The cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story, director Ron Howard and the Kasdans talk about the film, characters and more
This past week, we got a chance to check out the press conference for the upcoming film Solo: A Star Wars Story. Participating were director Ron Howard, Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Joonas Suotamo, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and writers Jon Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan. Qi’ra, played by Emilia Clarke, is someone with a past, and Clarke told the crowd, “She’s a pretty mysterious character you need to keep tabs on throughout the movie.” She and Han know each other from the beginning of the film, but after a series of events, she may not be what she seems. She said that playing mysterious is “quite difficult.” She didn’t say more to avoid giving spoilers.
One of the standout characters in the film is the droid L-337, voiced by Waller-Bridge. We’re not going to spoil anything for you here, but Waller-Bridge did give us a little insight about her. She called her characters a “revolutionary,” and explained, “She’s a self-made droid, so she created herself out of parts of other droids. Which sounds kind of frightening when you put it like that. She turned herself into a unique creature that’s kind of taller, stronger, more independent than she originally was.” She continued, “She has an agenda that’s bigger than the sum of her parts. It’s great to play a droid with a message.”
Director Howard spoke about joining the film after Phil Lord and Chris Miller left due to creative differences. He said, “It was a lot of work that Phil and Chris had done. And unfortunately, with creative differences, there was this circumstance where they were not going to carry on.” He continued, “Within [the work Lord and Miller had already done] there were a lot of things that were really strong and already worked and we knew we wanted to keep, and other things that hadn’t been done yet.” He also joked that, in his head, he said, “Ron, don’t f*** this up!”
Ehrenreich spoke about joining the cast and what it meant to play a role made famous by Harrison Ford. “It’s really wild. It’s really exciting. It’s kind of bigger than you can even wrap your head around. It’s wild. Particularly being in the Millennium Falcon is very, very cool.” He continued, “Like, being in the cockpit…there are two things. One, you get in and you can’t believe you’re in it. It’s so surreal, and that’s what everybody on set wants to see…and then a couple of months into shooting, you’re inside and you’re flying and you know know where the buttons are and you know how the chair feels…okay, this is kind of like my ship now. It’s equally gratifying.”
Glover said that he wanted to play the role of Lando Calrissian from the beginning. “When I heard they were making these, I told my agent, ‘If they’re making anything with Lando in it, I have to be Lando.’ And he was like: ‘I hear you. I don’t like your odds.’ That was exactly what I needed to hear. I really auditioned like it was the only role I wanted in the world. It really was.” He also told the crowd that his favorite of Lando’s cape was a white satin “summer cape.” He said that as a kid, he had Luke and Lando figures and that he bit off Luke’s lightsaber and gave it to Lando. Then his mom took it from him because she was afraid he would choke on it.
Suotomo told the crowd that he couldn’t sleep when he found out about the role. He laughed about how he was mostly unemployed when he got the role and that his then-girlfriend, now fiancee had been there through all of it with him. He also did the Wookie noise for everyone. Bettany who played the villain Dryden Vos said that doing takes with Chewbacca was hard, because when he was going to shake his hand, he found himself trying to hug him. Of Vos, Bettany said, “He’s deliciously bad and really OK with it–just super happy about being evil.”
Newton who plays Val talked about how her two-year-old son was on set and wandered off to see R2-D2 (though we have no idea why R2 was on the set). She said that he and R2 babbled at each other and her son ended up hugging him. “He knows nothing about Star Wars,” she said, saying that it was just these characters and how iconic they are. She also spoke about the vibe of the crew on set. “We would have fun! We were in extreme situations sometimes…we would feel like we were in real scenarios with explosions going on and debris and mud in places where you didn’t know you had places…and the camaraderie between us was just human, always.” She she said they were “really going to battle together.”
Harrelson said that Beckett was a great character for him to play, “because he’s a scoundrel.” He said, “Larry and Jonathan really wrote an extraordinary script and just at the right time, Ron came in and did his magic, and then you have all these wonderful characters, so it was pretty cool to be in a Star Wars that is also phenomenal.
Lawrence Kasdan talked about being drawn to Han Solo back in A New Hope. “When I first saw Han Solo in the cantina, I immediately sparked to him. He lifted up the whole movie instantly. And I loved the movie.” He continued, saying that Han, “is the kind of character I have loved always. This is a character who’s reckless, who’s cynical, doesn’t trust anybody. Who’s a little bit stupid. I love that. He just does things he shouldn’t do.” Jon Kasdan joked that his dad asked him to help out because Jon himself is all of those things.
Solo: A Star Wars Story@LegionofLeia will hit theaters on May 25. Are you guys going to see it opening weekend? Tweet us your thoughts !