Inside ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ with Temuera Moron and Ming Na Wen

Temuera Morrison has 60 years of age. Ming-Na Wen, 58, is the oldest. They aren’t at an age when many actors would ask them to portray action heroes. Both are here, however. The Book of Boba Fett, her chasing assassins across rooftops in last week’s series premiere, and him robbing a train in this week’s episode. Nice work if you can get it — and if you can do it as well as these two can.

Morrison and Wen spoke to each other on Tuesday night Rolling Stone about how lucky they both feel to be part of the show, about Morrison’s memories of playing Boba’s father Jango two decades ago in Attack of the Clones, why either Boba or Wen’s Fennec Shand wants the hassle of running Jabba the Hutt’s old criminal syndicate, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. It’s not necessary to reduce the volume, as Temuera is just too talkative.

Temuera: Other than the passage of time, what would you say makes your performance as Boba different from Jango’s in the prequels.

Morrison:
Well, as Jango, I didn’t know what I was doing. This was shot in Sydney, 2000. I just remember having so much fun, and I was shooting another kind of Australian low-budget detective story at the same time, so I couldn’t change certain things. There were still scenes to shoot. I went over to Star Wars to do some scenes and then returned to the other project I was working on with Rebecca Gibney. Ihaka. There was just things like my hair, for example, and I had too many curls — Jango looked too soft. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to play Boba Fett and the son. I think I used to kill George Lucas, because he’d be trying to shoot a scene, and I’m out there and it’s raining and someone’s got an umbrella. I sing that song. [doing his best Gene Kelly] “I’m singin’ in the rain, I’m singin’ in the rain, and having a wonderful time on the set of Star Wars!”I think they were all crazy. George was also very kind to me. ‘OK, Tem, stop singing now, I’d like to do a mid-shot or a close-up.’ I think with Boba, he’s got a lot more grit, because he’s got a lot more hurt in him. That strong image of Daniel Logan came to me. [as young Boba]Holding [Jango’s] helmet [in Attack of the Clones]. I’m not quite sure where my head is at that stage, but it’s either in the helmet or it’s fallen out of the helmet. But there’s just the strong image where I sort of felt sorry for the kid looking at his father’s helmet like this: [takes off his hat and holds it out like young Boba holding the decapitated Jango’s helmet].

Wen:Then he places his forehead on it.

Morrison:So the poor child had no choice but to go on living her life. I didn’t even see an auntie or an uncle around! It was going be difficult for this little child. So, I thought I was just trying to help him. [have] a little bit more a bit more of a chip on his shoulder, that he’s had to bring his own self up, and he’s had to learn the hard way by himself — the hard way or the highway — so he’s managed to survive. It was amazing. Back in the year 2000, I didn’t know I was going to be playing Boba Fett back then. I remember going to all these conventions with Jeremy Bullock, who played the actual, real Boba Fett, and there’s Daniel Logan, who played the young Boba Fett. And I always signed. ‘Jango Fett,’It still amazes and astonishes me that I can sign autographs. ‘Boba Fett.’But I wanted to do an excellent job. I wanted to fix up some of the things I didn’t take too seriously with Jango Fett and create a dynamic, mysterious character.

Both of you are in stages in your careers when it is rare for actors to get their kicks on the screen. Yet, Robert Rodriguez invited you to both play these action-heroes and take part in fight scenes. How was that for you? 

Wen:
Oh, we’re just getting started!  Right, Tem?

Morrison: You know how you look at some fruit or some food at the supermarket and it’s got a “use by”Date on it? That was my career. It was a blessing that someone attended a meeting with me and said, “Well, Boba’s gotta look like Jango. He’s a cloned son!” Thank Christ I played the father, that’s all I want to say. Yeah, it’s been great.

Wen:Tem and me both came from the same school, which is a good thing. We work hard. We are aware that we share this responsibility with Jon. [Favreau]To the Star WarsFans, Dave [Filoni]Robert, and me to bring our A game. [Tem]It was almost like training on set. I’m training with my trainer all the time, and we’re showing that there’s no expiration date.

