Clemens Schick about his appearance in Andor

Clemens Schick about his appearance in Andor

From the henchman of a Bond villain (Casino Royale) to the inspector in the Barcelona thriller: Clemens Schick has appeared in a wide variety of films and series and always surprises with his choice of roles. Last year he spent three months in the Pinewood Studios in London and explored a frightening place in the Star Wars universe: the prison planet Narkina 5.

The most recent 3 episodes of Andor take place on Narkina 5. In the new Star Wars series, Schick embodies the alongside Diego Luna and Andy Serkis prisoner Hamwho is there when the spark of rebellion is kindled. “I knew it was going to be big, but seeing it now is a whole different experience.”Schick said when I met him for an interview in Berlin last week.

Moviepilot: As a German actor, how did you come to Star Wars?

Clemens Schick: In recent years I have regularly worked internationally. I also have a good agency in London. That’s how I kind of ended up on the radar of Tony Gilroy, who developed the series as showrunner. He’s the creative director at Andor, so to speak. I had my first phone call with him back then and everything else grew out of that.

You can watch the trailer for Andor here:

Andor – S01 Trailer (English) HD

Did you know back then what kind of role it was?

With productions of this magnitude, it’s common for many things to be kept secret. I didn’t know everything that would have interested me. But I knew it was an ensemble role. And to be honest, knowledge wasn’t the most important thing for me. Rather, I really wanted to be a part of this world.

My mother used to take us to films that we were actually too young for. Two films in particular made an impact on me: 2001: A Space Odyssey and the first Star Wars, which was later renamed A New Hope. I never thought that one day I would drive into a studio in the morning, put on a costume and bring a rebellion against the Empire with me.

So a childhood dream came true for you with Andor?

Not even a childhood dream. It’s a dream I have now. I’m not just saying that in relation to this project. I have another feature film coming out in November called Servus Papa, See You in Hell. I play in it [den österreichischen Aktionskünstler und Kommunengründer] Otto Muhl. Also this year I have directed a comedy for the BBC in Northern Ireland and an opera film in Germany. My dream, which is currently being fulfilled, is to work as an actor in a wide variety of formats in a wide variety of countries. That makes me happy every day.

In Andor you play the prisoner Ham – how does he fit into the series?

Cassian Andor is sentenced to six years in prison and sent to an Imperial prison. There he meets various fellow inmates, including Ham. Cassian is sentenced to work with Ham and four other prisoners at a table every day from dawn to dusk. The ensemble is thus clearly in the foreground. It was an exciting challenge to play such a role in this environment.



The series itself doesn’t tell us very much about Ham. How did he get into prison? Did you make up a backstory for him?

I actually have. At the time, I flew to London to shoot and there was someone on my plane who tested positive for Corona. So I had to be in isolation for 12 days and couldn’t leave my hotel room. I then watched all the Star Wars films and series, even though I already knew them. After that it was easy for me to say that Ham is from one of those planets too. He is a petty criminal, but also has something revolutionary about him.

Before the revolutionary awakens in him, he has to slave away like all the other prisoners. What exactly are you building there?

These are parts of a weapon system.

And that assembly really worked on set?

Yes, we have rehearsed everything extensively. Andor’s production design is beyond words. A whole world of machines, tools and many small details was created. Also the cells and corridors through which we move. There was an incredible abundance of talent in the production. Everyone on the team is incredibly well trained. Being a part of that makes me happy.

The work processes really look very fluid.

That’s exactly what it’s about. We have been doing this work for an infinitely long time and will continue to do it for an infinitely long time. That’s what crushes Cassian so much when he gets there. He is doomed to do the same actions every day. And we had to practice this monotony so that it came across as authentic and convincing.



In the prison scenes, you are all barefoot. Did you pull it all the way through while shooting? I imagine it very cold.

No, that even worked. It was a lot harder to tell apart all the flip flops we wore when we got on set. They were all lined up at the edge of the studio. Finding the right ones again – that was a challenge. At some point I put mine away so that I could find them immediately after filming.

Ham speaks little and moves more in the background. How did you still manage to give the character a certain presence?

I’m an ensemble actor. That was already the case in the theater and it hasn’t changed in film either. A lead actor like Diego Luna needs an ensemble cast as a backdrop for the story to be told. In Servus Papa, See You in Hell I play a community leader with Otto Muehl. This would not be possible without the 70 actors and extras who embody the members of the commune. In this professional field you often find yourself in different positions. It’s important that you always give your all, whether it’s a big or a small role.

You appear in the series for a total of three episodes. Do you know what the rest of the season looks like?

No, I look at it the same as you now.

Was it tricky to settle into the show with so little information?

Because I’ve already gained a lot of experience internationally, I know that this approach is common for such projects. I either do it or I don’t. I have no emotional reaction to that. That’s how the industry works. If you want to star in a big production like Andor, you have to accept these conditions.

That sounds very tough.

No, that’s just reality. Getting sentimental about that would definitely be wrong.



I often thought of THX 1138 and Metropolis when I saw the Narkina 5 scenes. Did you talk about cinematic role models on the set?

We didn’t do this together. But I actually watched the two films you just mentioned. Because I was also looking for non-Star Wars science fiction films that I could use to prepare for Andor.

One point of contention among fans is how political Star Wars should or is. Andor in particular feels more like a mirror of our time than a fantasy fairy tale. What do you think about that?

I think it’s really great what Tony Gilroy has created. Andor is a parable of our world. Of course, the Star Wars universe is also a world unto itself. But if you want, you can always make a connection to our world. That makes it very exciting.

What do you remember most about filming Andor?

I’ve seen a lot of Star Wars movies but nothing prepares you for the moment when you walk into a studio where an Imperial prison is set up – that was something special. Suddenly you are standing in the middle of this world with your costume and you can turn 360 degrees. Ever since I was a child I loved to immerse myself in fantasy worlds and now I do it for a living.

I also often waited on set because it was too far to walk to the trailer. Then you sit in a tent, drink coffee and doze off. Suddenly you see someone in Imperial uniform sitting down across from you. These are such completely surreal moments when you realize where you are playing right now.

The 1st season of Andor has been running since September 21, 2022 at Disney+.

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How did you like Andor’s Narkina 5 arc?