The Mandalorian surprised fans in more than one way with its Chapter 11: The Heiress episode. Of course, Star Wars fans were blown away by seeing Bo-Katan being ripped straight out of animated sagas from Clone Wars and Rebels and brought to live-action life but she did not come along. Standing beside Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan was WWE Superstar Sasha Banks, credited in the episode for her acting debut as Mercedes Varnado. After months of speculation, it was finally revealed Varnado was playing Koska Reeves, a Mandalorian character who followed the lead of Bo-Katan -- a history explained in the video above.
Banks, who became the WWE Women's Champion on Sunday night at Survivor Series, seems to be unintentionally echoing a work ethic similar to that of a certain wrestler turned actor before her. "I went straight from WWE from live national television, I would have to wake up at 5:00 in the morning, catch a flight and go straight to the trailer," Varnado told ComicBook.com. "And they're like, 'Why do you have glitter all over your face?' And I'm like, 'I'm sorry. I've been Sasha Banks.'"
From Sasha Banks in the squared circle to Koska Reeves in the galaxy far, far away. Just like that -- all while keeping it a secret. Varnado jokes she was live a "triple life" while filming The Mandalorian.
Following the introduction, the arrival of Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian set Star Wars ablaze with excitement in regards to the possible stories which could spawn in the future. Pair that with the excitement of the millions of Sasha Banks fans who were thrilled to see her work outside of the WWE ring and it seems The Mandalorian would be wise to bring Koska back into the mix. Still, Varnado is unsure about what the future holds on her Mandalorian horizons. "I can only hope that the fans get to know more, I'm only in this episode," she says. "It's awesome but we can only hopee for more stuff. So, if I can pray and manifest anything, I just hope myself and Katee, Bo-Katan, can hopefully get the Darksaber one day. But we'll have to see, I don't know."
Read the full, uncut interview diving into The Mandalorian Chapter 11: The Heiress, with Mercedes Varnado below!
ComicBook.com: First of all, congratulations on joining The Mandalorian. I know this is tremendously exciting for you. Going back to joining the series, what was your "I'm in Star Wars," moment where you were on set and it kind of really set in that you were in this world?
Mercedes Varnado: To be honest with you, Brandon, it honestly never set in. Every time I went to set, because I went straight from WWE from live national television, I would have to wake up at 5:00 in the morning, catch a flight and go straight to the trailer. And they're like, "Why do you have glitter all over your face?" And I'm like, "I'm sorry. I've been Sasha Banks." I would walk on set and I just be like, "Oh my god, I can not believe that I'm here," because the set was just so, so, so incredible. I literally felt that I was in a whole different galaxy, in a whole different world. I have no idea how they did that. Whoever made that set, wow! Wow, wow, wow! It's so breathtaking. And the whole time I was there, honestly, it never set in because I went from that straight back to WWE and I couldn't tell anybody. So I just kind of always had to live in the moment and be present in everything that I was doing.
So I was just like, all right, eventually, when I'm able to talk about it, I think that's when it will probably set in that I'm part of something really, really cool and special.
CB: That's wild. That's wild. Living a double life over there!
MV: It was a triple life, okay?prevnext
CB: That's wild. So, listen, Baby Yoda is such a big star of the show here and has been a hungry little diva throughout this season. So I've got to ask, what is The Child like on set as a co-star?
MV: If you're saying he's a hungry diva then maybe he's a diva on set as well because he is the center of attention because he is just so, so, so cute. Everybody, everyone, I'm talking about everybody, always ran up to him, had to look at him, had to see him because it was just so surreal that something could be and look so real. Because it moves, it has facial expressions, it went, "Ah!" and it had teeth! Its cheeks moved! It's just, I don't know how they did it, it just looks so surreal. So he was the center of attention, and of course, why not? He's Baby Yoda, he's the child, he's so legendary.
CB: Important question, what does Baby Yoda smell like?
