Jessica Henwick has been really busy the past couple of years, but 2020 has brought the chance for the actress to reflect on her time with Star Wars. She played X-Wing pilot Jess Pava in the sequel trilogy and a story she recently shared with The Hollywood Reporter argues that maybe some of her other co-stars aren’t quite suited to the high-octane stunts the series frequently features. Motion sickness can be the worst, but it sounds like Henwick’s got all that down pat. Her friends on The Force Awakens set don’t sound like they were as lucky. Her tale about filming those intense scenes make it seem like she has an iron stomach. Still, it must be a lot to be accustomed to more stationary roles and then be thrown into a space battle set upon what is essentially a high-tech roller coaster and then having to actually recite dialogue. It makes your head spin just thinking about it.
“The thing I remember the most is that all the other actors would get motion sickness,” Henwick began. “We got into this plane rig, and it would lift you up twenty feet in the air. It would also move like a rollercoaster. The other actors could only do 10-15 minutes of filming before they would get sick, have to stop and come down to get back on their feet. So, I was the one who was up there saying, ‘No, keep rolling! I’ll just start riffing.’ I love roller coasters so I thought it was hilarious.”
So it turns out that it’s a good thing she made it through all the rounds of the audition process. Henwick auditioned for Rey as well, but didn’t get it. That’s when J.J. Abrams stepped in and said that the creative team had to find some way to include her going forward.1comments
“I was auditioning for a different character, actually, so I spent six months auditioning for that character,” She explained. “And then, at the end, J.J. said, ‘I want you to be in the film, but I want to write a character for you.’ That’s how Jess Pava was created. So, it was a very, very long experience. It’s hard because I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you go in, audition, put it to the back of your mind, don’t think about it and don’t get emotionally invested. But, after six months, you can’t help but just desperately want it. I’m also such a big J.J. fan. So, I was a mess at the end of those six months.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still in theaters.