How do you prepare to play one of the most famous characters of all time, originated by one of the most iconic actors of all time? For actor Alden Ehrenreich, it was a fairly straightforward process.
The man who stepped into Harrison Ford’s shoes explained how he became Han Solo at the press junket for Solo: A Star Wars Story. “The way I went about it was to watch the original movies very early on and just kind of absorb as much as I could,” Ehrenreich said. “Mainly the character. How the character operated in the role, and Harrison [Ford], and the whole Star Wars universe which is so rich and there’s so much to it. So I tried to take in as much of that as I could very early because I had the role for quite a long time before we actually shot it.”
However, once he felt he had a strong Star Wars and Harrison Ford baseline, he had to go down a different path. “Then I move into working on the part and put all that aside,” he said. “Forget about it and play this guy where he is now in his life. The most important thing is that he feels like a real person. So then I kind of moved into working on this story and this moment in time.”
How fans will react to Ehrenreich’s performance remains to be seen. But he already has one crucial fan: Harrison Ford himself.
“I just thought it was spectacular,” Ford told Entertainment Tonight when he surprised the actor this weekend. “I thought he was so smart about what he did and how he did it. I just couldn’t be happier.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 24.