ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

It's rare to find a princess who was once a man-eating shapeshifter, but then again, rising star Ingvild Deila isn't just any old princess. After only 5 months working in the industry, Norwegian born Ingvild was offered a role in and from here she was cast as the world's most adored royal rebel, Princess Leia Organa in .

Interviewing Ingvild about stepping in to Carrie Fisher's beloved (and sorely missed) shoes, we discussed what it was like for her to play her dream role, her top secret Star Wars audition process, meeting Darth Vader for the first time and how she sacrificed a big personal engagement to become Leia.

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'Is This Really Happening?' How Ingvild Auditioned For Her Dream Role, Without Even Realizing It

[Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila]
[Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila]

A year-and-a-half ago, Ingvild was put forward for a very unusual casting call, "it was all smoke and mirrors" she says, but the casting agents were "very specific about the height and the build" of the actress. After recording an audition tape in which she was asked to talk about "just anything for 3 minutes," Ingvild was given a callback and asked to come to Pinewood studios. It was here that she began to work out exactly who it was she was auditioning for:

"I had to do the actual audition at Pinewood, and that’s when I realized. They sent me two scenes: the hologram monologue and and scene of when Leia meets Vader in A New Hope. And I was just thinking ‘is this really happening?’"

Star Wars: A New Hope [Credit: Twentieth Century-Fox]
Star Wars: A New Hope [Credit: Twentieth Century-Fox]

"I’m a huge Star Wars fan. The original films were a huge part of my childhood, I can’t remember how many times I’ve watched them, or even the first time I watched them."

However, She Was Familiar With Unusual Auditions, Having Used 'Jurassic Park' To Land A Role In 'The Avengers'

The Avengers [Credit:  Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]
The Avengers [Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]

Before landing her dream role, Ingvild had featured in around 20 shorts, had played a man eating shape shifter and, after only 5 months in the industry, was snapped up and given a role in Marvel's The Avengers, although she was asked to come into audition without even knowing what it was she was auditioning for:

"So I did that audition and didn’t know what it was for - it was very abstract. They just told me to imagine that I'd seen something I'd never seen before and just to imagine that I was really surprised....I holding a little dinosaur creature from Jurassic Park - and it worked!"

To Prepare For Her 'Star Wars' Role, She Missed A Wedding, Went Into Full 'Warrior Zen Monk Mode' & Met Darth Vader

[Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila]
[Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila]

Shutting herself off from the rest of the world, Ingvild had to cancel a trip to a wedding in Norway as it clashed with her Princess Leia preparation time, and she went into full "warrior zen monk mode." Armed with no distractions, she was able to really get to under the skin of her rebel resistance icon:

"They sent me two clips which I could watch again and again and stop and rewind and I studied her every move, her tone of her voice. She’s got this sort of half-British half-American accent which keeps on changing!"

Then, when she came in for her audition, she had a surprise visitor:

"So [I came in for my audition] and they put me in the costume and then I met Darth Vader and just seeing him I was like Yes!"

After Discovering She'd Got The Part - Her Parents Hung Up On Her!

[Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila]
[Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila]

A week after the audition, Ingvild was told she'd landed her dream role of Princess Leia in Rogue One - but her parents hung up on her when she tried to tell them the good news:

"[After finding out] I called my parents but they were on holiday and so then I called them on Skype and they didn’t recognize my call so they hung up! So then I called my brother - it took about 15 minutes before I could share the news with someone!"

And then the filming process began, after going to LA and San Fransisco to shoot all the CGI footage, Ingvild was back in Pinewood where they spent ages dying her blonde hair into a dark Princess Leia brown, and making sure her costume was absolutely perfect.

Ingvild Was So Excited That She Actually Nearly Missed Her Own Scene At The Premiere

Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila
Courtesy Of Ingvild Deila

Well over a year after she finished filming for the role, Ingvild was finally able to watch herself on the big screen, however she nearly missed her own scene as she got so caught up in the movie:

"It was very strange watching it on screen. The film itself is so tense at that moment and so I was so drawn into the film. It was almost a surprise to me, like 'oh! Wait! That’s my scene! I couldn’t really wrap my head around it, but it was a bit easier the second time around when I was calmer and I knew it was coming."

Star Wars: Rogue One [Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]
Star Wars: Rogue One [Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]

However, the process of seeing both her own face within Carrie Fisher's was still a hyper-real experience:

"They did such an amazing job with the CGI so it feels like her, but at the same time I can see my features where we are similar, which really shines through."


Who was your favorite reprised role in Rogue One?


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