How did Alden Ehrenreich get cast in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’?
Alden Ehrenreich is still not a household name. He seemed poised for superstardom when he was cast as young Han Solo in the 2016 blockbuster Solo: A Star Wars Story, but the film’s negative reception was a huge setback for the actor. Still, we feel he’s worth keeping an eye on. As we wait for him to bounce back from the Solo debacle, let’s see how he got to this point by looking over five of his best movies so far.
This 2013 psychological horror film was the English language debut for Park Chan-wook, the ever popular South Korean director of Oldboy. Starring Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak), Matthew Goode (Watchmen), and Nicole Kidman (The Beguiled), the movie garnered substantial praise. In it, Ehrenreich plays Whip Taylor – a schoolboy who ends up buried in the garden after getting his neck broken. Spooky!
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Also released in 2013, this Woody Allen flick is star studded through & through (Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., and Sally Hawkins). Ehrenreich plays title character’s suspicious step son – Harvard dropout Danny. Though another minor role, Ehrenreich shines in an emotionally charged atmosphere.
Let us just say 2013 was a big year for Ehrenreich. This oddball film explores the history and formation of teen youth culture throughout the 20th century, blending real archival footage with recreated scenes involving Ehrenreich as a faux 1940s teenager.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
2016 saw the release of this Coen Brothers picture, with Alden in a starring role. Playing the lovable if not totally incompetent Hobie Doyle – a singing cowboy Western star – Ehrenreich provides fantastic comedic bravado. His centerpiece scene with Ralph Fiennes, where he struggles to deliver sophisticated dialogue, is the highlight of an otherwise underwhelming effort from the Coens.
Rules Don’t Apply (2016)
Directed by the esteemed Warren Beatty, this 2016 romantic drama takes place in the age of Howard Hughes. Another starring role, Alden plays a young chauffeur for one of Mr. Hughes’s up-and-coming actresses. Drama unfolds as the two slowly fall in love, much to the discontent of their boss. Once more, Ehrenreich proved that he could hold his own against tested stars like Beatty & Annette Bening.
Ehrenreich has struggled to maintain his stardom in light of the Solo fallout. He was criticized for giving a bland lead performance and failing to live up to original star Harrison Ford. He discussed the fallout of the film during an interview with The Independent. “It’s not a huge part of my life anymore,” he stated. “But my sense is that there was a really clear disconnect between the way it was really received and then the stories that came out about it.”
Ehrenreich also copped to the fact that Star Wars fans were always going to be critical of his take on the character. “I knew, no matter what happened, I was putting myself in a situation where people would be saying things about me,” he asserted. “But honestly, that whole experience felt like this huge, high-seas adventure.” In a separate interview with IndieWire, Ehrenreich said he’d be willing to return as Solo if the circumstances were right.
Despite the failure of Solo, Ehrenreich remains hopeful about his career. He told the outlet that people don’t remember the flops as well as they do the successes. “When somebody’s at the end of their career, all people talk about are the successes, and not all the ones that flop”, he claimed. “I’ve certainly felt in over my head before, and overwhelmed in different junctures but I remember Dustin Hoffman saying in some interview that ‘it all felt like failure at the time’. But you use it, and you deepen, and you get better.”