Alden Ehrenreich is still shocked he was cast as the new Han Solo in Disney's Star Wars spin-off, insisting the audition process was a surreal experience.
The Hail Caesar! star landed one of the most sought-after parts in the industry in July (16) - apparently beating out stars like Taron Egerton and Jack Reynor. The 26-year-old is in London preparing to shoot the new film and he admits the road to his casting was a long one.
"I had an audition process that went on for a long time and I got to spend a lot of time with the guys who are directing the film," he tells Interview magazine. "Getting to be around them and being around the (Star Wars) world a little bit has been the main experience so far. I did my audition on the Millennium Falcon for one of my screen tests, which was pretty cool."
"It was pretty fun because I enjoyed the material a lot," he adds. "Last year I read for the directors, then came to England and did a test on the Falcon, then came back and did a couple more screen tests in Los Angeles."
Alden was never sure he was a frontrunner for the role, and he's still pinching himself after landing it.
"Whenever you hear somebody else is auditioning for something, you sort of assume they're going to get it," he says. "You should try to just ignore it. I don't find it very helpful to know who else is going up for stuff, generally."
"I think so many of the experiences that I've been lucky to have so far have been exactly that," he adds. "It's been so surreal that at a certain point you stop expecting them to feel real at all... It's always a little fantastical."
As a child, Alden used to pretend to be characters in the Star Wars films and now the experience has come full circle.
"I'm just excited to be a part of the movie," he continues. "It's always the particulars that are the most exciting. The idea of it is really exciting, but the most fun part is the actual job you get to do: the character that you get to play, the people that you work with, the day-to-day experience. I haven't started this yet, but that's where I feel the most grateful."