10 Questions with Dominic Pace

Dominic was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule to chat with me about Bounty Hunter Gekko, his love for Star Wars, what is was like on the set of The Mandalorian , and more!  We are thrilled to have him as our next guest for “10 Questions”

Mark: Most of our readers know you as Bounty Hunter Gekko from Season 1 of The Mandalorian, but you have been acting for a long time and have over 80 IMDb credits to your name, how did you get into acting and what has been your favorite role?

Dominic: I began Studying in 1993 right after High School.  I had the greatest experience starring in my High School Musical, Grease.  The adrenaline rush and the support from my local community gave me the inspiration to pursue the business.  The most meaningful role was receiving my first Guest Star in 2003 on NYPD Blue.  I had stayed focused in my training and submissions for 10 years. It meant so much to me to have had made the ‘Big Leagues’ on Network Television. Favorite Role/Appearance was ‘hands down’ The Mandalorian.  George Lucas has been an inspiration to me as far back as I can remember.  To be my own, one-of-a-kind Bounty Hunter Guild Member, is beyond words.

Mark: I did some looking around and found out you’ve been a lifelong Star Wars fan, what was it like going from a fan to being IN Star Wars?

Dominic: I have been a fan my entire life.  Early on in my career, I remember trying to track down the casting director for the prequels.  All of the filming was overseas so unless you’re one of the stars, it was highly unlikely that would ever cast a U.S. citizen.
I was excited yet nervous that first week of filming.  I have been in the game long enough where scenes get cut. As much as it was a dream come true, I was so anxious as I wanted to make sure the world got a good look of this Bounty Hunter “Gekko.”  I was so relieved when a trailer came out showing me in a pan shot.  When the series released, it was such a dream come true to see a handful of established shots where Gekko is featured.  I owe so much to Deborah Chow who directed the 3rd episode. 

Mark: The costume for Bounty Hunter Gekko looks massive, how heavy was it and was it tough to move around in it?

Dominic: The entire costume with prosthetics was certainly uncomfortable but it was hard to feel as I had so much adrenaline from the excitement of it all.  Gekko has really thick Gauntlets on his forearms so it was definitely annoying to have heavy sleeves every time you lifted your arms.  Ironically, I was allowed to choose my own blaster and I selected the heaviest and biggest of them all.  Uncomfortable for a couple of weeks for sure, but a small price to pay for a lifetime of priceless memories.

Mark: I know you may not be able to say, but any plans to see Bounty Hunter Gekko in Season 2? He is a cult and fan favorite so we are all hoping he’s not dead!

Dominic: Ethan Sacks is heading up Marvel’s Bounty Hunter Comic Book Series.  He is waiting approval to include Gekko in that series which would mean the world.  There have also been multiple fan pitches to Lucasfilm and Disney for a Gekko Action Figure.  I cannot say anything on Season 2, but the beauty of the stories is that Star Wars goes backwards and sideways and forward.  If not Season 2, I am very confident we haven’t seen the last of Gekko throughout the SW Universe.

Mark: Did you have the opportunity to interact with Jon Favreau at all on set? The few times we have met him, he was always super nice to fans!

Dominic: Favreau personally approved the Gekko costume and makeup.  There were a few nods to him and Filoni, but when there’s a 100 plus million dollar budget on their shoulders, it’s time to solely do what is asked of you and that is it.  At that professional level, you are invited to keep everything on schedule with little time to socialize.  It was an honor to be amongst them through the production.

Mark: As you know, Star Wars fan are hounds for toys, collectibles, autographs and more.  Where can fans get to meet you and interact? Signings or Photo Ops?

Dominic: I am about to embark on a 17 city tour all over the United States.  Grateful to all of the fans for their support through this journey.  As a thank you, along with participating in multiple charitable causes, I will be signing a complimentary poster at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim for attendees this year.  Gekko merchandise and other autographed prints can be purchased at www.gekkothebountyhunter.com/shop 

(Editor Note – There are some very cool challenge coins for sale at the link above or by clicking below, limited edition, be sure to check them out online, they won’t be sold at Celebration)

 Mark: Can you let us know more about your Make-A-Wish project and how fans can take part?

