Following the partial cast announcement for Jason Reitman's The Empire Strikes Back live read, Entertainment Weekly has revealed the final two main actors to join the re-staging: Inception actress Ellen Page will play Han Solo, while Sin City: A Dame to Kill For actress Jessica Alba has been cast as Princess Leia.
“The Han Solo character is fascinating in that the approach to every other character in Star Wars is earnest and kind of sweet and old-fashioned," Reitman told EW. "The heroes are heroes, and the villains are villains. And within this world, we’re introduced to one human being who looks at it all with irony. He’s the guy who doesn’t give a crap. ... In casting Han, the most important thing is: Who has the most interesting, ironic approach to life? And when I think of that, I think of Ellen Page. She’s a small human being who has the energy to fill Madison Square Garden."
As for Leia, Reitman said he needed "an actress who was beautiful and also had the ability to be tough and funny ... And I needed somebody who would have chemistry with Ellen."
“Chemistry is chemistry, whether it be between a man and a woman, two women, or two men,” Reitman continued. “I have no doubt that Ellen Page could have chemistry with anybody.”
Reitman's Empire Strikes Back happens Thursday night, and is part of a monthly ongoing series by the filmmaker that brings new actors in to read classic scripts. He’s previously staged The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, American Beauty and more. The series is produced in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Tickets for The Empire Strikes Back live read at the Ace Hotel went on sale in early December, and is currently sold out -- though there will be a waiting list for those hoping to try their luck.
The live read also stars Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader, Stephen Merchant as C-3P0, 24’s Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian and Kevin Pollack as Yoda.