Star Wars: Richard E. Grant Recalls How He Snagged His 'Episode IX' Role

Star Wars: Episode IX brings back staples from the Star Wars saga, while also introducing new characters. Richard E. Grant joins the franchise with the new film in an unidentified role, though the materials he used for auditions might hint at his character being a high-ranking member of the military.

"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," the actor shared with the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "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]."

Both the Galactic Empire and the First Order drew heavy inspiration from real-world military organizations, as compared to the ragtag organizations like the Rebel Alliance or the Resistance, which could mean his character belongs to one of the nefarious groups. Based on his intimidating and gaunt physique, many fans immediately thought Grant could be playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, though the actor has refuted those theories.

While the actor surely knows what character he's playing by now, even the moments leading up to his in-person audition left him guessing what project it was for.

"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," Grant recalled.

Upon meeting director J.J. Abrams and star Daisy Ridley, he still wasn't entirely sure what he was in for, until he finally started putting the pieces together.

"J.J. was sitting with Daisy Ridley and said, ‘Hey! Great. Come in. So you’re gonna do it?’ and I said, ‘Do what?’" Grant shared. "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.'"

With production on Episode IX currently underway and with the film hitting theaters in just over a year, we're sure to learn more about Grant's character in the near future.

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters in December of 2019.

1comments

Do you think these clues could mean Grant is playing a villain? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!

[H/T Sleemo]