MV: Oh my gosh, I am not a creep, okay? I have no idea! Ask somebody else that. I'm not doing that, I'm not picking him up and sniffing him! [Laughs]prevnext
CB: Your character, Koska Reeves, comes in with Bo-Katan. Star Wars fans who have watched Rebels and Clone Wars know the very deep backstory to Bo-Katan. When you come in and you're playing a character alongside Bo-Katan in live-action, how much of the Clone Wars and Rebels stories of it all are you made aware of or did you already know of?
MV: I wasn't aware of none of it beforehand because this is still so fresh and new and having all of it just right in front of me. And I had WWE as well, I'm going back and forth so I wasn't aware of much but having David Filoni and Katee just right there with any questions and anything that I needed. Katee knew her character and knew Bo-Katan so, so, so well that she was even able to change a couple of her lines and she even told David, she's like, "I don't think I would stand like this. I think Bo would stand like that and she would have a scar and she would have freckles." And they were just so, so cool, they're like, "You know what? You're absolutely right. You've been voicing this character." So it was just so cool to see and just to see how caring and how much of a family they were and just so loving, it's like if you can make it from your heart, I think the Star Wars fans will just love it. And I think you guys did, right?
CB: It was the animation brought to life but it was so cool to see you. We're fans of you, as well, outside of Mandalorian. So it was really cool to see all those things kind of tie together.
MV: Thank you.prevnext
CB: As you've learned so much about this from Katee Sackhoff and from Dave and I'm sure Jon [Favreau] has kind of chimed in, as well, what kind of stuff have you learned about Koska and how much of that do you think that the fans will get to explore and get to know your character as this goes on?
MV: Well, I can only hope that the fans get to know more, I'm only in this episode. It's awesome but we can only hopee for more stuff. So, if I can pray and manifest anything, I just hope myself and Katee, Bo-Katan, can hopefully get the Darksaber one day. But we'll have to see, I don't know.
CB: That's a perfectly fair answer. You've been to the Tom Holland school of not spoiling things.
MV: Well, I have no idea, we have to keep watching. Everyone was expecting Ahsoka to be on this episode but we have to see, I don't know. I'm watching like a fan every single week and I'm just on the edge of my seat, I'm like, I don't know. So I'm just with you guys, I'm a fan.prevnext
CB: You got tossed into some really cool action sequences. For some of the actors when the helmet is on, it's easy for the stunt team to take over quickly. Did your wrestling background lend itself to some of the awesome action you got to step into, in a full-on Mandalorian costume?
MV: Yeah. I got to blend some of my wrestling moves in but we had a great stunt team, I didn't want to do too much of the work because I was still trying to get at the WWE championship every single week. So I got to do some of my stuff but not all of it, I have to give that to our stunt team. But I wanted to make sure that I brought a lot Sasha Banks into my role so right away I was like, "You have to do dropkicks and back elbows." From my stance, that was me.
CB: Congrats on winning at Survivor Series, by the way! That actually, that leads me to my next question, which is what would you say Koska and Sasha Banks have most in common?
MV: I would say they have almost the same kind of attitude and just the presence of knowing of who's in control and holding her stand to be present, holding her power. I feel like that's what I try to bring to Koska, I wanted to have a little bit of a legit Boss essence. But hopefully, we can discover more in season three.prevnext
CB: This last question is one I like to ask everybody. Now that you've got a taste of the action in the Star Wars world, is there a Marvel or DC hero or villain that you think would be a ton of fun to play?
MV: If I have to go extreme, I'm going to be the best of the best, I'm going to be Batman. That's who I'm going to play.
CB: Watch out, Robert Pattinson!
MV: I'm coming for him, I'm about to fly in with my double knee. Boom. Banks Statement. I'm taking over.1comments
CB: If I was Pattinson, I'd be scared! But, seriousy, I know Mandalorian and Survivor Series mean a lot to you, so congrats and enjoy it all!
MV: Thank you so much. It's so crazy, thank you.prev