When Gina Carano got the call to star on “The Mandalorian,” she didn’t think she’d get the chance to show her face. In fact, the star thought that she would be cast as a Wookie on the show.
The original actor who played Chewbacca, the late Peter Mayhew, stood at over seven feet tall. At only five feet and eight inches, Carano may have been a little short for a Wookie. Stll, the actress was not expecting to be cast as a mercenary.
Carano is known primarily for her physicality as an actress, which may help to explain why she didn’t think she’d be showing her face on the show. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actress said, “I was ready to put on the fur outfit and be the female version of that,” she explained. “That’s what I thought. I was surprised to find that I was one of the few people that you were actually going to see her face—and in a lot of scenes, sometimes the only face, which is pretty incredible.”
On the show, Carano’s character Cara Dune helped the Mandalorian fight off an invading force that was using an Imperial Walker. The two characters work well together. They’re two tough but compassionate people, but she decides not to join up with him at the end of the episode.
The Vanity Fair piece confirms that the actress will be back for the show’s second season. Thankfully, she can keep showing her face next season instead of hiding it inside of a Wookie costume.
In fact, showrunner Jon Favreau wrote the part of Cara Dune with Carano in mind, and never auditioned any other actors for the role. The part was always meant to be hers if she wanted it.
Today, Favreau is known primarily as a director. His most recent film was the CGI remake of “The Lion King,” but he’s also responsible for the first “Iron Man” movie. He’s left his mark on Hollywood already, and he’s not done making content yet.
Carano’s episode was directed by actress Bryce Dallas Howard, who’s known for her onscreen work in movies like “Jurassic World” and “The Help.”
Carano credits Howard for her performance. “She was really fascinated,” she said. “She plays certain types of characters on film, and she looks at my character, and it’s the complete opposite of the character she gets to play. She’s like, ‘I get to live through you. I get to live through Cara, and I get to live and see what I would want to do.’”