Dominic: The Star Wars fans/artists have been so incredibly supportive of my character.  Star Wars is the only universe where you can get less than one minute screen time, and become a fan favorite.  I’ve been so grateful to Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, and Makeup Artist Brian Sipe, I wanted to pay their art and illustrations forward to a good cause. On Sunday, April 5th, there will be 5 winning tickets pulled from this Make-A-Wish raffle in Claremore, OK.  The prizes and entry info are listed here..Thank you to everyone who participate.

Mark: Did you “borrow” anything from the set for your own collection, we won’t tell anyone 🙂

Dominic: I wish!  The fans and artists have been amazing so the second best thing has been prop makers recreating my blaster and mask for me.  I did manage to keep some black dirt that filled my boot during episode 3.

Mark: Can you let us know more about Lair of the Gekko?

Dominic: The Star Wars fans have been amazing.  As soon as I was on screen, the mysticism around the character began to build.  One Wookieepedia admin fleshed out an entire back story for him.  He is a one of a kind species never seen in the Star Wars universe until now.  A member of The Bounty Hunter Guild, I imagine he is held in high regard being that he was closest to Greef Carga during the standoff in Episode 3 of The Mandalorian.  His Blaster is extremely powerful, and his Gauntlets have some special features that I know some writers will explore in their comics and novels.  He did not die in Episode 3.

Mark: We always end with this, what is your all time #1 Star Wars Movie?

Dominic: Episode 5 hands down.  The beauty of Star Wars is about the parallels to life.  Family and believing in oneself.  Episode Five told this perfectly along with the core group of legendary Star Wars actors.

A huge thank you goes out to Dominic for taking the time to chat with us. We can’t wait to see what happens in Season 2, you can check out Dominic’s signing and appearance by checking out the home page of his site.

Dominic Pace Wookieepedia Page

Dominic Pace (born September 21, 1975) is an American actor who portrayed the bounty hunter Gekko in the first and third chapters of The Mandalorian. According to the actor, his character was referred to as “Gekko” during production due to the unique skin patterns of his mask resembling those of a leopard gecko.

Following production, Pace stated in several interviews and fan events that Gekko had been adopted as the name of the character. Pace has also confirmed that he would like his species to be known as a Shaaridan. Pace stated in a recent interview that at he views Gekko as ruthless, unapologetic, imposing and intense.

Check out more at https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Dominic_Pace

Local Actor Lands Role on The Mandalorian

https://wpdh.com/local-actorformer-marist-student-has-role-in-new-disney-series/

A Hudson Valley actor is pinching himself after scoring the role of a lifetime.

Disney launched its new streaming service this week. In just the first day Disney+ drew over ten million subscribers. The service offers unlimited streaming of Disney’s biggest films from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and more. In addition to blockbuster movies and TV shows, subscribers can also view exclusive original content.

One of the most anticipated shows from Disney+ is The Mandalorian. As the first live-action Star Wars series. the show tells the story of a bounty hunter five years after the events of The Return of the Jedi. Appearing in a Star Wars series is every fan’s dream, and Hudson Valley resident, Dominic Pace is living it.

Pace plays Gekko, a mysterious bounty hunter with a badass helmet and breathing tubes. As of now, that’s really all we know about this character, but on his Twitter feed, the former Marist student promises that we will learn more in future episodes.

The local actor sat down for an interview with the Star Wars fan site, Fantha Tracks, and told them that he started his career staring as Danny Zucco at his high school in Ossining. Eventually, Pace enrolled at Marist College, but during his Freshman year, he realized that the stage was calling, so the student dropped out and decided to pursue acting full time.

After a decade of picking up small roles here and there, Pace started landing guest roles in national TV shows. Not in any position to turn down work, the actor accepted a job for a new series called “Huckleberry.” The show was working on developing costumes and makeup for the show and needed an actor to come in to help. After putting on his costume and heading down a long hallway Pace started looking around and noticed some familiar-looking photographs on a wall. That’s when the life-long Star Wars fan says his hands went “numb” when he realized he was being considered for the new Star Wars project.

If you want to get a peek of Pace’s character, you’ll have to look carefully at the first episode of the Mandalorian. During the cantina scene, towards the beginning of the episode, the actor’s masked character, Gekko, can be seen way in the background behind two Trandoshans.

disneyplus.com

All that’s known of Gekko now is that he is a bounty hunter. Whether he winds up being a  friend or foe to the main character still remains a mystery. But it’s certain that more will be revealed about Gekko in the coming weeks, so we will all just have to wait to find out what happens to this bad-ass looking bounty hunter lurking in the background. New episodes of The Mandalorian will airt this and every Friday on Disney+.

