In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Sasha Banks detailed the process behind her casting in Netflix series The Mandalorian and how she wanted WWE fans to know it was her beneath the Koska Reeves garb.
Banks, performing here as Mercedes Varnado, noted that she had initially been approached via Instagram in relation to the role:
I remember getting an Instagram DM from a testing director, maybe around the end of the summer – or it could have been in September, I honestly cannot remember. Instantly, I said, “Okay, let me ask WWE,” but my manager said, “No, don’t even ask them. Let’s just talk to them.” Jon Favreau called me; he Facetimed me and told me that he wanted me to be part of the show. And I was just like, “Oh my God, yes.” And then everything just happened. It was so fast, and it was so crazy
‘The Boss’ appeared in two episodes across the Star Wars spin off’s second season and made a largely positive impression on fans.
However, Sasha Banks noted that she was keen to include the WWE universe in her portrayal of Reeves in The Mandalorian:
I really told them I wanted to do a lot of my wrestling moves, so my fans from the WWE would instantly know who I was underneath that helmet. And they were also excited about it.
I came in with a dropkick, I give someone a fireman’s carry, I give someone a back elbow, and I dive in – like only a WWE professional wrestler can do – and I save The Child, Baby Yoda. So, I brought all of that. I got a lot of glitter on the set too, because I came straight off work, off red eyes and straight on set. I had to transform from Sasha Banks to Mercedes Varnado to Koska Reeves all in an instance.
Banks also noted that whilst she was keen to do her own stunts, she was mindful of her in-ring responsibilities with the WWE:
A lot of the stunts I did, but I got a double as well. Because again, I have to wrestle every single day. I didn’t want to get hurt, and everybody supported me in that set. But if I saw something that I could do and wanted to do, they let me.
The current SmackDown Women’s Champion suggested that she would be delighted to return to the franchise down the line.