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Alden Ehrenreich on Han Solo and the advice he received from Harrison Ford

Thanks to a teaser trailer and a handful of images courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, we've finally received a decent look at SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, and despite the troubled production, the film seems like it could actually be quite a lot of fun. Over the next several days, Entertainment Weekly will be rolling out more SOLO coverage, and today, it's time to dive into Alden Ehrenreich's take on the famous smuggler. Suffering from a painful sore throat, Ehrenreich was unable to speak, so the actor instead sat down with EW over chat to field a series of questions.

The Han Solo featured in the upcoming spin-off will a little different than the character we first met in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE, with Alden Ehrenreich previously saying that his Solo is "more of an idealist" than Harrison Ford's take on the character. "He has certain dreams that he follows," Ehrenreich said. "And we watch how it affects him as those dreams meet new realities — realities that are harder and more challenging than he’d expected." When asked whether Harrison Ford had any advice for the young actor, Ehrenreich revealed that he'd sat down for lunch for Ford at one point, who was "great" and a "real gentleman," before sharing the very Solo-style advice he'd received.

He said a great thing when I met him. “Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can’t tell anyone.”

A further report from Entertainment Weekly goes into just how much Harrison Ford did help to guide Alden Ehrenreich, saying that Ford not only read the script and signed off on it, but also shared much of the information which George Lucas shared about Han Solo's origins all the way back in 1977. "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 had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. "He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. 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." Ford also shared quite a lot with SOLO director Ron Howard:

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.

Ron Howard added that Ford commented on Solo's need to give the appearance of control when in reality, he's often scrapping on by the skin of his teeth. "Han has survived and proven that he can survive, but he’s never sure he’s as quite as smart as he needs to be," Howard said. "Change that. He’s not really ‘smart.’ That’s not the word he used. Han’s not as on top of it as he needs to be. So he wants to give the appearance of [control], but in fact, he’s often scrambling. I think Harrison played that beautifully, and Alden and I talked about both of those ideas a lot." Getting back to Alden Ehrenreich, the actor characterized Solo's journey as "the story of a young man pursuing a dream to get out of his pretty rough upbringing, and a lot of the story is him trying to make this dream come true and finding out that it’s a lot harder than he had imagined."

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY will feature Han Solo's first meetings with both Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), but it seems that neither relationship will start off on the right foot. "Well, I think with anyone you meet in these tough worlds, trust doesn’t come easily, and both of them are very strong willed," Ehrenreich said in regards to Chewbacca, adding that the nature of his relationship with Lando is "very hard to answer without giving things away." The actor did say that their relationship is "many different things," just as it is in the original trilogy.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY will hit theaters on May 25, 2018.

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