In Variety’s recent “Actors on Actors” episode, Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) share their past experiences on the Star Wars’ set.
Rather than having a traditional interviewer, “Actors on Actors” features two performers discussing their Hollywood experiences. The Emmy-Award-winning series has aired for a total of 14 seasons, with their current 14th season taking on actors from potential Emmy-contending series.
Variety’s 14th season of “Actors on Actors” will include the likes of Elizabeth Olsen, Kaley Cuco, Chris Rock, Nicole Kidman and two actors who have been given the spotlight on numerous occasions for their work on “The Mandalorian” and “Halston:” Ewan McGregor and Pedro Pascal.
McGregor and Pascal’s discussion brought about many interesting topics, such as how McGregor was disturbed by the Yoda puppet in “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.”
“The first film I did, I was lucky to do my scenes with the Yoda puppet,” McGregor said. “And it was extraordinary, because I acted with him. I couldn’t believe I was acting with Yoda. There’s so many people operating him, and the stage is lifted up so they’re underneath the floor and we were literally walking next to each other — and he’s alive. Then every time George called cut, Yoda would die, because everyone just stops. It was sort of disturbing every time the end of the scene would come along.”
Of course, McGregor did have a soft side for the puppet. When acting out his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Episode 2: Attack of the Clones,” he exclaimed that it didn’t have the same feeling as the past films.
“Then they replaced him for our second film and our third film with the digital version of him, and it’s not nearly as endearing. Also, we know Yoda as a puppet,” McGregor exclaimed. “We know him from the original movies as a puppet. So when it was suddenly computer generated, it didn’t feel like Yoda to me anymore. It was interesting that it went back to an actual puppet with your series.”
Pascal followed up on McGregor’s experience, as he worked with a Baby Yoda puppet — formerly known as Grogu — until “The Mandalorian’s” second season.
“It worked on so many levels, and the way that we had to end the second season with this sort of tearful goodbye. To not have had the puppet for that, and also the knowledge of its reception from the world and how everyone felt about its creation, its relationship to the history of “Star Wars” — it was one of the more strange acting experiences that I’ve ever had,” Pascal said. “There were so many different things factoring into it that it wasn’t necessarily understanding the story so well in terms of what we were telling within “The Mandalorian,” but the context of all of it. If that makes any sense.”
McGregor later talks about his work in the upcoming Disney+ show “Kenobi.”
“There’s no secret to when this series is being set, but I had to walk past two Stormtroopers. I realized I’ve never acted with a Stormtrooper because mine were clones, you know? It was the clone army. So I’d never seen a Stormtrooper. So I was walking past them in this scene. I turned around — and I was 6 years old again”
“Doesn’t it do something to you?” Pascal remarked.
“Insane. I was feeling like I was six again or something, because I’m so close to one and I got a fright, you know? So crazy,” McGregor replied. “Then I asked someone, ‘Were there Stormtroopers in my films? Because I don’t think I’ve seen a Stormtrooper for real before.’ They were like ‘No, they weren’t Stormtroopers; they were clones.’ And Jawas, I had another scene with a little Jawa.”
It’s no secret that “Kenobi” will take place after the events of “Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith,” but the fact that Obi-Wan will be dealing with the mischievous Jawas on Tatooine is joyous to hear.
Starring McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Joel Edgerton, Moses Ingram, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie and Maya Erskine, “Kenobi” will tell the journey of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi after the infamous Jedi Purge. The series does not have a premiere date.