I am so excited to share our Ben Mendelsohn interview for Rogue One a Star Wars Story. Ben plays Director Orson Krennic in the new Star Wars Movie.
I had the chance to interview Ben Mendelsohn during the #RogueOneEvent in San Francisco. This role was a dream role for Mr. Mendelsohn. He plays the main villian in the movie the Imperial Leader.
Hello. So I’m Ben Mendelsohn. I play director, Orson Krennic….. This is how the interview started and it continued to be amazing to the very end!
Can you tell us a little bit about your character?
Sure. He is the director of military intelligence and operations. And for the purposes of our film, it means he’s the dude that built the Death Star and is bringing it to its final brilliance.
You grew up being a Star Wars fan. Did you ever imagine yourself being on the empire side?
No, I mean but that’s the folly of youth, isn’t it? No one imagines that they’re going to end up on the side of the empire. But you get older. You know you come to realize the peace and stability in the galaxy is worth fighting for and that all these airy, fairy ideals of the rebellion are very well and good but what happens when they get into power?
No, I didn’t but I wish I could have turned but I wish I could have told myself at various points through life, don’t worry. One day you’ll be in Star Wars. That would have been good turn but there you go.
Your characters have been trademarked collectively. And this is a quote. This isn’t my quote. As unlikable sociopaths. How do you feel about this?
That’s my recent body of work. That’s my, you might call it my unlikable sociopath phase.
Do you kind of prefer those evil roles to the good roles?
No, Well, I do think there’s a certain if you like palette of emotions that you get to work with more if you’re playing you know the bad guys like the angry, resentful, enraged sort of stuff. I think, look I consider it a real honor to be playing you know bad guys, certainly in this film and there’ll be one or two more.
Yeah, I consider it a real honor. But look, I’ve had a long and varied career so I don’t, you know, look I don’t associate myself with my characters you know, but you know it’s fine that everyone else does.
So you’re not an unlikable sociopath?
I wouldn’t say that.
Gareth was telling us the story about being in LA on the rooftop whenever he came to you with this role. Can you tell us your side of the story?
Well, I sort of got summoned to go and meet. And he basically told me the story and then he told me who he wanted me to play. And I was just a little concerned. I thought like are you sure? And but I was incredibly flattered and I wasn’t sure whether he’d actually really ….
I mean, it felt like he’d said you know –. It was one of those things that he got a little bit foggy because I started to get a little bit , I started to get a little bit overwhelmed by it. So you know I was pretty sure by the end of it that he had offered it to me. And you know and I’d rang in and reported as much. But then I had to keep it quiet for a very, very long time.
Who do you think is more dangerous, your character or Darth Vader?
Well, I think you know I think my guy is more like you know. I mean in a personal sense? I don’t think there’s any competition you know in a one-on-one. But I think the Empire being what it is you know Darth’s, Darth’s pretty good but I’d hate to see him go up against you know a couple of squadrons.
And or I’d hate to see him go one-on-one against the Death Star. And so really that’s about influences you know where you sit. You know Emperor’s here and how close can you get? And I think Krennic is going for that number. And I mean, I think he regards Darth as you know the emperor’s kind of pet and you know he’s all fascinated with him and stuff like that. He’s a very impressive dude but there’s a bit of like this going on there as well you know whatever.
But other I mean what does he do? Like he doesn’t –, you know what I mean? He’s like a very important figurehead. But in terms of the strategies and what we actually have to get done you know whatever. He’s a great car, you know? But someone’s got to drive it.
What was the atmosphere on your set? Was there a team of bad guys? We heard from the others today how it was a family and they were you know together. So what was that like for you? They lie. You know what you can say about the Empire is at least this you know, you know where you stand. I mean you know it’s, no I mean there was –, and I think they did. I think those guys did
They lie. I mean…. You know what you can say about the Empire is at least this you know, you know where you stand. I mean you know it’s, and I think they did. I think those guys did form that because they went through a lot. And you know obviously in this sort of balance of shooting those guys are spending a lot of time together. The Empire’s a bit more of a solitary place in that way.
But I had you know I had a good group, a good little cadre with me. Like I had you know sort of the dude that’s my second in command and the death troopers with me. But the atmosphere on set you know it changes but it was, you can’t have a bad day. You look up and you see storm troopers around and stuff like that in your workplace. You really can’t have a terribly bad day.
Check out this extended look at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY follows a group of unlikely heroes in a time of conflict who band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The story is by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, and the screenplay is by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY arrives in theaters everywhere on December 16th in 3D, Real D 3D and IMAX 3D!
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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY arrives in theaters everywhere on December 16th In RealD 3D and IMAX 3D!
I was a guest of Disney for the #RogueOneEvent. All opinions expressed are my own.