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Interview: Andy Serkis Talks ‘Andor’, The Significance Of His Role & The Relevance Of The Themes

Andor continues to impress every week by introducing layered examinations into the human spirit. This last arc has dealt with the demoralizing Imperial prison system. The episodes are equally horrifying and sobering as it peels back the curtains on our prison system. 

The character of Kino Loy, played by Andy Serkis, is the unit manager of these inmates; yet he is still a prisoner himself. Somehow, he’s been convinced that his prominent role in keeping everyone in line will reap some reward. Kino believes that the system works for those who follow it, whether it’s a sentence reduction or a tolerable-tasting meal. Cassian (Diego Luna) works to break his indoctrination, but it’s not until they discover the truth that Kino gets on board with Andor’s idea of a prison escape.

Serkis’ character of Kino Loy is at the center of many Star Wars recurring principles. I asked Serkis what he feels Cassian can represent in terms of leadership and change in the Star Wars universe and if he would like to return to the universe again, this time as director.

The promise of hard work and commitment leading to a quicker release was a lie. One floor discovers that a prisoner that was supposed to be set free was instead sent to another level. There is no freedom. All prisoners whose sentences are up are sent to another floor or another prison. Kino’s blind fealty was all for nothing.

I spoke to Andy Serkis about Kino’s turn and what his character could represent to audiences watching the show and also discussed the importance of these themes in art. Serkis is working on Animal Farm, which deals with similar ideas. I asked him if these relevant thematic elements could impact audiences. 

In terms of art having an impact on the audience watching, Serkis said, “I think what’s so wonderful about, say, the Star Wars universe, is that it allows the watcher to feel and draw their own conclusions without being, in a heavy-handed way, being told what to think. You can draw your own parallels wherever you happen to be, whatever your viewpoint is in the world. It will resonate for you in a different way to someone in a different situation, but who’s maybe going through a similar process, if that makes sense.”

Finally, Serkis touches on Wakanda Forever, his excitement for the film and how director, Ryan Coogler, is able to package so many powerful messages into his films. Serkis said, “I am so excited to go and watch it as a fan. Ryan, again, is another brilliant director who makes films exactly along the lines of what we’ve been talking about. You know, there’s a huge message contained within; no smuggled into entertainment, and he’s another brilliant exponent of that.”

Check out Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in Andor, streaming exclusively on Disney+.

Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in Andor.
(Courtesy of Lucasfilm)

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