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Capturing The Essence of Han Solo – Interview With Alden Ehrenreich

Alden Ehrenreich Han Solo Event interview

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo in Lucasfilm’s upcoming Star Wars story, SOLO. I had the honor to attend the Hollywood Premiere and after party for SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY and to interview most of the cast for this exceptional film, as well as Director Ron Howard. When Alden Ehrenreich entered the room, I immediately felt a very wise and grounded energy in him. I didn’t have any preconceived notions about him, but I guess he’s just impressive, insightful, and intentional. As our conversation began, he confessed:

I’m in sort of a daze, because I was just doing an interview and { Harrison Ford } came up behind me… I haven’t talked to him since I met with him for lunch before we shot.

While there were rumors about Harrison Ford not supporting the film, he was actually onboard with it all along and thought Alden Ehrenreich did a wonderful job with the character.

He thought I was really great and he said I’m going to make hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Alden Ehrenreich Interview Han Solo

In SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, for young Han Solo, times are tough under Imperial rule. He makes his way as a reckless street thief, working for a notorious gang on Corellia, which is headed up by an ill-tempered crime boss. After an arduous stint as an Imperial mudtrooper, Han calls it quits and finds that he is very comfortable reinventing himself and traveling in the company of scoundrels around the galaxy.When he got the part, he was mind blown because he’s a huge Star Wars fan.

…You just… can’t believe it, it’s so thrilling and so exciting. And after I found out, I’m not allowed to tell anybody. So, you know, I did. 

He told his family and they were as excited as he was. They were probably the only ones to understand his fascination with Star Wars. I asked him how old he was when he saw his first Star Wars film and what he thought about it:

I loved it, I was five, I think and I saw it on VHS, and I had all the toys and all the action figures and pretended. In fact… 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… You sit down and it’s really fun and you can’t believe you’re there and it’s really surreal!

I believe in the power of visualization and I can relate to getting to do things I pretended to do in my earlier years and feeling as if it’s deja’vu in some way. Alden Ehrenreich’s favorite Star Wars film is Empire Strikes Back.

I love Yoda a lot. And I just think it’s really cool to have a movie with so much real wisdom in it and deep philosophical background that’s put into terms that are so clear and communicable to so many people.

Though it’s rumored that Alden Ehrenreich reads one book a week, he debunked that myth, but he did confess he loves to read and you can tell he’s very well-read by talking to him and that he gets the depth of the Star Wars messages. One interesting thing that excited him about SOLO is that the Star Wars experience started in the middle of the story:

… We don’t have the joy of an opening and you don’t have the joy of a conclusion. And so it’s this weird task to try to do that and I thought it was really fun in that way!

Alden Ehrenreich was one of the very first actors the filmmakers saw in their quest to find someone as “lovable and roguish” as Harrison Ford, as SOLO Producer Kathleen Kennedy put it:

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.

I think as fans we forget that the character and the actor are not one and the same. When asked about how much of himself he put into the character versus how much he got from Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich told us that something that was important to give audiences continuity and he did his homework to achieve it:

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 basically started by watching all the original movies, very early on, 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.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 10: Actors Donald Glover (L) and Alden Ehrenreich attend the world premiere of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in Hollywood on May 10, 2018. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Donald Glover; Alden Ehrenreich

He definitely felt the pressure and responsibility of taking on the role of such an iconic character, and he also loved the filmmakers’ vision. His pressure came from wanting people to really like it!

…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 and I think there’s not a B… Identify for yourself what you have control over, and just kind of concentrate on your job and your work… Just try to pour your energy into that. … I’ve treated the whole experience like a great exercise in learning in a very high stakes very big situation how to navigate how much you care about, what weight you give to the opinions and thoughts of other people and how much you try to listen to yourself. And it’s a great challenge in a character way and a spiritual way to try to navigate that. And that’s been really rewarding, because you kind of have to. You have to or else you’ll lose it.

I love this sound advice. At the end of the day, we can’t please everyone else in any performance, so it is wonderful to be sure that you did your best and you poured your heart into what you did and you were considerate of others, and that is satisfying enough. I think this philosophy served him well in capturing who Han Solo really is.

But Alden Ehrenreich is also confident that fans will love the movie. He thinks they will enjoy how fun it is!

It’s almost like a bio pic of a fictional character… You get to watch these things that you know and are familiar with and love come into place and how they all add up to making him the Han that we see later on… That means so much to people and it’s so fun, and the humor of it and the playfulness of the whole thing is so great.

Han Solo - A Star Wars Story - Group Poster

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.

So many wonderful characters and epic moments! You can read my Non-Spoiler review here.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY features a stellar cast and Alden Ehrenreich sounds like he was very close to everyone. We were all ooh’ing and awww’ing when he spoke about Emilia Clarke, his co-star, who plays Qi’ra:

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.

Alden Ehrenreich Han Solo

Emilia Clarke considers Alden Ehrenreich that he’s “an incredible actor who is beyond capable of doing this role justice. He has put a staggering amount of work into it. He brings that Han Solo swagger, that energy and that spirit, and he’s so endearing.” The chemistry between them on camera is spectacular.

When it comes to Joonas Suotamo, who plays our beloved wookie and Han Solo’s co-pilot, Chewbacca, he told us that they trained a lot together and even played video games together, though Alden Ehrenreich is not much into video games.

He’s the whole package, he’s seven feet tall with blue eyes. He went to film school, he is hilarious. He’s just perfect for it. And I don’t think everyone even realizes the amount that he has to do technically and also he has this big heart and exudes that and you really feel it. Some of my favorite work in the film was doing those scenes.

Stay tuned for more interviews with the cast of SOLO and Director Ron Howard and get your tickets so you can see the film on Memorial Weekend!

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters everywhere on May 25th! You can follow the latest updates by visiting the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY site, following STAR WARS on Instagram, following STAR WARS on Twitterand liking STAR WARS on Facebook. Make sure you follow the conversation along with #HanSolo and #HanSoloEvent.

Elayna is a single mom of 4, an award-winning Storyteller, Story Strategist, and Student of Pain. She’s a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, and 4x TEDx speaker. Founder of the Positive MOM® and creator of the S.T.O.R.Y. System: a blueprint to craft and share powerful stories that will transform your results, so you can have the wealth, opportunities, and freedom you deserve. Connect with Elayna Fernández at thepositivemom.com/keynote-speaker and follow @thepositivemom. To receive a gift from Elayna, click HERE.

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Interview photos by Louise Bishop of MomStart.com / Celebrity photos and film stills courtesy of Disney

Explore the World of SOLO: A Star Wars Story - On Blu-ray NOW! #HanSolo #HanSoloEvent #StarWars ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

[…] in Hollywood, California and to interview the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), his friend and copilot Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), street thief Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), and […]

Meghna Dixit

Thursday 7th of June 2018

How nice, that you got to be a part of this.

Tiffany D

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

I'm really enjoying following along with your journey interviewing the cast of Star Wars. Everyone seems so down to earth and personable!

Nina

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

i never watched any of the star war movies. i might give it a try this during this summer :)

Doreen Pinto

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

That’s pretty cool that you got to attend the premiere. Good for you!