In a guest column posted on The Hollywood Reporter, Victoria Mahoney recounts the events after receiving the phone call from J.J. Abrams that led to her becoming the first female to helm a Star Wars theatrical film as second unit director for The Rise of Skywalker. It was revealed back in April of 2018 that Mahoney would be leading the way as second unit director for the film which was untitled at the time. Check out the intro to her article below and then click here for the full read.
Thursday night. November 2017. I was tucked away in a rented house secretly writing a TV pilot based on Octavia Butler’s novel Dawn. Patty Jenkins had called that morning to ask if I’d like to direct two episodes of her and Sam Sheridan’s series One Day She’ll Darken after a fierce competition for the job. Between these two adventures, I genuinely didn’t want for anything. I was creatively filled to the brim.
Then an email comes from a director I deeply respect, asking if we can chat. Around 8 a.m. the following morning, the phone rings. No assistant. No conduits. No fanfare. Just J.J. Abrams. Straightforward.
At most, I predicted that he needed someone to shoot footage of a local high school play. My brain never once, not even for a nanosecond, went to the four-decade-strong beloved franchise.
On the phone, J.J. mentions Star Wars, something, something second unit director, something, something, would you like to come in and have a chat with me? I only caught every other word because my head imploded after he said Star Wars.