German filmmaker and actor Werner Herzog has created a diverse filmography for himself that reaches from the most high-brow niches of international cinema to the most populist halls of blockbuster entertainment. OnThe Mandalorian, Herzog plays the role of The Client, in which capacity he got to interact with the animatronic star of the series, The Child known as Baby Yoda. In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter, the famously austere filmmaker had nothing but praise for what the studio was able to do with the acting puppet.
"I'm not really into the Internet, social media and the comments on the Internet. So, of course, it took me by surprise. But what's wrong with saying something good about Baby Yoda, which is really a phenomenal achievement? It's wonderfully created and sculpted, and a mechanical device that is a massive achievement for cinema. You can see it with your eyes, and you can touch it."
Werner Herzog goes on to praise the technical advancements that made shooting for The Mandalorian a rewarding experience for him as an actor and filmmaker that values realism, despite interacting with a Baby Yoda doll during scenes that were supposed to be taking place on other planets:
"I said, "Don't try to have a fallback, a plan B, and shoot it now in a digital remake of what you already have in the can. It's so wonderful. You cannot outdo it. Don't be cowards. You are trailblazers." What The Mandalorian is doing with its technology, it replaces what has been very difficult for actors, cameras and for everything: the green screens. But here, with these round horizons, as an actor, you know where you are, and the camera knows and sees the foreign planet on which you are moving. This is a wonderful achievement. It's cinema where it always has been and where it should be back."
Fans of Herzog's unique filmmaking aesthetics may be surprised to hear the veteran filmmaker express so much enthusiasm for something as mainstream as Star Wars. But Herzog has never indulged in snobbery when it comes to participating in popular Hollywood projects, as long as there is mutual respect between all involved parties, which was something he found on the sets of The Mandalorian:
"Jon Favreau invited me with great enthusiasm and great warmth into the role. I think he did it because he likes how I am as an actor, and I think he likes my movies. He said that many times to me. And I thought, "That's fine. Yes, show up at a set where we really exchange the best of what we have in us."
"I enjoy, actually, everything that has to do with cinema: writing, directing, editing, acting. Of course, I do only things where I know I can actually deliver what is asked for me. And whenever I'm within the demonology of the villains, of the true villains, I do my best, and I think I deliver. So, it's a joy. It's a joy to see that everybody's delighted behind the camera with how I delivered my lines.
These quotes were pulled from a recent story at The Hollywood Reporter.