Let’s be honest, when it was announced that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were being let go from their already in production Solo: A Star Wars Story, we all wanted to talk to Alden Ehrenreich. Well ok, I know I did. The actor cast to play young Han Solo (the first pick of the directors, in fact) would more than likely have some interesting insight on the working pieces as to why the replacement.
In a (pretty great, actually) recent interview with Esquire, Alden spoke about his experiences with Lord and Miller on the set, and the day the news came down about them being fired.
“They had a different style than Ron [Howard, who was brought in to finish the film] in terms of the way we were working.”
Esquire says that Alden wasn’t sure what Lord and Miller’s Solo would have been like- Ehrenreich reportedly liked the script, and liked them as directors.
“From the first screen test on, we played around with it a lot. We tried a lot of different things, rethinking behind the scenes,” he says. “That was yielding a different movie than the other factions wanted. I knew what I was doing, but in terms of what that adds up to, you’re so in the dark as an actor. You don’t know what it’s shaping up to be, how they’re editing it, so it’s kind of impossible without having seen those things to know what the difference [of opinion] was, or exactly what created those differences.”
He mentions there were arguments going on between the directors and LucasFilm, “the actors are at the kids’ table, unless you’re also a producer of the movie. So you’re really kept out of all the backroom dynamics of what was going on.”
Alden didn’t know Lord and Miller had been fired until literally the day it happened:
“They said, ‘We were let go,’ and that’s it. They had mentioned there were some disagreements before, but they didn’t get into it. They wished me the best with the rest of the movie. On a personal level, it felt emotional, for them to be going after we’d set out on that course together. Because I spent a lot of time with them, and we had a really good relationship—they also cast me. But I think at that point, they were kind of on board with [the decision], too. Like, ‘This is what’s happening.’ That’s not what they said to me, but that was the vibe I got.”
He addressed those pesky rumors that he played a part in sounding an alarm to Kathleen Kennedy about the pair, saying it’s “not at all” true, and he wouldn’t do something like that “unless people were being put in danger or something.”
Alden also commented on the needing an acting coach rumors. “She [writer/director Maggie Kiley] was part of conversations that happened for a couple weeks at one point,” Ehrenreich says, “but that was basically it.”
Lord and Miller worked with Kiley on previous films, and are insistent she came to Solo as a “resource for the entire cast as well as themselves,” not just for one person.
“It was this period of going, What if they get somebody that you don’t get along with? What if they get somebody that has a totally different vision?” Ehrenreich said of the ‘dark time’ 3 weeks when the production was halted before Howard was brought on, and “won everyone over pretty quickly”.
“Everybody’s hackles are raised a bit, and Ron had this ability to come in and deal with morale and get everybody enthusiastic about, A, what we’d already shot, because I think his feeling was that a lot of what we’d already done was really good, and, B, the direction for the next piece of it. He knew how to navigate a tricky situation, and almost from the first or second day everybody pretty quickly recharged and got excited again about the movie.”
Alden did go on to say that One of the beautiful things about being a part of Star Wars is that it’s “one of those few things that are community- building in that way. Maybe that way of putting it is a little self-important. But it is something we all have a connection to, something everybody knows about. There aren’t that many of those things.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens worldwide on May 25th, 2018.