Eman Esfandi was universally praised for his live-action portrayal of the Jedi Ezra Bridger in Ahsoka. The actor recently shared how he prepared for the part, including one key thing he didn't do.
Speaking in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Esfandi described approaching Ezra not like an animated character, but as if he was preparing for a biopic of a real person. He shared:
"There was so much information about Ezra online as if he was a public figure. You could search someone in history for a biopic you’re doing, and you would never get to see them alive, but you’d read everything about them and their story. So I treated Ezra that way. I read about his family, his parents, his upbringing and his master. So I read everything about Ezra and watched other surrounding, adjacent things. "
There was one thing Esfandi absolutely avoided. He would not watch Star Wars Rebels. He explained:
"I just didn’t want to watch actual young Ezra, because I didn’t want the voice to get too locked into my head and throat. I didn’t want to be too hokey about trying to copy a certain physicality and mannerisms that are technically from an animated show. We’re regular live-action, and I have to move like a regular human and not like a cartoon. And so I thought it would get too cartoony if I watched Rebels, as opposed to just treating him like a regular character that you look up all the information of and then embody it as your physicality embodies it naturally. "
Every actor has different ways of preparing for roles. This clearly worked for Esfandi because he was an instant fan favorite. He made Ezra his own while capturing everything wonderful about the animated version. Esfandi is Ezra Bridger. I hope he gets to continue playing the role for many years to come.