Andor shocked the world when it unveiled Andy Serkis playing a supporting role, sporting some sort of humanoid face I assume was built entirely by motion capture balls and CGI. He plays Kino Loy, an old salt at Narkina 5, where Cassian (Diego Luna) has been shipped away from doing all sorts of stuff that the Empire isn’t keen on. In an interview with Collider, Serkis revealed that he invented a backstory for his seemingly apathetic, I-just-wanna-get-out-of-here curmudgeon, and it’s a 180 degree spin. It turns out that Empire jails can change a person.
Serkis’s vision for the character was as a union guy through and through — someone who supported his colleagues and made noise speaking up for workers’ rights. Then, prison happened.
“When he was incarcerated, he then almost sheds any desire to look out for other people apart from himself,” Serkis explained. “Just do his time and get out. To try and get out and just survive the sentence, the torture, the desensitization. I think it was that desensitization that made me perhaps have that slightly lost but kind of hardened and toughened shell.”
As with all things Andor, the layers here are gorgeous. Serkis has always been a thoughtful performer, and this only adds to the depth of what he’s doing on the fascism-exploring series. Plus, any escape attempt his character makes can be called Operation Kino as a nice little two-fold present for movie nerds.