Werner Herzog, the hugely influential and pioneering German filmmaker, is a man that will not succumb to the idea of anything “cute”.
Herzog, who made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19, has since enjoyed well over 50 prolific years in the filmmaking industry which has resulted in numerous critically acclaimed releases. French filmmaker François Truffaut, once called Herzog “the most important film director alive.”
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Herzog was discussing his recent role as as ‘The Client’ in Star Wars: The Mandalorian, a ‘space Western’ television series created by Jon Favreau. In what arrived as the first live action series in the Star Wars franchise, The Mandalorian is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and 25 years prior to the events of The Force Awakens,
The show, which follows the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin and his exploits beyond the reaches of the New Republic, became an online sensation after the ‘Baby Yoda’ was widely shared across social media and phenomenon for internet jokes. When the conversation turned to the small green creature, Herzog was asked if he found tiny Yoda cute, to which he replied: “No, not cute. It was a phenomenal achievement of sculpting mechanically,” the filmmaker replied somewhat stoically. “When I saw this, it was so convincing, it was so unique.”
“And then the producers talked about, Shouldn’t we have a fallback version with green screen and have it be completely digitally created? I said to them: It would be cowardly. You are the trailblazers. Show the world what you can do.”
Herzog added: “Not cute. It’s heartbreaking.”
Sensing an opportunity to explore a different side to Herzog’s personality, Times journalist David Marchese then asked: “Is anything cute to you? Have you ever seen a dog and thought, That’s a cute dog?”
Herzog’s reply? “No. I would assign a dog a different word.”