Several fans thought Lawless would be a great fit for Cara Dune (Picture: Rex/Getty/Lucasfilm/Disney)
In February this year, it was announced that Carano had been fired from the Disney Plus show following backlash to ‘abhorrent’ social media posts that she shared online, which reportedly compared being a Republican to being Jewish in Nazi Germany.
While Carano claimed that this was not the case, a spokesperson for Lucasfilm said in a statement: ‘Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.’
When news of Carano’s axe from the show was announced, several fans of The Mandalorian immediately began speculating over who could replace her as Cara, with Xena: Warrior Princess star Lawless cropping up as a possible contender.
During a recent exclusive conversation with Metro.co.uk, the My Life Is Murder star recalled how she felt in response to fans hoping she would be cast as the no-nonsense mercenary.
She explained that at the time, she was already having discussions about starring in a different Star Wars-related production.
Carano played the role in seasons one and two of the show (Picture: Lucasfilm/Disney/Kobal/REX)
‘Well to be honest with you, I was already in discussions about something on – it wasn’t The Mandalorian – something Star Wars-affiliated,’ Lawless said.
‘It might have hurt me in some way, because then they couldn’t hire me because it would seem to be pandering to… I’m just guessing here, I don’t know anything, but in some ways, it can be unhelpful, because if they pander to this fan group, then how are you going to pander to every other fan group, do you know what I mean?’
The actor continued, outlining how the hypothetical fan casting meant that she ‘became political’, despite having nothing to do with Carano’s exit.
Lawless’ fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess has a cult following (Picture: MCA TV/Renaissance/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)
‘I became political and I had nothing to do with the discussion,’ she said.
Nonetheless, she feels extremely appreciative of the fans who saw her as the ideal replacement for the character.
‘But that’s the way the world is and they meant it out of love, and I thank the fans for their fealty to me,’ she said.
‘I haven’t thought about that since, so it hasn’t given me any pain, but that was my thought at the time, like, ooh, this makes me look like a political appointment, and not an actress.’
Following Carano’s exit from The Mandalorian, a source at Lucasfilm said that Cara was not expected to be recast.
Lawless reunites with her Xena co-star Renée O’Connor in season 2 of My Life Is Murder (Picture: Matt Klitscher/AcornTV)
Lawless has played a variety of fascinating characters throughout her career, including private investigator Alexa Crowe in My Life Is Murder, D’Anna Biers in Battlestar Galactic, Lucretia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Diane Lewis-Swanson in Parks and Recreation.
The actor said that she feels most similar to Alexa, who in season two of My Life Is Murder returns to her home country of New Zealand to solve a series of mind-boggling murders.
During her conversation with Metro.co.uk, Lawless recollected an incident that occurred two days prior to the interview when she spotted someone littering out of their car in New York.
The Xena star explained that in a moment that was ‘so Alexa’, she scooped up the fast food bag and threw it back through the window, telling the person in the vehicle: ‘Oh mate, you dropped something.’
‘It was so Alexa, and I think my accent and calling him mate threw him a little bit. He was not best-pleased, but the moment was gone. I disappeared into the crowd,’ she laughed.
More: US TV news
Lawless is hoping to return to New Zealand soon, although she’s currently in the lottery waiting for a quarantine spot, alongside thousands of others.
For now, she said that she’s happy enjoying her time in upstate New York while working on several ‘secret projects’, including one with her Xena: Warrior Princess and My Life Is Murder co-star Renée O’Connor.
My Life Is Murder Series 2 is streaming exclusively on Acorn TV.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us email@example.com, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.