Today we’re getting to know two of Rogue One New Characters Galen Erso & K-2SO played by Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk. #RogueOneEvent
Rogue One New Characters Mads Mikkelsen “Galen Erso” and Alan Tudyk “K-2S0”
We’re getting closer! We don’t have to wait much longer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to be in theaters!! While we not so patiently wait, let’s get to know two of Rogue One new characters – Galen Erso and K-2SO.
I have to say, I think of the Rogue One new characters K-2SO is one of my favorites. I already love R2-D2, C3PO and BB8 and I think K-2SO is a great addition to the droid team! Alan Tudyk has done a great job bringing K-2SO to life. I love the humor he adds to the character.
Now you may think Mads Mikkelsen plays a bad guy.. but you’ll find out that that’s not the case.
Let’s take a look at our chat with Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk.
First, Mads and Alan tell us a little bit about their characters.
Mads : My character is called Galen Erso. I am a scientist, working closely together with Krennic in the film – before the film actually – and working on a project that has the potential of making the world a better place, and also the potential of not doing so. I’m also the father of our hero, K-2. No, the other hero. The other hero. Got it. [Jyn Erso]
Alan : K-2SO is a droid who was formerly of the Empire, and he’s been reprogrammed by Cassian’s character and has been working with him prior to our introduction, to Jyn, so he’s a soldier in the Alliance. He’s been reprogrammed—the reprogram has caused him to be… free with his own personality, which invites some brutal honesty in moments where honesty isn’t really required, and he can be funny in that way… and sarcastic, and… passive-aggressive, and all those fun things that sort of sidekicks—although they’re partners. They’re partners. He wouldn’t see himself as a sidekick.
Alan goes on to tell us that he was able to ad-lib a lot. I think that really helped add humor and personality to K-2SO. Alan comments that Director Gareth Edwards was, “really conducive to having fun, and playing around with the characters, and discovering how the scenes fit on the locations that we were shooting them in as opposed to saying, “Here we go, this where you’re gonna be; you’re gonna stand here; you’re gonna move here; this is how it was” when we would get into this space, we would find the best way to bring life to the scenes, what we were given, and part of that became… just saying whatever I wanted.”
Now he did say that he wasn’t “off-roading” all of the time but that a lot of his improvising was just based off of the line that was already there.
I love to find out how the actors are chosen, how they found out they got the role and what their initial reaction was. Here’s what Mads and Alan had to say. I love their back and forth.
Mads : I got a phone call with Gareth. Gareth called me and pitched the story to me and asked me if I wanted to be on board and—I didn’t see a necessity of seeing a script because it was Star Wars, so I said yes right away. And if I hadn’t, if I’d turned it down, I’m sure my kids would’ve killed me. Yeah.
Alan : That would be a tough one, if you said no, ‘cause it’s one that you would then see come out, and then you’d go… [growls]
Mads : And I would always dream about I might’ve had an action figure.
Alan : I think we all know you’re getting an action figure. It’s just a—
Mads : It’s happening as we speak. I’ve been—I’ve been super annoying all day. I’ll just put it that way, so…strange?
Alan : I have Hei Hei, which is a rooster [from Moana]– which is just a little more intimidating than your Dr. Strange character. I was told that Gareth wanted to talk to me and we Skyped. And, I knew it was
I was told that Gareth wanted to talk to me and we Skyped. I knew it was about a droid in Star Wars. But I didn’t think he was calling me to talk about ME being in it, he just wanted to talk about droids and motion capture. And I had done a motion capture robot in I, Robot. And so I was like, that makes sense – I’d be the go-to actor to just discuss how…how it’s done, how to do it.
Alan : It was a really frank conversation between the two of us, because I didn’t think of myself as in the running, just sort of a someone he’s gathering information from. I was like, ‘Yeah, you don’t wanna do it this way. Here are the traps that you’re going to find yourself in. Don’t do this; don’t do that.’ ‘Give your actor a lot of takes. Don’t just give ‘em short shrift because you can fix it in post – you’re gonna screw yourself. You need to get it on set while the other actors are there, or else you’re going to be struggling to make up the performance in post, and then you’re screwed.’
