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Rumored 'Star Wars' spin-off star Ben Mendelsohn talks his love of the series: Exclusive

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Thanks to Disney’s ambitious “one movie a year” plan for the Star Wars franchise, we’re still eight months out from The Force Awakens. But already, we’re hearing news about what’s next. The first standalone, between-episode film, recently titled Rogue One, will be directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards and star Oscar nominee Felicity Jones, as well as—if last week’s reports are to be believed—Ben Mendelsohn.

Mendelsohn has been a thrilling actor to watch since his big breakthrough role in 2010’s Animal Kingdom, and he’s currently on a hot streak with great turns in the underrated prison drama Starred Up and Netflix’s Bloodline. EW got on the phone with Mendelsohn to talk about his late-stage crossover and the Netflix series—but naturally the conversation also turned to Star Wars roles that he might, maybe, possibly taking on in the near future.

While Mendelsohn made sure to steer clear of officially commenting on his status in regards to Rogue One, his status as a Star Wars superfan is beyond reproach.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There were rumors last week that you might be in the first Star Wars spin-off movie. Is there anything to that talk?

BEN MENDELSOHN: I’m absolutely not sure about any of this at all. It sounds great, and certainly—Wouldn’t that be nice?

Was that original trilogy a touchstone for you growing up?

Enormous. Enormous! I mean, enormous! I’m the kid who had the whole set of trading cards. Enormous! I mean, I was born in 1969. The first one comes out in what, ‘77? The first Star Wars film was an enormously important. I grew up right smack-bang in the sweet spot of all of those. It’s true cinema magic. It’s fair to say that as a kid I would have been very happy to be Han Solo, and I would have been happy to have gone out with Princess Leia. If I could have had Chewie at my side through some difficult times, forget about it.

Well, Chewbacca is the best possible friend in any galaxy.

Right? It sort of doesn’t get better. You want to be Luke, spiritually, but swagger-wise, you want to be Han Solo. Well, you want to be Luke ability-wise, because let’s face it: he’s got the whole Force thing going on. And it’s strong. It’s strong. It’s hard to overstate what a big deal that initial trilogy was for me, so certainly any talk of anything, I’d be thrilled if they were thinking about stuff like that. I heard about all of this hoopla yesterday or something. Who knows? Certainly, that would be very exciting.

You can read more of our conversation with Ben Mendelsohn in the upcoming issue of Entertainment Weekly. 

Star Wars: Rogue One is scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2016.

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