Andor actor Denise Gough talks rivalry within the Empire and playing a female Imperial

Denise Gough as Dedra in Andor
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Andor episode 4! Turn back now if you haven't seen the latest episode on Disney Plus! 

Denise Gough's Dedra might be a newcomer to the Imperial Security Bureau, but her ambition will surely see her rise through the ranks of the Empire sooner rather than later. A roadblock in her way, though, is her rival Blevin, who prevents her from gaining access to the file on the Ferrix incident – AKA the events of Andor episode 3 – and accuses her of "overreaching."  

Total Film spoke to Gough about Dedra's Imperial rival, and the actor revealed just why her character dislikes Blevin so much. 

"What better way to feel good about yourself than to rise up in a predominantly male sphere and become the best at that?" says Gough. "It's important to her – detail is important to her. That adversary that I have in there, what she doesn't like about him is that he's lazy, and laziness is something that she cannot tolerate. And, without making it too much of a gender specific thing, she is somebody who has to work 10 times harder than him to even get noticed for doing the same thing."

Mastering the vernacular of the galaxy far, far away also helped Gough get into Dedra's mindset when going up against Blevin. "What I loved about creating those scenes was I had trained myself to get so good at the language because the space language is really hard, trying to make it sound natural," she says. "I remember sitting opposite this actor and feeling so powerful that I was able to speak those words really, really clearly without having to cut and go back. There was something about it where I understood what it would be like for her to sit in front of these men who are telling her 'Shush now, you're only here because we're ticking a box.' And then she is able to show them where they're at risk. She can't afford to fuck up, basically."

 See our Andor release schedule to find out when the next episode arrives on Disney Plus – and in the meantime, see the rest of our interviews with the cast and showrunner Tony Gilroy, as well Gilroy on Andor season 2 and episode 1's shocking opening scene, Fiona Shaw on playing Maarva, and Genevieve O'Reilly on Mon Mothma's secret meeting with Luthen Rael

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.