Gareth Edwards Had to Tell Riz Ahmed to Stop Sending ‘Rogue One’ Audition Tapes
For most actors — and, just, people in general — getting a part in a Star Wars movie seems like a dream. It’s the kind of opportunity that makes an actor sweat about getting their lines right in their audition tapes, or send videos of, say, 14 different versions of the character to the director to show their range. Riz Ahmed, who played cargo pilot Bodhi Rook in Rogue One, was maybe a little overly enthusiastic during the audition process.
Ahmed recently spoke with Entertainment Tonight about his experience filming Rogue One and what it took for him to get the part. He ended up e-mailing director Gareth Edwards so many times, Edwards had to tell him to stop.
I sent him like two or three versions of it. I woke up the next morning and I hadn’t gotten an e-mail back so I thought, ‘Why don’t I send him another two or three more versions of it!’ and then I kind of thought, ‘Oh you know what? Maybe if he had a different accent or different costumes.’ So I did that again, and I sent him 14 takes of this character over like, two or three days. I was spamming quite hardcore, to be honest, and I’m just really grateful he didn’t take out a restraining order.
He kind of e-mailed me back and said, ‘Look, Riz, thank you for the auditions, please stop sending me the auditions. We'll be in touch.’ I was like, ‘Oh, well done you screwed up! You screwed up just by being a psycho!’
Thankfully, Ahmed had not screwed up, and he landed the part. His Bodhi Rook is one of the funniest parts of the movie, and this just goes to show how dedicated Ahmed is to the craft — dedicated enough to risk the director taking legal action or having to get a new e-mail address.
But that’s not all the Rogue One trivia we learned today: apparently an entire planet was cut from the movie. Dantooine, which we’ve heard mentioned before in an earlier Star Wars movie, but never seen on the big screen, was supposed to feature in the first and last thirds of the story, according to Entertainment Weekly. In Star Wars: A New Hope, as Darth Vader is threatening to blow up her homeworld Alderaan, Leia tells him that the rebels are at their base on Dantooine. Vader’s scouts later report that she lied and they’re nowhere to be found. The idea Edwards had was that the Rebels would evacuate Dantooine during Rogue One, so that Leia would have known that they weren’t there. But that part of the story was cut in favor of spending the huge budget it would have required to create the planet on something else.
Also, that shot from the trailers with Jyn Erso walking towards the TIE fighter? Never in the script at al. Edwards told EW, “It was something the marketing team fell in love with. We knew it would not be in the film. It’s one of those things where all the trailers are put together way before the film comes out. It wasn’t a specific part of the story.”
So, that settles that. Rogue One is out in digital release today.