Mercedes Varnado (Sasha Banks) expresses that she wants to define “the character that’s playing the character”, shares Mandalorian story

Mercedes Varnado (Sasha Banks) talks her future, shares a story from the filming of The Mandalorian and dives into a convo about characters

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images/Jon Kopaloff

Mercedes discusses her future and recounts a story from the filming of The Mandalorian.

Back in May 2022, Trinity Fatu (Naomi) and Mercedes Varnado (Sasha Banks) walked out of WWE due to what Chief Content Officer, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque has since described as a communication breakdown.

While away from the company, Fatu and Varnado have appeared on the red carpet for She-Hulk and walked the runway at New York Fashion Week among other personal and business ventures.

Varnado was welcomed onto ‘Ahch-To Radio: A Star Wars Podcast’ and she dove into her time filming The Mandalorian. She recounted when she suggested the idea of doing a DDT to the ‘Boba Fett’ character instead of doing a headlock takeover or arm drag that was initially suggested. Mercedes stated that series creator Jon Favreau was extremely excited about the DDT and was overjoyed with what she had done.

They brought me in for rehearsals and they told me that they wanted me to do an arm drag or a headlock takeover and they went over it and I was like, ‘Oh, first of all, that’s the wrong way that we do headlock takeovers. It’s the wrong side’ and I was just looking at the pillar of the wall and I was just looking at Boba [Fett], I was just like, I think I can do something better so I just took the guy by the head and I just hold my hips, ‘I’m gonna run up this wall and we’re gonna flip and I’m gonna DDT you.’ We rehearsed it, we did it and then Jon Favreau came out of the back and just like, ‘That was it! That’s what we’re gonna do! That’s what we’re gonna shoot tomorrow! That’s the shot! That’s the shot!’ And I just remember such excitement from when he came behind the set and just was overjoyed that I brought even more to the table because I was so afraid to kind of even speak up and like, this is Star Wars. They know what they wanna do. They have their stunt teams, they have their stunt doubles, they have their fight coordinators. They put in so much time to create every scene and to create every fight to make sure that it’s doable, that it’s sustainable, that it can be good on the television so me coming in, I’m just like, okay, it’s cool. An arm drag’s cool, a headlock’s cool but I think fans will like this a little bit better if I can add a little bit more professional wrestling to it so, when I finally got to do that DDT, it was just like, it felt so cool to bring that sense of the wrestling world to Star Wars and to see how the excitement was when we finally got to show to the world of flipping Boba. It was just beyond my element. That was the one scene that I was just like, I got this. All the fighting stuff, going through the table, that’s just my realm, my element so I got such an adrenaline rush just doing that.

As the conversation went on, Mercedes was asked if she’s interested in creating a character that is 100 percent hers and not connected to anything else.

She explained that for her, in general, it’s about owning her I.P. and owning the character behind the character. She mentioned that in wrestling, that’s a character that she came up with and there are writers there to give their input.

Mhm, I mean yes, that’s in general life [Varnado responded when asked if she’s interested in creating a character that’s 100 percent hers and not connected to anything else]. We always wanna create characters that we can portray and to live by but you’re a character right now. I’m sure once you get off of your headset, you’re someone that’s completely different so we’re always portraying different characters in every given moment of our time and for me, it’s really just owning my own I.P. and owning the character behind the character and really defining who’s the character that’s playing the character so it’s really just finding yourself. But yeah, when it comes to even just wrestling, that’s a character that I come up with and I portray myself and you have your writers coming in and give a little bit more details of what they see for it. But it’s really when it comes to characters in your life, it’s what do you see for that character because you, only you know how you’re going to play it and only you know how you see it when you envision that character.

To close the conversation, she said there is so much that she is creating right now. Mercedes specifically brought up the music space and said she’s focused on being somewhat of a director in the space of creating a musical video piece.

There is so much that I’m kind of creating right now. It’s all under an umbrella… like I said, I’m an actor, model, writer, producer, extraordinaire entertainer so all within those realms, I’m doing something so you just have to stay tuned, stay tuned. But, we have a microphone. That’s something big that I wanna do. Not podcasting but music. That’s probably — I don’t know if that’s the number one next thing because acting, there’s a lot of things coming up in acting right now. But I’m really starting to focus my mind around music and my music realm and just being kind of a director in the space of creating kind of a musical video piece.

Vernado and Fatu were the holders of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Those titles were vacated and present day, Aliyah and Raquel Rodriguez are the reigning champions. They have a title defense on 9/12 against Dakota Kai and IYO SKY.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit ‘Ahch-To Radio: A Star Wars Podcast’ with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 8722 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.