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Benedict Cumberbatch may seem like the obvious choice to play Grand Admiral Thrawn in The Mandalorian.
Star Wars fans have long suggested the Sherlock and Doctor Strange actor for the role. Thrawn, introduced in Timothy Zahn’s 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, is a regal, ultra-calm blue-skinned Imperial leader known for his strategic brilliance. The character was name-dropped in The Mandalorian season two, so fans naturally expect him to make an appearance sooner or later.
There’s just one problem.
“That’s a straight ‘no’ from me, right now,” Cumberbatch told Collider during a recent interview. “There’s no way I want to be turned blue. I turned the air blue, very recently. No no, seriously, I have precious time with my children and I think sitting in a makeup chair and being painted blue, and the amount of time it would take to do that and then take it off at the end of the day might just … it’s not the right time in my life for that.”
Jennifer Lawrence can relate. The Oscar-winning actress famously commented on having to endure seven hours of full-body blue makeup to play Mystique in the X-Men films and having to breathe in its “fumes and toxins.” Skin and makeup experts have said such makeup contains potentially harmful ingredients like preservatives, dye and even lead.
Thrawn previously appeared in animated form in Star Wars Rebels and was voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. In The Mandalorian season two, Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) demanded of Imperial Navy engineer Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), “Now, tell me. Where is your Master? Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?”
The Mandalorian spinoff The Book of Boba Fett is expected to debut on Disney+ in December, and The Mandalorian season three is expected to drop in 2022.
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