Warning: Potential Spoilers For Rogue One Below!
As Rogue One: A Star Wars Story continues to dominate theaters around the world, many viewers have raved about the film’s excellent use of CGI characters. One of these characters being a key individual who was a prominent character from A New Hope; Grand Moff Tarkin. Tarkin, whose presence in Rogue One is rather necessary as he is one of the Empire’s highest ranking officials before the fall of the Death Star, was a challenge to incorporate into Rogue One considering the original actor in Peter Cushing died in 1994. This left director Gareth Edwards the challenge of bringing the character back to life on the big screen, which he ultimately chose to do by casting a new actor and applying CGI to give him the same facial features as Peter Cushing in 1977.
The actor Gareth Edwards and Lucasfilm searched for was required to speak and act in a way similar to Cushing did in A New Hope. The actor chosen, Guy Henry, is said to have not only similar facial features as Cushing but very similar mannerisms as well, which made him a clear choice to Edwards. During a recent interview with Empire’s podcast, the Rogue One director spoke on how Guy Henry was chosen to bring Tarkin back to life, saying:
“[Casting director Jina Jay] sent me this clip one day, I remember I was with one of the producers. It was Guy Henry, and his whole way about him was like Peter Cushing. Guy Henry started his TV career in the UK playing young Sherlock Holmes; to get into the role he’d watch all the old Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes films.”
Although it was rather easy for Edwards to find what he believed to be the perfect Tarkin actor, the more difficult part of the matter would be to convince the actor he would be in the biggest movie of the year yet he would not be able to show his face.
“And then I had to go convince him in a restaurant to do this. You’re basically going up to an actor and saying, ‘now, you’re going to be in a film. It’s a big film. It’s called Star Wars. But we’re not going to see your face, you’re actually going to look totally like someone else, and you’re not allowed to tell anyone.'”
Fortunately, Henry accepted the role and took on the task of impersonating one of the more iconic characters from the original Star Wars trilogy. Thanks to Henry’s acting and some excellent CGI, many have claimed one of Rogue One‘s better performances was from an actor who died over twenty years ago.