Diego Luna isn’t exactly a household name in the U.S., but he’s no stranger to the small or big screen. From an early age, he starred in television and film, and on stage, and is mostly known for his roles in telenovela. But since 2002, he’s found success here with roles in the Academy Award-winning Frida, the Harvey Milk biopic Milk, a Katy Perry music video, and he was the voice of Manolo Sanchez in the 2014 animated film, The Book Of Life.
But perhaps it will be his role as Captain Cassian Andor in this year’s most anticipated film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that will prove to be his big break out role here in the states. Recently, we sat down with Diego Luna to discuss his career, the teamwork that everyone found on set, and why his involvement in Rogue One is so important to his family.
“My character is called Cassian Andor and he’s a captain; an intelligence officer for the rebellion. A pretty damned good rebellious captain, you know? He’s in charge of the most important mission for the rebellion and he has to make sure this thing works together,” Luna said of his character in Rogue One.
“But he’s a spy, so he’s quite a mysterious man. He has a lot of information he would like to forget, you know? He doesn’t like war, but he believes in the cause and would do anything for the cause. He’s ready to sacrifice everything; he’s a true hero. He’s like the kind of hero we could be, right? He doesn’t have special powers; he’s no Jedi. He’s just a man with conviction that knows that working together as a team makes you stronger.”
Teamwork seems to be a strong theme in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as it was one that also resonated with Luna’s co-star, Felicity Jones, who plays Jyn Erso in the film.
Previous to his role as Cassian Andor, Diego Luna might be most recognized for his titular role in 2014’s Cesar Chavez. We discussed with him his penchant for taking on roles that are of a rebellious nature.
“The theme is freedom, you know? Living in Mexico and growing up there, I see beautiful things,” Luna said. “I hear amazing stories, but there’s also a contrast there, you know? And those who have are very few, but they have a lot.”
“We have one of the richest men on the planet in a country that has so much poverty,” Luna said, “so that contrast shaped my pint-of-view and film is a way to get all that out, to put it on the table and make sure you share it with others and generate a debate. When Gareth sat down with me and he started talking about the film, and about the theme, and about the rebellion, and about the moment in the history of Star Wars when this happens.”
Luna said to just be a part of the Star Wars legacy, he’d have been happy just as part of the crew or as a Stormtrooper, even if it meant his time in the film was short lived. That’s definitely something we can all agree on.
We need to live different as a society and understand diversity – culture and racial diversity – it just makes us stronger and richer… let’s live different as a society.
The Star Wars franchise is one that has spanned generations and has represented many roles within the family dynamic. As a father, we asked Luna what his involvement in the franchise meant to his family – especially his son.
“My son is huge fan of Star Wars,” Luna said, laughing. “He knows the world of Star Wars better than I do. He’s eight years old, but he has seen everything. For this one, I didn’t want it to stop him [from being part of it] because everyone’s gonna be talking about it. I want him to feel part of this, you know? He’s so excited. This film is important for me as an actor for many reasons, but one is because it connects me with the kid I was, you know?”
Hear Diego Luna Share Why His Rogue One Role Is Important To His Family!
As any Star Wars fan knows, there has been a lot of secrecy regarding details of the film. The cast that we interviewed told us stories of scripts that were given to them each day and had to be returned after wrap each night. So how does one, who has a major starring role in a film that is part of such a legacy, leave work at work?
“It was difficult because I’m a fan,” Luna told us, “so I would go home and go, “Oh my god, this is great!” But, imagine you’re a fan, and they tell you, “You’re gonna go live this amazing experience and live that world from the inside, but you cannot tell anyone.” It’s not happening until I tell my best friend, you know? It’s not real until until I share this with my father.”
Luna said that experience was one that was shared by the entire cast, so they found solace with each other, which helped to create a family and lasting friendships among the cast.
“We were going through this, and we had the same thing. We couldn’t tell anyone out there, so Felicity was my shrink, my friend, a little bit of everything, and I was the same for her, you know? And that kept us sane, basically.”
Diego Luna stars as Cassian Andor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in theaters December 16th!
Thanks to MomStart for interview photos