Promoting Brave New World, his new series on Sky One that adapts the Aldous Huxley classic, Alden Ehrenreich has unsurprisingly been asked about his turn in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story more than once, and the 30 year old actor tackled the somewhat tricky topic with The Independent.
“I’m playing an outsider, and I felt like an outsider. Although I was used to that by then, I had…” He pauses, hesitates a little. “I did a job for about a year and a half in the UK right before…”
That job was Solo: A Star Wars Story, the ill-fated Han Solo origin tale, which was predominantly shot in London and looked set to propel him into Hollywood’s big league, but didn’t. Essentially playing a young Harrison Ford, Ehrenreich had the unenviable task of quasi-imitating one of the most famous performances in film history, as well as anchoring a Star Wars spin-off at a time when franchise fatigue was beginning to set in. The film had a difficult production. Its original directors departed midway through filming, there were reports (denied by all parties) that an acting coach was recruited to fine-tune Ehrenreich’s performance on set, and the film underperformed at the box office. Then Ehrenreich disappeared. Two years later, Solo seems to be something the actor only wants to vaguely gesture to, and certainly not reference by name.
There’s been a tension in the air about it during his Brave New World press tour, or at least a noticeable nonchalance whenever he’s been asked for his thoughts on Baby Yoda. Is the noisiest of all of Ehrenreich’s past work a taboo subject?
“Oh no!” Ehrenreich laughs. “Not at all! I mean, this is part of the drill. I know. I get it. I’m assuming you’re talking about…” He trails off, still hesitating to actually say its title. “Well, you know… you go.”
Solo. Where does he stand on it now? “It’s not a huge part of my life anymore,” he admits. “But my sense is that there was a really clear disconnect between the way it was really received and then the stories that came out about it. That we had a troubled production or whatever. And it’s not really a story that the movie did totally fine. It didn’t make a billion dollars but it did fine and people liked it – but that’s not interesting. What’s interesting is: ‘This is the biggest movie of all time and it was absolutely a disaster’.
“I knew, no matter what happened, that I was putting myself in a situation where people would be saying things about me. But honestly, that whole experience felt like this huge, high-seas adventure.”
Understandable, that he would rather discuss his latest project than ruminate on the perceived failure of a past one, but he sounds far from someone who is done with Star Wars, should the offer of a return arise. Time will tell.
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