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EXCLUSIVE: Genevieve O’Reilly Reveals It Was “Extraordinary” Playing The Complex Mon Mothma In ‘Andor’

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The upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series Andor will not only reintroduce us to Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and give his character more backstory but will also give Mon Mothma her just due live-action world.

Mon Mothma first made her big screen appearance in Return of The Jedi and was played by actress Caroline Blakiston before Genevieve O’Reilly took over the character in a brief appearance in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith because most of her scenes were deleted for the final cut. Mothma returned in the critically acclaimed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In an episode of the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, O’Reilly lent her voice to the character.

Genevieve O'Reilly Talks Fleshing Out Mon Mothma In 'Andor'

Source: Lucasfilm Ltd. / Andor

To be able to play a character who is a sophisticated politician, so good at what she does that she can flip, to be able to go within a scene from the public to the private is everything that you live for as an actor.

Still, outside of knowing that Mothma serves as a member of the Galactic and Imperial Senate, there is more than meets the eye with this politician. In Andor, which will focus more on the birth of the Rebellion, we meet O’Reilly’s Mothma as she plays a balancing act between a member of the Senate and while helping to build the Rebellion to overthrow the Galatic Empire, which at this point is still expanding across the universe.

When not following Cassian’s story, we are deep into the political intrigue that will help shape Andor’s story. There are moments where Mon Mothma instantly switches between a politician and rebel spy, revealing just how complex the character of Mon Mothma is.

Genevieve O’Reilly Says The Role of Mon Mothma Is What Actors Live For

Speaking with Cassius Life’s Bernard “Beanz” Smalls, O’Reilly talked about the challenge of playing a complex character like Mothma, calling it “extraordinary.”

“It’s extraordinary. It’s what we live for as actors, right?” O’Reilly begins. “To be able to play a character who is a sophisticated politician, so good at what she does, that she can flip, to be able to go within a scene from the public to the private is everything that you live for as an actor. You want to be able to reveal parts of a character. You want to reveal the depths of someone to an audience. Playing a woman like this, and certainly, in Tony’s [Gilroy] version of her within Andor, it’s given great opportunity to see how multifaceted this woman is.”

During our conversation, we also touched on O’Reilly having the opportunity to flesh out Mon Mothma more Andor.

O’Reilly continues, “Previously in Rogue One or Episode Three, we’ve seen her almost as a pillar or a statue, a very regal woman, a very noble woman, really important to the world of Star Wars and to the Rebellion. But what Disney and Tony have done is to invest time and story in this woman. So we get to learn more about her now. We get to learn what she has to fight for, what she has to wrestle with, how easy that public face is, and what that private world is. So it’s a real gift as an actor to be given the opportunity to, as you say, flesh out this woman to create a three-dimensional version of her.”

Andor

Source: Disney / Andor

So we get to learn more about her now. We get to learn what she has to fight for, what she has to wrestle with, how easy that public face is, and what that private world is.

Andor Is Universal and Beautifully Human

Finally, what makes Andor stand out from the other Star Wars movies and series? O’Reilly excitedly broke it all down for us.

“I’m so excited for everybody to see Andor. I feel like it lives in the world of Rogue One. It has this essence that is a little bit like an independent film. There’s a bit of grit. There’s texture within it. In a good way, it’s less glossy. It feels more rigorous. I think because, at its heart, it is really driven by the characters,” O’Reilly says.

“What Star Wars is brilliant at, as a piece, is marrying the epic with the intimate. It’s universal. Yet, at the same time, it’s beautifully human. It’s familial. I feel like that’s where the heart of Andor is. It is interplanetary. It is universal, but it’s about people, and it’s about what people are fighting for and the hope that they have for themselves,” she concluded.

Andor premieres on Disney+ on September 21. Peep the final trailer below.