Category: Interviews

Press: The All-Stars of “Star Wars”

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and their “Last Jedi” comrades discuss the difficulties of new relationships, the joys of villainy and those porgs.

 

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES – While they tell tales of Death Stars and daddy issues, the “Star Wars” movies are also stories about duality: how goodness and evil can coexist — on the same planet or inside the same person — and what happens when they collide on an intergalactic scale.

 

These themes are revisited once again in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the eighth episode in the science-fiction saga that George Lucas started in 1977. “The Last Jedi,” which opens on Dec. 15, is the first to be written and directed by Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “Looper”). It follows the resounding success of “The Force Awakens,” directed by J. J. Abrams in 2015, about two young heroes, a scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) and a renegade stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega), caught up in the search for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

 

The new film continues where “The Force Awakens” left off, as Rey and Luke are about to meet on the planet Ahch-To, and it promises a further exploration of their relationship to the sullen evildoer Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his nefarious master, Snoke (Andy Serkis). It also features the final performance in the series from Carrie Fisher, who played Leia and who died last December.

 

At a running time of some two and a half hours, “The Last Jedi” continues the adventures of Finn and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and their adversaries Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Somehow it finds room for the new characters Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), and a wide-eyed alien species called porgs.

 

Like the film they made, the creator and cast of “The Last Jedi” can encompass a spectrum of darkness and light, seriousness and silliness, all in the same conversation. Just days before the movie’s opening, they gathered for what felt at times like a solemn high school graduation and, at other times, like its after-party.

 

Here, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Ridley, Mr. Boyega, Mr. Hamill, Mr. Driver, Mr. Serkis, Mr. Isaac, Ms. Christie, Mr. Gleeson, Ms. Tran and Ms. Dern discuss their work on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and some of the questions it raises. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.

 

Audiences have a strong sense of what they think a “Star Wars” film should look and feel like. But Rian, you make films that are personal and idiosyncratic. How do you do that in a “Star Wars” movie?

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Videos: Gwendoline Visits GMA & Live with Kelly & Ryan

Also a funny interview from the Dark Side at the end.

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Gallery/Video: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Appearance

 
 

 

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Videos: Training Featurette & More From the Press Junket of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

 

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Gallery/Video: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” LA Press Conference


 

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Videos: Some Interviews Promoting “The Last Jedi”

 
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Press: Rian Johnson’s Parting Porg Gift, Lightsaber Bruises, and More From the Cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

SYFY – The full press push for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now at full hyperspace, with director Rian Johnson and the cast appearing almost everywhere as we inch closer to the film’s release on December 15th.

 

Rian Johnson gathered together with cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Laura Dern (Amilyn Holdo), John Boyega (Finn), and Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) for a Facebook Live event, and the gang passed around an upturned stormtrooper helmet full of questions. Here are some of the best responses!

 

On which cast member is the funniest: John Boyega was quick to say BB-8, and the others quickly agreed. Hamill joked that if his beeps are translated, “he kills it every time.”

 

On which cast member has the best pet: Boyega again jumped in and declared that his British Nigerian cat was the best of the bunch. When Hamill brought up the fact that his own daughter’s dog, Millie, has over 19,000 instagram followers, Boyega came back at him with a response for the ages– “My cat doesn’t need followers, cause he’s got self-esteem.”

 

Does the cast ever think of stealing BB-8? Most of them do, but this is when Rian Johnson dropped a porg-bomb on the porg-ceedings. When one of the actors mentioned stealing a porg, Johnson said that he doesn’t need to do that, because master craftsman Neil Scanlan gave him a fully functional porg replica as a wrap gift. The rest of the cast instantly came down with a big case of porg envy.

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Press: Warrior woman: How Gwendoline Christie escaped the pressure to fit in

 

The Sydney Morning Herald – I arrive early at the LA hotel where I’m meeting Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, and my first impression of the actor is formed in a millisecond when I bump into her in a hallway. Unusually and ethereally beautiful, towering above me, there’s no mistaking the 39-year-old who stars as the indomitable Brienne of Tarth in the must-watch TV series, and who is reprising her role as the villainous Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (She first played the kickass stormtrooper in the previous chapter, 2015’s The Force Awakens.)

 

Wearing a see-though black Fendi top and narrow trousers, her blonde hair is wavy and bobbed. With her porcelain skin and 191-centimetre stature, she could easily look intimidating. But her bright smile makes her approachable, so I tell her, in an embarrassing babble, that I love her work and that my two daughters are huge fans. She seems delighted, as though compliments are not at all commonplace.

 

Is she enjoying Hollywood stardom? “I don’t think I would ever term myself as a Hollywood star… ever,” she responds with a loud laugh, while admitting that “things seem to be going quite well”. That sounds like an understatement. “Well it’s always great, isn’t it, when you feel a level of creative fulfilment in your work?” says Gwendoline in her lovely melodic voice.

