Taun We Speaks12 Aug 2014, Posted by in ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
Taun We Speaks
by Star Wars Homing Beacon #35
starwars.com, May 17, 2001
The audio layers of Episode II are currently under construction as the film continues its post-production phase. This includes the re-recording of dialogue in a process commonly known as “looping.” Last week, actress Rena Owen stopped by Skywalker Ranch in Northern California to perform her character of Taun We once again, picking up where she left off when principal photography wrapped last year in Australia.
“It’s the first time I’ve been to Skywalker Ranch,” says Owen. “It was very exciting for me to be able to come out and visit. Here is where these things are birthed. I had a lot of fun. George Lucas was so easy to work with. You instantly feel very relaxed, and you just want to do your best for him.”
Owen has done plenty of voice-work in the past. Her distinctive timbre has been used to voice-over many documentaries. ” It’s a blessing and a curse,” explains Owen. ” Sometimes when I do accents, people still hear the distinctive voice. So, it can go against you. Most times it goes for you.”
Owen affected a soothing, mellow tone for her role as the alien Taun We, a character who will be brought to life as a computer-generated creation by Industrial Light & Magic . “I’m not sure how to describe it. She kind of flows, and talks the same way. The two operative words that George uses — he used them on set as well as in looping — was flowing and kind. They’re creatures of love and light. It’s good, as a person, to play that because you tap into that part of yourself. As an actor, when you’re playing those characters that are angst-ridden, it’s not much fun. Taun We’s a free-flowing creature. I’m kind of the opposite side. I’m out of my head all the time! I live in Los Angeles! I work in the film industry! I think that says it all,” laughs Owen.
To tap into an unrushed mindset, Owen turned to her upbringing. “Outside of work and professional situations, that’s very much me, because I’m a farm girl,” she says. “I grew up on a farm, and it’s very laid back, with an ordinary country family. When I’m not working, I’m very good at chilling out. You’ve got to balance the introvert and extrovert.”
Owen was not deterred by the fact that her face will not appear in Episode II. Only her voice and the energy of her performance will stay intact in her scenes. “There are a million actors in the world who’d love the opportunity to be in Star Wars,” says Owen. “It’s knowing that you’re part of history, part of the Star Wars phenomena, and the opportunity and the privilege of working with someone like George Lucas , to be able to sit there and watch how they work, watch them do their thing. That’s what it’s all about.”
Adds Owen, “I’ve always based my choices on not whether it’s one scene, three scenes, five scenes, voice, face or whatever. It’s the talent you’re working with.”