“It's just such a huge deal to have him really genuinely enjoy the film,” Ehrenreich said.
Of portraying the iconic space smuggler, Ehrenreich said, “It’s really wild. It’s really exciting.”
“It’s kind of bigger than you can even wrap your head around,” Ehrenreich explained. “Particularly being in the Millennium Falcon is very, very cool.”
The 28-year-old actor previously told the LA Times he didn’t meet Ford and receive his input until just before shooting, admitting “it didn’t feel right to do it without meeting him.”
“Originally, it was gonna be me and [then-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller] and the head of the studio [Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy] and stuff and then, scheduling it, it was just me,” Ehrenreich said.
“I met him in his airplane hanger with five airplanes surrounding us. And then we went out to lunch. He was awesome,” Ehrenreich said of the 75-year-old movie star. “He said ‘if anyone asks, tell them I told you anything you need to know and that you’re not allowed to say anything,’ which was good.”
The Disney-owned studio famously replaced Lord and Miller in summer 2017, tapping instead veteran filmmaker Ron Howard, who receives the sole directing credit on the film.
Howard made clear to Empire Magazine both he and the studio never wanted Ehrenreich to impersonate Ford, who originated the role in 1977’s Star Wars.
“It was always clear from the beginning, before I was involved, that it was not going to be an impression of Harrison. No one wanted that,” Howard said. “Part of Han Solo’s character is sort of a vibe and a feel and a body language.”
The director later explained in a Twitter question and answer session this Han would be familiar but different, as Solo explores the young man taking the steps to become the rogue we come to love and see in later movies: it's “the events, the relationships, the action, the adventure that he goes through that helps this young, brash guy, desperate for his freedom, begin to become the Han Solo we know in later movies,” Howard said.
Several early reviews have praised Ehrenreich for his turn as Han.
Solo: A Star Wars Story, starring Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, and Paul Bettany, opens May 25.