Next up in our on-going series from the #StarWarsEvent Press Trip is our interview with Lupita Nyong’o & Oscar Isaac. Both join the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens as new characters in the Star Wars universe. And, their characters are both GREAT (click here to read our no spoilers review of the movie)!!!
The interview was fun and both actors are so well spoken. Lupita is so eloquent and her voice is just beautiful! I could have listened to her talk all day. But, she couldn’t say too much about her character (which was not shown in ANY of the trailers or teasers, though you did hear her voice). I’ve now seen her character (which is an important one in the movie). But when we interviewed them, none of us had seen the movie. So, we chatted with them about what we could. Here’s what they shared:
Lupita: I can tell you that my character’s name is Maz Kanata and she is a pirate and owns a bar.
Oscar: 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, like fighting a fighter jet and getting into these dog fights and be so close to the edge of death. That definitely influences how he operates in the world.
Oscar: It’s strange. 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. So 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. So there’s so much going on that it’s a very trippy moment.
Lupita: 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 to see (the process)– you know, the early stages of her and how she’s evolved over time because she’s CGI they’ve been working on her for a long, a long time.
And then 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. So it was just as confusing and bizarre and titillating like ‘oh, my god there I go’. You know, and 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 they have 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. It’s a beautiful visual experience and a moving story. I think the fans that the franchise already has will be very happy and I think the new fans will be equally thrilled by this amazingly creative world.
And no spoilers here, but I TOTALLY agree with Lupita after having seen the film now! This new movie effortlessly fits into the franchise! And the CGI done for her character is INCREDIBLE!!!! Q: What’s it like stepping into and becoming part of the most iconic series probably of all time? Did you grow up with the Star Wars movies?
Lupita: I was born into Star Wars, I feel. It was a very normal part of my childhood. It would come on public holidays on the 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. 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. It dawned on me for the first time stepping onto the actual set that I was a part of it, because I looked around and these were these very expansive sets and there was 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 wow, I’m a part of something that has and will continue to go down in history.
Oscar: The first movie I ever saw in the theater was Return of the Jedi, amazingly. It’s pretty crazy. So now that I’ve done this one, I’m going to stop doing movies now [cue laughter]. It definitely changed my life. It kind of blew my little kid brain, and I was a huge fan ever since. 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’ and terrorize my family with them. For me Star Wars always represented, and meant quite literally.coming together as a family and having a great time.
At the same time, it’s like 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 J.J. and I first met to what ultimately ends up on screen. So it really did feel like creating something. It’s kind of hard to process, especially now. You really feel that receding of all the water because the tsunami’s about to hit. You know, that’s kind of what this moment is really where it’s just about to crest over. So yes, it’s not just a film. It’s a cultural phenomenon and it’s just hard to process.
Be sure to check out all our #StarWarsEvent Coverage:
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review
- Star Wars Press Event Photos
- Harrison Ford [Han Solo] Interview
- Daisy Ridley [Rey] Interview
- John Boyega [Finn] Interview
- Lupita Nyong’o [Maz Kanata] and Oscar Isaac [Poe] Interview
- Kathleen Kennedy [Producer & Lucasfilm President] Interview
- J.J. Abrams [Co-writer & Director] Interview
Disclaimer: I was invited and hosted by Disney and LucasFilm to cover the #StarWarsEvent as part of an all-expenses paid press trip. As always, all opinions and love of Star Wars are entirely my own. Photos used in the post are courtesy of Disney and MomStart.com.