Obi-Wan Kenobi: Vivien Lyra Blair on "Star Wars" Series, Playing Leia
Vivien Lyra Blair (The Boogeyman) spoke with us about her time as Young Leia on Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi, working with Ewan McGregor & more.
Vivien Lyra Blair is wise beyond her years, and it shows in her performances, especially on the Disney+ Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi filling the near-impossible shoes of the late Carrie Fisher as the young Princess Leia Organa. During the closing moments of 2005's Revenge of the Sith, Padme (Natalie Portman) dies shortly after giving birth to twins Luke and Leia. Her best friend, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), promises to protect them from their father, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who's fully turned to the Dark Side as Darth Vader. Leia is sent to live with Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) on Alderaan, while Luke is sent to live with Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Beru (Bonnie Piesse) on Tatooine. In the Disney+ series, Ben (the alias Obi-Wan takes) reluctantly accepts Bail's pleas for help after Leia is kidnapped despite being out of practice as a Jedi. While promoting her latest horror film, The Boogeyman from 20th Century Studios, Blair spoke to Bleeding Cool about if there was anything she did to prep for her role, what she learned from McGregor, and her franchise future.
How Obi-Wan Kenobi Was an Opportunity of a Lifetime for Vivien Lyra Blair
Bleeding Cool: When you were cast in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' as Leia Organa, did you do any prep work before taking on the role?
Blair: [Director] Deborah [Chow] specifically asked me not to. She said that I was naturally so much like Leia that she was worried I tried to watch the Carrie Fisher parts from all the Star Wars movies to try and portray her. She was worried that it would come off unnaturally trying to act like her and it wouldn't look good on camera because I would be forced to try to be her. For fun, before I knew I had the role, we had rewatched the entire Star Wars series, which was a coincidence. I was like, 'Too late for that,' but I made sure that I wasn't trying to portray her too much.
Were you able to poke Ewan McGregor's brain and get any tips from him on acting or other topics?
Ewan was awesome. He always told me this saying, 'Whenever Star Wars gets too big and scary, remember that it's men in bathrobes playing with glow sticks.' That helped me through a lot of the stress of taking on such an iconic character and fandom so that helped.
What's the future for you in the franchise? Are you going to be in 'Ahsoka' or any Star Wars project?
I don't know. I honestly have no information. If I did, I wouldn't be able to tell anyone. I think Ewan's hoping they could do season two [of Obi-Wan Kenobi]. I was saying as much as I would love to do it, I don't see how I would fit into it because it's commonly thought that he doesn't see Leia again until she asks for help in 'A New Hope.' I feel maybe I could do a cameo kind of thing like Teenage Leia at the end of the second season. Maybe there could be that, but we're also hoping for my show, like Leia and Lola thing, which could be fun to do. I hope I get to come back and play her again, but it may be a limited series, and that may be all it is.
The Boogeyman, which also stars Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, and David Dastmalchian, comes to theaters on June 2nd.