In season 2 of The Mandalorian, we saw Grand Admiral Thrawn getting name-dropped. So it’s inevitable that he will be showing up in live-action soon. But there’s the age-old question of- who will be portraying him?
Fans will want the casting to be perfect since Thrawn is a beloved character from the old Extended Universe who has made a mark in the new canon as well. We have already seen him as an antagonist in the animated show- Star Wars: Rebels, where he ended up getting ejected through hyperspace and into the vast unknown space.
In terms of personality, Thrawn is a fearsome and imposing character, but he is also shown to be calculated and soft-spoken. However, these soft qualities don’t show up on the surface. On the outside, his posture has rigidity and iciness which is amplified by the way he speaks.
So here are the actors we think can nail his personality and posture while bringing something new to the character:
10 Actors Who Can Portray Grand Admiral Thrawn Perfectly
It would be a crime not to start this list with Lars Mikkelsen. After all, Lars has voiced the character all throughout Rebels and he has done a fantastic job doing so. His depiction of Thrawn through terrifyingly soft timbres gives major clues regarding the mental state of the character.
Since he has perfected voicing the character, we think that he deserves to get a shot at portraying the role. After all, The Mandalorian has cast people who previously voiced characters in animated shows like The Clone Wars and Rebels.
But this is not to say that he deserves to be on there just because he voiced the character. Lars Mikkelsen actually has notable live-action acting experience as well. He has played Viktor Petrov on House of Cards, Charles Augustus Magnussen in Sherlock, etc. So he has the familiarity with the character and the acting caliber to play him.
Thrawn largely avoids direct physical combat and confrontation. Instead, he builds power and intrigue through just his speech and physical presence. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a master in both. After all, he is a classical actor with the captivating voice that Thrawn needs.
From Shakespeare to the MCU, he has done it all. Also, we need to mention that he has won a Laurence Olivier Award and earned a Golden Globe nomination twice as well. So he possesses the capabilities and skills to embody Thrawn perfectly.
We can tell you right away that Disney will probably be looking for an actor who is famous and well known. And if they are going for the A-Listers, then Michael Fassbender would be a great choice.
He has experience playing villains with a calm composure and this will lend nicely to Thrawn. Also, we should mention that he has a towering physique that will help bring the character to life convincingly. Did we mention his looks? Maybe we don’t need to. It’s world-famous anyway.
Pierce Brosnan is famous for playing 007. But that’s not where his acting resume ends. He has an impressive body of acting works that range from blockbusters to indies. Also, his superstar presence will elevate The Mandalorian even further.
He is suave and has the charming looks that will certainly lend to Thrawn’s charisma. While Brosnan isn’t quite familiar with playing the bad guy, but it will be interesting to see him channel his captivating aura into portraying someone really sinister. Ultimately, we are sure that he will be nothing less than exceptional.
Daniel Craig’s acting resume speaks for itself. He has the voice, the personality, and the looks to pull off Thrawn. But most importantly, he loves the Star Wars universe. After all, he played a stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We would certainly love to see him get used more, preferably as Thrawn so that he brings one of the biggest Star Wars villains to life. Also, Craig is mostly used to playing good guys. We would love to see how he performs as a bad one.
Naveen Andrews isn’t as well known as the others on this list, but this doesn’t mean that his resume is lacking in any way. He is pretty much a TV veteran with roles on tv shows like Sense8, Instinct, Lost, etc.
What Andrews lacks in physical intimidation, he can easily make up with his charisma and voice. His character in Sense8 was very monologue based and he rose up to the challenge by using his voice to subtly and softly command attention.
Also, he masterfully uses his facial expressions to display minute emotions. Basically, he can do a lot with little. Andrews also brings a vulnerability while playing characters. So depending on how The Mandalorian writes him, it can be just what’s needed. After all, he can give the classic villain some new layers without disrupting anything old.
Jon Hamm deserves a lot of recognition than he currently has. He is an excellent actor that can play intimating and imposing characters perfectly. But that’s not the only reason why we have selected him for this list. We have chosen him because he looks pretty much identical to Thrawn.
Seriously, his facial structure looks similar to Grand Admiral Thrawn. As for Hamm not being British, we think that he is actor enough to nail that slight accent for sure. Also, he will bring something different to the role that will add layers to this well-known Star Wars antagonist.
Jason Isaacs is famous for playing bad guys. He was Lucious Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies and voiced the Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars: Rebels. So he isn’t new to movie acting or voice acting.
His resume covers all, and it shows that he has the range to play villains without making them come across as hammy or cliched. We are certain that Isaacs would deliver Thrawn’s lines with the quiet malice and consideration that he’s known for.
Also since he was in a Star Wars show so he is familiar with and used to working in that environment. So in more ways than one, Jason Isaacs could be the ideal Thrawn.
Tom Ellis has less experience compared to some of the others on this list. But if you have ever tuned into Lucifer, then you will know that he has the range, imposing figure, and more to play Thrawn perfectly.
Now, the way he plays Lucifer isn’t exactly always fear-inducing, but it just goes on to show that the man has what it takes to gives various shades to the character. Also, Disney casting Tom Ellis isn’t impossible.
After all, they have cast lesser-known actors like Dominic Monaghan and Matt Smith as well. Some fans might not be convinced that Ellis can pull it off, but we believe that he has what it takes to depict the villain with all the necessary layers.
Lee Pace has an impressive career for sure. But the reason why we have put him on this list is because of one particular role- that of Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy.
His portrayal of that character showed that he could pull off the blue makeup and play power-hungry characters amazingly. Also, Lee Pace is a huge man and has an imposing figure.
This will lend nicely to Thrawn’s physique and allow him to depict all facets of the character perfectly. So his great medley of skills makes us think that his portrayal of Grand Admiral Thrawn would be great.
So here’s our pick of actors who we think can portray Grand Admiral Thrawn perfectly. Who do you think will play this antagonist well? Let us know.
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