Actress Genevieve O’Reilly is eager for fans to see what she has to bring to the table in the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ live-action series, “Andor,” which premieres on September 21.
In the original Star Wars trilogy, there are only four women with speaking roles: Princess Leia, Aunt Beru, an unnamed Rebel on Hoth, and Mon Mothma, who was played by Caroline Blakiston, 89.
Although Mon Mothma doesn’t get much screen time in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” her character will be given a much more significant role in the upcoming Disney+ series. O’Reilly, 45, is no stranger to the character; she made an appearance in the prequel trilogy, but most of her scenes in 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith” ended up on the cutting room floor.
After appearing in 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and lending her voice to the animated cartoon “Star Wars Rebels,” O’Reilly is ready to give Star Wars fans a look at a Mon Mothma they’ve never seen before.
Genevieve O’Reilly Will Give Star Wars Fans A Brand New Look At Mon Mothma In ‘Andor’
Although Mon Mothma plays a significant role in the show, the titular “Andor” is a nod to Cassian Andor. Diego Luna will reprise his role from “Rogue One,” however, series creator Tony Gilroy, who also worked on the 2016 film, has said that the new show is just as much about Mon Mothma as it is about Andor.
Set several years before the events of the movie transpire, fans will see the Rebel Leader serving as a politician in the Galactic Senate, trying to enact change against the oppressive Empire.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, O’Reilly teased that the upcoming Disney+ series will reveal multiple sides to her character.
“We really get to develop her as a character, and we get to learn about her not just as a senator, but as a woman,” O’Reilly said.
Some things that the series will explore are “what her life is like, what she has to wrestle with, what are the dangers to her life, what it costs to be her.”
Tony’s writing is so intricate and so taut. It lives in this world of the spy genre, of a sociopolitical drama, and yet it’s set within a Star Wars world,” she added. “So it feels universal and intimate all at once.”
O’Reilly Still Takes Her Inspiration From Mon Mothma In ‘Return of the Jedi’
When she was first cast as Mon Mothma in “Revenge of the Sith,” Genevieve O’Reilly said that she watched Caroline Blakiston’s scene in “Return of the Jedi” to prepare for the role. Even though she has played the character several times since the movie came out in 2005, she continues to look back on Blakiston’s 1983 scene for inspiration.
“I was always interested in her, and each time I go to play her, I go back to that scene,” she said, adding that although putting on her white robes does help, it’s hearing Blakiston’s voice that really helps get her into character, especially when she recalls the iconic line about the Bothans.
“You can see when Caroline does that in that scene, for me, there was always a pain at the heart of it,” O’Reilly explained.
“You could see that she was carrying a pain, and I was really curious about what that was. What has happened in this woman’s life?” she asked. “What has it cost to be her? What are the sacrifices that she has had to make along the way to be that leader of a rebellion?”
Although “Andor” will answer some of those questions, when the show kicks off, Andor and Mon Mothma haven’t teamed up quite yet. In fact, they are on two totally different planets when the show gets underway, and it will take a few episodes before the two characters eventually meet up.
However, O’Reilly just hopes that fans will love to see another side to the Rebel Leader.
“We see her talking to senators, and then we meet her at home with her husband,” O’Reilly revealed. “We see the public and the private. We see her literally and figuratively take off her cloak and reveal herself as a woman in a way we’ve never seen before.”
Fans can catch Genevieve O’Reilly reprising her role as Mon Mothma when “Andor” kicks off with three new episodes on September 21.