Andor Star Genevieve O'Reilly on Telling More of Mon Mothma's Story

Mon Mothma's been an enigma within the Star Wars universe since the rebel leader's introduction in 1983's Return of the Jedi, originally played by Caroline Blakiston. The role's since been taken over by Genevieve O'Reilly since the prequel film in 2005's Revenge of the Sith (in one of her earliest roles). Since Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, the actress has seen second life as the character again in the 2016 standalone film Rogue One and making recurring appearances throughout in the animated Rebels and coming full circle on the Disney+ live-action series Andor. Unlike previous projects, this is the most comprehensive look at the character, showing her days as a frustrated politician in the galactic senate as the rebel alliance takes more shape.

Andor
Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

How Andor Will Show Mon Mothma in a New Light

"We really get to develop her as a character, and we get to learn about her not just as a senator, but as a woman," O'Reilly told Entertainment Weekly. "[We learn] what her life is like, what she has to wrestle with, what are the dangers to her life, what it costs to be her. Tony's writing is so intricate and so taut. It lives in this world of the spy genre, of a sociopolitical drama, and yet it's set within a Star Wars world. So it feels universal and intimate all at once."

O'Reilly recalled when she first landed the role in Sith of watching Blakiston's scenes in the Richard Marquand film. "I was always interested in her," the actress explains, "and each time I go to play her, I go back to that scene. You can see when Caroline does that in that scene, for me, there was always a pain at the heart of it. You could see that she was carrying a pain, and I was really curious about what that was. What has happened in this woman's life? What has it cost to be her? What are the sacrifices that she has had to make along the way to be that leader of a rebellion?"

Andor Star Genevieve O'Reilly on Telling More of Mon Mothma's Story
Image: Lucasfilm

What Mothma was referring to during the film was the Bothans' plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, which was portrayed in Gareth Edwards' film. Andor, created by Rogue One co-writer Tony Gilroy, serves as a prequel before Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) takes on that fateful suicide mission along with his squad. You can check out the complete interview here, with the series available to stream on Disney+ and new episodes streaming on Wednesdays.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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