Andor's Denise Gough And Kyle Soller On Their Characters' Motivations In The New Star Wars Series

Both of your characters definitely start out as Imperials. Was there anything either of you did to wrap your mind around being a menacing character in the evil Empire? Were either one of you influenced by specific “Star Wars” villains we’ve seen before?

Gough: No, because I’d never seen “Star Wars.” I knew about Darth Vader, obviously, and I knew about Palpatine because I worked with Ian McDiarmid [on the London stage in “Six Characters in Search of an Author”]. I knew there was baddies and goodies and the Dark Side and the Light Side, but I wasn’t an aficionado of any of this stuff. But I tell you who had a profound effect on me as a villain in TV — Gus Fring from “Breaking Bad” and that sense of meticulous detail and cleanliness that he has in his actions.

When I got into Dedra, it was obvious, in the same way as when she finally meets Syril. They see kindred spirits in each other, this sort of OCD level of, “I need things to be better. I need things to be really, really excellent.” But it was better for me [coming into the series] in that I wasn’t somebody who was totally influenced by “Star Wars,” because I approached this like I would approach a new play that I’m working on.

It’s like new writing, great writing. It just so happens that it’s “Star Wars.” That’s what was so amazing about it. I didn’t think it was the right fit for me until I read the first three scripts, and I’m not even in [the episodes]. I was like, “Oh, no, hang on. This is not science fiction. It’s great writing,” and it’s “Star Wars.” It’s only the last few days that I’m suddenly realizing I’m actually in “Star Wars.”

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