Matthew Dale
Jedha priest (Rogue One)
Interview: November 2017

How, when and where did your career take off?

I started my career by joining my local stage coach school. I did this for five to six years and when I two years over the age I was supposed to leave but being the only guy in the group out of fifteen girls they wanted me to stay on, which I loved. I was signed up to an acting agency which I’m still with now and they started the ball rolling. Then this kicked off from 2000 but I have been acting since I was about 4 years old as I would do drama groups and local plays.

How did you get cast for Rogue One? And how did you get the part of a Jedha priest?

I got cast in Rogue One by another acting agent I joined. I had only been with them for three years and I got the Star Wars gig, while it took about 25 years to get the Doctor Who gig! I was originally cast as one of the guys on the planet in the ship with the funny hats on and it was a stunt man part as well. They cut me from this one and as I was and still proud and tall they wanted me to be a Jedha priest. I’m the only priest mentioned in the full cast list and the other guy was not so I own that part, which is awesome.

What can you tell about the filming of your scenes?

It was very hot on set and so much fun to work on. I got to work close with the main actors it was so awesome. The costume was as comfortable as well.

Are there funny or remarkable stories can you share regarding your time on the set of Rogue One?

Yes, the story of me melting in the heat of the costume after every take. I had to take my square head off and be cooled down by the make up team at one point. I had eye drops in my eyes of which I was not keen on but it did help. The other was that I had ice cubes behind my ears to help cool me down and towels to dry off my sweat. I did almost pass out but just about coped.

What can you tell about Gareth Edwards and the way he directed you?

I didn’t really get a chance to take to the directors but one of them looked very much like George Lucas himself. It was more of them saying ‘Hi’, asking ask to go with the flow, to point out where they wanted me to go in a costume where I could not see clear as my vision was low in the costume.

What is the best or most precious memory you have regarding Rogue One?

Making eye contact with the two main cast members of the team and doing shots with them. Also the heat in the costume, filming at Pinewood studios and everything I did on and off the set.

What was your reaction when you heard you were cast for Rogue One?

I’m not sure on that one but I was at home when I got the news and that made me really excited. As I could not tell anyone the good news that was frustrating. I have been into Star Wars from a young age.

What are your thoughts about the movie Rogue One?

I loved everything about Rogue One, it is the best Star Wars film ever.

Besides Star Wars you have appeared in another popular franchise: Doctor Who! I believe you’re a big fan?

I appeared in the episode Robots of Sherwood as Little John. I had so much fun on set and being a Doctor Who fan it made a dream come true, likewise with Star Wars. I have appeared in many things of merchandise stuff and as you may have guessed I bought the lot. It still makes me happy when I find there are still things that come out like Star Wars colouring books which I’m in and Doctor Who games I see myself in. I love it all.

Final question: how do you look back at the fact that you are part of the ‘Star Wars Universe’?

I love the fact and I feel proud and very lucky to be involved in such a big film as Star Wars and also Doctor Who. I have been in two of the best biggest shows ever which I’m very excited about. Because I do conventions for both Doctor Who and Star Wars it is even more fun. I travel all over the UK and worldwide as I have done two international events. I have five planned next year and fifteen in the UK!

Thanks for your time… and see you at a convention!