Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo from Solo: A Star Wars Story is poking fun at his height in a new photo with three of the stars from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Suotamo, 31, got the opportunity of a lifetime in 2015 when he got to be a double for Peter Mayhew for the iconic role of Chewbacca for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film, however, marked the end of the road for the then-70-year-old Mayhew as the famed Wookie. He originated the role in 1977's Star Wars and went on to reprise it for four more Star Wars films, including the 2015 blockbuster that ushered in a new era of heroes in a galaxy far, far away.
Of course, it was Mayhew's 7-foot-3 height that made him an imposing figure on set, so Lucasfilm had to find a suitable replacement for the actor after he filmed The Force Awakens. They found him with Suotamo, a 6-foot-11 native of Finland who made his big screen debut officially billed as "Chewbacca double" for The Force Awakens before inheriting the role for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Being that Wookies age well, Chewbacca also appears in Solo at the tender age of 190, where Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and the walking carpet meet for the first time, and forge a lifelong friendship.
Naturally, playing Chewbacca has made Suotamo an instant star, which means he's already frequenting the fan convention circuit. His latest stop was a Wizard World Philadelphia over the weekend, where he met three of the four actors who played the main Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings trilogy — Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Billy Boyd — and couldn't miss an opportunity to take a photo with the fantasy film icons. Suotamo then shared the photo on his Twitter, but showing a wonderful sense of humor about it by highlighting the height disparity between he and Wood (who is 5-foot-6), Astin (5-foot-7) and Boyd (5-foot-6-1/2). See the hilarious photo below:
Finally met my heroes — The Hobbits from Lord of The Rings! pic.twitter.com/SHWxH3A0BQ— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 20, 2018
It's always funny seeing an actor willing to poking fun at themselves, and in this case, Suotamo's headless photo in all likelihood attracted much more attention than it would have if he didn't crop himself out. The actor beamed in another tweet, "Believe me it’s wonderful when your fun tweet gets to be a featured story on Twitter, just wonderful!" Boyd also got in on the fun, noting in a tweet, "Chewbacca’s pits smell real good."
Hopefully Suotamo will get to have many more opportunities to appear as Chewbacca on the big screen after he returns for Star Wars: Episode IX. But even if Suotamo doesn't get a chance to reprise the character in any more Star Wars spinoffs, he at least seems willing to take part in some very funny photo ops at fan conventions.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019