Dominic Pace Interview – Gekko (The Mandalorian)

In Chapter 1 ‘The Mandalorian’ , Pace’s character can be seen several times in the Nevarro cantina while Din Djarin (The Mandalorian) and Greef Karga discuss various different bounty hunting jobs including a very particular job from “the Client.”

In Chapter 3 ‘The Sin’ Gekko is seen once again; he is one of the many bounty hunters that have been notified via tracking fobs of the Mandalorian breaking the guild code and attempting to rescue ‘The Child’ from the Imperials on Nevarro. While Karga attempts to reason with the Mando, Gekko is located next to Karga with his blaster pointing at Pedro Pascal’s character.

Pace can be seen several more times firing on Djarin as he attempts to escape Nevarro. However, his character and the rest of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild are scattered when heavy reinforcements arrive on Djarin’s behalf the form of other Mandalorian warriors. 

Were you a fan of Star Wars before your role in The Mandalorian? And if so, how did you get involved with Star Wars?

Life long fan of Star Wars going back to childhood.  My first play set was the Cantina Set back in 1979.  So many fond memories before the iPhone where we would spend hours using our imagination.  Playsets and Action Figures were an 80’s kid’s dream.  I loved the side characters such a Walrusman, Hammerhead, and Greedo just as much as Han, Leia, and Luke.  I owe a lot to my mother for getting me interested in Star Wars figures.  We didn’t have much money, but she always went out of her way to get me the new figures and play-sets during the original trilogy. 

How did you get cast as Gekko in the show?

I had previous Prosthetic experience working on such TV shows and Movies like Van Helsing, Bright, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. One of the head Make Up artists from Legacy Effects, Brian Sipe, brought me in for a Make Up test.  We got along really well. There was no promise of any further work but to my luck, I was offered the character which ended up being a dream come true. 

What can you tell us about the bounty hunter Gekko and how did you end up with this role?

“Gekko” is his nickname from what inspired Brian to create the look.  He had a previous project where he did a similar mold and makeup style to a Gekko like model.  He is definitely a loyal member of the Guild and a one-of-a-kind species that has been unknown in the Star Wars universe until now.  He has huge forearm Gauntlets which definitely do some cool stuff.  He did not die in episode 3 of The Mandalorian and I’m sure you will be seeing more of him within the universe.

What was the costume and prosthetics process like?

Prosthetics and Make Up took about two hours each morning with one hour to take off at night.  Normally it would’ve been uncomfortable but because it is Star Wars, my adrenaline and excitement was at its’ peak every day filming.  An experience I will always cherish.  

Can you tell me about the filming of your scenes?

I was truly blown away that I was originally a Cantina character as that was my first play set.  Episode 3 director, Deborah Chow is what truly solidified ‘Gekko’s’ place as a Guild Member.  She kept me on for Episode 3 during the crucial standoff.  To be able to use my own blaster in a scene was everything I dreamt of as a kid.  The hours were long each day, but there was nowhere else I wanted to be.  

What was it like working alongside the likes of Carl Weathers and Pedro Pascal?

I was a life long fan of the Rocky series, so flanking Carl Weathers in a pivotal scene was a dream.  He has had such a legendary career in every role he’s played.  I was with Pascal’s double when I filmed.  The grandson of the legendary John Wayne, Brendan Wayne.  It was pretty amazing to be standing off against one another due to the incredible history of his family. 

Have you managed to watch the series yet? If so, what are your thoughts on the final product?

I loved the series.  I think each episode has its own, perfect story in and of itself.  I’m a huge original trilogy fan, so it’s always special when Favreau and Filoni write some of that in as us older fans love that.  

As I’m sure you have seen everywhere, The Child has become a global sensation; what are your thoughts on the character, and did you manage to see the puppet?

The Child is absolutely adorable.  That was kept secret from those of us who were not the stars of the show so I did not see it on set.  I was aware The Mandalorian was protecting a baby, but I was under the impression it could’ve been a back story for Rey, Poe, or Finn given the era The Mandalorian takes place.  

What are some of the highlights from your experience on the show?

Highlights on set were seeing the legend himself, George Lucas there with Filoni and Favreau.  To be so close to the masterminds all in one place along with now being a product of his universe.  The other dream come true was the Prop Master allowing me to choose my own Bounty Hunter blaster.  I chose the biggest one and I am hopeful they will make an action figure of him some day.  

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