Alden Ehrenreich has big shoes to fill – he is, after all, taking on Han Solo in the new standalone Star Wars movie, a role made famous by none other than Harrison Ford.
In an interview sent to Rappler by Disney, Alden said he was thrilled to learn he’s be taking on the iconic character, but he was also well aware that taking on the role was a big responsibility.
“It’s really special to be part of a franchise that has so much heart and that means so much to people, and to play such a multi-dimensional character in the Star Wars universe,” he said.
“There are so many things referenced in the original movie that the audience will get to see. Han meeting Chewie for the first time. Han’s first encounter with Lando. The Kessel Run. Han getting his blaster. And all the people Han encounters, the turns those relationships take, they have much to do with the person Han becomes. It was all a really thrilling prospect.”
On casting for the role, producer Kathleen Kennedy said they wanted someone who could embody the spirit of Han Solo and not just imitate Harrison.
“Harrison Ford is so unique and has embodied the character for so many years that they were gigantic shoes to fill,” she said.
“We weren’t looking for someone who looked like Harrison; we didn’t want an impersonation of him nor his Han Solo. We wanted an actor who could find those traits that are so lovable, so roguish, about Han Solo.
“Alden tapped into the things that make the character special but without imitating Harrison. He captured the essence, that maverick spirit. He was funny and charming, cool and handsome. He had all those qualities, but he also had that hidden vulnerability specific to Han. It was a very intuitive portrayal.”
Director Ron Howard agrees: “Alden is thoughtful. He’s an artist, and he’s very passionate about his work on a very pure level. He has thrown himself into creating this character, not as an imitation of Harrison but understanding the connection between Harrison, the Han Solo character and his own instincts that can connect him to the character in similar ways.”
Kathleen and Ron were happy to be working with Alden and the feeling was mutual. “I loved their vision,” said Alden. “I loved the humor and the angle they were coming from. It’s a big epic adventure story with a crew of people at the heart of it that you care about, and who care about each other. But because of Han’s nature, the world he grew up in and the people he meets, there’s an edge to the story, and a toughness, which gives it a really cool vibe.”
He continued: “Ron came with an uncanny sense of Star Wars. He spoke the language, he knew the humor and he had takes on the scenes that were really clear and specific. He has so much energy and clearly loves making movies, and that was infectious to be around. He also understands actors on a really deep level, not least of all because he was one, and being the beneficiary of that level of understanding was wonderful.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in Philippine cinemas Wednesday, May 23. – Rappler.com
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