 

She has every reason to be in good spirits. Her film career is in flight and life post-Westeros looks exciting. She has loved Star Wars since she was six, she tells me later, ushering me into her hotel suite and settling beside me on the sofa, poised, hands clasped. “Everyone wants to be in Star Wars. It is such a huge global phenomenon; I desperately wanted the role.”

 

The latest installment in the franchise sees Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in a prominent role with an apparently shocking twist. There will also a strong focus on a new generation of characters, including purple-haired Vice-Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern.

 

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Press: Gwendoline Christie on Playing the ‘Complete Opposite’ of Brienne of Tarth

NY TIMES – If Jane Campion’s first season of the crime drama “Top of the Lake” seemed remote and somber to some, the second season, “Top of the Lake: China Girl” has more of a sense of humor, even when delving into the darker recesses of life. (In this case, migrant sex workers, institutionalized misogyny, mental illness and more.) In the second season, which begins Sunday on Sundance, Elisabeth Moss’s detective Robin Griffin, who returns home to Australia after time in New Zealand, is assigned an overeager assistant, played by “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie.

 

Over the phone earlier this month, Ms. Christie spoke about becoming Robin’s reluctant partner, her own reluctance to take a stand on the issues the show raises and her meltdown on set. Following are edited excerpts from that conversation.

 

Jane Campion wrote the character of Miranda with you in mind?

 

I really wanted to be in this series, so I wrote to Jane, and I was lucky enough to have her write this part for me. It touches on aspects that I don’t always feel particularly comfortable with, but I think it’s important to highlight, and so we see Miranda being marginalized at work, the victim of misogyny. It’s not always comfortable to play those things. Yes, you’re at work, and yes, you’re just playing a part, but it’s so personal.

 

And yet at the same time, Miranda provides some of the comic relief.

 

I think the series is quite hilarious! It has a very, very dark sense of humor, but it’s extremely funny. Miranda is like an enthusiastic puppy. Miranda desperately wants to be friends, and she’s really governed by emotion in a way that Brienne of Tarth from “Game of Thrones” is not. Miranda is the complete opposite of Brienne. Brienne has a reflective thought process, and works things through with sustained thought. She takes her time. She pauses. And Miranda is totally impetuous. She’s also incredibly gauche. She’s gawky. She’s awkward. She’s too much. That’s a note that Jane gave me to constantly remember: “You’re too much.”

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Press: Gwendoline Christie on ‘Game of Thrones’ and Brienne’s Love Triangles

 

NY TIMES – In Sunday’s Season 7 finale of “Game of Thrones,” after arriving at King’s Landing from Winterfell, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) bears witness to the presentation of the undead wight, the hard-won proof of the common evil all of the show’s characters will soon face.

 

Can opposing sides put aside their squabbles and band together to prevent the end of the world? For her part, Brienne tries to facilitate that, even if she’s rebuffed in the moment by Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), her former road trip partner. We talked with Ms. Christie about Brienne’s tête-à-tête with her gold-handed man, her reunion with a past combatant and her unusual love triangles. Following are edited excerpts from that conversation.

 

Sansa sent Brienne to King’s Landing as her representative, but also because she didn’t want or need her around to dispose of the Littlefinger problem. How do you feel about how that was resolved?

 

Back in Season 3, when she was escorting Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing, there was a farmer who witnessed them on the road. Jaime said, “That farmer knows who I am. What if he tells someone?” implying that she needed to go and kill him. And Brienne refused, because she didn’t believe it was the right thing to do. She doesn’t believe in dispatching a life unless it’s absolutely necessary. Unless it’s official. Look at the way she beheaded Stannis. She essentially read him his rights. Although it was loaded with emotion for her, she presented it in a very official, formal way, with great nobility. So I don’t know how Brienne will react to people taking matters into their own hands at Winterfell. Brienne is about a code of honor, a code of conduct, and she never kills anyone just for the sake of it.

 

It’s complex, though, because Brienne’s made her oath to Catelyn Stark to protect the Stark girls. It’s a little bit of a tricky situation because both Sansa and Arya have had their own journeys, and at times, some horrific experiences. I think she wishes she had been able to save them from what they had been forced to experience. We can use the word “maternal” because it has so many connotations, but what I like about it is that, in Brienne’s own way, she is expressing something of their mother to them. She’s protecting them as best she can. I think things are getting more interesting for Brienne now. I know it’s not what she wanted, to leave Sansa’s side, but being at King’s Landing as Sansa’s representative sort of upped her game. It’s going beyond the remit of what she thought her job description was.

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