As Star Wars keeps on celebrating diversity in its films, I celebrate Diego Luna’s leading role as Captain Cassian Andor in Rogue One. How amazing! It is epic to see a Latino leading role in THE movie franchise that families everywhere share. LO MAXIMO! I can’t begin to tell you the joy to have our culture and the Star Wars CULTURE intertwined forever! My nerdy Star Wars heart flutters :-). In anticipation for the December 16th worldwide opening day we sat down to talk to Luna about his Star Wars Rogue One experience. We discovered that Diego Luna Loves Movies Because of Star Wars….and we love you back Diego! (did I write that out loud).
Exclusive Diego Luna Interview On Rogue One
As an important Latin-american actor, I was
eager starstruck to chat with Diego Luna (Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Book of Life). As Diego Luna walked in the room he was confident and clearly happy to talk about the film. He was down to earth, charming, attentive and won us over when he declared he wanted to stay with us for the rest of the afternoon. Swoon!
Diego Luna Loves Movies Because of Star Wars / Star Wars and Family
Like many around the world, Luna fell in love with Star Wars at an early age, and grew up with Star Wars. Family is what brought him to Star Wars. So, is Diego Luna sharing Rogue One with his children? “I bring my kids to see how we’re doing it so they can see it more from the perspective I see it and get less affected by the story. I grew up in theater, so I used to witness things I should probably had not witness but because I was watching from the dressing rooms or from the inside of the theater, I always saw the actor coming out and he was alive. I understood the representation of this fiction (is just that) that it has to look real but doesn’t mean it’s real. I invited my kids to witness this process because my son is huge fan of Star Wars.
He knows the world of Star Wars better than I do. He’s eight years old. I didn’t want it to stop him because everyone’s going to be talking about it. I want him to feel part of this. And he’s so excited. This film is important for me as an actor for many reasons, but one is because it connects me with the kid.”.
“At seven years old; six years old, I saw A New Hope. I saw it because I wanted to belong to the world of my cousins. All of my cousins were playing something I didn’t get. I wanted to be part of that universe to be able to be part of that gang. But it also connects me with my kids as a parent. And as a fan, it connects me with my son. I share the excitement with him. When we were watching The Force Awakens, we were there holding hands, and enjoying the moment. It wasn’t me, like let’s watch this cartoon, and let’s talk about what they’re saying. I wasn’t the dad there. It was two pals watching a film, and that was very sweet.”.
“So this is a special because (when) I’m going to work, and my son, instead of crying goes, yeah, yeah, go, go. You’ve got to be on time, Dad, and make sure you do it right. Do what Gareth says. Don’t mess up.”.
The Cassian Andor Role
We get the insight on getting to play Cassian Andor and preparing for the role from Diego Luna.
About Cassian Andor:
We have only seen 28 minutes of the film, but we already know Cassian Andor is vital. Luna tells us that he is an intelligence officer for the rebellion in charged of the most important mission for the rebellion. Consequently has to make sure this thing works together. He goes on to say: “He’s a spy; quite a mysterious man. He has a lot of information he would like to forget. He doesn’t like war but he believes in the cause and would do anything for the cause. He’s ready to sacrifice everything and he’s a true hero. He’s the kind of hero we could be, right? He doesn’t have special powers, he’s no Jedi. He’s just a man with conviction who knows that working together as a team makes you stronger.”.
Getting the Cassian Andor Role:
At the sound of Star Wars Diego Luna new he would join as part of the crew if he had to. “(If Gareth had) said I want you to be a Storm Trooper and just wear that outfit and be miserable for quite a long time until Felicity’s character kills you, I would’ve said yeah, let’s do it. I’m glad he didn’t say that, but it I would’ve said yes because I think this film has, has a lovely message behind [it]. It’s about people getting involved and taking control of their, of their reality and shaping the reality. And we need that in this world that is going crazy now. We need also to live different as a society and understand the diversity, culture and racial diversity. It just makes us stronger and richer. There’s a great thing there for us to find. Let’s live different as a society and, and just do it.
Preparing for the Cassian Andor Role:
“I went to the gym. A place I didn’t like before. They got me into a whole program and they were even taking care of my sleep. But it was necessary because I’ve never worked seven months in a film so intense and everyday we were doing something crazy- running, jumping, climbing. It was hard core scenes.”.
It seems that director Gareth Edwards like things to be pretty real. He would explain to them what was about to happen: “we’re gonna do this so you’re gonna be running, and there’s gonna be explosions, and these guys are gonna be shooting from this angle, this from this other angle, and you have to make it work – how would you do it?”. Because of this the cast got two weeks of military training which also allowed for Luna to get plenty of stories from ex-military personnel. Director Edwards thought after two weeks he would come out a soldier. “I go, that takes years, and he (Gareth Edwards) said, you’re the captain, solve this. I had to talk to Felicity (Jones, Jyn Erso in the movie) and start to organize a plan, and then execute, and [Gareth] would be following us, improvising on the way and reacting to what we were doing. It was a free process. It’s was full of that feeling of not knowing what’s gonna happen which brings some interesting tension and gives you those little moments of vulnerability that Gareth was looking for.”
From Telenovelas to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Some of us in the interview room grew up not only watching Star Wars, but also watching Diego Luna on TV making novelas. Of course we were curious about the leap from telenovelas to Rogue One, to which he says: “I don’t know how it happened. I have no idea. I started at six years old doing theater, and then around ten, I did my first film, and that’s when they invited me to do TV. I would say that those first years of doing TV were difficult in my life and I’m so glad I survived. The fame that TV brings is quite unhealthy, I think. It’s too fast. Everything happens too fast. [With film], I’ve been working for two years for this to come out, so I’m ready for this moment. I worked to be here. In television, that’s not the case, you know? In television, you’re shooting something one day, and it airs the next day. [Then] the reaction hits you two days later and then people forget the next Monday because there’s someone else on TV. It’s a weird thing to digest and when you’re getting used to it, it’s gone. I don’t find that healthy. Cinema is different – it stays there. You can always go back to that and remember where you were. It leaves a stamp and I feel very lucky to be doing what I’m doing now.”
I truly enjoyed our time with Diego Luna. I was taken by what he had to say about growing up with the movie, parenting and the Star Wars experience from the inside. His excitement for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is not only palpable, it is contagious! So far I signal out family as an important common factor from our Felicity Jones and Diego Luna interviews. Star Wars is truly a saga to enjoy together and grow up with as a family. Do you have tickets for you and your family for December 16th, opening day?
Have a Jedi in the kitchen? Here is a gift guide for him or her full of cool Star Wars kitchen gadgets, or get the newest Cassian Andor items!