Fiona Shaw wasn’t originally cast as Marva Andor

Maarva (Fiona Shaw) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Maarva (Fiona Shaw) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Andor has been rightfully praised for many reasons, particularly Fiona Shaw’s powerful speech in the season one finale, “Rix Road.” It’s an excellent moment following the procession with a live band as the crowd gets whipped up more into a frenzy. Her words are the spark that ignites the Rebellion on Ferrix, and it’s some of Shaw’s best work in the series. This is why I was surprised to find out that Shaw wasn’t originally cast to play Marva Andor.

Speaking to Variety in their Making a Scene segment on YouTube, Tony Gilroy explains that Shaw wasn’t cast initially. He says:

"“I spent a year with CC Pounder was going to do that part. She as cast in the part for a long time. Then everything with Covid, by the time we got there, she didn’t want to do it. Fiona’s name was suddenly on the list and I had seen some other work of hers before. But I had watched all of Killing Eve, and it was just like ‘Oh my God! Well, let’s have that.’”"

CC Pounder would have also made a fantastic choice for Marva Andor.  She is a four-time Primetime Emmy nominated actor for her work in The X-Files, The Shield, and ER. Pounder is also an advocate as one of the founders of Artists for a New South Africa to bring awareness to the AIDS epidemic.

The entire Making a Scene video is a pleasure to watch. They touch on topics we’ve covered before on Dork Side of the Force, like how Marva’s speech was supposed to end with an F-Bomb (so warning if you watch the video. There is quite a bit of swearing). The director for the Rix Road scene, Ben Caron, also discusses at length the film that inspired the eruption of the Ferrix rebellion. He says that one of his favorite movies is the 1966 film The Battle of Algiers. During the Making a Scene, the video shows clips from this movie and Andor, and it’s uncanny how much inspiration was taken.

The entire Variety video is a joy to watch, so check it out below if you haven’t yet.