Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has revealed some of the advice Harrison Ford gave to Alden Ehrenreich prior to filming on Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Kennedy detailed how Ford provided invaluable insight to Ehrenreich about Han Solo. “What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han,” Kennedy said. “Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed. He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”
Ehrenreich wasn’t the only one on Solo to go to Ford for advice, as director Ron Howard also racked the actor’s brain after taking over for Phil Lord and Chris Miller. “Harrison’s a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character,” Howard explained. “He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting.”
One of the things Ford shared with Howard was Han’s knack for finding himself in situations where he’s in over his head. “Han has survived and proven that he can survive, but he’s never sure he’s as quite as smart as he needs to be. Change that. He’s not really ‘smart.’ That’s not the word he used,” Howard said. “Han’s not as on top of it as he needs to be. So he wants to give the appearance of [control], but in fact, he’s often scrambling. I think Harrison played that beautifully, and Alden and I talked about both of those ideas a lot.”
Directed by Ron Howard from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. They’re joined by Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge L3-37, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos and Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett. The film arrives in theaters on May 25.
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