The cover of Vogue is a big deal, and Lupita Nyong’o has now scored her second in as many years. The October issue features the actress, who talks a little about The Force Awakens – and J.J. Abrams himself sheds a little light on what they were looking for in the role:
While we tuck into delicious platters of fish, sorbets, and cheeses, Lupita tells me that she has just spent four months filming a CGI character—a pirate named Maz Kanata—for J. J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opening this December. “We needed a powerful actress to play a powerful character,” the director explains to me later. “Lupita was someone I’d known a little and was enormously fond of. More important, her performance in 12 Years a Slave blew my mind, and I was vaguely desperate to work with her.”
Acting a motion-capture character was “really bizarre and lots of fun,” Lupita says. “I really enjoyed the fact that you’re not governed by your physical presence in that kind of work. You can be a dragon. You can be anything.”
Again, it’s very Vogue, but she also talks about her life in Kenya and America. She answers a few more Star Wars questions on video:
Not Obi-Wan, really: Ewan McGregor as Jesus in Last Days in the Desert.
“I’m excited about it as much as anyone else. I saw the trailer and it looks like he absolutely nailed it and it feels right,” Ewan McGregor said on The Force Awakens at the 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival this weekend.
He’s not sure about Kylo Ren’s lightsaber crossguard, though: “If you fight with a lightsaber properly you don’t need one.”
As for Obi-Wan Kenobi:
Would McGregor return to the role, if asked? “I’ll say it publicly, here, now. I’d be happy to do the story between Episode 3, that I finished in, and Episode 4 that Alec Guinness started in. I think that would be good. Disney should definitely do that.” McGregor’s tone suggested he was half-quipping.
McGregor was at the festival for the U.K. premiere of Last Days in the Desert, where he plays a duel role as Jesus and Satan. At least one upcoming role keeps him in the Disney family – he’s playing Lumiere in the live-action Beauty and the Beast that’s slated for 2017.
In the ’50s and ’60s, he was best known for his work in the Hammer Horror films, where he famously played Count Dracula, often alongside another actor who eventually showed up in Star Wars, Peter Cushing. In the ’70s, he upped his profile with pivotal roles in The Wicker Man and The Man with the Golden Gun.
(My personal introduction to Lee was 1982’s The Last Unicorn, where he voiced the villain, King Haggard.)
In the early 2000s, he gained a whole new audience in two of the decades biggest franchises, playing Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and the wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptions. He also appeared in several Tim Burton films.
Films aside, Lee led a intriguing life: He served as an intelligence officer during and just after World War II, where his duties involved hunting down Nazi war criminals. (In an infamous bit from the Lord of the Rings extras, he tells Peter Jackson how it sounds when a man is stabbed in the back.)
The Force Awakens star John Boyega returned to Twitter and Instagram on Thursday, where he revealed – after the fact – that he’d spent some time roving the convention while wearing a clone trooper helmet.
Officials have confirmed that Harrison Ford was indeed involved in a crash landing at an L.A. area golf course this afternoon. Ford is in stable condition, People reports. A family member told the local NBC station that the actor is fine and suffered only a few gashes. And his son, Ben Ford, tweeted “At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.”
UPDATE: Ford’s publicist has released a statement:
Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which had engine trouble upon take off. He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.