Denise Gough’s performance as Dedra Meero in Andor was so good, you may have assumed she knew Star Wars just as well as the rest of us. It turns out she didn’t.
But preparing for her role in the Tony Gilroy-run Disney+ by not watching Star Wars may have actually been part of her strategy, according to a recent interview with Empire.
“I watched Rogue One,” she said “But I didn’t [watch them all]. I thought, ‘I don’t want to have too much information. I don’t want to be doing a version of something, or stepping into a club. I just want to play this woman, and then see what happens.’”
In the show, Dedra is a successful Imperial Security Bureau officer who strives for more of the status and recognition she feels she deserves. Over the course of the show’s first season, she joins in on the ongoing hunt for Cassian Andor.
Along the way, she clashes with Syril Karn, an ex-Imperial employee determined not just to make Andor pay for his crimes, but also to grab and hold the attention (and possibly the favor) of Dedra herself.
Gough isn’t the first actor who joined Star Wars without context. Daisy Ridley may have portrayed Rey Skywalker as if she’d grown up loving the universe, but she was a newcomer not just on the Star Wars screen, but to a galaxy far, far away as a whole.
As far as actors, directors, and others go, the Star Wars franchise manages to employ a healthy mix of lifelong Star Wars fans (we see you, Ming-Na Wen) and those who can utilize their lack of experience in the universe to bring fresh performances to the big and small screens.
Will Gough return next season? Only time will tell.
All episodes of Andor Season 1 are now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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