Boba Fett actor Temuera Morrison has got to be one of the luckiest actors in all of Hollywood. When he boarded Attack of the Clones in 2002, little did he know that his role as Jango Fett would go on to put him in a unique spot; the man is set for life when it comes to acting—and it only just truly picked up thanks to The Mandalorian.
Sure, then it was just Jango Fett. But in playing that one role, he then went on to be the one and only live-action actor for every clone to ever exist (or Fett family member). So not only did Morrison return to bring Boba Fett to life in The Mandalorian's second season, but he even got his own solo outing on Disney+. To add to that, if any other clone makes the transition to live-action, be it Rex, Echo, Fives, Borr, or countless others, then he's the man Lucasfilm will go to.
One would have assumed that the actor really worked hard to get himself into such a big spot. However, according to the man himself, it seems he might have put a lot less effort into the prequel movies than anyone would have thought.
Boba Fett Works Harder for The Mandalorian
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, some of the cast of recent Star Wars projects sat down with the outlet to discuss their time with the franchise.
Among them was Temuera Morrison, who brought to life Boba Fett in both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. The actor shared that he was "just blown away to be asked back for a start," and how, this time around, he made sure to "do a little bit more research, and make the most of the opportunity:"
"We’re just blown away to be asked back for a start. Fortunately, Boba had to look a little bit like Jango, being the clone son. So, lucky [my face] was still around… it hasn’t been weathered too much. And I sort of made the right time zone and age... but just very honored and grateful for something that happened back in the year 2000, Attack of the Clones, and to be asked back. And also to have a better chance of being better… Because in Jango Fett, I was having too much fun. I got to dress up, wear the helmet, and sing a few songs for George [Lucas], go like this and people would fall over, and fight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Man, I was just having so much fun, so I thought I better, you know, really put the world in this time, and do a little bit more research, and make the most of the opportunity because sometimes they don't come by again."
Morrison is probably glad that he worked harder here than he did for the prequels—it seems to have worked out for him.
Emily Swallow, who plays the armorer in The Mandalorian, shared how "getting to spend time with the Armorer [made her] simplify things a lot more," thanks to not being able to utilize her face, which is a "tool that you usually use to communicate with people:"
“I am, in my day-to-day life a lot more expressive, and kinetic, and fidgety, and getting to spend time with the Armorer makes me simplify things a lot more. And she is very grounding. It’s a wonderful acting, I wouldn’t say obstacle, but I mean it is sort of an obstacle to not have access to this tool that you usually use to communicate with people. And one of the things that we found when we started experimenting way back at the beginning when we were shooting… We were shooting Episodes 1 and 3 at the same time. And so all of us that were putting on these helmets… we started playing and getting feedback from [Jon Favreau] and Deborah [Chow], who were directing those two episodes, about what would read on camera. Which is also a different thing, because I had done mask work in theater. But when you’re on theater, the audience can see your entire body at once and so, you have a greater canvas to work with. When you’re working on camera, you don’t know what shots they’re going to be using at given any moment, you don’t know what part of the story is playing at any given time so, you’re sort of at the mercy of the editor."
The key for her was being "judicial" with how she was moving, as "any tiny movement read hugely:"
"And so we had to get a lot of feedback about what was playing, what wasn’t playing. You learn that you really have to be judicial in how you’re moving, because any tiny movement reads hugely… So you also can’t do things like look down to see where you’re walking. You can’t do things like when you’re grabbing your tools when you are an armorer, a blacksmith, you can’t like really look to see what you’re getting. And so i had to have a lot of faith that I would not fall over. I had to have a lot of confidence that i knew what I was doing, which was appropriate for her. And so I had to act as if I had confidence in those things until I did have confidence in those things. So it was sort of an interesting… the confidence built itself, I guess. I pretended I had it ’til I did.”
Moff Gideon himself, aka Giancarlo Esposito, admitted that he "thought there'd be much more stringent parameters with which to work in" and was surprised by how they "want[ed] to talk to [him] about what [he] thought and allowed [him] to be a contributor:"
“I don’t know that I was expecting people to be so free. I thought there’d be much more stringent parameters with which to work in. And to have creators who are so very open and free in their knowledge of the history of this particular franchise, but also being free enough and open enough to allow you as an actor to be able to extend your portrayal of the character, was just… it was just odd to me. To be in a world where they would want to talk to me about what I thought and allowed me to be a contributor and that’s always what works best for any actor in a partnership to be told what really works well and then to be suggested to try something else. The freedom with which they play in the sandbox is just something that amazes me."
Esposito continued, exclaiming how the people behind the scenes are "absolutely honest... collaborative, and really expressive in how they relay what's happening:"
"I have just so many different great moments where I may have had a question and the question could be answered by making a certain decision in that moment. But instead of that, the question invites another question, and then another question, and then before we know it, ‘Where’s Dave [Filoni]? Is he walking his dog or is he up at his office with the dog? Or is he outside? I think he’s walking his dog. Well, tell him to come in with the dog.’ And then they come into the set and all those questions that led to more questions lead to a new understanding of where the scene could go and a decision made upon one word that may be suggested that wasn’t used, or that Dave thought of, but didn’t write everyone is so very honest. I think that’s the greatest excitement of this show to me. No one’s covering. They’re absolutely honest, they’re collaborative, and really expressive in how they relay what’s happening. Or they don’t relay what’s happening to you, because they don’t want you to know too much.”
Why Temuera Morrison Probably Has a Long Future Ahead
It's a good thing Temuera Morrison really dove in, as it probably helped score him a permanent spot in his new era of Star Wars—besides, of course, how Lucasfilm sort of wrote itself into a corner when it comes to hiring the actor for more work. Hopefully, future projects will give him the opportunity to continue flexing his acting chops.
Out of all the characters he could bring to life in future projects, there is no one fans likely want to see more than Rex, the most iconic clone commander from The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. With Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka on its way next year, that series would be the perfect place for the character to make his live-action debut.
There's an endless number of other choices he could be as well. For example, Commander Cody once played a key role in Obi-Wan Kenobi, so that confirms the character is at least being thought of. Then there's many members of the Bad Batch, all of whom Morrison could play—though there is some more wiggle room there.
First, though, the actor is probably crossing his fingers for a second season of his solo show. After all, the audience all knows Cad Bane didn't die, right?
The Book of Boba Fett Season 1 and The Mandalorian's first two seasons are now streaming on Disney+.