Carl Weathers on the ‘joy’ of directing, starring in ‘The Mandalorian’ series
The "Rocky" and "Predator" star joins yet another successful franchise with "The Mandalorian," which currently streams on Disney+.
Carl Weathers has found new inspiration in a galaxy far, far away. The esteemed actor and director is celebrating the end of the third season of “The Mandalorian,” Disney+’s Emmy-nominated “Star Wars” series.
Speaking to theGrio, Weathers opened up about his involvement in the series, diving into a character like Greef Karga and what it means to tell meaningful, universal stories on such a grand scale.
From playing the iconic Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies to appearing in the “Predator” film and “Toy Story” series, the actor is no stranger to beloved film franchises and kicked off the current decade with “The Mandalorian” back in 2019. “Playing this character Greef Karga has been an interesting journey and a joy because of how well-written the scripts are, and also because of how well-rendered this character is and where his journey has taken him,” Weathers explained to us.
A former agent of the Bounty Hunters Guild, Karga kicks off “The Mandalorian” story giving the titular character (Pedro Pascal) the bounty that leads him to Grogu (or, as fans have coined him, Baby Yoda).
After a successful first season, Weathers returned for the second, this time with an opportunity to direct an episode as well. In the current third season, Weathers was once again offered a directing opportunity, now with two intergalactic episodes under his directing belt.
“As a director, it’s given me a chance to play in a sandbox that I haven’t played in, in ‘Star Wars’ and in science fiction. To be involved in these beautifully rendered stories as a director and having this tremendous fanbase of the Star Wars galaxy of movies and streaming shows, as a director it’s such a great opportunity to explore reality that isn’t real.”
Unlike the Dick Wolf series he has appeared in (“Law & Order,” the “Chicago”), the show’s lore, imagination and “classic hero’s journey” offers something new for Weathers.
“It solidifies you as a director,” he added. “The challenge has been one that I’ve really, really enjoyed. According to the fans, I’ve met the challenge and it only encourages me to keep directing.”
“What we’ve managed to do is cover so much ground that so many people are familiar with because it really has an emotional underpinning that human beings can really relate to,” Weathers said. “John (Favreau), Dave (Filoni) and the source material being ‘Star Wars’ from George Lucas, it’s delivered something that I think is alive in all of us, feelings, experiences and themes we can all relate to.”
While Weathers is part of multiple beloved franchises, his journey with the “Star Wars” fans is “magnificent,” he told us. “Nothing has come close to ‘Star Wars’ and the rabid fanbase that we get. It’s a good thing that I’ve gone through things with some similarity, but now here we are in the 2000s and there’s a generation of young people and suddenly I’m on the map again!”
“That’s really rewarding for an actor,” Weathers said, reflecting on his sprawling career thus far. “It seems like every decade I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a movie that people just revere,” he said before adding:
“Apollo Creed is dead, but long live Greef Karga.”
All three seasons of “The Mandalorian” are currently streaming on Disney+.
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