Inside the “Star Wars” Universe with Emily Swallow from “The Mandalorian”
Los Angeles, CA (June 13, 2023): “The Mandalorian” actor Emily Swallow reveals all about the hit series as this week’s guest on Hollywood at Home with The Creative Coalition. In this episode, Swallow speaks on working with directors like Taika Waititi, entering the legendary Star Wars universe, and what it’s really like to wear The Armorer’s helmet.
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Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Emily Swallow:
On her own “Star Wars” fandom: “I grew up with ‘Star Wars.’ I was a kid in the 80s when the original trilogy came out, and I fell in love with the Ewoks and ‘Return of the Jedi.’”
On working Taika Waititi in “The Mandalorian”: “It was wild. It was amazing… it was just so much fun to work with him. And he would have, you know, 80s rock music playing in between scenes. And instead of having traditional director’s chairs at Video Village, he had a purple velvet couch and a lava lamp, just because he thought it would be fun. He was always trying to find quirky humor in the scenes without ever making fun of the characters and without ever making fun of the situation.”
On being The Armorer: “She is essentially the spiritual leader of their people, and she’s the mentor to Din Djarin – the main character. She’s sort of the Obi Wan of the Mandalorian. Jon [Favreau] has described their relationship as similar to that of Merlin and King Arthur, I’ve come to appreciate that we don’t see her face because she is a character who exists so much in service to other people; to Din Djarin, to Bo-Katan, to the Mandalorian people as a whole. I feel like it’s helpful that we don’t attach too much to her personally, and that she has become a real role model in the ‘Star Wars’ universe for little girls and little boys and women who look up to her. She’s the strong female leader, this person of integrity and it has nothing to do with what she looks like.”
On playing a character with no facial expressions: “It was bizarre at first. I felt very constrained…it required me to slow down…you’re way more tuned into the other parts of physicality. Every little gesture becomes important because if I can’t look at your face to see what you’re feeling, I’m going to notice what your shoulder is doing, I’m going to notice what your posture is like, I’m going to notice what your head tilts are like. You have no peripheral vision, you can’t see down, so it requires a lot of trust. And there were times when I tripped on stuff; I ran into things.”
On working with director Bryce Dallas Howard: “I love working with directors who have acted, because they have a perspective on it. They understand our process a little bit differently. So she brings that to it, and she also brings everything she picked watching her dad, She’s precise and so willing to experiment. She also leaves room for complete experimentation. If you have some crazy idea for a take, then there’s space for that to happen.”
On her responsibility for a certain fan’s tattoo: “I had a gentleman who asked me to sign his arm, and he got a tattoo of my autograph with The Armorer’s helmet right there at the convention, because there is a tattoo booth setup. I asked him to please not steal my credit cards now that he has my signature.”
More about Hollywood at Home:
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.
Previous guests include Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), and Alfre Woodard (Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), among others.
More about The Creative Coalition:
Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns, including #RightToBearArts, to promote the efficacy of the arts. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.