both.

You always hear these stories of Anthony Daniels [who plays C-3PO] surprising children by doing his droid voice. Are you looking forward to a lifetime of surprising children?

Yes, I love doing that. I have a few from voice over jobs that I can pull out for kids and depending on their age, they react in different ways. “That’s King Candy [from Wreck-It Ralph]! That’s cool!” when they’re a little bit older. When they’re really young, they have this look on their face like, “I’ve been lied to. There’s been deceit, and I don’t know who I need to talk to, but somebody’s going to catch it! This is a bunch of bull!” I’ve luckily done a lot of those. This will be another one, man. I can’t wait for people to see this movie. I keep saying that, but we just finished watching it and, in a lot of ways, we just finished the movie.

We watched thirty minutes last night and I was really impressed by it. You don’t have to say too much because we need to see the rest of the movie, but is there a certain scene or moment where you were just like “Fuck, I’m in a Star Wars movie!”?

There was some X-Wing fighting, that classic shot straight on with the pilot in the cockpit and they’re, you know – [makes a bunch of Star Wars beeping noises] – honing in with the targeting device… Oh, man. There’s so much. There’s so many moments that make you realize that this is a Star Wars movie. It’s reminiscent of A New Hope in a way that I feel like I haven’t seen, but it also maintains its own identity because it’s shot the way it’s shot. It’s a hell of a ride. I did have a kid wake up inside of me at one point because it echoes that world. It’s part of that world. You see the Death Star and Darth Vader. I can’t wait for people to see it.

And the best part is that since you played a robot in this one, you could always play someone else in another Star Wars movie.

Yeah, exactly. I had played a human in this. But he got cut!

***

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters December 16.

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