Disney invited me on an expense-paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the #HanSoloEvent and #ABCTVEvent in exchange for coverage on my blog. No other compensation was provided. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Alden Ehrenreich is a young Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, in theaters May 25. He is absolutely delightful on and off screen, and I loved having the opportunity to interview him this past week.
Just moments before he entered our room, THIS happened:
It was quite amusing to see how flustered Alden was for quite a while after he walked in our room. I’m sure I wasn’t the only blogger in the room wishing that Harrison Ford would make another surprise visit during our interview slot! Oh, and if you were wondering, Harrison Ford told Alden that he loved the movie, thought he (Alden) did a great job, and predicted that Alden would make “hundreds and hundreds of dollars!”
Alden Ehrenreich had some big shoes to fill with this role, since Han Solo is such an iconic character that has only been portrayed by Harrison Ford. It was interesting for me to watch Alden as Han “become” the character that we know and love. He said that he felt an enormous pressure to get the role right, but said, “the kind of pressure is the same as it is on any movie, which is you want people to really like it. And the only recourse you have in the face of that is to concentrate on what you have control over, which is A) not very much and….basically I think there’s not a B. You concentrate on your task at hand, the character you’re tasked with. All you can ever really do is just try to pour your energy into that.”
He went on to say that this role was a “great exercise in learning in a very high stakes situation how to navigate how much you care about, or what weight you give to the opinions and thoughts of other people and how much you try to listen to yourself.” I’m grateful that he took this role so seriously, but that he listened to his heart when developing the character and making it his own!
One of the main questions we had for him was how much of role as a young Han was taken directly from Harrison Ford and how much of it was his own creation? Alden said, “Something that was really important to me was to make it feel like a real person, that you’re watching a real person going through something. And you also want to feel a kind of continuity that you could grow into that guy. I started by watching all the original movies, very early on, and trying to just absorb as much as of that as I could, so that when it came time to actually do it, I wouldn’t be thinking a lot about it.”
On piloting the Millennium Falcon, Alden explained, “That was really one of the best parts of the whole shoot. There’s kind of two things that are really cool. One is that you sit down and it’s really fun and you can’t believe you’re there and it’s really surreal. And that’s exciting and that’s what everybody comes and visits the set experiences. And the other thing is about two months in and you’re in there every day and you realize you know what button does what and you know how the yoke feels and you know how the chair sits and you kind of you feel like it’s yours.”
Han and Chewbacca always had a great chemistry and camaraderie in the original Star Wars movies, so we were all curious how Alden and Joonas hit it off and developed their own chemistry and camaraderie for this movie (note: our interview with the “New” Chewie is coming next week). Alden’s answer was simple: TIME. Alden and Joonas ended up spending quite a bit of time training together (stunts, boxing, etc). They also played video games together in the hotel, but Alden swore that Joonas was much better than he was. It was clear that he loved working with his co-pilot!
Regarding working alongside his beautiful co-star and love-interest, Emilia Clarke, he said, “So I haven’t seen Game of Thrones, but I’m definitely a fan of hers. She’s really wonderful, incredibly talented, and sweet as could be. I mean, she brought in baked goods for the whole crew every single Monday; the whole makeup trailer got fresh baked goods every week.
“And she was probably the person that I was most on this journey with, in a sense. Because we spent so much time together and our work just was so involved, that we ended up spending a lot of time together and it was a blast, it was really sweet and I’m very grateful to have that partnership with her.”
Alden grew up watching Star Wars and said that The Empire Strikes Back was his favorite Star Wars franchise film. “I love Yoda a lot. And I just think it’s really cool to have a movie with so much wisdom in it and this kind of deep philosophical background that’s put into terms that are so clear and communicable to so many people.” He said he grew up playing with all the Star Wars toys and action figures. “In fact,” he said, “when I got to do my screen test on the Millennium Falcon, it was so familiar to me from just imagining that I was on it as a kid, it kind of put me at ease. Walking through the hallway and the everything.”
How cool is that? He really was living every young Star Wars fan’s dream!
ABOUT SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany.
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