The advice Harrison Ford gave Alden Ehrenreich for Solo: A Star Wars Story
Harrison Ford wasn't about to let Alden Ehrenreich fly completely solo for Solo.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Solo: A Star Wars Story lead Ehrenreich, along with the film's director Ron Howard and producer Kathleen Kennedy, spoke to the fact that Ford was actually a secret adviser behind the scenes of the standalone pic's production.
Ehrenreich recalled that he and Ford sat down for lunch together before filming began, when the Star Wars veteran offered a sage piece of advice regarding what the newcomer should reveal to the public: "Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can't tell anyone."
The 28-year-old actor zipped his lips from there on, honoring Ford's words by staying mum on any other guidance he'd received. "I gotta stick to my orders from the man himself," Ehrenreich quipped.
Thankfully for us Star Wars fans at home, Solo producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy doesn't have any pre-existing pacts with Ford, so she was able to dish up additional details on how Ford advised Ehrenreich for the film.
"What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George [Lucas] had done with Han … who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed. He gave Alden that kind of insight, which was invaluable," Kennedy explained. "There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him."
It turns out that Ehrenreich wasn't the only one who sought out wisdom from the original suave smuggler himself: Director Howard met up with Ford after he replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller at the helm. The filmmaker recounted the "interesting" information he gleaned from Ford, explaining, "Harrison's a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character. He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting."
Howard continued, stating that Ford noted Han has "survived and proven that he can survive," but he carries in his heart a certain sense of self-doubt. "He's never sure he's as quite as smart as he needs to be. Change that. He's not really 'smart.' That's not the word [Ford] used. Han's not as on top of it as he needs to be," said Howard. "So he wants to give the appearance of [control], but in fact, he's often scrambling."
The director commended Ford's performance as Han, saying that he played the character "beautifully," and that he and Ehrenreich spoke at length about the ideas Ford presented in their conversation.
As for what Ford thinks of Solo: A Star Wars Story and, perhaps more importantly, Ehrenreich, Kennedy noted that he gave the script a thumbs-up and reacted to the young actor's work in his signature casual grumble. "It was perfect, classic Harrison: 'Good kid, good kid. Really good kid,'" she said.
We can find out whether Ford's advice truly paid off when Solo: A Star Wars Story flies into theaters on May 25.