Jaschco Phurus was a human male pirate who prowled the Arrowhead Region of the galaxy east of the planet Coruscant. Around thirty years after the Battle of Endor, Phurus was standing next to the wall opposite the entrance to Maz Kanata’s castle on the planet Takodana when the smuggler Han Solo entered with the scavenger Rey, the former stormtrooper Finn and the astromech droid BB-8. Shortly after their entrance, many of the castle’s patrons, Phurus included, rushed outside to witness the destruction of the Hosnian system by the First Order’s Starkiller Base super weapon, after which First Order forces attacked and destroyed Kanata’s castle.
While at the castle, Phurus wore red Tricorraan raider robes and carried a field-accelerated blaster rifle. He had dark skin and shaved black hair. (Source: Wookieepedia)
How does working on Star Wars compare to all your work on other projects?
I believe there’s just a much greater attention to detail that goes into working on Star Wars and I felt that every step of the way. There’s also a peculiar sense of responsibility that accompanies being in such a huge film and it’s all the more motivating because you know that for a lot of people, Star Wars represents more than just entertainment.
How did you get the role of Jashco Phurus?
I’m not entirely sure, whilst filming and being directed I wasn’t made aware of my character’s name. I didn’t necessarily get given a backstory or any concrete information as to who or what he was, I had the freedom to make Jascho who I thought he should be, but I guess the deciding factor came down to my height and look.
Can you describe your time working on ‘The Force Awakens’?
It was the best experience. Firstly, I was very well taken care of, the food was absolutely incredible and almost seemed like an unlimited supply. I would always take-home leftovers of steaks, chicken, salmon fillets, I truly ate like a king.
Then there was the costume, as much of a nightmare it was to put on at times and how heavy it was, specifically the anchor of bullets around my neck, it looked phenomenal and the whole cast and crew loved it.
Working with the other extras and crew was the highlight of my time on set. We were a massive team of aliens to the cameras but behind the scenes we were friends in a working environment that many would long to be in.
How did you get into this line of work?
I’d signed up with an agency after doing various acting and modelling gigs and they gave me the call not long after signing up with them and the rest was history.
What was it like filming on a set like Maz Kanata’s castle?
It was surreal. I really got to appreciate how much effort goes into making a sci-fi film. Everything looked so real, nothing was neglected, from the dust on the floor to the props on each table. There was so much going on that it was almost like an actual bar, jumping from pretending to converse with a robot then cracking jokes with an alien holding a gun the size of your arm!
Can you describe the make-up and costume process for your character?
The make-up was literally 3 lines down my face, so it was never much of a task to draw it on, however, my haircut was tricky. The First Lady that did it, did an awesome job of shaving a gap all around the side of my head that no one else could replicate so it was a funny experience whenever I’d be back on set and have to get my haircut because if she wasn’t available to do it, everyone else would have a rough time trying.
My costume process all started with a simple gown, then a breastplate and belt. The part I could never do by myself was the heavy bullet necklace and ammo sacks that I would carry because once I have my bullet necklace on I couldn’t raise my arms.
What are some of your fondest memories from your time in Star Wars?
Definitely lunch times! I’m a huge lover of food haha. Aside from that, being on set with the extras and getting to meet incredible actors like Harrison Ford, Lupita and Mark Hamill.
If you could play any other characters from the franchise, who would it be and why?
I’d love to play Jango Fett, the idea of being a bounty hunter has always intrigued me and I think he’s such an intimidating character, so my height could help with that portrayal
Growing up, Phantom Menace was a big deal for me. I loved Darth Maul, his make-up was amazing, and his red sabre had me in awe.
Jar Jar Binks was also a favourite and Qui-Gon Jinn, when he speaks, I made sure I listened because he’d always drop those bombshells of wisdom.
Finally, Yoda. Yoda has said some of the most interesting and applicable quotes. One of my favourites being ‘train yourself to let go everything you fear to lose’
What does Star Wars mean to you?
Star Wars in many ways is very spiritual, to me personally, having a religious belief, there are many elements to Star Wars that can be applied to a man/woman of faith. Perseverance and determination being a few.
What are some of your favourite scenes from the Star Wars films and why?
The pod race in Phantom Menace will forever be one of my favourites. I remember having the game on N64 and wishing it could be a reality.
Would you be open to doing more work on the franchise in the future?
Absolutely. Star Wars holds a special place in my heart and if the opportunity were there and my circumstances were right, I’d jump at it.