Monday, May 21, 2018

An Exclusive interview with Solo: A Star Wars Story Director, Ron Howard! #HanSoloEvent #HanSolo

****Disney provided an all-expense paid trip for me to cover this great event, all opinions are 100% my own ****

With all of the action and fun that surrounded the Solo: A Star Wars Story press trip, there was one that stood out from the rest, another thing I never in my life thought I would be able to do (besides walking the red carpet of a Star Wars premiere… so unforgettable) was being able to interview the child star, actor all around amazing director, the icon who is Ron Howard. It seem that all Ron touches turns to gold, he really has a talent for his craft. And we were very fortunate to interview the man himself. What was the most daunting part of taking on Star Wars? How does he feel to have a movie coming out around the same time as his daughter, is there any competition? Where there any Opie Taylor questions? Well read on to find out…

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany.
Q:  What has been the most daunting or scary part in taking on Star Wars?

Ron Howard:  I think that just the responsibility of the cast, especially, Alden Ehrenreich. It’s really such a daunting challenge. I knew there would be a lot of judgement surrounding him and his performance. But he’s such a cool customer. And he wore the responsibility very well. I know it was something that really, meant a lot to him.
Q: Did you have to walk a fine line of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in creating a new version, younger version with Alden?

RH:  It was all about taking inspiration from Harrison. I think, I think Alden thought a little bit about the body  and that’s a sort of subtle almost subliminal link you can, you can create for the characters. When I did, for, for, for National Geographic, when we did Einstein, Genius, and Geoffrey Rush was playing the older Albert Einstein and Johnny Flynn was playing the younger.  And one of the things that they did was they spent some time together to work out some physical traits and some body language choices that the younger Einstein could use that, you know, that he would then reverberate and with, with the older Einstein. I thought that was a good idea for this. Alden, of course, had already thought about it, that phrasing, those rhythms, it was there for Alden to develop.
Q:  Can you tell us about when you got the phone call, for directing this Star Wars movie?

RH: It really came, out of a conversation that I was having with Kathy Kennedy.  I didn’t know that there, that there was any conflict, any creative differences going on with the project at all. I hadn’t, heard any of those rumors. I guess that they were out there, but I just wasn’t paying attention. She asked if Larry Kasden could come. She didn’t tell me why. And when I got there, John Kasden was there as well. I thought I wonder what they wanna talk about? Some other future Star Wars movie? And about halfway through, it just sort of came out that they were, they were in this crisis with, the young Han Solo movie. He said, would you ever consider coming in and taking over? And I said,  it’s very flattering but I can’t imagine that I would.  I urged them to reconsider and think about it. And they said, well they had already made their decision. They knew they were gonna make a change.

I read the script and I was so compelled by that script. It was really satisfying and logical. But it also had these twists and turns that were unexpected. I thought, well that’s a great jumping off place. I knew what a fantastic cast it was. And sort of over a period of about three days, like I began to weigh it and at a certain point, my wife, Cheryl, we were talking about it. And she said, I know you pretty well and I think you’re gonna be disappointed if you don’t do this.  I thought she was right, as she most always is.

Q: Were there any barriers, making a Star Wars movie?

RH: There are challenges. What I did discover is that the reason that these Star Wars movies kinda resonate with us and we see them more than once, often, is because they entertain you in so many different ways. I didn’t realize that as a fan. But when I was directing the scenes, I realized that’s a real challenge. You’ve got, action elements. You’ve got sci-fi elements that are very particular to this, this galaxy. You’ve got this blend of sort of humanity and humor and drama and then these deeper bigger themes that are, you know, really relate classic themes. It’s like playing three dimensional chess to direct these scenes. When the harmonics are right, it creates this sort of range of ways that the movies entertain you. But it’s a real challenge.
Q:  What do you think that little Opie Taylor would think of the Millennium Falcon landing in Mayberry?  

RH:  Well, I think he’d probably say, gee Pa, can I can I take a ride? (In his best Opie Taylor voice, it was adorable!)
Q: With your daughters movie (Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom) coming out around the same time, are you competitive?

RH:  Either way, we’re in a very fortunate position. This whole experience of being a part of Star Wars and this summer’s movie lineup was so unexpected. Once we realized that our movies were coming out, a month apart or something like that, it’s kinda like a gift, I suppose. You work at something that you love. I give 110% to everything that I do. Some things click, some things not as much. I love it as a lifestyle, our way of life. And, and I’ve felt very rewarded by this opportunity and I hope fans feel really good about the movie because these movies are made for the fans. And I certainly was very much in agreement with that and working for the fans in this particular instance.
Q:  When Han Solo dies in The Force Awakens, how did that affect how you directed this film?

RH:  I thought it was very powerful in that, in that movie. And, and it also reflected the kind of complexity, the thematic ideas that I think give the Star Wars movies their lasting value. It’s fun. It’s playful. It’s exciting. But it also has these themes that, are complicated and run deep… And, and in its own playful way, I think Solo, you know, asks some of those questions of, what’s it like in those more sort of moral gray areas?

When your, your survival is at stake and you’re presented with, with choices that you might not necessarily be proud of… and it’s not just the Han Solo character. It’s a number of characters. There, this is a story about young people who are on a quest for their freedom. And they’re struggling for that. And in very difficult oppressive times. And a really challenging corner of the galaxy. I think sort of knowing the outcome gives the story of young Han Solo even more power and more weight. And I think in many ways makes you even more curious about what make, what might have made him tick, what makes him tick.
Ron also shared a really cool fact, did you know that this story was hatched before Disney acquired Lucas Film and came up with the business plan to do more Star Wars movies… Years back they were thinking beyond the saga movies, thinking of what the fans would like and they came up with a young Han Solo movie. Very interesting!  I have read that Ron is a down to earth guy, and as non-Hollywood as they come and after this interview, I would have to agree. Ron was personable sweet and laid back, just like I had read.  Even when there was time for only one more question, two people spoke up at the same time and Ron said, now there is time for two more questions. He is super busy in the middle of a long day of press junkets but he wanted to make sure everyone got their questions, no matter how busy he was, such a nice guy.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters this Memorial Day weekend, May 25th, 2018. I will have more of great interviews with the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story to share with you soon, including exclusive chats with Woody Harrelson “Tobias Beckett”, Paul Bettany “Dryden Vos”, Joonas Suotamo “Chewbacca”, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge “L3-37”, be sure to stay tuned!

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Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters everywhere on May 25th!

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions. No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.