Bonnie Piesse returned to a galaxy far, far away in Lucasfilm’s new Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Australian actress reprised her role as Luke Skywalker’s aunt, Beru Whitesun Lars, for the long-awaited Star Wars show.
Bonnie, who first landed the role of Beru at age 16, played the character in 2002's Attack of the Clones and 2005's Revenge of the Sith. Sharing what's been special about revisiting the character all these years later, she told HELLO! in an exclusive interview: "Now I understand more what it means because I've met all the fans. I've been to conventions, and I've seen what it means to so many people. So I've got much more of a connection to it in that way."
WATCH: Obi-Wan Kenobi is now available on Disney+
“I think coming back and really understanding that and being able to feel grateful to be a part of it in a way that I wasn't able to feel when I was like 16 when I first got the role," Bonnie added.
Fellow Star Wars prequel trilogy actors Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen and Joel Edgerton also returned for the highly anticipated Disney+ series, which is set ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Continue reading to find out what Bonnie told HELLO! about Obi-Wan Kenobi, plus what it was like working with Ewan again and keeping the Star Wars project a secret...
Did you ever think this was a character you'd get to play again?
I mean, I always hoped, definitely. There were rumors going around for a while that there might be a Kenobi series and even rumors that they might bring Beru back. So, I was kind of hoping, but you never know, right? Yeah, it's so awesome to be back and especially, I think it's really gonna be a really good series. So yeah, I'm stoked.
Bonnie is our Spotlight digital cover star
What was it like getting the call about this project? Do you remember the day that you got the call?
So it's actually funny because my husband and I moved to Portugal. We still travel back and forth to the US for work, but we kind of settled in Portugal. And I was not thinking about acting at all. Like we were living a pretty quiet life. And the request kind of came through and the way it came through, [laughs] I actually ignored it. Like I didn't know what it was... And then I think it might have been a week later or five days later or something, I had the thought, 'Hmm maybe I should check out what that was' and once I realized that they wanted to talk to me, it was really exciting for sure. And funny that I'd kind of put it off.
What a way to return to acting with Star Wars!
Bonnie Piesse: I know. It was amazing. And then I got offered another role too, My Favorite Girlfriend, an amazing romantic comedy that I'm so happy with. So yeah, it was funny, just to kind of walk away and then suddenly, people start inviting you back.
Was it hard to keep [Obi-Wan Kenobi] a secret?
So hard. So hard [laughs]. I mean I gave hints to certain people in my life that I was doing something, you know, like I could say something cool was happening. And I think some people guessed, but didn't mention it to me. Like I had one friend who was like, 'I knew it.' Because I was saying, 'You know I'm doing this thing.' But yeah, so hard to keep secret.
Bonnie has played the role since she was 16
Did you at least let your husband in on the secret? Did he know?
So he did end up signing an NDA so I could tell him [laughs].
Something that I love about this show is that it's going to give us Star Wars fans a look at kind of what happened to Luke between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. What can Star Wars fans expect from your character and the series that we don't already know?
Well, I don't want to give anything away. But yes, you'll get a little glimpse of Luke and that whole period. I think it's gonna bring it to life in a way that's actually, I mean, I think it's so well done. I think it's going to be amazing. People are going to love it. But yeah, I won't say specifics. Don't want to give it away!
Bonnie opened up about returning to Star Wars
How would you describe your character Beru and can you relate to her in any way?
Yeah, I can relate to her. Well, in Episode II she was kind of a shy young girl and then Episode III she was stepping into motherhood when she first received baby Luke. And yeah, she's, you know, kind of humble. She's a farmer. So very outdoorsy, which I can relate to because I'm Australian. I love the outdoors and yeah, she's constantly, you know, out in the sun, out in the dirt, out in the sand. And yeah, kind of grounded, I would say. Grounded and close to the Earth, which I totally relate to.
What was it like being able to work with Ewan McGregor again?
So great. It was so great to see him again. He gave a lot of the cast and crew a hat that says Obi towards the end, so I got that and I was like, 'Oh, that's amazing.' But he's such a nice guy. And yeah, just wonderful to see him again.
Were you on set for any of the Vader Obi-Wan scenes? I feel like fans cannot wait for those fight scenes.
So I did get to see some really cool things, but I won't give it away what things I got to see [laughs]. I got to sit and watch a whole bunch. That was great.
Does it get intense knowing how many people care about the show? Do you guys feel pressure?
Yeah, definitely. It kind of comes in waves for me. Sometimes I would kind of forget. You know, you're just on set, you're in your world. Just playing the character and that feels like you're in the zone. But um, yeah, sometimes definitely it's like, 'Um how many people are gonna see this?' Yeah, massive. So I definitely felt that pressure and also you really want the fans to love it.
Had you always been a fan of Star Wars before signing on to the prequels?
Not really. I think I'd actually only seen Episode I - The Phantom Menace. And so I wasn't like a fan fan. But I'd seen that. And then when I realized I had an audition, I had to quickly watch the originals. Try to catch up. And I'm still trying to catch up. I mean, there are so many movies and shows and characters that I'm trying to learn. You know, the fans are doing a much better job than I am, but I'm trying.
She co-stars alongside Joel Edgerton
Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
I'm torn between Rey from The Force Awakens, although she was great in the others too, and Yoda. Have to love Yoda.
Yoda or Baby Yoda, Grogu?
Yoda. Although Grogu is obviously really adorable, too.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is billed as a limited series. Do you think we're going to see Beru pop up again in a galaxy far, far away, perhaps in another show or if there's another movie one day?
I really hope so, of course. I think there could be more room for her. Absolutely. I guess you could go to different timelines and stuff too. But they could totally be room for me still as Beru in there somewhere. I hope so.
What do you think is going to surprise Star Wars fans the most with the series?
Ha. I don't want to give away the surprise either. There is something that I'm thinking of that will be a great surprise, but it will have to be a surprise.
Ewan is reprising his role as Obi-Wan
Have you seen the first few episodes?
No, I haven't... So it's totally a surprise to me. Wow. It's gonna be exciting.
Well, I cannot wait to see it... Tell us about this rom-com that you said you're going to be in.
Yeah, it's called My Favorite Girlfriend. And it's a really lovely little movie about my character. I play a character with DID, dissociative identity disorder. So I played seven different characters.
When does that come out?
I'm not sure. Definitely later in the year. Maybe later in the summer, but I'm not sure yet.
What an exciting year you have! Obi-Wan Kenobi and this.
I know! I know. This year is all about things coming out. So that's really fun. And I've signed on to another project as well.
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres May 27 on Disney+
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