Denise Gough detailed that her character, Supervisor Dedra Meero, in the upcoming Star Wars series, Andor, is surrounded by “inept men” that she describes as “lazy, slouching, kind of corner-cutting boys.”
Gough spoke with ScreenRant alongside Kyle Soller, who plays Syril Karn, in the series telling the outlet, “Dedra, when we meet her she’s working for the ISB and she’s so proud to be doing that, but she’s surrounded by what she considers to be quite inept men mostly. Well, no all men really. And they seem to be missing what she can see.”
Gough continued, “I think for Dedra, she is super ambitious. So I don’t think you could ever have considered that if Dedra had used her powers for good. I don’t think she was ever going to go down that route.”
“She wants to be part of the most powerful organization in the world and so the way to do that is to prove yourself by doing something that somebody else isn’t doing and that is catching Cassian Andor. Or at least putting everything together so that she can make the ISB really aware of this person,” she added.
Gough then returned to comment on the men her character is surrounded by, “She’s surrounded by lazy, slouching, kind of corner-cutting boys. And she doesn’t like it. So she’s gonna climb the ranks at whatever cost to everyone else.”
She went on to state, “I think also what I love is that what’s really conflicting about Dedra is that it’s a new thing isn’t it to have a woman in this world in this part. So a part of you and I know that for a lot of women watching it, they’ll be like, ‘Oh my god! Go sister! You’re doing so well.’ Then you have to remember, ‘Oh! She’s a fascist.'”
Gough concluded, “So you’re sort of on the one hand, you want a woman in a man’s world to succeed, but it’s like no it’s the wrong world though. We don’t want that. She should make you feel slightly uncomfortable at your alliances.”
In the Andor production brief provided by Lucasfilm, the company describes Gough’s character as an “ambitious Supervisor with the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) who is on the hunt for Cassian Andor and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal.”
Tony Gilroy, the show’s creator notes, “She is a true, true believer, She is a really hardcore advocate for the ISB; she is relentless. She is inspired. She has deep insights into what the rebellion might be thinking and what they might be doing next, anticipating their behaviors.”
Toby Haynes, the show’s director for the first three episodes as well as eight, nine, and ten also added, “The ISB are the worst of the worst. They’ve got their spies everywhere, and they’re listening to everybody and putting all the pieces together. Dedra is fighting her way up through this male-dominated organization into a pivotal role. She’s ruthless, she’s fiercely intelligent and she’s uncompromising.”
Gough also reiterated her comments to ScreenRant, “She will do anything for the cause and so much of the time, she’s looking around feeling like a lot of her colleagues are very mediocre….For me, although she’s on the side of the villains, she’s also evangelical in her belief in the Empire, and, in common with all great villains, she has this absolute belief that what she’s doing is right, no matter what she does—and she does some seriously reprehensible things.”
Gough made it clear the show would also address gender politics in a previous interview with Total Film, and even noted it was “really relevant” to the show.
She told the outlet, “As a woman, in that world, for her to advance in any way, she has to be like 10 times better than anyone else in that room. And that felt really relevant to everything we’re going through right now.”
What do you make of Gough’s recent comments about her character in the upcoming Andor series?