It was really not the conversation I would’ve had if I had thought I was being considered. And then… he asked me to audition, I auditioned, I put an audition on tape —recorded it at home with my wife, it was real—
It was a scene that isn’t in the movie. It was a scene where K-2’s—they’re arriving on a planet that has a magnetic field that scrambles his circuitry. And so he’s drunk, and he starts to slo-o-o-w… are we there yet? It’s like this whole thing. And I think that was the only scene I remember.
I did it as me. I did it three different— I did it with an American accent; I did it with what is called mid-Atlantic accent, and then I did it with an English accent.
Mads : Good thing you didn’t do it with a Danish, you wouldn’t have got it— [laughing]
Alan : My Danish is really bad. And then somebody said he wants to meet you at the Star Wars celebration that was in Anaheim that year, and I went down and met him and he offered me the role there in a way that I never get offered roles. It’s usually I’m interested, we’re clearing with producers, or we’re going to see people for what— they drag it out. It’s always a little different. But that was the first time that happened. They really trusted Gareth to choose his actors because he had the ability to say, “I’d like you to do it.” It was cool.
In all the interviews, it was apparent that the cast really became like family. I think in any project when you work that closely together, the cast would get very close. Especially in a project like Star Wars where things are kept so secret and under wraps. But was there any squabbles?
Mads : My interaction was not what a lot of people… this gang, I don’t meet too often.
Alan : You’re the older brother who’s in college.
Mads : Yeah.
Alan : We don’t get to hang out as much as we’d like to, but you know…
Mads : Even though he’s a scientist, he’s still in college. Yes. Well, I had quite a few scenes with Felicity, and three different versions of her – a four-year-old, and an eight-year-old, and then the real deal.
Alan : Which one did you like the best?
Mads : I loved them all. Felicity’s playing it. She’s really good. Then I spend a lot of time with Ben…[…] he’s very hard not to love. So yes, that became very brotherly really fast for us.
Alan : And our—I guess it was like a family… I don’t think anybody was a Republican. So in that way, it wasn’t like family. I’m from Texas originally, we’ve been negotiating that the last couple of months, but we all got along very well. It was a lot of fun. We played a lot on set, Diego’s just hysterical.
Felicity… I have such huge respect for her. She was such a leader, and a harder worker than anybody; never complained, which was annoying. I complained about her inability to complain… huge point of contention. But you need that on a set —you need a leader, and she’s the lead, which if she had set an example of somebody who is always … then that’s what happens to a set – everybody becomes that. She wasn’t that. She was a great leader. And certainly better than I was at her age, or, as of yet, I’ve never had that kind of maturity that she has, so it was a blast.
Now somehow the topic changed to a time in filming where Alan actually caught on fire. Read on for what happened. The back and forth between Mads and Alan was so fun during the entire interview.
Alan : I caught on fire! We were—we were in the trenches, literally. There was a battle going on, and they had explosions, and I’m wearing my skin tight pajamas, there are pots of explosions, and people are ducking down, and I’m—suddenly my back gets hot. I think, ‘Oh, ow—ow—ow I’m on fire’ and it was a—it was like a—just a spark hit it and then just spread out. It was very flammable. I didn’t realize it.
Mads : They were not aware?
Alan : They were not aware.
Mads : Sue them.
Alan : I hope—what is the statute of limitations—I don’t think I could go up against their lawyers and really… do very well. ButI wore fire retardant, undershirts after that. And it hit again, I mean it wasn’t there—there was a lot of explosions that day. There was amazing pyrotechnics and—there was one point where we were running on the beach, they had a spaceship land—
Alan : So they had built a space—what looked like partially a spaceship, but it was a box where people were in it, guy’s on a gun, going like this… we’re in a battle, running down this beach, the thing comes over, they’ve got it on a crane, it’s got smoke coming out of the bottom, it lands, troops go out either side, it takes back off again, soldiers are hitting these things that are vaulting them in the air, and falling like that, explosions… they’re like, “That’s your track – aim for that. You don’t wanna get off it because uh—You’ll catch fire. Yeah. It was madness. It was fun.
