Harrison Ford Coached Alden Ehrenreich on How to Be Han Solo
But will the learner become the master?
Photos by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios (left) and Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney (right)
Harrison Ford may be done playing Han Solo, but he's still got some words of wisdom for his replacement. According to Entertainment Weekly, Ford acted as a secret adviser for the upcoming Han Solo origin film, offering tips to Solo star Alden Ehrenreich and coaching director Ron Howard on how best to approach the character.
Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy told EW this week that Ford took Ehrenreich out to lunch and even read through the Solo script himself to get a feel 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 had done with Han," Kennedy said. "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. 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."
Kennedy didn't say exactly what words of wisdom Ford passed down from one Han to another, and Ehrenreich is keeping pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing. In a recent interview with EW, Ehrenreich recalled that Ford told him to "tell them I told you everything you needed to know and that you can’t tell anyone," so he's keeping the advice to himself.
"I got to stick to my orders from the man himself," Ehrenreich said.
Ron Howard—who took the helm of Solo after its original directors were fired mid-production—also reportedly got some helpful advice from Ford on how to approach the scruffy-looking nerf herder's origin story.
"Han has survived and proven that he can survive, but he’s never sure he’s quite as smart as he needs to be," Howard remembered Ford saying. "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."
It's hard to tell whether Solo will actually wind up not sucking, especially since Ehrenreich allegedly needed more than a pep talk from Harrison Ford to get his acting together, but it's at least nice to know that the original Han was secretly lending a hand during production. Between that and Monday's surprisingly decent trailer, things are tentatively looking up.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.