For nearly two years, Alden Ehrenreich has been bound to secrecy, thanks to his role as Han Solo in the upcoming film Solo: A Star Wars Story. He focused on the movie while rumors swirled around him—rumors that he was so bad at playing Han that he needed an emergency acting coach; rumors that he told Lucasfilm brass he had some reservations about the films original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were ultimately fired and replaced with Ron Howard. Now, with the movies release date on the horizon—May 25—Ehrenreich is finally, a little bit, somewhat free to dispel some of the whispers, and try to reshape the narrative thats been coloring his career.
In a new cover story for Esquire, Ehrenreich actively went to bat for Lord and Miller, saying he liked their style of directing and the version of the Han Solo story they were trying to tell.
“From the first screen test on, we played around with it a lot,” he said, explaining that their process “was yielding a different movie than the other factions wanted.” (In other words: “creative differences,” which has been Lucasfilms and Lord and Millers party line in statements and subsequent interviews since their departure was announced.)
He continued: “I knew what I was doing, but in terms of what that adds up to, youre so in the dark as an actor. You dont know what its shaping up to be, how theyre editing it, so its kind of impossible without having seen those things to know what the difference [of opinion] was, or exactly what created those differences.”
He added that the films actors were essentially at the “kids table” when the firing happened, though Lord and Miller had told the cast they were having disagreements about the direction of the film.
“On a personal level, it felt emotional, for them to be going after wed set out on that course together,” Ehrenreich continued. “Because I spent a lot of time with them, and we had a really good relationship—they also cast me. But I think at that point, they were kind of on board with [the decision], too. Like, This is whats happening. Thats not what they said to me, but that was the vibe I got.”
Ehrenreich also said that he had never expressed concerns about their filmmaking style to Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, and addressed another set of rumors head-on. For months, its been reported that the actor struggled to effectively mimic Ford—to the point where Lucasfilm, allegedly concerned about his performance, ushered in a coach to coax out a better one. This, according to the actor, has been blown out of proportion. The “coach” in question was writer-director Maggie Kiley, he said: “She was part of conversations that happened for a couple weeks at one point, but that was basically it.” Lord and Miller also told Esquire that Kiley is someone theyve worked with before, and that she was brought on as a resource for themselves and the entire cast—not just Ehrenreich.
So, theres Ehrenreichs first go-round with the Star Wars rumor mill. But he didnt make it through without mussing things up just a bit: in his interview, the actor also revealed that he is contractually signed up for three movies, information that was previously under wraps. “I dont know if thats officially, uh, public. But—yeah,” he said. Oh well; thats not the worst spoiler in the galaxy.
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