Dennis Pellegrom has been conducting interviews with Star Wars cast members since 2005, bringing together an impressive array of interviews, and that continues with his latest guest Joonas Suotamo.
We share a few things in common. Like myself, some of his interviews were used in JW Rinzler’s book The Making of Return of the Jedi and his interviewing journey has continued, focused on his site Star Wars Interviews in a continuous effort that brings him to the stars of the sequel trilogy.
His latest interview is with the man who inherited the mantle of the mighty Wookiee Chewbacca, who discusses his role in The Force Awakens, next months The Last Jedi and next May’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
You worked with Peter Mayhew on two movies. What advice or instructions did he gave you regarding playing Chewbacca and taking over the role.
He said “don’t be so skinny”. I was very skinny (laughs). So that was a good advice. He also told me how he approaches playing Chewie and what he pays attention to in situations and interesting stuff like that. That was really helpful and confirming my own assumptions that I made by watching him work so it was very good to meet him before we started filming
In The Force Awakens most of Chewbacca’s scenes had Harrison Ford as Han Solo in it as well. How was it to work with such a famous well-known actor?
A little bit scary at first but once you got to work with him more you realize he just wants to do his best like we all do and it was very easy to focus on the work when he was around because he is such a professional. He just comes on set, leaves his life behind him in the trailer and wants to do the scene. It’s a straight to business kind of approach which I like when we’re making films.