Adam Pally on his punchy Mandalorian scene: 'Baby Yoda is a bit of a diva'
Adam Pally punched Baby Yoda. Now he’s ready to tell all.
The Happy Endings vet is heading back to the episodic-comedy world next month with NBC’s Indebted, but viewers just saw him pop up in a buzzed-about scene involving one of the literal small-surprise delights of the holiday season: Baby Yoda. Late in season 1 of Disney+’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian, Pally and Jason Sudeikis pop up as bike scouts for Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), tasked with delivering Baby Yoda, who’s tucked away in a bag. In the season finale, when Pally’s character sticks a probing finger at the Child, Baby Yoda bites it, prompting Pally’s character to wallop him.
Pally — who is friends with Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau — told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour about the offer for the role: Favreau asked if he was interested in a “thing” in which he needed “someone to do ‘something special.'” “That was the headline I got,” he summed up. “So Jason and I talked and were like, ‘Yeah, we really want to be part of it.’ It seemed exciting.”
Especially given his love of Star Wars. How big of a Star Wars fan is Pally? “Huge,” he answered. “I knew what a bike scout was versus a stormtrooper, so that should answer your question.” He adds: “It was very hard to keep it a secret. I told Abby.” (That would be Abby Elliott, his Indebted costar.)
The secretive assignment turned stressful, though, when Pally was informed by the boss just how expensive that Baby Yoda prop is. “I remember the first take that I did when I punched him,” he said. ” They called ‘Cut!’ and Jon, who was watching on a monitor in his office, he came down from this office and said, ‘I just want to let you know that this is the hero Yoda [the main prop used for close-ups] and it costs, like, $5 million. So while I want you to hit it, I just want you to know that.’ Because I think I took a big swing at it. And the next three takes I missed, because I was so nervous.”
Nerves aside, what was it like to work with the little guy? “I gotta tell you, the truth is that Baby Yoda is a bit of a diva,” Pally deadpanned. “He’s constantly vaping.”
Was this Mandalorian moment the realization of a galactic dream come true for Pally? “I want to be in Star Wars,” he responded. “I mean, I’m in it. I can’t play Han. It’s not the dream at all. No, the dream would be to be Han Solo. This was super fun.”
Pally also weighed in on the possibility of a Happy Endings revival, in which ABC has expressed interest. “I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up, but I know that everybody wants to do it,” he shared. “So right now, they’re trying to find a way to make that happen because there’s a lot of moving parts. And if we were to do it, I think David [Caspe, who created the series ] would want to do it his way.”
Indebted — which also stars Fran Drescher and Steven Weber — debuts Feb. 6. Season 2 of the Mandalorian premieres in the fall.