The Audition For Star Wars
While largely quiet for the moment, little bits of Episode IX news are beginning to leak out. HERE I talked about Matt Smith’s possible role might be. Now Richard E. Grant, in a talk with Josh Horowitz, talked about what it was like to audition and get the role. It may offer some insight into what his role actually might be.
Richard talks about the acting process and how blind it can actually be at times:
“I got sent a 10-page generic sort of, I think, it was an interrogation scene clearly from a 1940s British B picture because the references were not Star Wars and the language was something that my grandfather would have spoken in and I thought, you know, the three contrasting scenes that you were supposed to show as much versatility you could muster in a self-taping situation. So I did that and sent it off and it goes into cyberspace and you don’t even think about it again because it’s what actors, you know, what you do all the time, you audition, send stuff out and never hear [back].”
While that clip doesn’t offer any real evidence, it would be safe to assume you are not going to send someone you want to audition for as Hitler, a script mock-up of Willy Wonka. Richard says it was from a 40s British picture. This could simulate the acting needed for the First Order as this is what a lot of the military officers were based off of (British and German Officers). The fact it was an interrogation scene would also lead us to believe that if he is not some sort of interrogation officer, he could be a First Order Officer that acts mean and gruff, similar perhaps to Captain Canady from The Last Jedi. Either way it seems like a roll that doesn’t take crap from anyone.
Now the interesting thing is where he talks about versatility and having three very different scenes could mean this is an officer that will go through some changes through out the movie. Could he turn sympathizer? Could he simply turn on Kylo and Hux?
When He Got the Part
He then goes on to talk about what happened when he did get the part:
“And then I got a call from my agent saying, ‘Oh when you go to Pinewood Studios, are they going to send a car to pick you up?’ and I thought: Why? That’s never happened to me before. A car to go and have a meeting.
So they did and I got there and the casting director Nina Gold who had gotten me there in the first place was very smiley and I said, ‘What am I here for? I don’t have any scenes to prepare. I had not been told—’ she said, ‘No no, don’t worry about that.’ So I went in.
J.J. was sitting with Daisy Ridley and said, ‘Hey! Great. Come in. So you’re gonna do it?’ and I said, ‘Do what?’
And at this point the room went upside-down and I’m sure he was telling me in detail what part I was playing and what the character is called. I have no memory of that whatsoever. I just kept thinking: I might be in Star Wars. I kept waiting for them to say, ‘Well you’re going to come in and stand in for somebody else because we need somebody to test your height or your age or whatever.’ But no, they kept saying ‘So you are going to do this aren’t you?’ and I said of course I’m going to do this.”
So not only might he be the above type of roll, but it may have strong interactions with Daisy Ridley. Could he be interrogating her? Could she be trying to turn him? Or given all the underworld interaction we have speculated on, could he be a gang/mafia leader that Rey and the Resistance are trying to sway to their side and help in the war?
As is the habit with Star Wars, an actors name size has nothing to do with screen time. We could be talking about a part with 2 minutes of air time. We could be talking about a major part of the film key to its conclusion. Big name actors end up in either position in Star Wars.