I’m thinking that I’m not the only one that is a fan of the droids and K-2SO. We find out more about how Alan played this role, if he felt pressure to make K-2SO unique or to match the other droids.
Alan : I guess I did. I don’t remember it if I did. I just focused on the script, like any job. I did have a concern when after a take, people would go, “Oh that was really funny” that I was going to be a Jar Jar Binks. And I did talk to Gareth saying, I want to stay this side of Jar Jar, you know, I don’t want to be this… bigger than the movie character that’s in his own world, and he assured me that he wouldn’t allow that, you know, he would keep me within the world as long as I was focused on it and I think we did it, so that was my concern beyond being a droid.
Do you have a favorite Star Wars character? Mads and Alan fill us in on their favorites.
Mads : I think it’s Han Solo, for me. For the simple reason that he’s not really on anybody’s side—his own side. And obviously Harrison Ford playing him charmingly, it’s just something you can relate to, so you’re not the good, or the bad, but you’re that guy who’s just there for the fun ride, and then he’ll leave you in a second if there’s no money in that, right? It’s just recognizable in a—in a wonderful way. I like him a lot.
Alan : I like several characters, today, I like Obi-Wan Kenobi. He was just great, he was the one who could say, “These are not the droids you’re looking for” he had the force. He was magic. He was wise. I liked him. That guy’s amazing.
The behind the scenes of the filming is always fascinating to me. They film in remote locations and more often than not, in very difficult weather. So what was the most difficult part?
Mads : Yeah, all of them, basically. I mean—something funny and interesting happened, though. We went to Iceland for a week, we shot there, so that was my debut in the film, and my very first scene, I’m walking and walking and… I’m meeting Krennic, uh, but after five hours of walking alone, they—they turn up the actors and the storm troopers, and then I realize, ‘Whoa, I’m in a Star Wars film, because obviously I’ve been walking like in any film – but it’s not every day you see Stormtroopers…
It was raining constantly. It was just pouring down. It was windy, chilly, and I was like, ‘God, we’re done here’ but it was such a beautiful place. I love Iceland. And we’re going back to the studio, but they came up with this brilliant idea that—that all the shots inside in the studio should be… in rain. So I basically… I am wet the whole film. Those were cold and long days, but yeah. It’s worth it. It looks fantastic on film.
AT : They have a soundstage where it rains… inside. Uh, it’s amazing. It looks great, yeah. My character luckily, there’s a rainy day in the spaceship everybody goes out and I go, ‘See ya!’ I’m gonna stay in here. Yeah. Yeah. Might be out there in a minute, just…
Now we move on to playing villains. It takes the right person to play a bad guy. Both Mads and Alan have done a lot of recent work (Dr. Strange, Moana, and Star Wars) playing good guys. But if they could play a villainous character, who would it be and why?
Mads : I’ve done a lot of villainous; I’ve also done a lot of good guys and also normal people and a butcher once… I think they go hand-in-hand. I mean, you gotta find something likable, something you can relate to in a bad guy. And, vice-versa in the good guy, you have to find his flaws, the stuff he’s struggling with, or she’s struggling with. So for me, they go hand-in-hand. But there are a lot of interesting villains out there.
Alan : I don’t care if they’re villain or a hero, as long as they have humor. Honestly, my favorite villain’s have humor in them, you know even if it’s evil, you know, they’re just using it to make a point that is murderous. That’s the way my mind bends, and it just makes for an easier connection with the character.
I watched Ben in his role, and… I’ve had to play a bad guy before and I just started doing this— like I’m into it, why the hell am I even talking like that? I don’t talk like that. And to see him do such a such a dark character with such charm… that’s what’s good.
Mads : You have to be a really nice person to play a good villain.
Alan : That’s why I had trouble.
Oh what a fun interview! We were originally going to interview Mads and Alan separate but with time constraints, we got to interview them together. I’m so glad we did. They were a lot of fun together and I think we experienced a different conversation that we would have otherwise.
Hope you enjoyed! Check back tomorrow for additional Rogue One coverage!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters December 16!
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.