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Exclusive Interview: Actor, Producer, and YouTube Host Kash Hovey Shares Star Wars Influences

Actor, model, and host Kash Hovey
Actor, model, and host Kash Hovey was influenced by the Star Wars Original Trilogy as well as the prequels. (Pic credit: Greg Doherty)

Elements of this interview contain spoilers about the second season of The Mandalorian.

The award-winning Kash Hovey grew up in the era of the Star Wars prequels but was also heavily influenced by the original trilogy. He works in film, modeling, and social media. Hovey starred opposite Shari Belafonte in 2018’s Plastic Daydream.

Hovey selects features for the annual Film Fest LA Live, in which he hosts a film block called Kash Hovey and Friends. He is also the originator of On Air with Kash, a talk show format vodcast in which he speaks with artists about new projects.

In an email interview, Kash Hovey shared his opinions about how he channels the various dimensions of Star Wars in his multifaceted career.

Monsters & Critics: How has Star Wars influenced you as a filmmaker?

Kash Hovey: When I was a kid in the late 90s, the original films were re-released for the 20th anniversary. I knew then that it was important for my brother and me to see the original films on the screen.

We saw the prequels in the theatre on opening weekend and have continued this family Christmas tradition with every new Star Wars film that gets released. The films played a huge part of our childhood and were one of the main reasons for me wanting to get involved in the film industry.

M&C: You are also an actor and run a video podcast. If there is an effect of the franchise on your film work, is it different for these other creative forms?

KH: I’ve definitely channeled different characters depending on the role I’m cast in.

On my show, On Air with Ka$h, I talk to different filmmakers and artists about their careers, which leads to a conversation about what inspires and what we grew up watching. Star Wars is so ingrained in pop culture that there are constant references to the franchise.

I interviewed Jesse Kove, who recently appeared in Season 3 of Cobra Kai. We talked about how the season focused on the origin story of John Kreese, famously portrayed by his father, Martin Kove.

We made a reference to how the origin story was similar to Anakin Skywalker and how Kreese has become Darth Sidious in this new generation of Cobra Kai.  

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M&C: Has the humor in Star Wars shifted, in your opinion? If so, how?

KH: I haven’t seen a shift in the humor in my opinion. But I’ve definitely noticed the shift in the effects, stunts and choreography, which is something I currently train at with “Wire Fighters.”

M&C: Which member of the Star Wars family is your dream interview for On Air with Ka$h?

KH: I would have loved to have interviewed Carrie Fisher. My friend Michael Rosenbaum talks about his friendship with her on his podcast “Inside of You.” She seemed like a very kind person and really fun.

If Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford were ever interested, it would be an honor to have them on On Air with Ka$h.

M&C: This is a time of change for the franchise. What do you think about the direction of Star Wars?

KH: [*spoiler alert*] After the (Season 2) finale of The Mandalorian, I hope we see more of the period following the events of Return of the Jedi and leading to The Force Awakens.

M&C: Are there any characters or particular films that are emotionally resonant for you?

KH: The Original Trilogy definitely is what got me into Star Wars.

As I’ve gotten older, I connect more with Luke. With the prequels we are able to understand what turned Anakin to the dark side, and I think as you get older and have more life experiences you begin to see how conflicted one can become and what events can lead you down a path.

I experienced some losses in my life and have overcome some obstacles. I’m very much about balance and I try and look for the good in people and what lesson I am supposed to learn in a given situation.

M&C: Would you like to work further in sci-fi?

KH: Absolutely. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg movies are what I was raised on. Star Wars and Back to the Future are movies I watched endlessly as a kid and still watch to this day, and have influenced my love for movies and the industry.

Find Kash Hovey on Instagram at @kashovey. Follow Monsters and Critics’ Facebook page for the latest Star Wars theories, essays, news, and reviews.

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