An exclusive interview with Nathalie Cuzner AKA PZ-4CO from The Force Awakens
Hot Dang! Darth Elvis, the hunka hunka Burning Sith back on the planet of D’Qar to bring you an interview with an incredibly talented actress who has played multiple roles in Doctor Who but we know her by another name….
Darth Elvis: Please introduce yourself and the character you portray:
Nathalie Cuzner: Hi there, I am Nathalie Cuzner and I played the role of the protocol droid PZ-4CO in The Force Awakens.
DE: Hey lil mama, the King loves all things blue e.g. Suede shoes, droids, how did you get the call to be in Episode VII?
NC: Back in November 2013 I had a call asking me to send my CV in to an unknown address. I promptly sent it off the very next day but didn’t hear a thing for months so pretty much forgot about it! Then, in May 2014, I had a phone call asking if I could go to Pinewood Studios & be measured for a possible role — still no mention of what it was for! It was only when I was being taken to the costume department for the fitting that I was informed what the production was.
DE: You know I like to dress to impress, describe what it was like to put your costume on for the first time and see yourself in the mirror?
NC: It was at my second fitting that pieces of Peazy started being put on me (and it was actually my birthday!) It was all very surreal but immensely exciting at the same time! I was in absolute awe of what they had created from scratch in just a matter of days. They really are an exceptionally talented bunch! I never got to see myself in a mirror though — lack of vision plus her height meant I never got a proper look at her until I saw her on screen.
DE: Dark Lord have mercy, that must have been the best birthday present ever!
In a movie like The Force Awakens it takes so many people to help bring a creature to life, what was it like working with Neal Scanlan and the Creature FX department?
NC: Being a droid, Peazy was created by the Costume department (rather than Creatures) the same department who created C-3PO. Pierre Bohanna, Toby Hawkes and Neil Ellis were wonderful to work with and not only created an amazing droid but looked after me exceptionally well whilst on and off set. I guess I had the best of both worlds as I was then in scenes with the guys from Creature FX and got to work closely with some fabulous fellow Creature Actors (some of whom were from the original Star Wars films) and the Creature FX crew who were equally talented & inspirational. I also got to work closely with my friend & colleague from my Doctor Who days, Paul Kasey, as he was the Movement Director for The Force Awakens. All in all, we made a fantastic team and I enjoyed every second I had with them.
DE: Paul if you need any big boned gentleman who can shake their hips for a Star Wars movie, give the Dark King a shout. 😉
DE: Who or what would you like to see a Star Wars stand-alone movie about?
NC: Oh gosh… am I allowed to say a stand-alone movie about Peazy and Goss Toowers (played by my SW Bestie Keith De’Winter)?!
DE: Absolutely and who wouldn’t want to see that. Make sure and check out an earlier interview with Keith AKA Goss here:
How does it feel to have your own action figure and whereabouts in your house is it displayed?
NC: It still feels a bit weird to be honest! It is actually my second action figure — the first being me as a masked Silurian for Doctor Who. They are both on a shelf behind my TV in the living room.
DE: That shelf is going to be full in a few years time, but you need to add a Darth Elvis action figure to the mix.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from the set that you are allowed to share?
NC: The first time I saw Harrison Ford, I thought he was a caretaker!! We were at Greenham Common filming the external scenes by the Millennium Falcon. We had all just been asked to clear the set when this chap rode past on his bicycle! It was some time later when it actually twigged that it was THE Harrison Ford! Oops!
DE: You have started appearing at conventions around the UK, how are you finding meeting the fans of the film and does it surprise you how much love the character has?
NC: Funnily enough, I am doing this interview whilst on the train to a convention! I have been utterly amazed at the love that this tall, blue droid has received! And meeting the fans has been (and continues to be) a very magical experience. Everyone is so lovely and knows so much about the movies! I feel very lucky to be a part of it all.
DE: For a Rebel, you are such a pleasure to speak to and so giving of your time so it’s a magical experience for the fans as well. For that I say thankyouverymuch!
How was it to be directed by JJ Abrams?
NC: I actually find it difficult to put it into words… that man is a genius! He was very friendly and down to earth, whilst being so professional and very exciting to work with. The energy he created on set was simply amazing and it made the experience extra special for everyone involved. He treated everyone as an individual & frequently shook my hand by way of saying “hello” or as a “well done.”
DE: The Force has given me great power and I think I already know the answer to this question but what is your favourite Star Wars movie and why?
NC: The Force Awakens of course! Why? Thanks to the friendships I have made.
DE: Do you have any other film projects coming up?
NC: I do but, as always, my lips are sealed.
DE: What character in any Star Wars movie would you like to have played?
NC: When I was a child, I loved the Ewoks, so had I not been so tall (!) I would have loved to have played an Ewok!
DE: Beechawawa, Yub Nub! That would have been so gunda.
Thankyouverymuch to the lovely Nathalie for taking the time out to speak to Future of the Force about PZ-4CO and her Star Wars journey! Now the Dark King is off to write a song about Peazy and put his foot up in the ole Gracestar, kick back and take a load off. Until next time folks……Hang Loose!