There are few cinematic challenges greater than trying to fill the shoes of an iconic role originally played by Harrison Ford— but that is the task that actor Alden Ehrenreich (Hail Caesar!) has undertaken. Playing a young Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ehrenreich will try to recreate not only one of Ford's most beloved characters, but one of the most beloved characters in movies, period. Thankfully, Ford was on hand to very secretly impart his wisdom.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Ford acted as Ehrenreich's "covert advisor" for the film, giving guidance to the young actor shortly before filming began last year. What that guidance was, however, is a something that Nu-Solo isn't sharing.
When asked, Ehrenreich said, "I gotta stick to my orders from the man himself." The only tidbit of the conversation he did share is what Ford instructed him to say when asked about it— "Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can't tell anyone."
Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, who has known Ford ever since Raiders of the Lost Ark, recounted his reaction to meeting Ehrenreich. She noted that his response was "classic Harrison," and that he simply said, "Good kid, good kid. Really good kid." She may have said that preceding quote in a grumbly imitation of him.
Ford didn't only speak with Ehrenreich—he was also sent the script, which got his approval. Though Ford hasn't always been comfortable with his legendary Star Wars status, things have changed in recent years, including his triumphant return in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and various appearances at Star Wars events.
Not only was Ford able to impart wisdom about the character, he was able to share greater wisdom about Star Wars as a whole. Did Ford's advice prove useful to Ehrenreich? According to Kennedy, it did.
"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," she said. "I think that was really, really helpful to him."
Stepping in for the actor behind Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard may be more daunting than trying to have a sunlit picnic on Mimban— but it's good to know that Ehrenreich had the legend himself in his corner.
(via Entertainment Weekly)