‘Andor’ Star Adria Arjona Talks Bix and Cassian’s Backstory and Why the Show Works
[This story contains spoilers for Andor‘s first three episodes. ]
At the height of the pandemic, Andor star Adria Arjona flew all the way to London to audition alongside Diego Luna (who plays the titular Rebel Alliance officer Cassian Andor), and within a span of 10 minutes, series creator Tony Gilroy welcomed her to Star Wars. Arjona plays Bix Caleen (a mechanic and Cassian’s oldest friend on the planet Ferrix). It’s suggested that they have untapped feelings for each other in their first scene together at Bix’s small business. This leads to Bix’s current love interest Timm (James McArdle) to jealously betray her and report Cassian to Imperial Security.
Arjona says that the backstory of Bix’s and Cassian’s relationship is still unknown.
“They were childhood friends and there’s this mystery of ‘Were ever in love?'” Arjona explains The Hollywood Reporter It’s a mystery, but trust has been built over time, broken, rebuilt, and broken again. She always picks him over everything and it’s kind of annoying .”
Andor‘s first three episodes have now premiered on Disney , and the response has been overwhelmingly positive since the series is a welcomed departure from the previous Star Wars shows. Arjona credits one person for this new direction.
“The decisions that are made throughout the show — with the writing, the sets, the costumes and the worlds — are very much Tony [Gilroy], going, ‘I think it’s that, I think it’s that, and I think it’s that.’ And that’s why [Andor] works: because we had a vicious leader,” says Arjona.
In a recent spoiler conversation with THR, Arjona also recalls the story of how her mother gave her the positive reinforcement she needed to fly to London and audition during a precarious stretch of the pandemic.
Now we can finally call Bix Caleen.
Thank you, God! I have always wanted a tattoo of Bix.
I know you put it off for spoiler fears but are you still going to get it?
Yes, I will. I plan to get some type of Star Wars Tattoo, but I’m not exactly sure what.
When we spoke in April you described Bix to be a practical woman. Did you refer to the fact that Bix is a mechanic?
It’s difficult to talk about her in this early stage. She is extremely practical, fearless, bold, and loyal, even to her own detriment. She is so concerned about those around her and it truly takes her on a wonderful journey. She is a true love. She’s just the coolest.
What can you tell me about Cassian’s past? What makes her so protective about him?
I know they have been friends for a long time. They are childhood friends and it is a mystery if they were ever in love. Are they still together? Is there jealousy between Timm and Cassian? Is this a love triangle?” It is not clear, but their long friendship has allowed them to build trust and then break it again. Bix still loves Cassian. He is complex and complicated and can get himself into trouble or do things differently. Bix, as I said, is very practical. She now owns her own business and is finally able to run it the way she wants. She is at the top of her game. She is finally stable, but Cassian keeps bringing in new challenges. She almost wishes Cassian would be better, and is extremely protective of him. It’s a pity that she chooses Cassian over everything else.
Yeah. Cassian is not reliable in many ways. But Timm (James McArdle), is a guy who will jump through hoops to help Bix.
She was tired of Cassian’s unpredictable behavior and settled for Timm.
Personally, I believe so. Timm is safe. Timm is responsible. They work well together. They manage a business together. She may have had hopes and dreams that Cassian would be there, but who knows? It’s just impossible with him, hence that line that Cassian gives Bix, and Bix responds, “I don’t ask you about your personal life.” So you could really feel the tension in that moment of, “Oh, he doesn’t like that Timm is in my life.” (Laughs.) He comes and goes quite often. He does this to protect the people he loves.
For anyone who may have missed our last interview, would you mind retelling the story of how you landed the role in the room?
Oh my God, that’s what I told you. I didn’t tell the story to too many people. I sent in a tape and was called to travel to London during the pandemic. So I called my mom and was like, “Mom! They want me to go London, but there’s this COVID thing. I was terrified. I am a hypochondriac at my core. I was like “What’s the deal?” She basically said, “Adria you’re a Swan.” You could swim in a lake full of shit without getting stained. “Let the Force be with You, my daughter.” She then hung up the phone and hung up on me.
So I ended up traveling to London and meeting Tony [Gilroy] & Diego [Luna] in person. Tony stood up and said, “Diego, meet you co-star.” Adria, meet your co-star.” And I was like, “I’m sorry, what?” And Tony was like, “Welcome to Star Wars.” And then my heart just dropped. That whole testing period only lasted 10 minutes, and I did the scene once, plus another quick little scene. And all of a sudden, I was in Star Wars. It was the most wild thing and it doesn’t speak to my acting skills at all. It speaks more to Tony’s ability to see things and say, “That’s right.”
Bix allows Cassian to meet Stellan Skarsgard’s character, Luthen Ral, and he’s likely to be the one who sets Cassian on the path to becoming the Rebel hero that steals the Death Star plans. Rogue One . That effort led to Luke Skywalker destroying the first Death Star and saving the galaxy. Bix was technically also involved in saving the galaxy. Have you thought about Bix’s role in the grand scheme of Star Wars?
I do. I have. I was thinking about what that meant for Cassian’s future, Cassian and the galaxy as a whole when Bix sent that message to Rael. It really is more about Cassian than Bix. Bix is not completely aware of the dangers she is in, but she will soon find out. Although she may not be aware of the connections or what is actually happening, she does realize it quite quickly.
Episode 3 ends in tragedy when Timm is taken to the hospital and then dies in front Bix. Cassian also flees Ferrix along with Luthen. It is safe to assume that you will be back at some point.
I can’t say that. It would be crazy of me to do this.
What’s your favorite episode?
Episode 1. (Laughs. )
(Laughs.) It’s a must-see.
Andor‘s three-episode premiere is now available on Disney . This interview was edited to ensure clarity and length.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.