Over 3,000 actors auditioned to play Han Solo in Disney’s upcoming Star Wars spin-off film focusing on the iconic character’s younger years, but it was 26-year-old Alden Ehrenreich – a rising star, but not a household name yet – who bagged the massive role. Here’s everything you need to know about the man stepping into Harrison Ford’s shoes.
1. Perhaps wisely given his impending superstardom, he isn’t on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. We do quite like this fan account called @baehrenreich, though.
2. Ehrenreich was raised in L.A. to parents who are big film buffs but not “in the biz”. His mum’s an interior designer; his stepdad’s an orthodontist.
3. Ehrenreich studied acting at New York University but never actually finished his degree. During his time in the Big Apple, he founded his own acting company and they’d perform self-penned material in downtown bars and intimate theatre spaces.
4. He made his movie debut in 2009’s Tetro, a well-received but little-seen drama from legendary director Francis Ford Coppola. Reviewing the movie at the time, revered film critic Roger Ebert called Ehrenreich “the new Leonardo DiCaprio”.
5. He also appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s 2011 horror movie Twixt and, very briefly, in Sofia Coppola’s 2010 indie hit Somewhere.
6. You might also recognise him from this 2013 Miss Dior advert starring Natalie Portman, which was also directed by Sofia Coppola.
Director: Sofia Coppola Hair Stylist: Johnnie Sapong
7. He’s also worked with Woody Allen, playing the stepson of Cate Blanchett’s character in 2013’s Blue Jasmine.
8. His biggest role to date came in the Coen Brothers’ recent comedy Hail, Caesar!, in which he stole scenes as fictional B-movie actor Hobie Doyle. Watch Ehrenreich’s character learning his lines (badly) with Ralph Fiennes’ pretentious film director below.
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9. He’ll be seen next in Rules Don’t Apply, the big comeback movie from Hollywood legend Warren Beatty. It’s due out in November and Ehrenreich forms part of an all-star cast that includes Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris and Steve Coogan.
An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It’s Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles.
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10. Before his debut as Han Solo in 2018, you’ll also be able to see Ehrenreich in next year’s The Yellow Birds, an adaptation of the war novel of the same name. Once again, he’s in good company, joining a cast that includes Jennifer Aniston, Toni Collette, Jack Huston and Tye Sheridan.