Denise Gough and Kyle Soller of Andor on their characters’ motivations in the new Star Wars series

Both of your characters definitely start out as Imperials. Was there anything either of you did to present yourself as a formidable character in the Evil Empire? Are any of you influenced by specific Star Wars villains we’ve seen before?

Gough: No, because I have never seen Star Wars. I knew about Darth Vader obviously, and I knew about Palpatine because I worked with Ian McDiarmid. [on the London stage in “Six Characters in Search of an Author”]. I knew there were bad guys and good ones, there was a dark side and a light side, but I wasn’t a fan of all of that. But I’ll tell you who made a deep impression on me as a TV villain – Breaking Bad’s Gus Fring and the sense of meticulous detail and purity he has in his actions.

When I got to Dedra, it was obvious, just like when she finally met Cyril. They see kindred spirits in each other, kind of like OCD: “I need things to be better. I want everything to be really, really great.” But I felt better [coming into the series] in that I wasn’t someone totally influenced by Star Wars because I approached it the way I would approach a new play I’m working on.

It’s like a new letter, a great letter. It just so happens that this is Star Wars. That’s what was so amazing about him. I didn’t think it was right for me until I read the first three scripts and I’m not even into [the episodes]. I thought, “Oh no, wait. This is not science fiction. It’s a great script, and it’s Star Wars. It’s only in the last few days that I suddenly realize that I’m actually in Star Wars.

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