Interview: Laura Dern on Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Disclosure:  I was provided with an all-expense trip to LA by Walt Disney Studios to attend these events. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Having the opportunity to interview Laura Dern in itself is a dream come true, getting the opportunity to interview Laura Dern about her character “Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo” and her now being a part of The Star Wars family – priceless.

Laura Dern is Vice Admiral Holdo in THE LAST JEDI.

Amilyn Holdo serves as a Vice Admiral in the Resistance during its conflict with the First Order and also helps General Leia Organa lead the Resistance.

Image: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

On being Vice-Admiral Amilyn Holdo

There’s a new boss in town!

I have arrived in the Resistance and I am a Vice Admiral (and that is about all she could reveal about the character).  I can tell you how amazing it was to be inside Rian’s head. It was incredible to have the privilege of collaborating on what, and who she is and how to present a powerful woman. I really appreciated Rian and Kathy Kennedy and all of our Producers that allowed a powerful female character to be feminine, as opposed, to oh, she’s a strong female let’s put her in the guys’ clothes. I thought that was wonderful and I feel excited to join this amazing legacy of strong females in space starting with our magnificent icon of Princess Leia.  

Becoming a part of The Star Wars family

Rian called asking to have lunch and talk about something and he was really excited about (it). We went to lunch and he started describing something he was looking for in a character and would love for me to help invent this with him. It all sounded great and it wasn’t until sort of the end of the lunch, he says it’s in “Star Wars.” He started describing a world that was about the complexity of being a human being and the battle between light and dark and not knowing which would win, and the struggle of family and the hero’s journey. He described this complicated female character in such a beautiful way and also spoke to something that you know, rebel film makers have asked of their collaborators and in my case, as an actor of me.

This is what George Lucas invented, and why I think this stands the test of time in such a profound way is it’s not a franchise, it’s a legacy of the deepest storytelling we have.

Image: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com
Image: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

How movies, especially Star Wars impacted her life

Well yes and I’m spoiled in my answer. I saw the first Star Wars….. I was probably 6, a little girl and I stood in line. It was the first time I stood in line for a movie at the Cinerama Dome and it was blocks long. It was profound for me.

I have been raised by Actors and I’ve been introduced into a world where movie are magical. My Mother and my Father, they’re rebels and they love hard hardcore Independent film, they love character and they love Cinema.

In this specific case, my Dad, I think a few years before, had done a Douglas Trumbull Film called “Silent Running” and I’m told it was a great influence on George Lucas in that it was my Dad alone in space with 3 Droids named Huey, Dewey, and Louie. I became obsessed with these Droids and those Droids I’m told were a great influence toward R2D2. I had a figurine of this Droid and remember that idea of being is space with these characters who are your partners and then suddenly Star Wars opened up this kind of storytelling in this massive way so it felt personal, as Star Wars does to all of us.

Laura Dern is Amilyn Holdo in THE LAST JEDI.

How little girls will emulate the strong female characters like Leia in Star Wars

It’s just incredible and so exciting1 I know what Leia was for me as I know she was for all of you. It was again, not just her strength in some super heroic way but in the deeply human way that she, Carrie so incredibly embodied was this fearless irreverent sassy bold, vulnerable female. All things to be true and powerful and kick butt and all of those things were in one character.We know how rarely we see that. So that meant the world to me and now my daughter and all her friends have this in Ray and soon other female characters in the movie.

Image: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

On being a fan and working on the film

Coming on to set (one day) Rian was like “Oh, somebody’s a fan, and wants to say Hi” right before we were starting one day, (I’m) standing making tea, and I turned around and Chewbacca was there and embraced me and I cried. I really cried. It was so moving to me. Being on set and seeing R2D2 and these characters we all fell in love with, it’s stunning so then you have to get over it and go to work but it’s an incredible opportunity and experience. I’m so happy to get to be part of it.

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Official trailer – In theaters December 15, 2017

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