Alden Ehrenreich is an American actor whose work has primarily been in the indie film industry. He made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro. Since then he has won the hearts of teenage girls everywhere in the YA film Beautiful Creatures and acquired critical praise for his role as Hobie Doyle in the Coen brothers’ Hail Caesar. Alden will be playing Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which premieres on May 25, 2018.
Screen Rant got a chance to talk with Alden Ehrenreich on press day, where we discussed what advice Harrison Ford gave to him about Han Solo, how practical the sets were on Solo: A Star Wars Story versus using a green screen, and what he learned working with director Ron Howard.
SR: First of all, this movie is so much fun. It's a fun heist movie. You don't know who to trust. I love it. I love it. You killed it! You knocked it out of the park. Obviously, I know that you met with, uh, I was gonna say, Han, I know you met with Harrison (Ford) and you guys talked for a little bit. What advice did he give you?
Alden Ehrenreich: He said, if anyone asks, tell him I taught you everything you need to know and you're not allowed to say anything. So that's the, that's what I keep sticking to.
SR: And that's the best advice probably anybody can give anybody else.
Alden Ehrenreich: Yeah and I don't want to mess with him, you know.
SR: When studying his performance, I noticed that I love that... I mean this is your character, this is your Han, which I love and we'll eventually get down to the Harrison one, but when you studied him, were there any mannerisms that you picked up on that you were like, oh, I want to kind of incorporate that at all?
Alden Ehrenreich: Yeah, there, there's certainly stuff. I think the main thing was to watch all the originals kind of as early as possible so I could absorb the feeling for the character and I wouldn't want to list those mannerisms because then it's like you're watching, doing the thing, but um, but there was definitely a little stuff, but the main thing was, I think, for it to feel like a person. Like a real person and to have enough of that kind of feel and touch that you believe that he could become that.
SR: When you sign on for something like Star Wars, you get it into your mindset that this is going to be a big, you know, sci-fi, green screen thing, but everything seemed very practical. At least all the sets did.
Alden Ehrenreich: It's unbelievable how practical it was. It was, it was... There was so little CGI and so little green screen. I mean, outside of space and the actual explosions. Some of the explosions were real too, but all the creatures and all the aliens were actually either puppets or people in the suits. Even when we're flying in the ships, there was a screen that wrapped around the ship and was showing us the space for flying and lighting our faces. So it was like that star tours thing where we were actually flying in the ship is shaking. I'm really fortunate to be part of one word that's the case because my own personal feeling is like, real doesn't ever age, I mean it's always gonna look real.
SR: I mean, that's the thing I love about the originals is the, is the practicality of all the puppets like you had just said.
Alden Ehrenreich: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And you know, and yeah. (Laughs)
SR: Where would you like to see go next? I know that he makes a reference to going to Tatooine, but what would you like to see Han next?
Alden Ehrenreich: Well, I think I just want to see more of his relationships with these characters. I think that would be really a lot of fun. And I think each being its own kind of adventure story and like almost the Indiana Jones mold would be pretty fricking cool.
SR: Donald talked a little bit about, um, like a friendly competition that you guys may have had a here that you did kickboxing, so he took up kick-boxing. This whole movies is based on chemistry and relationships. So how did you guys foster all those relationships between you and Donald and Emilia?
Alden Ehrenreich: Well, I mean, I think with everybody we just got along so great, you know, each Star Wars movie has its own like, kind of crew and posse and I think with this one it was a really cool thing to ah... yeah, just like have this experience with such an interesting array of people. Each person in this movie between Joonas, Phoebe, who plays L-3, um, Woody, Emilia, everybody's so kind of fun and interesting. We had such a great time together.
SR: With Ron taking over, he's, he's an amazing director. Knocked it out of the park. What did you learn from him?
Alden Ehrenreich: I think I learned a lot from him and I would ask him a lot about directing because I'd like to do that. He talked a lot about, um, I think just also just watching his enthusiasm for the process of filmmaking. He moves fast while we're working and he is a great conductor in terms of keeping the energy up and morale. He's so positive and that was really wonderful.