The actor teases she expects to stay “very busy with the franchise”
How did Natasha Liu Bordizzo get her start?
Natasha Liu Bordizzo was supposed to be a lawyer. In fact, she was in the process of getting her law degree back home in Australia when she was approached by an agent in Sydney Central Station. “You can’t make this stuff up,” she says of the chance encounter, which led her to her first audition. “I was like, I don’t act, but I can try… and I booked the role.” That part was in the 2016 Netflix film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, the long-awaited sequel to the 2000 classic. “I fell in love with acting and being on set,” Bordizzo remembers. “I’m just grateful that it came along and found me.”
Which projects has she worked on?
Crouching Tiger provided Bordizzo with an education in both filmmaking and swordplay. She has since gone on to build up a diverse filmography, with projects including the musical The Greatest Showman, the teen mystery The Society, and the horror-comedy Day Shift, but bladed weapons have proven to be remarkably recurrent. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that her next step involves wielding a lightsaber in the series Star Wars: Ahsoka. “I don’t know why this sword keeps following me around,” she says. “My friend texted me after the trailer came out and was like, ‘Do you ever not have a sword?’”
How did she end up in the Star Wars universe?
Ahsoka, available on Disney+, follows the adventures of a former Jedi (played by Rosario Dawson) after the fall of the Galactic Empire. Bordizzo plays Mandalorian warrior and rebel Sabine Wren, a character that is being depicted in live action for the first time—although fans might recognize her from the animated series Star Wars Rebels. Bordizzo says she binged Rebels to prepare for the role, “but I deliberately stopped watching upon starting filming, because now I have the memories of the characters, and that’s all I wanted. I didn’t want to try to copy what had happened in Rebels.”
Joining a Star Wars series means having to be good at keeping secrets, and while she’ll be relieved when Ahsoka finally airs, Bordizzo thinks this could just be the beginning for her character. “As soon as I’m done with these secrets, there’ll be more,” she hints. “Hopefully I’ll be very busy with the franchise.” Beyond that galaxy far, far away, she’s interested in projects that require her to pick up skills other than swordplay. “I would love to learn archery, bouldering, and maybe a random instrument, like the clarinet or something,” she says with a laugh—although hopefully not all at the same time.
Note: This interview and photo shoot were conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.