Actor Dominic Pace: Star Wars Fan Lands a Dream Appearance

I first met Dominic Pace back in 2018; we struck up a conversation on Twitter, and Dominic was kind enough to do one of our first success story interviews. 

What immediately caught my attention talking with Dominic was he’s the “real deal.” He didn’t fake sincerity, give canned responses or phone in his answers the way some celebrities do. He always gave real candid and honest answers. In fact, one of the most requested questions readers ask is for interviewees to “share a money mistake,” Dominic was the first to answer the question. (How cool is that!!!)

His sincerity and honesty lead to me reaching out to him a few times during the year to pick his brain about a particular topic. Each time I would chat with him, the conversation would drift into other areas and I often found we would end up geeking out over a movie or show. Recently, we discussed the video game Star Wars Battlefront, when I was thrilled to learn than Dominic landed a dream role in the upcoming show The Mandalorian.

I wasted no time in asking that Dominic swing back by the blog to discuss success, Star Wars, and his upcoming role.

I’ve been a working Character Actor for over 20 years in Hollywood. Recent Guest Starring Appearances include Navy NCIS: LA, 9-1-1, as well Deputy, a new show which will premiere on Fox in January.

Dominic Pace on Star Wars Fandom

How long have you been a Star Wars Fan?

My mother was instrumental in providing a fun and creative childhood. From purchasing toys to taking us to the library to listen to various musical pieces, my mom had a lot to do with my introduction and love of Star Wars. We didn’t have much growing up, but she always did the best she could to provide and make childhood fun and exciting.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was 5. My mother got me the Cantina Playset as well as the original 11 or 12 figures. My love for the franchise took off from there. To this day, The Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite film of all time.

From the mythology to the parallels of family, along with the fantastic backdrop of outer space, Lucas is a genius.

Do you have any Star Wars traditions?

My sons and I purchase a Star Wars Lego Spaceship once a year. They have this mini Star Wars Galaxy hanging on fish wire from their ceiling. Priceless hours of quality time together with my sons.

Who is your favorite character?

It’s a toss-up between Han Solo and Boba Fett as I love them both.

  • Solo, as Harrison Ford, had the most amazing screen presence. How he took command of the screen was unmatched.
  • Fett, because how cool was that outfit!? What boy doesn’t love a rocket launcher or jet pack with an action figure? Not to mention one of the coolest ships in the Galaxy, The Slave 1.

The Mandalorian

What was it like as a fan appearing in The Mandalorian?

I’ve been in entertainment for over 20 years. I have over 100 TV and Film appearances. Being on set as a Featured, one-of-a-kind Bounty Hunter was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.

You could feel the amazing energy on set as everyone knew they were part of something special. Having David Filoni, Jon Favreau, and director Deborah Chow as our leaders is such a privilege.

Walk us through the process; what was it like auditioning from other shows/movies?

It differed from other shows as this started simply as a makeup test. I hit it off with one of their lead makeup artists. I patiently sat in his makeup chair for over 6 hours.

He ended up giving me the most detailed prosthetic amongst the other Bounty Hunters. Patience, kindness, and professionalism were what lead to me receiving a childhood dream of a lifetime.

What was it like getting into character?

I think being a fan of the franchise and villains made it pretty easy. My heart was pounding at the opportunity, so the intensity of my unforgiving Bounty Hunter nicknamed “Gekko,” was easy to find.

Dominic Pace on Success

What would your mom say your most significant achievement is?

I would say my heart. I’m very caring a generous. I don’t have walls up emotionally that is pretentious or meant to undermine someone else. I am a giver.

Professionally what are you most proud of?

My consistency over the years. I never quit, and because of that, I have seen the success and what can occur if you stay persistent in your dreams.

What did it take to achieve?

It is about being passionate about what you are pursuing. Otherwise, it would be too much work each day.

You have to love what you do. Then, no day feels like work, and you are focused and committed to your trade.

What tips or lessons did you pick up on the way to your achievement?

In order to be an actor, your schedule has to be flexible. Independent Contracting apps (Uber/Lyft/Task Rabbit/Instacart) are all priceless for you to keep your freedom. You can work when you have time and hustle at what you love when you want. It’s been amazing.

What is one thing you have learned from being successful?

