Valene goes Rogue in new Star Wars film

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Valene goes Rogue in new Star Wars film thumbnailNEWRY girl Valene Kane, who plays Lyra Erso in the new Star Wars film.

NEWRY can now claim its place among Star Wars folklore as Valene Kane joined a very exclusive club.

The Dublin Road actress was launched into super stardom last week as 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' premiered across the world.

Valene starred as Lyra Erso, the mother of main character Jyn Erso, making her only the seventeenth female speaking character across the entirety of the Star Wars franchise.

Speaking to the Newry Democrat, The Fall actress explained that she had actually auditioned for Felicity Jones' role as Jyn Erso but that all changed after a phonecall from her agent.

“I never heard anything back and then I was shooting a BBC series called 'Thirteen' in Bristol and I got a call from my agent and she was like 'please sit down, I have something really crazy to tell you, you've just been offered a role in Star Wars'," explained the 29-year-old.

“The producers from Thirteen worked it out with the producers from Star Wars that I could take a break from filming in Bristol and fly to Iceland so it was a pretty surreal experience but amazing."

Along with her dad Val, Valene recalled watching the original trilogy and said there was something "magic" about the legendary films but admitted she never thought her acting career would take her to a 'galaxy, far, far away'.

The former St Clare's Primary School and Sacred Heart pupil said that stepping on to the Star Wars set was one of the "scarier" times of her life.

Thankfully, co-star Mads Mikkelsen (Dr Strange and Casino Royale) and director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) helped Valene settle very quickly.

“I arrived in Iceland and I was flown with Mads and then we were shooting together so it was nice talking to him on the plane and get to know each other a little bit.

“It was the biggest set I have ever seen. There were hundreds of crew and lights and cameras, it was scary and it was pouring with rain.

“There was a big emotional scene and crying in the rain, it was hard for your first day, arriving on a big set. Gareth is amazing, the director, so it was good to work with him."

For any young aspiring actors starting out, Valene advised that the National Youth Theatre is a fantastic route to take but you must "stay focused".

“If you're really clear on what you want and clear on the work you want to do, it's a good way to navigate but definitely try and get over to London and get yourself an agent.

“There's great agents in Ireland and I think getting an agent is the first step, which is always the hardest step."

Looking forward to 2017, Valene has recently returned from Bogota, Colombia where she was filming the lead in action movie 'Ex-Patriot', opposite Charlie Weber (How to Get Away with Murder).

Now back in Europe, she is about to film the lead role in a new film to be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), but due to the sensitive nature of the film, which is based on a true story, details cannot be shared until after filming is completed.

The film is sure to be a major talking point next year.


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