Lucasfilm's flagship Disney+ title, The Mandalorian, made headlines last year when the studio announced the series' incredibly diverse lineup of directors. It's a group filled with big-name talent, including Bryce Dallas Howard, Deborah Chow (who will be taking the helm on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series), Taika Waititi, and Dave Filoni.
During production, everything was extremely hush-hush, but now that the first episode has dropped and all of those directors have done their work, the cast have opened up about their experiences. SYFY WIRE sat down with the chief cast — Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), and Carl Weathers (Greef Carga) — and all three had plenty of stories to tell about the wide variety of personalities they worked with on The Mandalorian. The trio said it was a great experience, but there were definitely some quirky shenanigans.
Taika Waititi, in particular, had an unusual directing style, according to Carl Weathers.
"We're really fortunate that we had a group of directors who all brought something really special to the table. Deborah [Chow], in particular, was pretty amazing because it was huge stuff she was doing, but Taika had his wild sense of humor," Weathers said. "He played music while we were doing the scenes, which gave it its own fun vibe, and then he would show up in pajamas sometimes and full slippers. I mean, it was crazy. Wait, how about the couch?"
Pedro Pascal and Gina Carano laughed at that point, nodding. Not only did Waititi direct from a couch, but he had lava lamps to adorn it as well.
"Where Bryce [Dallas Howard] would sit on a box," Weathers continued, "Taika would sit sprawled out on a couch in pajamas."
Weathers said one of his favorite things to do afterward was to watch the episodes and unwrap who had directed what, and he could spot the specific energies of the individual personalities in each scene of The Mandalorian.
Gina Carano, who came from the world of modeling and mixed martial arts before stepping into the world of acting, had nothing but love for what Bryce Dallas Howard brought to the table — especially when it came to her costume. "I worked with Bryce from the beginning; [she] was helping me with the costume."
The goal was to prevent Carano from losing her femininity in the costume and keep it from feeling like a "football uniform." They worked together to develop the hourglass shape of Cara Dune's uniform. "I wanna be a Mack truck and be able to mow anybody over; I do that naturally," Carano explained, "but I also want to be who I am, and I wanna bring that to her character and show a strong woman. That was really key from the beginning of creating [Cara Dune's] costume. I enjoyed putting on that costume so much. I can't get enough of it."
From the outside looking in, it seemed like Dave Filoni, the man behind the acclaimed Clone Wars cartoon, would be a shoo-in for directing, but there is definitely a steep learning curve to live action. The cast thought Filoni handled it well, though.
"I think he's very self-deprecating. He's very humble to it, but he's also extremely open," Pedro Pascal told SYFY WIRE. "[Filoni] has no agenda. It's such a completely collaborative experience. You don't get that often. To have somebody who is as excited about it as you are and as the fans are, and as anyone who really wants a good story is, it makes for a really, really genuine, unique experience."
Carl Weathers was awed by Filoni's love of the Star Wars mythology. "When you asked Dave a question, boy … Dave can give you an answer that really fulfills beyond what you asked him, because he knows the material so well," Weathers said, adding that Filoni and Jon [Favreau] "could spin off into the Outer Rim with their thoughts about the Star Wars universe and about the lore and about the mythology and about what George intended and [everything else]."
Weathers himself was added to the ranks of directors for Season 2 of The Mandalorian. You can read about his experience with that in our coverage here.
The first episode of The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+.