To appreciate the victories. So many of my peers are constantly chasing, but to a point, it can some times become toxic. You may not win the Academy Award, but you need to appreciate your small victories.

Is there a mistake you have made starting that you wish you could change?

I would’ve stayed Non-Union longer. There is a lot of content out there that is nonunion where you can star in the project as opposed to only having a few lines in the Big Leagues. I would’ve explored that more as I went through about ten years of just small parts on Television. I would have worked at a lower level but with meatier roles.

If you could recommend one book to help people be more successful?

Actor Steven Guttenberg wrote about his life in The Guttenberg Bible. I loved this book as he was a model of persistence in my trade

Dominic Pace on Money

How has success changed your views and opinions on money?

I believe in being conservative when I can financially, as you don’t know what next year is going to bring. There are zero guarantees of another acting role after each one is complete. To save for a rainy day and pay off debt when you have that extra money.

I think as we get older, we take fewer risks. I like to pay off debt and knock out the mortgage. It gives me peace of mind. Respect to those who make high-risk investments, but I like to play it safe as I sleep better at night.

What’s the biggest money mistake you made?

When I was 18, I had a Visa Gold card. I was making decent money and living at home. I charged up a credit card during those years, and it took me a long time to pay off. I continually tell my sons to spend only what you have, if you can.

What’s the best money decision you made?

Buying our condo and sitting on it. It has appreciated over 17 years in Los Angeles, and we now have a nice ‘nest egg’ in the equity.

What’s Next

What’s next?

I’ll be Guest Starring on an episode of 9-1-1 on Fox opposite Rhonda Rousey on November 11th, right before the release of The Mandalorian. I’ll also be starring in a Sociological Thriller titled Anonymous Killers. “Killers” is a Feature Film directed by A.R. Hilton and is due out early next year.

Any upcoming projects you are working on?

I am very much looking forward to branding this Bounty Hunter I portrayed in The Mandalorian. Next year will be filled with a lot of Comic Conventions all around the world.

Now with this newfound recognition and fame ;), I plan to do a lot of charity work and assist in others’ dreams. I am content in many ways in what I have achieved. Paying it forward makes me happier as I get older.

Where can people connect with you online?

Final Thoughts

What is the best advice you have received?

Not so much advice but leadership from a Teacher and Coach when I was young. I was not a great student during elementary school. This teacher and coach, Roger Rowe, would never give in to excuses. Whether on the Football Field, or the Classroom, he would hold me accountable.

He showed me the first look of the world, and what it takes to succeed. At the time I thought he was just mean and didn’t like me… little did I realize he cared the most.

What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?

That at the end of the day, though money and success are important, love is the only thing that matters. That’s a different definition for many, but I am very much in touch with that and never let myself get too caught up in career to where I ignore the ones I care about.

Getting Geeky 

Share a geeky fact about yourself.

I have visited over 250 Movie Locations over the country and world, simply due to my love of Pop Culture and appreciation of other artists.

I will still buy Star Wars merchandise from time to time and not necessarily for the kids. I’ve always loved the franchise since my childhood. This has been a way for me to relive those memories.

Do you have a crush on a superhero?

Not until Gina Carano in the new Mandalorian. She looks absolutely amazing and is such a solid talent.

Can you recite all the lines to A New Hope?

I’m well versed in Star Wars quotes. Lol.

Thank You

Ep. 31: Dominic Pace from The Mandalorian

An episode of The Rebel Base Card Podcast
By Greg McLaughlin

Dominic Pace – A Mandalorian Interview

40° SWTS: Dominic Pace On Becoming a Real Deal Star Wars Bounty Hunter in ‘The Mandalorian’

SWT: In this episode of the show we go interview style to talk with Dominic Pace, who should be featured in this week’s episode of The Mandalorian as a standout bounty hunter hanging around Greef’s bounty hunter hideout.

Actor Dominic Pace Talks Life, Boyhood Dreams and The Mandalorian

Actor Dominic Pace, The Mandalorian

Actor Dominic Pace has had the type of career that would be the envy of any working actor. He has been in entertainment for over 20 years and has over 100 TV and film appearances. Dominic has secured challenging roles in projects that run the gamut from the gritty and raw to the funny and fantastic.

