“Solo: A Star Wars Story” will forever be associated with its behind-the-scenes troubles, regardless of how great the final product ends up being when it’s released in theaters this May. Original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were infamously fired in June 2017 after several months of production. Ron Howard quickly stepped in to re-shoot scenes and finish the movie. Rumors have percolated for months about what truly went down behind the scenes, and now a member of the production is trying to separate fact from speculation.
An anonymous actor who was featured prominently enough to be called back for the movie’s reshoots spoke with Vulture about the film’s production troubles and cleared up some of the rumors surrounding the Lucasfilm tentpole. The actor says the key difference between Lord and Miller and Ron Howard was efficiency. The duo typically demanded more than 30 takes for each scene because they were “unsure of what they wanted other than a delivery ‘different’ from the last.” Howard only needed two or three takes and his confidence “got respect immediately” on set.
“Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for ‘Star Wars,’” the actor said. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.”
According to the actor, the script did not change when Howard came on board. The director did not film new scenes but re-shot the Lord and Miller scenes that just weren’t working or nailing the intended tone Lucasfilm envisioned for the project.
“It’s exactly the same script,” the actor said. “They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new. [Lord and Miller] used whole sets. But Ron is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money.”
As for Alden Ehrenreich, the breakout star of the Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” who is getting his biggest break thus far in the title role, the rumor of an acting coach being needed on the “Solo” set to help him improve is allegedly true. The actor said an acting coach was brought on board in March 2017 to help Ehrenreich “convincingly channel [Harrison] Ford’s swashbuckling affect in the original three ‘Star Wars’ movies.”
“Trying to mimic Harrison Ford is really tough,” the actor said. “Lucasfilm wanted something very specific: copying someone else. Alden’s not a bad actor — just not good enough.”
The actor admitted that the coach ultimately helped Ehrenreich and the production overall. “You could see his acting became more relaxed,” the actor said. “He became more Harrison-like. The coach helped!”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” will open nationwide May 25. Head over to Vulture to read the actor’s entire report.