I managed to get the chance to interview Charlotte Louise who plays Margo in SOLO: A Star Wars Story. We spoke about her work on SOLO and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, as well as her costume process, and what Star Wars means to her.
Margo was an Imroosian female who was part of Dryden Vos’ concierge aboard First Light. She handled all of the guest amenities on the ship.
How does working on Star Wars compare to all your work on other projects?
I think that it is easy to say that working on Star Wars is unlike anything I have ever worked on before. Some days I still cannot believe that I got to be a part of these productions! Most days on other acting or modelling projects I am made up to have glowing skin, perfect hair and look like the girl next door. Star Wars allows me to play such as variety of interesting, beautiful creatures, for example Margo. Margo does not have long, flowing locks of hair, nor does she have smooth, blemish free skin, but she is beautiful and powerful regardless.
I think it’s safe to say that I have never been asked to do a lifecast before this experience. I must admit, at first I was a little worried, as I had suffered from claustrophobia in the past. The day of the cast I was quite nervous but I decided to buckle down and get through it. I was talked through the process step-by-step and assured that I could be cut out of the plaster at any point if I felt it was too much. I have to say, once the process began I relaxed and quite enjoyed the cosiness, it almost felt like a spa treatment! It’s safe to say that I am no longer the least bit claustrophobic.
For me, one of the most important aspects of working on the Star Wars films is the CFX team. To those of you that have not been fortunate enough to spend an extensive period of time on a film set, you will be unaware that those you work with often become like a second family; that is for those of us fortunate enough to have worked with a team such as the one I have grown to cherish on the Star Wars productions. This team is among the most dedicated, talented, caring and professional group of individuals I have had the pleasure of working with. I am sure that without them, my experience would not have been half as exhilarating and enjoyable as it has been.
How did you get the role of Margo in Solo: A Star Wars Story?
Okay, where it all began! Before Solo I had worked on The Last Jedi. I remember turning up for the audition for The Last Jedi and not having the slightest clue of what was happening or for which production I was auditioning. This is not unheard of but there seemed to be an extra level of secrecy surrounding this project, I soon found out why!
After the audition, I became aware that I was auditioning for a “creature role” in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I remember returning home and thinking how wonderful it would be to get this part; I was always such a huge Star Wars fan ever since I was a little girl. After a period of time, that felt like a lifetime, I got a call informing me that I had the part and they would like to bring me in for fittings!
After the completion of The Last Jedi, I received another call inviting me back to work on Solo: A Star Wars Story, which left me speechless. I was back and I had a few roles, one of which was a beautiful prosthetic makeup that we now know as “Margo”.
When you were given the role of Margo, were you given any info to accommodate this?
After discovering that I had landed the role of Margo I received a call from the esteemed Andrew Jack. He informed me that he would be my dialect coach for the role of Margo.
Andrew sent me a phonetical script and an audio file, which contained the pronunciation of the “alien dialect” for the scene. I had spent a while familiarising myself with the script before I touched base with Andrew. In our sessions we worked to perfect the dialect of the scene. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Andrew and I learned so much.
I’m sure that those of you who are fans or have seen the Star Wars films have noticed that the majority of “creatures” do not move like human beings. This is why we (creature performers) attend the movement rehearsals with the incredibly talented Paul Kasey. I worked with Paul on posture and poise to achieve Margo’s graceful movements.
Can you describe your time filming scenes?
Just in case those of you reading this interview did not already get the impression that I enjoyed every second of my experience on set, I can honestly say that my time on set was phenomenal!
How long did it take to get into costume?
As you can probably imagine, the application of the prosthetic took a substantial portion of time. For the CFX team assigned to my makeup and myself, many of our days started just before 2am in the makeup room in order to begin the application at 2am; we were required on set by 7.30-8.00am to begin dressing and placing my microphone etc. I would say that on the average day, the application of the prosthetic and the complex airbrushing to my legs, feet, arms, hands and the portions of my body that were visible, took approximately five and a half hours.
Dressing did usually require more time than day-to-day dressing and I required the help of the costume girls and the CFX girls. The dress was quite straightforward however, when you are airbrushed white from head to toe and your dress is navy blue you can run into issues with transfer, damaging the airbrushing and prosthetic. Avoiding any damage to the makeup is vital as once you are in a complex prosthetic it is not always possible to make a quick repair or just apply another piece. This would involve undergoing the momentous task of removing the whole piece, which usually took a minimum of an hour; showering to remove the product that is used to remove the piece and reapplying the whole thing!! Luckily we didn’t ever have to do this.
Was there much interaction between yourself and the directors, if so, what sort of things would you discuss?
I had some general direction here and there. Naturally everyone was quite fascinated by the makeup and asked about the process and my comfort. Everyone was lovely.
What are some of your fondest memories from being in Solo?
It’s difficult to choose! I remember one of the last days on Solo, the CFX girls were removing the prosthetic and it had been a great day but we were also quite tired and ready to sleep. I don’t know if you have ever experienced that mood where you are tired and everything becomes very funny for no reason. Well, the girls were removing the prosthetic and the brush they were using went through the nostril of the lose part of the prosthetic. We couldn’t stop laughing!
The other obvious moment would be the first day that I stepped on set as Margo. I adored that day and it is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.
If you could play any other character from the Star Wars franchise, who would it be and why?
Definitely Chewbacca! I love his uncensored emotion, plus I have always wanted to wear the suit.
What does Star Wars mean to you?
As a young girl I was a bit of a tomboy. I never owned a Barbie doll, or a doll of any kind for that matter. I never recall wearing a pretty dress of my own volition and would kick up a stink when I did have to wear one. My room was filled with video games, skateboards and figurines, predominately Star Wars and my room hasn’t changed much since then. I was a huge Star Wars fan; I had Lightsaber battles with my brothers and watched the films over and over with my little sister. For me, I guess I could say that Star Wars not only carries a beautiful nostalgia of childhood, but also of my more recent time on set. I would say that it was a childhood dream come true, but this was a dream that appeared to be so far fetched, that I did not even consider it to be a dream.
What are some of your favourite scenes from Star Wars and why?
This is easy but I am just going to pick a couple or this could turn out to be a long interview! The Empire Strikes Back “Luke I am your father”: I know this is probably a common answer but that is for a good reason. For me it was the scene I remembered the most as a young fan. It’s a classic!! Let’s be honest, do you ever remember there being a better twist?
I also always adored the “Great Pit of Carkoon” scene from Return of The Jedi. Apart from it being an epic, action filled scene, I always loved the “Sarlacc” and seeing Leia fighting alongside the male characters against Jabba the Hutt.
Are you likely to start doing convention appearances now that you are well and truly a part of the Star Wars Franchise?
I have had quite a few requests for appearances and signings on social media. I will be
making some appearances later on in the year at various conventions. I will be announcing dates and locations on my social media once everything is finalised so keep an eye out. I look forward to meeting lots of fantastic and interesting people.
Are you open to doing more work for the Star Wars franchise in the future?
Definitely, I would love to! Fingers crossed!!
Be sure to follow Charlotte on her social media at: Twitter: @RealCharLouise