You might know the imposing-looking White Plains, NY native from his memorable turns on small screen hits such as “Angel“, “NCIS Los Angeles” to name a few. His motion picture credits include the soon-to-be-released sociological thriller “Anonymous Killers“, the horror feature “Psychosis” (Tyler Mane, X-Men/Halloween), and previously, the star-packed crime thriller “The Midnight Man” (Vinnie Jones, William Forsythe, Doug Jones). He recently appeared in “9-1-1” on Fox and has an upcoming role in the series “Deputy“, a new show which will premiere on Fox in January.

As proud as he is of all the roles he has played, one holds special meaning. In fact, it is the culmination of a boyhood dream.

Remember being mesmerized with a movie as a child? Once you saw it, you had to have every movie-related toy and piece of merchandise that hit the stores. You and your friends spent your free time reenacting the scenes that you all knew by heart. Lying in bed at night, you would relive your favorite parts. You couldn’t get enough of it.

Dominic Pace is one of those people. Like most kids of his generation, Dominic grew up loving Star Wars. In fact, he was obsessed with the series of movies that redefined science fiction. “Whether it was the light switch in the bedroom, the bedsheets, the Halloween costumes, birthday parties, Christmas presents, action figures or playsets, Stars Wars fueled the imagination as it inspired optimism and hope,” Dominic says.

In 2018 a makeup test allowed Dominic to realize his childhood dream, playing a featured role in the Star Wars based television series “The Mandalorian“. It reconnected him to the universe he loves.

Rendering of Dominic Pace in The Mandalorian

“The Mandalorian” picks up five years after the fall of the Empire and focuses on a bounty hunter who operates on the outskirts of the galaxy. The series features some heavy hitters who are making their first foray into the world of Star Wars including Oscar-nominee Nick Nolte, director/actor Werner Herzog, MMA fighter turned actress Gina Carano, Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” franchise, and ‘Breaking Bad” villain Giancarlo Esposito. Dominic plays the original role of a bounty hunter. He may not share much screen time with his famous costars but he is thrilled to be part of the franchise.

“Thank you so much to Legacy Effect‘s Brian Sipe, costume designer Richard A Torah, director Deborah Chow, George Lucas, David Filoni and Jon Favreau. This was a dream come true.”

“The Mandalorian” has just premiered on Disney + November 12

My interview with Dominic Pace:

Shawn Martin: Obviously, Star Wars had a big impact on you. When did you first become aware of the franchise?

Dominic Pace: I was 5 years old. My mother was a single mom raising my sister and me in Ossining, NY which is about 40 minutes north of New York City. I had the Cantina Playset and my mom got me all of those interesting Side Characters. Hammerhead, Walrusman, Greedo, Snaggletooth, etc.. The intricacies of each character, combined with the music of John Williams really drew me to the franchise. Even to this day, there was nothing quite like being 6 years old and watching The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen with a packed audience. It was bigger than life. There was just something magical between the musical score, and the story that pulled at your heartstrings, and it still does today. It was not only about a fantasy in space, but many parallels to life. Believing in yourself, family dynamics, and just the overall visual joy of it all. The characters, the ships, and the weapons. What’s not to love?

SM: Who was your favorite character as a child? The mystery and coolness of the Boba Fett costume really stood out for me. Even his Slave 1 spaceship design was so cool. My mother did such a good job of getting me these figures and ships. I was always appreciative and grateful that she would try and find the hard-to-get figures or playsets. I spent hours in my room with the sets and figures. I was grateful to grow up in a time before the smartphone. I don’t fault the younger generations, as I would’ve been on my phone as well, but I’m very grateful I had those years of escaping through toys or a book.

SM: Did you ever imagine you would be playing a character in a Star Wars related project?

DP: To be honest I lost hope as most of the Star Wars productions are filmed overseas. Fox built studios in Australia for the Prequels, and the newer ones seemed to be floating around England and all of Europe. Unless you’re a big star name, it is almost impossible to receive a side character role where they would fly you to another country to film. It was a secret what was being filmed until I went in for a fitting at the studio. As much as I wanted to jump for joy, I was still holding my breath as you want to make sure you’ll be seen. With two hours of makeup application each day of filming, I grew more confident I’d at least be immortalized into the franchise for one or two scenes.

SM: What was it like walking onto that set that first day? To be a one of kind Bounty Hunter was beyond words. To be designed by one of the lead makeup artists for Legacy Effects, Brian Sipe, was priceless. Richard A. Porra was the costume designer. His resume shows his talent and creativity. His eye for Science Fiction Garb is second to none. It was such a honor for my character to be clothed by him.

