Benedict Cumberbatch has not had a chance to get caught up on The Mandalorian. The British actor has been hard at work filming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. He has also not heard of the fan-casting rumors that have him as a favorite to play the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn in The Mandalorian Season 3, although he didn’t need to hear much about the character to make up his mind about his potential involvement.
For those of you not in the know (yours truly included), Thrawn was a major character in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, first appearing in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire. An Imperial commander who takes control of the Empire’s scattered forces after the death of the Emperor at the end of Return of the Jedi, Thrawn has remained a fan-favorite character whose popularity was so strong it allowed him to survive Lucasfilm’s purging of the EU timeline prior to the release of The Force Awakens; Thrawn appeared in Seasons 3 and 4 of the animated series Star Wars Rebels, and was name-dropped by Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) on the last season of The Mandalorian, fueling speculation that he might soon appear in the (live-action) flesh. However, the likelihood of Cumberbatch playing him is less than bullseying a wamprat on your T-16.
Speaking with Collider’s Steve Weintraub during a press day for his new film The Courier, Cumberbatch made it clear he hasn’t ever even heard of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and after learning about Thrawn’s primary physical trait he quickly came to a decision that will likely disappoint some Star Wars fans:
COLLIDER: There’s a lot of people that would like you to play a character called Grand Admiral Thrawn, and I’m just curious if you’ve heard people saying this because I could see you playing this role.
CUMBERBATCH: Grand Admiral Thrawn? Does he turn into Peter Cushing, or something? Is that…?
COLLIDER: No. He’s blue. He’s a very cool character that’s a villain… you’d be under a blue makeup thing. I’m just curious if you’d heard about it.
CUMBERBATCH: That’s a straight no from me, right now. There’s no way I want to be turned blue. I turned the air blue, very recently. No no, seriously, I have precious time with my children and I think sitting in a makeup chair and being painted blue, and the amount of time it would take to do that and then take it off at the end of the day might just… it’s not the right time in my life for that.
To be clear, this in no way means that Grand Admiral Thrawn won’t be making an appearance on The Mandalorian; to be honest, it seems like a near-certainty that we’ll see his evil blue face in a major Star Wars property sooner rather than later. But for now, despite the intense amount of fan art out there, Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t interested in playing him.
You can watch the clip above, and check back soon for the full interview.
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