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Lupita Nyong'o decided to do something completely different when she took her part in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Nyong'o takes on a motion-capture role as Maz Kanata, a short alien with super cool glasses. The movie takes place after the second Death Star's destruction and follows the journey of those trying to find Luke Skywalker.
We spoke to her exclusively about her character and the moment she found out she was auditioning for her part.
Read it all below:
What made you decide to sign on for Star Wars?
Well I never imagined that Star Wars would be something that I would be apart of until when J.J. Abrams called me and talked to me about the part. I was really interested in doing motion capture, I was interested in Sci-fi and working with J.J. Abrams, and it didn’t hurt that it was Star Wars.
Can you describe that moment when J.J. Abrams called you?
I was on holiday in Morocco when my agent told me that J.J. wanted to talk to me and he called me at the hotel, and was adamant to talk to me about this character Maz Kanata that he was thinking of casting me in. We had a conversation about who she was and what his hopes for her were and then I asked to see the script. He sent someone to Morocco with the script for me to read. I read it over about two and half hours that I had, and I was immediately drawn to her and I called him back and said yep I’m interested. And, we talked some more and days later my agent told me I should pack up, I’m gonna be in Star Wars.
Can you talk to us a little bit about your character?
Maz Kanata is a pirate, who has lived for a long time. She’s has a colorful past. At the time that we meet her, she owns a bar.
What about this character drew you in?
Well I can’t really speak too articulately about that because I can’t tell you about my character other than what I told you, but I responded to this character because it was motion capture. I felt intrigued and curious about what I felt was the heart of the character and the center of the character.
What did you have to do to prepare for the role?
I mean motion capture is something that I haven’t done in the past, and I was interested in doing it because it is also a unique opportunity for an actor to play a role that’s not driven by their physical circumstances. So, I was really interested in that especially after 12 Years of Slave and playing Patsey, which was so much about my body and its economy. I worked closely with Andy Serkis’ company and he was in the film as well; he gave me some advice and his advice was go about creating your character the same way you would anything else, any other character that you play. So really it was the work I usually do to prepare for the character and then there’s all this technical stuff that I had to learn as well. That took practice and working with the technical crew very closely to learn how to perform in motion capture.
Read more on page 2 >>
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