Rendering of Dominic Pace as the Bounty Hunter in The Mandalorian

DP: I had my heart in my throat the first day on set as it wasn’t about me. I wasn’t the star so you never know if they’re going to feature you or not. There was a childhood dream accomplished in that, before I headed to set, I was told to go to the prop table to choose the weapon I think my Bounty Hunter would own. There were about 20 different blasters of all shapes and sizes. Even though the days were going to be long and we had to carry around our firearm, I wanted a big one. I chose a long, semi-automatic which had a paintball canister attached to the back, along with curved dagger attached down by the mag. I loved it.

I walked onto set and all the leaders of the production were there. David Filoni was directing, Jon Favreau supervising. There was a visit from Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas himself. I just kept quiet and was patient. I was so anxious to make sure I was on camera.

I was happy to have been seen in a few shots that day, but what made the entire shoot special was that I was asked to stay for another episode later in the series. Though I cannot go into detail, I felt the camera on me multiple times for that episode, and that’s when I was able to exhale. For any Star Wars fan to have come that far to be cast as a Bounty Hunter, it made you anxious to ensure you would have some screen time. I’m extremely grateful and humbled from this job I can only call a Gift.

SM: What is it about the Stars Wars universe that appeals to you most?

DP: The mythology is what means the most to me. Believing in yourself. The mantra for life in doing your best in anything you wish to pursue.

I also was drawn to family. I had a slightly strained relationship with my father as I’m sure a lot of kids do. I was able to connect to that conflict between Luke and Vader. The parallels to life of father and son not seeing eye to eye. I think that’s why we love film. We are able to see a bit of our own life through its’ poetry, and Lucas has told many stories through this saga we all can relate to.

SM: Now that you are one of the faces of a Star Wars Bounty Hunter, what do you hope to achieve through this?

DP: I’m greatly looking forward to connecting with fellow fans. To put a smile on the face of people from all walks of life if they meet me. I’m hoping to tour the Comic Conventions and more importantly, get involved with numerous charities where I can donate some signed material in order to inspire and help others. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to doing a lot of good with it by paying it forward to those in need.

Learn more about Dominic Pace on IMDB.

Ep 218 : Dominic Pace – The Mandalorian’s Other Bounty Hunter

Ep 218 : Dominic Pace – The Mandalorian’s Other Bounty Hunter

COMPLETELY MANDALORIAN SPOILER FREEDiscover how a chance make up test lead to LA actor and life long Star Wars fan Dominic Pace playing the bounty hunter Gekko on The Mandalorian!

Dominic talks about being on set with Carl Weathers, coming face to face with IG-11 & sharing his first day on set with George Lucas.

Plus Dom’s late 90’s appearance as a hyped on Star Wars fan on Entertainment Tonight that I actually taped off the television back in Australia!

Listen to the podcast

Exclusive Interview with Dominic Pace, Bounty Hunter “Gekko” in “The Mandalorian”

 

How many people in the world have watched Star Wars as a child, dreamed of being in that universe, and after two decades of acting finally achieve the goal of being a part of that galaxy far far away? For most it’s only a distant dream, but for veteran actor Dominic Pace it is now a part of his life story after landing his first Star Wars role in “The Mandalorian.”

Ever the humble gentleman, Dominic will be the first to emphasize the fact that he plays a side character. This is technically true, in the sense that he will not get the same amount of screen time as the likes of Leia, Obi-Wan, or Finn. However, as Star Wars fans know, limited time on screen has never stopped characters from being just as loved and there is perhaps no better example than one of Dominic’s personal favorites: Boba Fett.

Dominic was kind enough to share some insights on his childhood love of Star Wars and acting, and how it all culminated in being cast as a bounty hunter himself in the first ever live action Star Wars television show.

 

Dominic Pace as the “Gekko” in The Mandalorian’s third episode

 

What was your earliest Star Wars memory?

Being raised by a single mom, our family didn’t have much money when I was growing up but she always found a way to provide for us. I was five years old in 1980 and we lived in Ossining, NY. My mom got me the original Kenner Creature Cantina playset along with the figures of the characters from that scene. I have always had a strong interest in the side characters like the then-named Walrus Man and Hammerhead. And Greedo too, of course. I can still remember planting their feet on the pegs. I also had a magnetic board with the letters of the alphabet and numbers, and the first word I remember spelling on it was “Jawa”.

