ANDOR Stars Denise Gough & Kyle Soller On Syril's Big Setback & Dedra's Desire For Power (Exclusive)

Andor is finally here and ahead of its three-episode premiere, we had a chance to sit down with stars Denise Gough and Kyle Soller to talk about their villainous characters and what to expect this season!

Interviews Opinion

Andor has finally arrived and, ahead of its action-packed three-episode premiere, we had an exclusive opportunity to sit down with stars Denise Gough (Under the Banner of Heaven; Monday) and Kyle Soller (Anna KareninaThe Titan), who play two of the villains of the series, Dedra Meero and Syril Karn, respectively.  

While we do spend a lot of time with Syril in the first three episodes, we don't meet Dedra until episode four, so there are a few minor spoilers in our conversation as Denise touches on her character's evil intentions this season while Kyle reveals some of what to expect from Syril after that big setback in episode three. 

Check out the full video interview below and please remember to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE

ROHAN: Denise, I believe we first meet your character, Dedra Meero, in episode four and you give us a lot of reason to believe she has a much bigger agenda than what we've seen. What can you tell us about her journey this season?

DENISE: Well, I think when you meet her, she's trying to prove herself, we've been talking a lot today about what these characters have in common is their desperate need to be seen, and to get control for whatever reason, whatever they're lacking in themselves, they're going to try and get in their job. So, she's incredibly obsessive and meticulous in her desire for power.

I think for Dedra, it's definitely about power, and so you see throughout the season, you see her get closer and closer to what she thinks is going to make her have her like status and make her seen, essentially, and so the lengths that she'll go to, who she will hurt, essentially, in order to get what she wants.

I love playing that because I think that seeing women be able to be those things too, there isn't a moment where you go, “Oh, but maybe she's really nice.” We don't need to be doing that, she gets to actually be like, she's complex in so many ways, but I do get to be one of the bad guys without apologizing for it, which is really good fun.

ROHAN: Kyle, we spend a lot of time with your character, Syril Karn, in the first three episodes, and let's just say, he has a bit of a setback in that third hour. How would you describe his mindset moving forward?

KYLE: Oh, wow, yeah, his mindset is a bit like, “oh, [frick], what do I do now?” And, it takes a really interesting turn, something that I'd never expected a Star Wars series, a series to investigate, which is what does his home life look like? You know, he gets fired from his job and he has no other recourse but to go back home…

DENISE: …To his mom! It’s absolutely mad that that’s happening in Star Wars!

KYLE: *laughs* It’s incredible, it turns into like a Pinter play. It's really amazing, and with the most beautiful actress playing my mother, Kathryn Hunter, who's incredible.

DENISE: We're huge fans, like from the stage. She's one of our goddesses of the theater. We would have studied her work in drama school. This is a woman that is incredible. I mean, Fiona Shaw, also, she was on the front cover of a play that I did in drama school. These are like my theater heroes, and here we are getting to be in Star Wars with them. You're in like a space apartment. *talking to Kyle*

KYLE: Yeah, yeah, really incredible, and so like, what's great from that perspective, is that he feels like he's on top of the world as he's right about to capture Cassian, and then the world is removed from underneath his feet, and he has nothing left. Then, he goes back to his trauma-filled apartment with his mother, and what does he do? It's such a human kind of story of him then trying to figure out where, what's my navigation now? And, then he crosses paths with Dedra.

DENISE: Hitches his wagon!

KYLE: Exactly, like instigates a fire! It gives him back the fire of like, oh, no, there's another person like me out there that wants what I want, and she's doing it in a really great way, and yeah, so he gets his fire back.

DENISE: And then they live happily ever after!

ROHAN: Both of you are accomplished stage actors and Star Wars is, at its core, a massive space opera - did your prior experience inform stepping into this series?

DENISE: Well, for me, it's like I was saying earlier that it's the first time I walked onto a set and felt how I feel when I'm in a play. That never happens. It just doesn't, and yet something about this because it exists in all its operatic form already and you're stepping into this thing that can hold, like it's a pulsating entity already and then, the writing was so good that all you have to do is dance, and the way that it's constructed or the storylines in this show, the way everyone is looked after, like, my attention to detail thing is, that's what you get in the theater.

You're constantly finding the new details and shining and touching up and polishing and you can do a run for like six months and you want to feel on your last night that you're just getting started, and that's how working on this felt. It felt like, and I'm gonna get to go back and do more like we're gonna do more things together, that, I don't get that feeling of excitement when I'm working on-screen.

I never do, it feels like usually quite a lonely process, and a bit disjointed, but this feels like you're going into a very, like beautiful community that's there to help you find the detail and the more detail the better, and then you have this fandom that is out to make sure and hold you accountable to make sure that you get that detail. So, you feel like you're making an offering to something that's taking it really seriously.

So, I take it very seriously when I'm doing any job, but this, I feel very, like spiritually connected to, I feel like there's a responsibility to do something for all the people that are going to watch this, and also just to say, we've been talking too about how it's the only thing you're in that a five-year-old could have a conversation with a 75-year-old about how much they love this thing. You can't do that with any other show, maybe Game of Thrones or Harry Potter in years to come, but although, I don't know if five-year-olds should be watching Game of Thrones. *laughs* But, you know what I mean, this one is so special because I would see a five-year-old get as excited as a 75-year-old. It's so beautiful to think that it crosses so many generations. I love it. It's such a gift.

The “Andor” series explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It is an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

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