Rogue One’s Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk Interview #RogueOneEvent

Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/

Rogue One Event

Did you follow along last weekend? So much fun! Read all about it in the Rogue One Event posts.

Skywalker Ranch/Lucasfilm HQ | Felicity Jones | Diego Luna


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.

When you sit down to discuss Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with both Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk, you can’t help but be in awe of their film credits and how much work they’ve done before Rogue One. It’s a little intimidating, but when they start talking about their action figures, or lack thereof, you are brought back to the moment and take it for all it’s worth.

Very low key and somewhat funny, both men answered the questions with ease and I have to say there were a lot of laughs in this interview.

Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/

Rogue One’s Mads Mikkelsen “Galen Erso” and Alan Tudyk “K-2S0” Interview

Galen Erso
Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

Can you guys each tell us a little bit about your character?

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. -Mads

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

[Tweet “”He wouldn’t see himself as a sidekick.” -@AlanTudyk on his #RogueOne character K-2SO #RogueOneEvent”]

Do you ad-lib a lot, or was all of that scripted?

I luckily got to ad-lib a lot.  Gareth [Edwards] set up the set – [it] was really conducive to having fun, and playing around with the characters, and discovering how the scenes fit in 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.

In moments – I don’t want to say I just was off-roading the entire time, I can’t—that becomes problematic in moviemaking. I’ve worked with actors who do that.  A lot of my improving is based on the line that was there, and it’s just a version of what was there. -Alan

[Tweet “”A lot of my improving is based on the line that was there…” -@AlanTudyk #RogueOneEvent”]

Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/

For both of you – how did you find out that you would be working on Star Wars, and what was your initial reaction?

How did that happen? -Alan

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. -Mads

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]. -Alan

And I would always dream about I might’ve had an action figure. -Mads

I think we all know you’re getting an action figure.  It’s just a… -Alan

It’s happening as we speak.  I’ve been super annoying all day.  I’ll just put it that way, so… -Mads

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.  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.

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 [production], 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. -Alan

How does that audition go?

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 like 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. -Alan

Alan Tudyk as K-2SO Rogue One
Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

Did you do the audition as you?  Did you dress up or something?

No, I did it as me.  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. -Alan

Good thing you didn’t do it with a Danish, you wouldn’t have got it— [laughing] -Mads

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. -Alan

Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/

We heard a lot about how everybody became a family on set.  Were there ever any moments where it was really like siblings fighting, or did everyone really gel?

My interaction was not what a lot of people… this gang, I don’t meet too often. -Mads

You’re the older brother who’s in college. -Alan

Yeah. -Mads

We don’t get to hang out as much as we’d like to, but you know… -Alan

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. -Mads

Which one did you like the best? -Alan

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. -Mads

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… [it was a] 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 […]. 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. -Alan

Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm
Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

You were literally on fire in your role.

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 suddenly my back gets hot. I think, ‘Oh, ow—ow—ow I’m on fire’ and it was like just a spark hit it and then just spread out.  It was very flammable.  I didn’t realize it.

I 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—

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 [shooting motions]… 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 you’ll catch fire. Yeah.  It was madness.  It was fun. -Alan

Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/

Droids are such an important part of Star Wars.  Did you feel pressured to make your character unique, or to match the rest of the droids?

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 bigger than the movie character that’s in his own world, and he assured me that he wouldn’t allow that, 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. -Alan

Before this movie, what were your favorite Star Wars characters?

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. -Mads

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. -Alan

Was there a specific location that was challenging?

Yeah, all of them, basically.  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, but after five hours of walking alone, 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 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. -Mads

They have a soundstage where it rains… inside.  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… -Alan

So both of you have starred in three recent films (Dr. Strange, Moana, and Star Wars) playing good guys.  If you could play a villainous character, who would it be and why?

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. -Mads

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, 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. -Alan

You have to be a really nice person to play a good villain. -Mads

That’s why I had trouble. -Alan

Photo Credit: Louise Bishop/

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY arrives in theaters everywhere on December 16th In RealD 3D and IMAX 3D!

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