Denise Gough and Kyle Soller bring complexity to the villains

Denise Gough and Kyle Soller, the stars behind the roles of Dedra Meero and Syril Karn on Star Wars: Andorsat down to discuss the series in a recent web featurette, including the nature of their portrayals and how they manage to bring such complexity into roles and archetypes that are typically one-dimensional.


Star Wars: Andor is a precursor to the 2016 film A thug, which chronicles the exploits of a Cassian Andor, a rogue spy agent tasked with stealing the plans for the first Death Star, an Imperial weapon like the one the wider galaxy has never seen before, alongside a team of other rebel agents. Andor picks up five years before the events depicted in the film, serving as a prequel and exploring the backstories of several key characters, with a heavy focus on Diego Luna’s Cassian, whom many consider a Luke Skywalker for the modern age.

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Andor was also a great success, retaining many positively received elements from A thug while improving some of the reviews. Notably, the show offers compelling narrative and conflict as well as a dark tone that is exactly what the star wars frankness needed, and that relies heavily on the portrayals of the series’ antagonists. In a recent interview made available on the official website star wars website, Gough and Soller, who portray the very different antagonists Dedra Meero and Syril Karn, respectively, discuss the intentions behind their much-loved portrayals.

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Gough, whose role as Dedra Meero gave Andor the best female antagonist in the series (and arguably the entire franchise), had a lot to say about what made the character stick with her and the fans. “I want you to be very conflicted with your feelings for her. The great thing about Dedra, and what I love about her role, is…when I first started playing her, I was sitting in this room surrounded by these men — a lot of men who weren’t doing their jobs properly,” Gough said. “And so I was really supporting Dedra. You’re really on her side. And then she does some things that you just think, ‘Okay, so maybe I can’t stand this.’… For people watching , initially you really want her to be successful, because you just see a woman who is really striving to be successful, but then what you have to sit with is once you get on board with her at first just because she’s a woman in a man’s world…[she is] equally capable of doing the most heinous things for power.”

Going further, Gough also expressed his thoughts on the character’s possible redemption, saying, “Someone said to me the other day, ‘Please don’t redeem her.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, this is so good.’ Don’t apologize. Let her be as ambitious as the baddest of men and color in all the shades so everyone will be in conflict when they watch. Soller agreed with his co-star’s thoughts, s’ drawing on this to highlight his own attitude towards Karn, “Oh my God, there’s another person like me! And she looks amazing doing it and she does it really well,” Soller says. “This thirst to fill this void, this thirst for power and order in a fascist kingdom, is quite dangerous, but so seductive. This is Tony’s gift to us. They’re not two-dimensional…you really get the lighter shade and gray areas of these people as people, within the structure and limitations of this system. Fans of the show will agree with the analysis and are likely grateful that the powerful performances were able to break the mid-level streak. star wars shows.

Despite its success, the series’ risk-taking might be about to upset some who don’t like to experiment too much and branch out within the franchise. While the Andor the showrunner promised that Andor would challenge fans’ understanding of star wars canon, those resisting such changes are unlikely to be reassured by the warning.

Star Wars: Andor is streaming now on Disney Plus.

MORE: Star Wars: Andor’s Andy Serkis Character Could Be a Snoke Clue

Source: Star Wars

Sharon D. Cole