Star Wars: The Mandalorian Star Katee Sackhoff on Bringing Bo-Katan to Live-Action

The latest episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian brought fan-favorite warrior Bo-Katan Kryze into the live-action universe, with voice actress Katee Sackhoff reprising her animated role on the hit Disney+ series. It's a major shift and a historic first in the Star Wars franchise; while the character of Saw Gerrera first debuted on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he was voiced by Andrew Kishino until Forest Whitaker played the character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Sackhoff is the first actress to make the jump from the animated series to the live-action universe, which presents a major challenge in and of itself.

Sackhoff recently spoke with Variety about her surprise to join the cast of The Mandalorian. During her discussion, she revealed the challenge of adapting her voice-acting role for a more intense and physical live-action part, praising director Bryce Dallas Howard for her guidance.

"It was a completely different experience for me," explained Sackhoff. "One of the things that worked in my favor this episode was Bryce Dallas Howard, who is such a phenomenal director and also an amazing actor. I couldn’t have done it without her, she truly helped me understand that just because I knew this character so well didn’t mean that I’d worked out how to play her yet. That was hard at the beginning."

Due to the nature of her work in the animated series, the presentation of Bo-Katan was a collaboration that involved a lot of trust in the animators. Adding that physical element for this Star Wars series was a major challenge for Sackhoff.

"One of the funnest things for me was establishing her look. The look of her face was so important to me because there were details about her that as a fan of Clone Wars and Rebels I’ve been accustomed to seeing," said Sackhoff. "Her freckles, her red hair, her green eyes, her eyebrows which point down in a slightly unnatural way, and the scar on her forehead. I wanted all of it to be there, and to their credit, [Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni] and Bryce let me sit down and really play with that."

She added, "With the hair color, we know what she looks like in animation, but does that translate to live-action? Just because she has bright orange hair doesn’t mean that’s the natural look on a real person. We altered and darkened her hair a little bit, we made the eyebrows just a touch more subtle, but they’re still there. I really wanted to make sure the fans recognized her and that she wasn’t a jarring presence for them visually. I didn’t want them to pick her apart, I wanted them to just enjoy the story with her in it."

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