The Big Picture
- Gareth Edwards cast John David Washington in his latest film, The Creator, after their first meeting, which was sparked by Washington wearing a Star Wars face mask.
- The unique circumstances of the pandemic made it difficult for Edwards to meet with prospective stars for the movie.
- Washington’s love for Star Wars became an icebreaker during their meeting and led to a great connection between the director and actor.
Gareth Edwards has revealed that his past work on Star Wars helped in casting his latest movie, The Creator. With pre-production beginning on the film during the tailend of the pandemic, Edwards admitted it was difficult to meet with prospective stars, but as it turns out, the highly unique circumstances would lead to the casting of his leading man in the form of John David Washington.
After a recent IMAX screening of three scenes from the film—which depicts the story of a near-future in which artificial intelligence is now an antagonistic force against which humanity must fight against—director/co-writer Edwards took part in a Q&A session with the audience, and he was asked how Washington ended up taking on the lead role, to which Edwards disclosed that the two had a potentially awkward first meeting when Washington entered the restaurant they’d arranged to meet at wearing a Star Wars protective face mask, until the actor addressed the elephant in the galaxy far, far away.
“We were casting the film during the pandemic, so it was really hard to meet anybody,” said Edwards. “Fortunately, JD lived in L.A. and I heard through his agents, “Hey, he’d meet you any time you want. Just go for a meal.” So, I did. I went and met him during the pandemic, and he walked in with his mask on, but it was a Star Wars mask. It had the Star Wars logo on it.
A Solid Icebreaker
“I initially thought, “Oh, no, he’s doing this because of Rogue One.” And then, he sat down and admitted to being a massive Star Wars fan. He was like, “I’ve been wearing this mask, every single day for like a year. It’s been for the whole pandemic. I thought about not wearing it to this meeting, but then it felt false. So, I thought it’d be a good icebreaker.” We hit it off, straight away.”
Washington leads the ensemble cast of The Creator which also features Academy Award winner Allison Janney, Gemma Chan, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Ralph Ineson, Sturgill Simpson, and Ken Watanabe. The Creator is in theaters and IMAX on September 29th.