The Mexican actor plays Captain Cassian Andor in the upcoming adventure film, a prequel to the original franchise which focuses on the Rebel Alliance’s attempts to steal plans to the evil Death Star. It’s a big break for Diego, whose previous work includes Milk and The Terminal, and he puts his luck down to not deliberately looking for it.
“The best things that have come to me in life have been a surprise. I think it’s because I have kept working, even in something else, and not because of waiting for it,” he told The Red Bulletin, explaining that by focusing his energy in the “right direction”, positive surprises followed.
“Maybe I’m being too romantic, but it’s impossible to travel somewhere looking to fall in love with someone. Instead, when you stop looking for it, it comes to you and soon you are in love.”
Naturally Diego is thrilled to be a part of the production, but he can’t help feeling wary of how it will affect his everyday life as his level of fame jumps up a notch. He’s hoping he can rely on those around him to keep him down to earth and insists he’ll never become obsessed with the money side of movie-making.
“In the end, it’s not about the numbers,” he said. “It’s about the essence of what we do, which is telling stories. So hopefully, I’ll stay sane.”
As for what challenges Diego, 36, faced during production, he admits he struggled to forget he’s such a big fan of the franchise, and it took some effort not to take photos of everything around him on set, as well as getting into the right state of mind and body.
“I had to be ready physically and mentally. It wasn’t just like you come in and say your lines – we were doing everything,” he said. “We were asked to do the stuff that you do in combat. I went through military training to understand how the characters would react to certain kinds of situations.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, also starring British actress Felicity Jones and Mads Mikkelsen, hits cinemas in December (16).