I understand that Boba Fett is one of your favorite characters. What were your early impressions of Boba Fett that made him stand out to you?

Yes! What kid doesn’t love a jetpack? Not to mention his cool helmet and armor, of course. That continues on with his ship, Slave I. There was something very special about his mysterious nature in the original trilogy. I also like the fact that he was introduced in the Holiday Special. There is a certain nostalgia to it, and for me is very much a cornerstone of Star Wars.

What are your favorite Boba Fett items in your collection?

My original Kenner Boba Fett figure, and now also the LEGO Slave I set that I built together with my sons.

How did you get your start as an actor?

Acting was something I enjoyed from a young age, and I love the adrenaline rush of performance. I starred as Danny Zucco in our high school’s production of Grease. Almost 1,000 people were packed in the auditorium. I loved it. I went to college for one year at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York as a communications major because nothing else seemed interesting to me. After experiencing firsthand how expensive it was, I told my mother that I wanted to pursue a full time career as an actor.

I started out auditioning for any role I could in student and independent films in New York City for about a decade before I began landing guest starring roles on national television. The business is difficult but I knew that going in. Every week is a new challenge, as well as an ongoing process of improving your craft while finding work with the help of your agent and manager.

 

What was your first impression of “The Mandalorian” when you initially heard about the show?

Personally, being a fan of Boba Fett I was hoping it was going to be a story about him and that an escape from the Sarlacc Pit finally gets to be canon! Even now there is still a small part of me that secretly hopes, by the end of season one, it is revealed that the Mandalorian is in fact Boba Fett.

Wishful thinking aside, I am confident that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have a brilliant story for us.

Also, any production that has as big of a budget as “The Mandalorian” has is going to be very easy on the eyes. I am very excited to see all the special effects!

 

Your character is a bounty hunter nicknamed “Gekko.” What is the story behind the character’s design and development?

On the first day I was shown three wardrobe options. Two of the three involved helmets. Because I was initially invited to be on the show through a makeup test by Brian Sipe at Legacy Effects, they went with the costume without a helmet: black boots, gloves, a dark blue robe, and a bandolier. The costume designer examined the ensemble after I was fully dressed, and decided to add on this cool-looking oxygen mask. Then off to makeup I went, which took two hours to apply. Brian was inspired by a gecko prosthetic he had created for a photoshoot that was used at a green energy convention the year before, hence the nickname “Gekko” that appeared on my makeup trailer’s door. The original rounded shape were eventually reshaped into horns to give the character a more menacing look.

 

“Gekko” in the background

Do you have any favorite memories from your time working on set?

On the first day of filming for me, I’m walking onto the set and who is there but the creator himself, George Lucas. Seeing George in his element and to be there while in full makeup along with Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Favreau, and Dave Filoni was incredible.

Being able to pick out my character’s weapon was also something very special. We’ve all heard the story of how Samuel L. Jackson got to pick out his lightsaber on the set of The Phantom Menace, so it was an absolute dream to be able to do the same with my blaster. Being 6’4″ and 260 pounds, I had to pick the biggest rifle on the prop table. I knew it meant it would be more weight to carry around all day but I didn’t care. I loved it!

 

No matter how hot I was in the costume or how long the days were, my adrenaline was pumping. To add to the magic, I was flanking a legend in one pivotal scene: Carl Weathers. As an Italian American, the Rocky series inspired me immensely as a kid. Weathers was a legend in it, and to stand there next to his presence and voice in the Star Wars universe was priceless. On top of that, I’ve also always wanted to shoot a blaster in the Star Wars universe and I had the privilege of doing that. To be in an action sequence in my favorite franchise was beyond words. When I was eight years old I remembered the first applause I heard in the movie theater was from the sail barge action sequence in Return of the Jedi. I hope the scene I was in will get another applause from the fans watching at home!

 

 

What does being on “The Mandalorian” mean to you?

Landing a role on “The Mandalorian” symbolizes not only decades of persistence in the business and never turning down work, but also represents why I wanted to be a part of this business to begin with. It is very much a return to childhood, and to be in awe of the Star Wars universe all over again. It is such an honor to have this opportunity to inspire future generations of children and fans.

Thanks Dominic!