As I shared with you in my interview post with Vanessa Marshall & Tiya Sircar I am a HUGE fan of Star Wars and now I totally an obssessed with Star Wars Rebels. One of the youngest cast members on the show is Taylor Gray. Although he may be young and some what knew to the Star Wars galaxy he has quickly been educated to the ways of the force. Check out my amazing interview with him and co-star Steve Blum.
Q : What drew you guys to the film?
Taylor Gray : We I love it. I think it’s so cool, um, like what, my favorite part about it is all the action. I think that that’s so fun. I think kids are gonna enjoy. All the characters and their multiple layers, how they run around firing off blasters, taking down troopers. I think it’s all a lot of fun. It’s action along with a lot of nice dialogue.
Steve Blum : I was drawn when I was a kid when I first saw it. I was seventeen. I was fresh out of high school, and I went to the premiere in 1977, and I was one of those kids in the theatre whose head snapped back when the imperial star destroyer comes across the screen and the whole theatre rumbled. So, I get to relive this on a cellular level. It, it activates all of those memories from that time and, and, ah, when I was graduating high school, I was one of those apathetic youth and I didn’t go to my own graduation. And to get to go and see something like that, that was brand new. It was stuff that we hadn’t seen before. It woke up something in me and kind of gave me a new hope. But to get to work on something like that now where it’s, we’re bringing this to a whole new generation. It’s really exciting for me, and I’m a dad. And so I like working on quality programming that’s safe for kids and it’s really got a great underlying message. It does offer a notion that there’s something bigger than we are and that we can strive to be better than we are and, and that a small group of people can be just as powerful as a large army against injustice.
Q : When you came in to read for the Wolf role, was anyon keen on what it could have been?
Taylor Gray : Jungle Book? I thought it was like a, like a, like a discovery, like animal… I had no idea.
Steve Blum : Yeah, I do so many military games and, and military type characters that I just figured it was some military guy and some fighting show. I didn’t know what it was. I do a lot of superheroes also, so I really didn’t know until I think I was in the studio just about to record, and I saw storm troopers in the copy and I went, oh, this is something different. This is Star Wars. This is, this is Star Wars! [LAUGHING.] Yeah, so it was that moment of realization.
Taylor Gray : Yeah, I still didn’t pick up. I was like storm troopers, still probably like Jungle Book. [LAUGHING.]
Q : How have you embraced the hardcore Star Wars fans?
Taylor Gray : I think it’s awesome. I had no clue that there, we went out to, the first little taste of it we got was they sent us this thing called Star Wars Weekends in, ah, in Florida. And I had no idea what to expect. I was like oh, it will be fun to like hang out with a couple people who like Star Wars and go on some rides. There were like 60 thousand people who all had Star Wars shirts or full on, ah, costumes, ah, wardrobe, outfits, everything and, and light sabers. And just seeing that, I realized oh, wow, we’re in something much bigger than I thought. And it’s, it’s been so much fun and they’re saying there’s so much more to look forward to, and I can’t wait.
Steve Blum : Yeah, I, I’ve been doing the convention circuit for the last 10 years for my other work for my other work and, ah, going to that weekend in particular seemed, you know, there was 20, 30 thousand people on the parade route, and they put us in convertibles and we’re waited on. It’s great, and I’m thinking the show hasn’t come out. Nobody’s gonna know who we are, and they’re chanting our names, you know. It’s my name. This guy had researched and knew everything that we did and people were bringing stuff up to me from my whole career. It was, in was amazing, and seeing the families, too. [00:08:15] There was this one family where there was a grandma in a wheelchair in her 90’s, and the way down to like a 2-year-old, and there are like 50 of them and they’re all together cheering for us as we’re coming out of the parade route, and they’re in first position right there, and they’re everywhere in the park that we were. There’s all the signs and, and they had us take a family photo.
Taylor Gray : They all had code names. They were, there was Red Leader. They, they knew what they were doing. Yeah, and, ah, it’s so fun.
Steve Blum : Yes. It’s been awesome. It’s a whole different level of fandom too, and so show-specific. It’s just amazing to me that after all these years, that the fandom is stronger now than it’s ever been. It’s incredible.
Q : My 21 year old son’s first experience with Star Wars was the prequels, and his favorite character was Darth Sidious. Did you have a favorite character?
Taylor Gray : Um, I hadn’t even seen all those three films, so I had, yeah, then caught up, Anakin. I had, ah, when he was young and racing the pods, because I had played like the, ’cause Star Wars has everything. I, I play the video game where you’re racing through the, the deserts…
Steve Blum : The pod racing.
Taylor Gray : Pod racing. I just needed reassurance from somebody. And, ah, I thought Anakin. He was young. He was the hero and, and he was my favorite character, but Darth Sidious, that’s a much cooler character. We met Ray Park when we went out to the, um, weekends and he was Darth Maul. And I thought he was awesome, ’cause I hadn’t seen all those shows, so that is another character that I think is so cool, but I, ah, I hope that kids like the characters from this show as well. And I think it will be a lot of fun.
Steve Blum : They probably will.