Emily Swallow from The Mandalorian and Supernatural spoke to the guys of Rebel Force Radio about the Armorer and wearing a mask. Her work on Supernatural prepared her for being a part of the Star Wars fandom.
“Yeah, because the supernatural fandom is so passionate and so involved in the stories and I love hearing how the stories have impacted people and what people’s different like points of connection are. But the Star Wars fandom, it’s been around for decades, and it is such a massive group of people who are also so passionate and so excited.”
Going into The Mandalorian, she knew very little about what she was in for. But she did know she’d be wearing a mask.
“That was the first time I’ve auditioned for someone who was supposed to be wearing a mask. I was like, am I supposed to do anything differently? We didn’t do anything special for the audition. I mean, I know that I paid a lot more attention to how I carried myself physically since my face would not be a part of it, ultimately. But originally, they were looking for a British woman in her 50s or 60s. But that is why, in the audition, the casting assistant Jason, he told me to do a British accent. And then that part of it John (Favreau) likes that. He said, ‘You know, it doesn’t have to be like exactly British but something that kind of sets her apart and it’s a little bit heightened, and I like that. I think it makes it even more mysterious.'”
“It’s an interesting thing, because when someone can’t look at your face, they’re looking at every other part of your body. So if you have an unintentional movement that’s distracting, it can take away from what’s going on in the scene. So I really enjoy that. I mean, that’s unlike anything I’ve ever gotten to do on TV and it was fun.”
Her take on The Armorer
“They described her originally as a leader of a group of people and they said that she was very sad and like and so when I talked about it with john he talked about a lot he referenced like Kurosawa films and the Samurai Warriors and kind of the formality but kind of the dignity and the simplicity of the movement. And I felt like she never really moved quickly. There’s nothing urgent about her until she needs to kick some stormtroopers, but she knows how to dish it out when she needs to. But uh, I really loved that she carried her authority in a way that was not aggressive at all. She knew she had the respect of all those warriors, and so vocally I just felt like she also needed to be very measured and very patient and, you know, not very reactive to things. I felt like she was just always taking everyone in and kind of waiting for the moment and she needed to intercede.”
Speaking of that fight scene. Swallow was very eager to learn the choreography.
“I wanted to do the entire thing. I am not trained as a fighter. I got the script and it was like three weeks before we’re shooting that episode, and I approached our director and I was like, ‘What do I have to do?’ And he said, ‘that’s very that’s a nice of you. But if you want to work that hard, you need a few months. We don’t have that.’ They told me they were going to do most of it with a trained fighter, especially with the masks… I trained with somebody so that I can help with some transitions and that was definitely me like taking all the credit at the end for that pose.
“It’s such a beautiful fight and I love that she’s fighting only with her hammer and tongs, she doesn’t need the gun, she doesn’t need a lightsaber. My husband and we were both like, This is awesome.”
Despite the awesome fight scene, Swallow did say it was difficult to see in the mask.
“I couldn’t see well in my mask. I got like a tinted visor in my dimly lit cave is like no peripheral vision… if you had more than one Mando in a room, we were gonna bonk helmets.”
“But yeah, it was pretty challenging. I can usually see who I was talking to. But with all of the blacksmithing that I had to do. I couldn’t see a lot of the time what I was trying to pick up. The gloves that I had looked great, but they were they were baggy, so it didn’t really feel what I was trying to do. Being inside that cave felt ridiculous. I knew it looked great but I was like, ‘Please don’t make me look like Idiot.’ I would often drop things like when I was trying to carry it over to the forger.”
Swallow couldn’t reveal anything about season two, but I hope to see The Armorer again soon.