François Duhamel / Lucasfilm Lt

Morrison: Well, the Rock came around, and he was getting all my roles, so I’m glad I was in the ring for this role. Jon Favreau was also there, and I was so excited to be there. I knew what they were doing. Mandalorian and all this, and I’m some guy who may be coming in. But I didn’t want to take anything too seriously. And it wasn’t until I went on the meeting and I saw these conceptual drawings and I thought, ‘Bald-headed guy. I mean, that’s me!’ And I buzzed like for two days just from the drawing!

Wen: And I’m just so happy that Boba came back. Boba took good care of Fennec. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been back. He also takes over all the Bacta tanks. It’s a necessity for me every once in a while, as my muscles are also sore.

Morrison:Hold your breath for 20 seconds.

Ming-Na, you’ve said in the past that you did not get into this business intending to do action roles, and yet you keep getting hired for them again and again. You are constantly being asked to do this, why? Are you just doing a lot? Street Fighter Fans in the business

Wen:
I spent a decade after Street FighterNot making action films. However, I believe art sometimes imitates life and life sometimes imitates art. And being the nerd that I’ve been, and the geek, this dream of wanting to be in Star WarsIt began with Marvel. Agents for SHIELD. And now, I’m living the amazing fantasy life I had in my childhood dreams. It’s pretty spectacular. I think I’ve I’ve gotten the Golden Ticket at this point.

Morrison:Yes, both of us have to do the work. Each of us must physically prepare. Although the fight scene that you see onscreen lasts only 30 seconds to one minute, it took twelve hours to film. It was hot and sandy. Oh my god, I’m done with sand.

Wen:Jon is always asking me, “When do we get off Tatooine?!?!”

So why does Boba want to stay on Tatooine and run Jabba’s empire? It seems like a hassle to my eyes.
Morrison: That’s a very good question. We’re going to start somewhere, I guess. We’re going to be branching out and looking at other things to do. But yeah, we’ll start small and then we’ll venture out. If you focus on the job, you’d better ask the writer that.

Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in Lucasfilm's THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Francois Duhamel / Lucasfilm Ltd

Fennec was first seen in our home when we saw it for the first time. MandalorianShe was an independent person. She seems content to be Boba’s second-in-command, at least for the moment. Do you think it is because he saved his life? Are we to be skeptical about her loyalty to him? 

Wen:
As bounty hunters, I believe they have some issues with having to work with others. They’re very much loners. Both of them went through near-death experiences on Tatooine. And I think that that really creates this new vulnerability, this new need that perhaps it’s better to partner up — safety in numbers. Fennec seems smart enough, I believe. Her motto is, “Always find the best deal for yourself,” right? I think she’s seen this as the best deal right now. She believes there could be more options, more comfort, and more protection for Boba. And there’s a great deal of respect that she has for him, too. Although their honor codes may not be as strict, they both believe in the same code. They have a great relationship because they understand each other and show respect. To be able to run the syndicate, it’s not going to be easy.

Boba was known for its long history. Star WarsFans as the man behind the iconic mask. We never saw his face. Both of them are now on MandalorianHere, the helmet is off quite a bit. What do you think changes in our perception of the character when we see him face to face so often? And how does it affect our ability to see you emoting the same way as you did in the role?

Wen:
I don’t think we see him enough, personally.

Morrison:It happened by chance. [in The Mandalorian]. I believe I was on the spacecraft and I said: “Well, I’m not flying the thing, I’m not fighting. Can I take my helmet off?”There was some discussion. That’s that scene when I was giving [Wen]All my dialog was because I wanted the quiet type. And then [director] Rick [Famuywia] goes, “Yeah, I think it’ll be OK. Take his helmet off.”If someone told me that, I would be disappointed. “Leave the helmet on for the whole series.”They thanked Christ for their words. “Yes, you can take it off for the scene.” So that’s how it started. I’m not lying, they should see my face. You know what? I think it’s funny! [on Mandalorian] they could tell if it wasn’t me. [If it was a stunt person,]Robert Rodriguez would agree. “Oh, I can tell it’s not you if you’re not under that helmet.”My face would move through the helmet! I don’t know how that goes, but if there’s an Oscar for best performance under a helmet, I’m going to win it.

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