Rosario Dawson shared her story about how fans helped her get the role of Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian.
The internet is a magical place these days, and the power of fans on the internet can really help (or sometimes hurt) an actor bigtime. Fan-castings, too, have become a large part of fan culture on the internet, and when it comes to The Mandalorian, that’s exactly what helped Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni when it came to casting a live-action version of Ahsoka Tano.
This was revealed by Filoni and live-action Ahsoka Tano actress Rosario Dawson in a recently published interview in Vanity Fair. The extensive interview touched on a lot of topics following the release of The Mandalorian Chapter 13, which featured Dawson, and there was much to be learned — including how she was cast.
According to Dawson in the interview, she was used to getting fan-cast for different roles by fans online. And the beauty of fan-casting in this day and age is that fans help to create that visual, whether it be through photos showing the character and the actor side-by-side, or an artist’s rendition of that actor as the character. Dawson told Vanity Fair:
"Actually it first came from fans online. Someone tweeted me and fan-cast me. I retweeted back and I was like, “Absolutely, yes please” and “#AhsokaLives.” And apparently that got the attention of someone who has been doing the Star Wars press for years. She forwarded it to Dave Filoni. That kind of started a whole thing. I was like, “Oh my goodness, did I just get fan-cast in something?” And then nothing happened."
Filoni revealed that after seeing that fan-casting with Dawson, she became his first choice for the role. And he later told Jon Favreau that he’d like to see Dawson cast as Ahsoka. Eventually, Dawson was contacted, and she got to FaceTime Favreau and see some of the behind-the-scenes work they were doing for the series. When asked when this occurred, she responded:
"They were just about to drop the first one, and they had all of this art that had me as Ahsoka. They had already been preparing, knowing that they wanted to have her be a part of a story in the second season. They’d just been visualizing me in this role that whole time, and it was mind-boggling."
The rest, of course, is history. Dawson detailed in the interview that when it came to being offered the role, she tried to play it cool despite being totally excited and “freaking out” to take on the offer. Like many, including Katee Sackhoff, we’re sure it was like a dream come true to be a part of the franchise. She also revealed in the interview that she had seen some of Star Wars: The Clone Wars prior to being cast. But once it was official, she said that she started watching everything, and it helped her connect with the character a lot more.
From there, it was on to making Ahsoka a real-life person and not just an animated character. And Filoni revealed there was a lot to consider when coming up with her look for Dawson:
"It was a pretty amazing thing as we designed the costume and worked out all the details of that. Everything got considered to an unbelievable degree—the headtails, the horns, I can’t even tell you. It’s hard. It’s so rare a person in my position from animation gets to craft and guide the character’s jump to live-action."
Needless to say, many fans were impressed with the character’s live-action look in the series. And some are hopeful that this isn’t the last time we see Dawson as the live-action Ahsoka Tano. If she doesn’t appear in The Mandalorian again, hopefully, she’ll get to appear in another live-action Star Wars series when the time is right.
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