Variety sat down with Sasha Banks, aka Mercedes Varnado, to discuss her life in the right, and more importantly, her life now that she has played Koska Reeves in The Mandalorian.
One of the most interesting answers that Mercedes gave was about how she got on the show. Most people go through an audition process or had a role developed for them, but in Mercedes case, her interview on Hot Ones was her audition tape.
So Jon Favreau came to me because he watched an interview that I did with ‘Hot Ones.’ And he really liked me and got my contact information. Then on FaceTime he asked me to be part of ‘The Mandalorian.’ I was like, ‘Well, I cannot say no,’ but I was so incredibly nervous, because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it with the WWE schedule. You know, we used to travel a lot. But they made it work and everything happened. And it was such an incredible episode. I still just can’t get over how awesome that was. Not only to be part of ‘Star Wars,’ but one of legit the greatest episodes in the history of television like that. I could watch that all the time. That was such a bad ass introduction to the world of ‘Star Wars.’ I’m so thankful I saved Baby Yoda! I cannot get over it. Oh my god.
Mercedes also talked a bit about how it was stepping onto the set of The Mandalorian for the first time and how her nerves were starting to get the best of her before Jon, Dave, and Bryce stepped in to help her out.
It was beyond. Just like the first time ever seeing a wrestling ring. It’s like the first time ever seeing anything just so magical. I would hate to ruin like how it looked backstage, but you felt like you were in a different galaxy in a different world. It was so almost easy to play a Mandalorian because I was legit in the universe. And you know, Jon Favreau and David Filoni and Bryce Howard, they were so amazing towards me. Any questions I had, because I was so incredibly shy and nervous., they answered. But [Jon] reminded me ‘Uh, you do WWE every single week and you do that live. You are amazing. There’s a reason why I wanted you to be a part of the show.’ So that made me feel like home and I totally gained a whole new family and I’m just so thankful.
She also gave her thoughts on Bryce Dallas Howard and the work she has done on the show thus far.
She really, really guided me and really took me by my hand because like I said, I was so nervous. She texted me to make sure I all good. She walked me through everything, if I had any questions. She was there for me. So it was so special to see. And I was just really inspired by her and how she treated everybody. She was so down to earth. I brought a lot of her energy into my work because of how incredibly she treated me. And as you see she is getting so much praise for her work because she is just so special.
From what I can tell from this interview, we may only get to see Koska in 1 episode given some of her responses, specifically around the WWE travel schedule and her stressing how working on that particular episode was awesome. So, while Koska and her Nite Owl bro Axe Woves were an amazing addition to the Mando’s story, it seems like we may not be seeing them again for a bit.