An Empire can’t run on one bad guy. Look out Darth Vader, Director Krennic might steal some of your thunder! You can’t help but love to hate Orson Krennic on Rogue One. We only watched 28 minutes of the film at the Skywalker Ranch, but man, Ben Mendelsohn delivers a superb bad guy in Rogue One! He truly is a brilliant actor that gave us very interesting insight about his character and Rogue One. It is hard to choose, but I do believe Ben Mendelsohn is my favorite interview on Rogue One. Here is a recap of it for you:
Exclusive Interview with Ben Mendelsohn on Rogue One
We had so many questions to the newest bad guy in the galaxy. Ben Mendelsohn is one very cool man who gracefully spoke to us in and out of character. It was a pleasure listening to his answers and getting to know both the villain and the amazing actor. To begin, Mendelsohn told us who Orson Krennic is: “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.”
Stellar Reply Reflects on Being Part of The Empire
Of course Ben Mendelsohn is a Star Wars fan. But did he ever see himself on the dark side? His reply in character is simply fabulous: “No, 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 come to realize that 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?” Then, as himself he adds: “No, I didn’t but 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.”
Bringing Out Orson Krennic
This Rogue One bad guy really brings out feelings from the audience. Ben Mendelsohn aces the scene we watched with him as he managed to have us hang to his every word. Proof of this is a scene when Krennic demands his troops to look for a child and he orders “find IT!”…. yes there was a collective cringe. How did he prepare for the role?
When we were going into this, the main thing that I looked at was at the officers in the original film. You have to do a bit of a rewind and think about what it was like when they were making it in 1977 because they were all very British. It’s all very sort of Royal Shakespeare bad guy very straight kind of stuff. I wanted Krennic to sound enough of one of those guys.
And after that thought process comes the costume. I mean you put that costume on, and you’ve got those boots have that cape. All of a sudden you just feel that power. Basically the thing about those guys like the [scene] you saw last night is that from his perspective they’re just in the way. They’re just in the way. I mean, I’m sorry but she came out with a gun ready to shoot me. Like what are they thinking? That was a very, very good set up I thought.”.
Ben Mendelsohn on His Bad Guy Portrayals
Still hinged on those words, as a father, was it easy for Ben Mendelsohn to get into that mind frame? “Yeah because at the end of all of this I never ever confuse the two. There have been plenty of things I’ve done where you feel like uncomfortable or you feel a whole bunch of things because you know they are but they tend to be a lot more of the up close and personal things. But I never confuse the two. It’s sort of like, we’re going to play, here’s playtime. We’re going to play cops and robbers. (Afterwards) then we’re back to normal. You’ve got to be able to do that. But I think the thing that people find the hardest is how do you take on these things knowing that people are going to look at you and go, I hate that guy? I think when you’ve been acting for a little while you hope that people feel you in whatever way that is.
As long as they feel you, you know. So when you say, find it, and I have to say, when the first time I heard that when I saw it, I remember going, oh that’s so wrong. Find it. I hated him at that moment too.”.
His evil character portrayals have been named as unlikable sociopaths which he owns as his :”unlikable sociopath phase.”. Does Mendelsohn prefer acting out villains to the good guys? : “No. Well, I do think there’s a certain palette of emotions that you get to work with more if you’re playing the bad guys like the angry, resentful, enraged sort of stuff. I consider it a real honor to be playing a bad guy in this film and there’ll be one or two more. 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.”.
Hardest and Best Scenes for Mendelsohn
Just like Mads Mikkelsen had shared with us, Ben Mendelsohn talks about the Iceland shooting. For Mendelsohm despite the crazy weather changes and the prohibitively freezing conditions, the scene between Krennic and Erso has to be among his best. Of course along side Krennic getting to meet Darth Vader. He does point out that the first few days it was very difficult to be walking in front of Storm Troopers in the Imperial sets. I took him some time to settle in. At the end of the day, his takeaway is that if you are working surounded by Storm Troopers, you can’t have a bad day regardless how difficult or grueling your day on set might be. Sounds like total Star Wars coolness to me!
Darth Vader vs. Director Krennic
Who is really more dangerous? Mendelsohn gives his opinion on the subject: “I don’t think there’s any competition in a one-on-one. But, I think the Empire being what it is Darth’s pretty good. 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. So (it is) really about influences, where you sit. I think Krennic is going for that number. I think he regards Darth as the emperor’s pet and he’s all fascinated with him . He’s a very impressive dude.
He’s 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.”. Yes, Krennic tried to come out a bit on that answer too 🙂
What did Ben Mendelsohn Take From The Rogue One Set?
I was hoping he said that amazing cape of Krennic’s…..”Look, they’re very, very, very good at not letting you keep stuff from the film. Let me tell you what’s fantastic about this country. And I do love this. You can take the fifth here. What a beautiful country.”. I guess we will find out once all the inventory books are closed up!
Two More Days for Rogue One!
Definitely, I will be on the look out for Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Krennic. I just can’t wait to watch the entire Rogue One film. I am so happy I have my tickets. Do you?
While opening day, December 16th is here, catch up with all our other Rogue One interviews and articles: