Adria Arjona teases her 'fearless' but 'caring' Andor character

·3 min read

Adria Arjona is heading to a galaxy far, far away.

The 30-year-old actress is no stranger to geeky genre fare, having starred in projects like Good Omens, Morbius, and NBC's Emerald City. But now, Arjona is officially joining the Star Wars universe, starring opposite Diego Luna in the upcoming Disney+ series Andor (debuting Sept. 21).

Arjona is Bix Caleen, a mysterious figure who crosses paths with Cassian on the planet Ferrix. She soon proves herself to be a valuable ally, but Arjona says that despite Bix's seemingly cool exterior, she's got a tender heart underneath.

"She has this sort of façade of this really strong, powerful, fearless woman," Arjona teases. "Which she is. That doesn't negate that. But I also think she has this incredible caring side that is sometimes detrimental to her own well-being. [She seems like] she has everything put together, by the book. You look at her and you're like, 'Oh, she knows what she's doing.' Yet she gets in tricky situations sometimes."

Adria Arjona Andor
Adria Arjona Andor

imdb Adria Arjona in 'Andor'

Arjona says she quickly fell in love with Bix's warmth and bravery, but she almost wasn't involved in the show at all. She admits that she almost skipped her initial Andor audition: After sending in a tape, she was invited to record a screen test with Luna in London. It was still early in the COVID pandemic, and she wasn't sure whether she should travel. So, she called her mom for advice.

"She was like, 'You have to go. You're a swan. You can swim in a lake of s--- and not get stained. Let the Force be with you,' " Arjona remembers with a laugh. "I was like, okay! Then, she hung up the phone on me, which has never happened in my entire life. Moms don't hang up the phone! You hang up the phone on moms because they don't stop talking."

Once she arrived in London and read with Luna, Arjona says the entire screen test took about 10 minutes. She quickly convinced herself that she bombed the audition — until series creator Tony Gilroy pulled her aside and told her she got the job.

"Tony just looked at me and was like, 'So, welcome to Star Wars,' " Arjona explains. "It all happened within like 10 minutes. Then, we go outside and he's like, 'Hey Diego, meet your new costar. Adria, meet your new costar Diego.' It was one of those moments where you're like, Is this happening? The casting director was having a heart attack. She's like, 'This is not the way that it's supposed to go.' "

Once she arrived on set, the actress says she had to remind herself not to geek out — especially when wandering through some of the elaborate practical sets built for the planet Ferrix. She found herself opening prop drawers on set just to see what was inside or gasping when she saw creature actors decked out in prosthetics.

Fortunately, Arjona explains, she had her own personal Jedi master on set — a guide who already knows his way around the Star Wars universe.

"The first day on set was pretty special," she remembers. "I was so nervous and scared and excited. I almost wanted it to end, but I never wanted it to end at the same time. I just really held on to Diego, and he sort of helped me through it. Like I said, he's a remarkable scene partner. He understood because he was me when he did Rogue One. It was cute. I was like an 11-year-old girl!"

For more of EW's interview with Adria Arjona, listen to the full conversation on EW's Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.

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