WWE star Sasha Banks has recalled how Jon Favreau asked her to be part of his Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian, after seeing her on Hot Ones.
After months of speculation, Banks finally made her debut on the Disney+ series in Chapter 11, which aired this November. Her character, Koska Reeves, was revealed to be a Mandalorian working alongside Clone Wars character Bo-Katan Kryze, who was brought to life by Katee Sackhoff.
Banks’ addition to the show was well-received by fans of both Star Wars and WWE, but given that this is her first high-profile acting role, the star has now offered up an explanation as to how she got the job.
Speaking to Variety, she recalled how creator John Favreau called her over FaceTime after he watched her 2018 appearance on Hot Ones. The popular YouTube series invites celebrities to be interviewed while eating chicken wings that get progressively hotter as the conversation goes by.
“So Jon Favreau came to me because he watched an interview that I did with Hot Ones. And he really liked me and got my contact information. Then on FaceTime he asked me to be part of The Mandalorian,” she recalled.
“I was like, ‘Well, I cannot say no,’ but I was so incredibly nervous, because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it with the WWE schedule. You know, we used to travel a lot. But they made it work and everything happened. And it was such an incredible episode.”
Banks admitted that she was “incredibly shy and nervous” when she arrived on the set of The Mandalorian, but was calmed after Favreau told her that the confidence she exudes while wrestling with WWE was one of the reasons he asked her to join the series.
“[Jon] reminded me, ‘Uh, you do WWE every single week and you do that live. You are amazing. There’s a reason why I wanted you to be a part of the show.’ So that made me feel like home and I totally gained a whole new family and I’m just so thankful.”
As for her episode, she’s called it “one of legit the greatest episodes in the history of television” and is grateful this was the way she made her mark on the Star Wars universe.
“I still just can’t get over how awesome that was… I could watch that all the time,” she said. “That was such a badass introduction to the world of ‘Star Wars’. I’m so thankful I saved Baby Yoda! I cannot get over it. Oh my god.”
Banks’ character didn’t get too much screen time (or dialogue) in the episode, so we’re hoping to see more of her in the future. Viewers seemed more than happy with her appearance, though.
You can catch new episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2 on Disney+ every Friday.