While English actor Charlie Cox has been working consistently in both film and TV for over a decade now, it’s pretty safe to say that landing the title role in Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix is what finally launched him into the upper echelon of the industry. With two successful seasons as the masked Hell’s Kitchen hero now under his belt, it’s hard to imagine that Cox has any regrets about taking the part.
Unfortunately, the same dedication to playing the role of blind attorney/crimefighter Matt Murdock that won over fans may have contributed to the actor losing out on the role of a lifetime… maybe.
During a recent interview with THR, Cox revealed another audition undertaken for an even bigger gig: playing young Han Solo in the character’s upcoming Star Wars spin-off film. Here’s the details of what went down, in Cox’s own words:
“I had gone to an audition — one of those things that are super secretive and they don’t tell you, but I’m pretty sure it was for the Han Solo reboot— and halfway through it, the casting director stopped me and said, ‘Why aren’t you looking at me?’ I realized I had gotten into a habit of not making eye contact, because the only thing I had done for two years is play someone who is blind. I never got invited back, probably because they couldn’t figure out why I was acting like a complete idiot.”
While Cox admits to not knowing whether the audition in question was indeed for the part of young Han Solo, it’s not hard to imagine that Disney would invite an in-house actor who’s already proven himself for a a shot at the job. Cox may be laughing at the idea that his lack of eye contact cost him the Han Solo gig, but it serves as another example of just how far actors can get absorbed into replicating the movements and mannerisms of their characters, to the point that it can sometimes be hard to shake those learned traits off.
Then again, just because Cox didn’t get the Han Solo role, doesn’t necessarily mean that it was his Matt Murdock-like behavior that cost him. For one, Cox is 7 years older than the ultimately cast Alden Ehrenreich, and it’s quite possible that the Star Wars team simply wanted to go with someone younger looking. It’s also possible that producers preferred the idea of casting a lesser known actor as Solo, in the hopes that casting someone with less on-screen baggage might enable audiences to more quickly accept them as the younger version of Harrison Ford’s iconic smuggler with a heart of gold. Were Cox to have been cast, fans might be more likely to initially see him as “Daredevil playing Han Solo” than just plain Han Solo.
Either way, fans shouldn’t shed any tears for the still rising actor. The Daredevil role could conceivably last for years to come, and the longer Cox spends in the part, the more his stock in Hollywood will likely rise. Still, here’s hoping that the next time he has a super secret audition, he’s able to maintain eye contact.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.