Alden Ehrenreich Beat Thousands Of Hopefuls To Play Young Han Solo

Alden Ehrenreich is a name not known to most people, although some might remember him for being a part of Hail, Caesar! Soon, people will remember Alden Ehrenreich whenever they think of another household name: Han Solo. According to the New York Times, Alden Ehrenreich was recently officially cast as the young Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars standalone film.

Not much is known about the movie as yet, apart from the fact that the plot is set to focus on a young Han Solo in the days before he first appeared onscreen in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Alden Ehrenreich has previously starred in Beautiful Creatures and had a supporting role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine along with making a more recent appearance in the Coen brothers’ film Hail, Caesar! alongside George Clooney, Channing Tatum, and Scarlett Johansson.

The as-yet-unnamed Han Solo film is slated for a theatrical release in May 2018 and will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, best known for The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street.

The list of potential young Han Solo actors was quite large, but in the end, it was Alden Ehrenreich who landed the role. According to Entertainment Weekly, Ehrenreich beat out Dave Franco, Taron Egerton, and Miles Teller to land the coveted role.

Entertainment Weekly noted that, in a way, the casting process for the Han Solo film was sort of a Hunger Games for the young generation of charismatic actors. Disney was rumored to have a list of 2,500 actors in the audition process for the iconic role, with Alden Ehrenreich beating all of them. Just like in the movies, Ehrenreich took on an attitude like Han Solo, warning everyone to never tell him that the odds were against him.

Not much is known about Alden Ehrenreich at this stage because he is still a fairly new actor who is still finding his footing in the Hollywood landscape, but he also experienced a similar start to the “other” Han Solo, Harrison Ford, when he revealed how random and funny his discovery was. According to Ehrenreich, he was discovered by Steven Spielberg at a bat mitzvah in Los Angeles. In the bat mitzvah, Ehrenreich showed a home movie of himself cross-dressing and acting punk, all the while being unaware that Spielberg was in the audience. The iconic director was so impressed with what he saw on the home video that he got Alden an agent with Dreamworks and basically kickstarted his career.

Ever since, Alden Ehrenreich has worked with legendary directors like the Coen brothers, Woody Allen, and the Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola. The acting debut of Alden was, in fact, Francis Ford Coppola’s indie film, Tetro, appearing in Coppola’s Twixt a few years later.

Alden Ehrenreich also reinvented the spaghetti western genre when he played the role of Hobie Doyle, a talented cowboy actor who finds himself suddenly shifted into other studio projects, in Hail, Caesar! One of the funniest scenes of the film is all thanks to Alden mispronouncing the line “would that it were so simple” over and over. In another scene, he reinvented the meaning of the phrase “spaghetti western” by making a cowboy lasso with his noodles. His quirky performance in this cowboy role was enough to make him stand out in a star-studded cast.

Also having co-founded a New York artist collective, Alden Ehrenreich works with other young artists in his free time. Together with Zoe Worth, Ehrenreich founded the Collectin Collective, a group of actors, playwrights, and comedians in their late 20s and early 30s to workshop ideas and collaborate on films and plays.

Alden Ehrenreich spoke on his mindset about creating the collective.

“It’s always been very important for me to be surrounded by people. It’s never been enough for me to be successful alone. I want to be around people my own age who are also doing things I can learn from.”

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]