TIE Fighter pilot, Imperial Tech (Rogue One)
Interview: September 2017
Hi Mr. Kiely, how did you start your career in the movie business?
I started acting at a young age, at about 18 I decided to follow the law and became a lawyer. Although acting was my passion I did not return to it until 4 years ago.
How did you get cast for Rogue One? And how did you get your specific roles as a TIE Pilot and Imperial Officer assigned?
Getting a role in Star Wars involves a lot of luck. Casting knows exactly what they are looking for. Rogue One has a 70’s feel and they loved my sideburns. I wasn’t supposed to be a TIE pilot, again it was luck. I was sitting on a bench, waiting to get dressed as an Imperial tech and someone said they needed another pilot. They grabbed me.
Which part did you like the best?
I liked the Imperial officer more as I had a few close ups and interactions with Krennic that unfortunately never made it on screen.
How was it to be on the set with all these great actors like Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn etc.? Did you get to talk with them?
Ben Mendelssohn likes to sing, he sung “You spin me round” (an 80’s song by the band ‘Dead or Alive’).
Hah, the 80’s classic! Did he sing that while dressed as Krennic?
Yes, He was dressed as Krennic. Production asked him to spin around with his cloak and so he started singing.
I loved watching Ben work; you learn a lot from watching skilled actors. We must always be professional on set as we are all working so there’s not a lot of chit chat. I’ve love Star Wars all my life and was a huge fan in my early twenties. Life then took over and now in my late thirties I’m a bigger fan than ever.
Rogue One turned out to be -as expected- a massive financial success, but it was also hailed as one of the best Star Wars movies ever. What was, according to you, the key to achieve this?
The attention to detail and Disney gave the fans exactly what they wanted. I remember speaking to JJ Abrams at the U.K. Star Trek premiere where I congratulated him on getting the The Force Awakens job and I said “Just think ‘Empire’ and you can’t go wrong!” I tell people that Star Wars is a feeling, when you watch it, you feel it, the sound, the score, the imagery. It makes you feel it and this is what Rogue One had.
What have you -besides me asking you for an interview- experienced regarding Star Wars fans since appearing in Rogue One?
I love the Star Wars fans, I am fan. I am an honoured member of the 501st and the 501st Jolly Roger Squadron. I’m very proud of that. Hopefully I’ll come to the States to meet people at a convention one day soon.
How do you look back on the whole Star Wars experience?
I’m still experiencing it. Star Wars is a big part of my life. I attended the Force Friday Disney Store midnight opening on Friday! (note: September 1st 2017)
Hopefully I’ll come to the States to meet people at a convention one day soon.
Only the real diehards do that! What did you get?
I bought the Sphero R2-D2! I have BB8 already.
Love it. I have the BB-8 myself! Thanks for your time!