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Obi-Wan Kenobi: Rupert Friend Talks Makeup, Lightsaber Training, and Defining the Character for Live-Action

Discussion in 'SWNN News Feed' started by SWNN Probe, May 20, 2022.

  1. SWNN Probe

    SWNN Probe Seeker

    Aug 29, 2016
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    Ever since it was initially rumored that the Inquisitors would appear in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, many Star Wars fans have been excited to see what these characters would look like in live-action. We finally got a glimpse of them in the show's first teaser back in March, and we saw them again in the Star Wars Day trailer.

    As many fans know, these deadly Jedi hunters are led by the Grand Inquisitor, who made his debut in the Rebels animated series, in which he was impeccably voiced by Jason Isaacs. Now actor Rupert Friend portrays the character in his first live-action appearance in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Friend about his role in the series, and he discussed a variety of topics, including his character's backstory and how he created his own version of the feared villain.


    Like many other actors who've joined the Star Wars universe in recent years, Friend is a longtime fan of the saga, and he described being part of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a 'boyhood dream come true'. Friend was aware that the Grand Inquisitor had previously appeared in animation, but he made the conscious choice to avoid watching Rebels so that he wouldn't accidentally imitate that version of the character with his performance:

    [​IMG] (L-R): Fourth Sister (Rya Kihlstedt), Reva (Moses Ingram), Fifth Brother (Sung Kang) and Imperial captain (Indira Varma) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    Friend also spoke in-depth about the character's backstory, his lightsaber, and his Force abilities. Fans of Rebels will no doubt find the actor's descriptions of the Inquisitor's Jedi hunting skills excitingly familiar:


    Of course, it takes lots of preparation to play a character as fierce and intimidating as the Grand Inquisitor, and Friend put in the time and effort to perfect everything from the character's fighting style to his voice:


    Naturally, actors often have to sit for an extensive makeup session when they portray an alien character. Given that the Grand Inquisitor is a Pau'an, Friend had to spend hours in a makeup chair each day he filmed scenes:

    Friend has spoken previously about how keeping the character's suit and makeup on for hours at a time made him sweat. While he reiterated that point in this interview, he also mentioned how much he enjoyed wearing the armor:


    Given the show's placement in the Star Wars timeline, it has a mix of new and returning characters. We know that the Grand Inquisitor survives to participate in the events of Rebels, so it's possible that the character could have more live-action outings ahead of him. When asked if he'd be interested in reprising the role, Friend had this to say:

    Based on Friend's answers in this interview, it's clear that lots of care and consideration went into the Grand Inquisitor's first live-action appearance. Everyone from Deborah Chow, the writing team, the makeup and costuming departments, and of course Friend himself gave their all to make this new version of the character something to remember. In just a week, we'll see Rupert Friend and the rest of the cast in Obi-Wan Kenobi when it premieres its first two episodes on Friday, May 27.

    For the full interview, check out Entertainment Weekly's full article.

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    #1 SWNN Probe, May 20, 2022
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
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