Featured image by Sam Nystrom-Costales
Danielle Sanchez, Executive Editor and Co-Founder of Historifans and Assistant Professor of History at Colorado College, attended Colorado Springs Comic Con in August 2022. In addition to geeking out over all of the nostalgia, fan art, cosplayers, and merch, she (and Cruz, her 10 year old son) had the opportunity to interview Dorian Kingi, who plays Cad Bane in The Book of Boba Fett. Kingi has also appeared in Stranger Things and Westworld.
Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity
Danielle Sanchez: Before The Book of Boba Fett, Cad Bane had only appeared in the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. What was it like taking on the task of bringing this character to life?
Dorin Kingi: It was nerve wracking. Dave Filoni told me that Cad Bane was one of his favorite characters when I did the initial test fitting and I thought, “Cool, no pressure. Thanks…” Knowing that Corey Burton was going to dub the voice after I did my take on the character was a really cool thing and a big relief. They were keeping the lore and history of the character in line. I took it all really seriously because I knew the fan base was already built.
DS: Cad Bane’s styling and movement seem to be heavily influenced by old Western films. Did Westerns play any role in the way you approached your performance as Cad Bane?
DK: Dave Filoni said that I should think of Lee van Cleef in my approach to the character. He asked, “Do you know who that is?” I said, “Yes!” I had been watching Spaghetti Westerns since I was a kid. I’ve had my holster since I was eight years old and have been practicing gun twirling and quick drawing since I was nine. I had never been able to utilize my love for Spaghetti Westerns until now. So, indirectly, I’ve been preparing for this moment when I could say “I can do this and you don’t have to show me a lot.” Sure enough, there were certain tweaks we had directorally, but as a whole, I just did my thing. I did a lot of research by watching The Clone Wars, too. There are certain mannerisms that are a little quirky that worked for the cartoon, but you couldn’t bring them into real life. I had to bring him to life and make him more subtle, but still menacing.
DS: Since you brought up your childhood, what were some of your favorite films while you were growing up?
DK: Star Wars. Harrison Ford is a classic. He is kind of a gun slinger as well, if you think about it. But he had a quirky, not really punk, wild child side. It was always fun to watch that. I love Spielberg and classic films like Jurassic Park. Who didn’t love The Goonies and E.T.?
DS: Actually, me. I hate E.T. It was terrifying to me as a child and gave me nightmares for years.
DK: Well… Jaws? Did you see Jaws?
DS: I loved Jaws.
DK: You’re going to say that you loved Jaws but hate E.T.? I couldn’t go into a pool for years because of Jaws.
DS: I love sharks. I also like snakes and spiders. Peaceful little aliens? Those are terrifying to me.
DK: Well, all these movies that we’ve watched growing up, even Lucasfilms, who did the original Star Wars, they molded us. The thing that I was frustrated about for awhile–but I’m happy about now–was that there was a gap where there wasn’t any mentorship. The storylines were just “popcorn” and there was no guidance and that’s what we brought in from the old ones. There used to be strife, there was overcoming adversity, there were people coming together, and you learned something from it. But for the past 15 years, you were not learning anything. It was like, “Oh we are going to throw colors and cool CGI in your face and you’re gonna accept it.” But that’s the reason the fans don’t like it, because it’s a shitty story.
Cruz Sanchez: Is Cade Bane really dead?
DK: I hope not. I would love for him to come back to life, but I don’t know. We’ll see. Only time will tell.