It seems that every Star Wars movie from the Disney-era has a Hungarian in it. In The Force Awakens, in addition to a stunt man, a Hungarian greensman also helped – he was responsible for every plant and the landscape in the film. A year ago we could see the work of a Hungarian graphic artist in Rogue One and now, another Hungarian, Zoé Nemes, was involved in the creation of The Last Jedi.
She could not speak about the film and her role before the official premiere of the eigth Star Wars movie, but sat down for an interview with mno.hu after the film’s release. Zoé talked about the shooting, costumes, actors and how she befriended the director, Rian Johnson.
Zoé was an extra in the news Star Wars movie, in scenes taking place on the casino planet Canto Bight. She is the first Hungarian whose face is visible on the screen in the new films. Zoé, who moved London for university, had originally applied for a role in another movie.
Eventually, they called her back for a role in a film code-named Space Bear. During casting, she saw Peter King, make-up artist and hairdresser best known for his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and designer Michael Kaplan. Eventually, she was selected, and they measured every inch of her body, even her fingers and her nose. Finally, she put together the pieces and realised that the project was the next Star Wars movie. While she was cast in September 2015, shooting only began in the following March.
Perhaps, the best experience for me from the shooting is that I befriended the director, Rian Johnson and I met a lot of nice people I can now call my friends. It will be great to tell my grandchildren that their grandmother is in a Star Wars film – even if only for a short time. It was also great to see the whole process of making a movie like this, they even captured a 3D body scan of me.
Zoé is living in Barcelona now, and she went to see the film after submitting her dissertation. Although she had to sit in the second row, she could easily spot herself in the casino scenes.
The film received a lot of criticism, for example, because of its strange humour. Zoé talked about the mood during the shooting as well:
I really loved the whole shooting, but it is not surprising, as we shot scenes in a casino and basically, our job was to enjoy life. Once, I even made a ‘That’s what she said’ joke during a scene with a bottle of champagne and everyone laughed, of course. There was another funny scene, when an older man, who seemed so familiar to me from somewhere approached me. He started to talk about how beautiful my dress was, about the creatures in the scene and everything, we talked a bit… I only realised it later that it was Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) himself, who came to me!
Zoe previously played an extra in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and in Justice League, where she had a chance to see stars like Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill up close. Unfortunately, she could not spot herself in these films.
You can read the whole interview in Hungarian here.
featured photo: Magyar Nemzet / Végh László