Have you been enjoying our exclusive interviews from the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS #StarWarsEvent? I have to admit, our interview with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, and Golden Globe nominee Oscar Isaac was really exciting for me. I’m a huge Lupita fan, and I’ve seen Oscar is so many amazing movies and shows, thinking about them makes me head spin. Also? Oscar has a beautiful singing voice. Le swoon.
It was interesting interviewing Oscar and Lupita together. Lupita was more reserved with her answers (no spoilers), while Oscar gave us a deep dive into what he thought about each topic without giving away hardly anything. Keep reading to see what I mean.
So obviously none of us have seen the movie yet. What can you tell us about your characters?
Lupita: I can tell you that my character’s name is Maz Kanata and she is a pirate and owns a bar.
Oscar: I can say that Poe Dameron is a pilot, not a pirate and he is committed to the resistance and to defeating the first order. He believes in the force, and he can be a little reckless in wanting to prove that he is a leader and a hero. I think he also has that swagger and confidence that comes from people that can soar above everyone else and do all these things at once.
Lupita has known Star Wars since she was a young girl; she expressed that it was a normal part of her childhood.
Lupita: It would come on public holidays on, uh, the national television. We only had two channels, so Star Wars was on and everybody watched it and everybody was familiar with it. It was a very normal, comfortable, cozy part of my imaginative folklore.
It wasn’t until being cast in it that I realized what it meant on a meta level to the world and how big the fan base is, how dedicated, how enthusiastic people are about this world that George Lucas created. It dawned on me for the first time, I think, stepping onto the actual set that I was a part of it. You really did feel like you were on another planet, and I think that was the time when I realized I’m a part of something that has and will continue to go down in history.
The first movie Oscar ever saw was Return of The Jedi, so he has a very personal connection to the Star Wars franchise.
Oscar: It kind of blew my little kid brain, and I was a huge fan ever since. My family were very big fans, and every time a new film would come out we’d throw themed parties and memorize the fight scenes to a T and terrorize my family with them. And so for me Star Wars always represented and meant quite literally coming together as a family, and having a great time, and it was an excuse to do that.
What was the first thing that you did when you found out that you actually got the part?
Lupita: I took out my suitcase. I really did. I got my suitcase. Time to pack. No, I literally found out two days before I needed to be in London, so I had to pack.
Oscar: I was in a hotel room in London so I just blasted the Star Wars theme and I grabbed the shampoo bottle and started using it like an X-wing.
I wanted to ask Lupita how it felt to play such a wise, older character, while being so young and accomplished. She responded with a very PC, and somewhat guarded, answer.
We don’t know much about Maz yet but we do know that she’s pretty up there in age. How does it feel to play someone so wise and a thousand years old, while being so young?
Lupita: Well, I mean I can’t answer that because I didn’t say all those things you said and I’m not allowed to say any of those things. So I, those are, those are basically speculations that I cannot, uh, confirm or deny.
I tried it! But while Lupita was very accommodating to her NDA, we have learned that yes, Maz Kanata is about 1000 years old, a pirate, and owns her own watering hole on the planet Takodana. She’s so careful, that Lupita.
Can you imagine working on a large scale film, and seeing your character on the screen for the first time? We were interested in how Oscar and Lupita felt once they saw themselves within the Star Wars Universe.
Oscar: It’s strange. It’s difficult to process. It’s a lot of mixed emotions because you’re seeing it as a fan. You’re seeing the new thing. You’re exhilarated by that. You’re understanding what the world is because it’s one thing to see it all put together. I was being affected as a viewer, and then also the memories of what shooting was like, what takes were used, what takes were not used and what was moved to another place and how it affects [things]. So there’s so much going on that it’s a very trippy moment.
Lupita: When I signed on to play Maz, they were still developing the character and her role in the film and what she was going to look like. They welcomed me into that conversation which was really cool to see the early stages of her and how she’s evolved over time. Because she’s CGI, they’ve been working on her for a long, a long time. And then to finally see the film and to see what became of her and somehow, it’s me but it’s definitely not me. It’s bizarre. My take away from seeing the film was that it is seamless. It felt to me like a seamless continuation of the Star Wars saga, because…they have kept the integrity of the world that George Lucas created and somehow they have managed to integrate all this new technology and these new storylines.
Both Lupita and Oscar have exciting projects coming up, and they shared their future plans with us.
Oscar: I have to finish filming a movie called The Promise that I’m doing. Shooting it in Spain. The film takes place in the beginning of World War One in Turkey and I play an Armenian doctor in it.
Lupita: I just finished a play called Eclipse that is by Danai Gurira, an actress on the Walking Dead. We just finished that at the Public Theatre in New York, and we’re moving to Broadway in February; so very excited about that. It’s gonna be the first play on Broadway that is written by a woman, directed by a woman and starring just women. So that’s a great milestone. And then I have the Jungle Book coming out in April, and Queen of Katwe coming out soon.
Aren’t they just wonderful? These two young actors were a pleasure to speak with, and we can’t wait to see their intergalactic stars rise even higher after the release of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.
Tomorrow, we’ll share our interview with Director J.J. Abrams. He talks Lost, legacy, and gives the real scoop about the cast. Stay tuned!
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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!