I am so thankful to Disney for inviting 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.
L3-37 is Lando’s co-pilot and a self-made droid assembled from astromech and protocol parts. Despite her make-up, L3-37 is an enlightened navigator who cares deeply about droid rights.
L3-37 (and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s superior acting and stellar personality) stole the show for me. She was my favorite new character, and full of laughable moments. You are going to LOVE L3-37!
A New Star Wars Fan is Born
Did you know that Phoebe Waller-Bridge was not only NOT a Star Wars fan before working on this movie, but she had never seen a Star Wars movie before. She said, “Yeah, I hadn’t seen any of the films. I think there’s like five of us in the world. Which I think in some ways might’ve worked in my favor, especially from the droid perspective, because I was very loose in the audition with the idea of what a droid was.”
After being physically “loose” in her audition and said that the people conducting the audition said, “Wow, you’re taking the story thing very lightly.” Phoebe responded, “Oh, is she not a person?”
Of course, she loved the film and is totally obsessed with Star Wars now.
Interestingly, Phoebe was actually in costume and acting along with the other characters. When we asked her to explain that process, she said, “Well, I had loads of fittings. I mean, the weirdest thing is, you get a kind of scan at the very beginning. I got a scan of my whole body, and then they build a complete replica of your body. And then they’d build this suit around it, so it fits perfectly. And so I had this green suit, skin-tight, really attractive green leggings and leotard. And then, on top of that, I had the kind of legs drilled onto me, and the arms, and the chest plate, and then the head.
“But it was the first time that they’d created a droid that could kind of move properly and be more flexible. And I could move all of my joints. Because she’s a self-made droid, so she created herself to be as flexible, bigger, faster, stronger, than any other droids that she would’ve met.”
L3-37 is such a warm and humorous character that it’s easy to forget that she’s a droid. We asked Phoebe how she was able to bring such heart and humor to a character that’s not even flesh and blood, she responded with a smile.
“Aw, well, I can’t take full credit for that. The script does that. But I think you have to sort of start at the heart, with any character, no matter what they’re made out of. And I felt like she had a huge amount of heart and passion, and even though she sort of wakes up halfway through the film to what her passion is, and it’s nice, knowing you’re building to something like that as well. And humor as well. Where there’s humor there’s heart and I think she’s got a lot of it.”
On preparing to play a droid, Phoebe said, “I was ready to do all sorts of preparation for that. I was like, “Do you want me to work out? So I can carry the suit stronger?” And they were just like, “no, no, that little weird awkward walk you’re doing is actually perfect”. And the same with the voice. I think the vision that John Larry had from the writing point of view, and then you know, carrying on through the whole production. Because she’s created herself, she’s built herself to be more — not like, more human, but more relaxed, in her voice, and her body, and everything. I would offer something droid-y, they would be like ‘Stop that, pull it back. Be more natural.’”
We were curious how much ad-libbing Phoebe was able to do with her character. Phoebe explained,
“We were allowed to go off-beat — once we got the script, then there’d be a kind of little pass around with John and he’d be like, ‘Does anyone else have any ideas’ or ‘Let’s just kind to be a bit looser with the scene.’ And so we did get to do that a few times. And then if anything good came out of it, then they would do a take of that. It was really fun. I mean, the whole atmosphere on set was just so fun. And encouraging. And everyone was just so excitable, and it was just like, ‘Ooh, that’s a good idea, let’s do that.’ It was really nice.”
What about L3’s sass? Is Phoebe sassy in real life? Phoebe knocked that one down pretty quickly, “No, I’m afraid not, no. I can dream of being sassy though.”
When asked about L3-37’s stance on droid awareness, Phoebe said, “It’s so cool that she’s got a cause, you know. She’s like a social justice warrior, and she’s a droid with an agenda that goes beyond her own existence, and that’s very unique. It’s good to have a message.”
Advise from the Set
Working with such legendary filmmakers and actors must be an incredible experience, and we wanted to know what Phoebe took away from the experience.
On working alongside Donald Glover and Ron Howard, said said, “It was more sort of hanging out — I mean, they are both so relaxed and such consummate professionals. But there’s a real sense of just being able to be really present with both of them, and I really learned that from them. Just letting go of everything and letting your instincts speak first.”
She went on to say more about working with Ron Howard, “I mean, he’s a master. But also, I was sort of ready to meet Ron Howard, you know, the king. And then he comes in, and he’s just like, ‘Hey. How’s it going?’ So friendly, and makes everyone feel so relaxed, and you can just feel instantly why people just want to work with him over and over again. Because he’s so clear. His eye is so brilliant, and he’s incredibly kind and very, very clever. So you feel very safe.”
Despite the fact that she didn’t start out a Star Wars fan, Phoebe certainly ended as one. And she recognized the importance of her involvement in a Star Wars movie. Two main moments stuck out to her:
She said, “…there was the scene in the Falcon, that was a big one when you involuntarily scream, and I did that when I saw the Falcon, and I did that when I met Chewie. But the big one really came, like, two weeks after we’d wrapped, and then I was just on a bus going to go and get a sandwich for my love somewhere in London. And I suddenly just went, ‘What just happened?’ I called my sister. And I was just like, ‘Was I just in a Star Wars movie?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, Love, yeah. We came to set. We saw the whole thing.’ My God. How did that happen?”
Phoebe left us with a wonderful message that she hopes everyone watching Solo: A Star Wars Story leaves with.
“It’s a film celebrating individuality and individual causes and having courage of your own convictions. But also there are so many amazing relationships in it, and I think it’s inspiring, and the trust it takes to partner up with somebody, and I hope that inspires them as well.”
Be sure to catch Phoebe as L3-37 in SOLO: A Star Wars Story, opening in theaters everywhere on May 25 (yes, that’s tomorrow!)!
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