Emilia Clarke Talks Qi’Ra and the Director Swap on Solo: A Star Wars Story

There is a chance we might not ever know exactly what happened on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story that made for such a troubled production. However, we do learn a little more every day and with every interview that members of the cast end of doing. Emilia Clarke got very candid about the director swap and what drew her to the role of Qi’Ra to Vanity Fair. One of the things she liked about Qi’Ra was that the role could have been written for a guy in certain aspects and she appreciated that.

“We’re going to hit you with a character that could very easily well be a dude, because you question her motives,” she says. “That’s really fucking exciting in the Star Wars universe, because that has never happened.”

Clarke mentioned that she struggled with the character originally though and she seems to indicate that this struggle was done during the time when Phil Lord and Chris Miller were directing the project.

“I’m not gonna lie,” Clarke says. “I struggled with Qi’ra quite a lot. I was like: ‘Y’all need to stop telling me that she’s “film noir,” because that ain’t a note.’ ”

When it came to the swap Clarke was thrilled and talked about how she had a sit down meeting with Ron Howard that made her feel a lot better about the change. Clarke also agreed that the first four months were “a high-budget dress rehearsal”.

“All hail to [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] for hiring Ron.” Slipping into a mocking impression of herself, Clarke re-enacts a self-pitying therapy session with Howard over a private meal they shared before resuming production. “He even feigned enthusiasm!” she says. “I know for a fact he had that discussion with everybody. I think we all came to set feeling like his favorite. It makes for a really happy load of actors, with our egos.”

emilia clarke

Clarke wasn’t able to share anymore specific details when it came to the director swap but she also didn’t seem too surprised that it happened. There is a lot of pressure and money when making a Star Wars movie and if things aren’t looking like they’re going to work out of course Lucasfilm is going to sweep in to save the brand.

“When it comes to that amount of money, you’re almost waiting for that to happen. Money fucks us all up, doesn’t it? There’s so much pressure. Han Solo is a really beloved character. This is a really important movie for the franchise as a whole. It’s a shit ton of money. A shit ton of people. A shit ton of expectations.”

For Clarke she just hopes that the movie works as a whole and that people aren’t able to point out Howard’s work versus Lord and Miller’s work.

“I hope we did it good, then, because people have all this gossip,” Clarke says. “I don’t want people to go, ‘That’s the bit where it all went wrong. That’s the bit, I know it.’ I just really hope that people have a good time, that it’s good, and, you know, selfishly, that I’m not shit and that people don’t write reviews going, ‘Oh my God, that’s, like, the worst acting I’ve ever seen in my life. Wow. How did they give her the part?’ ”

While the hairline fractures of two directors was very obvious in a production like Justice League it doesn’t appear to be an issue shared by Solo: A Star Wars Story. People do have issues with the movie but it does appear to be a mostly singular vision despite all of the behind-the-scenes chaos.

Summary: During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, stars Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Thandie Newton. It will be released May 25th.

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, comics, and political satire. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

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