In Midsommar, Irish actor Jack Reynor plays Christian, a grad student who, along with his girlfriend, Florence Pugh’s Dani, travels to rural Sweden for a midsummer festival that quickly turns into a waking nightmare. It’s the latest in a string of indie films for an actor who earlier in his career starred in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Yet while he has recently steered clear of blockbusters, Jack Reynor actually auditioned for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and almost played Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Explaining the casting on those films he said:
It was a long process, obviously, and I met with J.J. [Abrams] a couple of times on it. It was an exciting time, and then, of course, I was considered for the Han Solo movie, too. Again, that was a long process. For each of those films, the casting process went on for a good nine months. It was interesting, and I think it would’ve been exciting to do the Han Solo movie. Who wouldn’t have wanted to play that character? Ultimately, it wasn’t to be for me, but I did watch the film and not only did Alden Ehrenreich do a really great job, it was my favorite of all the Star Wars movies that have come out recently.
Jack Reynor ultimately didn’t land whatever part he was being considered for in The Force Awakens (he doesn’t think it was Poe Dameron), but he came awfully close to an even bigger role, playing one of Star Wars’ most iconic characters. Jack Reynor was one of the final three actors in the running to play Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, alongside Taron Egerton and Alden Ehrenreich.
Like many others, Jack Reynor thinks it would have been exciting to be a part of Star Wars in such a big way, and as he told The Hollywood Reporter, who wouldn’t want to play that character? However, after making it so far after such a long and extensive casting process where thousands of actors were considered, Jack Reynor didn’t land the Solo role. As he said, it wasn’t to be for him and the role went to Alden Ehrenreich.
Despite wanting the part of Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story for himself, Jack Reynor wasn’t bitter and still watched the film. He graciously praised Alden Ehrenreich’s performance in the movie. He even delivered what might be considered a hot take by saying that Solo: A Star Wars Story is his favorite of the more recent Star Wars movies, which I take as all the ones made in the Disney era.
Although Jack Reynor really liked Solo, some might say that he dodged a bullet by not landing the role of Han in the film. That’s because Solo: A Star Wars Story was a huge financial disappointment that was met with lukewarm critical reviews and general audience apathy. That’s on top of the behind-the-scenes drama the film had, including a director change and costly reshoots.
So knowing all of that, with the benefit of hindsight, does Jack Reynor still wish he could have played Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story? He answered:
Absolutely. If you’re an actor in this day and age and you’re only driven by the bottom line — a film’s critical reception and its box office success — you’re not going to have a particularly fulfilling career. There’s so much to be gained from the experience of making a film — working with people, the community you can develop, the travel. There’s a world out there to be seen, and sometimes, these films bring you to places you never would’ve been before. That is really what drives my decisions in the roles I take, sometimes. It might shoot somewhere amazing that I’ve never been; it’s just a new and unique experience to be had. All of that stuff builds up and becomes part of your reservoir of experiences to draw on as an actor. If it had worked out and I got the film, I would’ve done it, 100 percent, even knowing how it was received.
While critical and commercial performance are not inconsequential for a film or an actor, those aren’t the things that drive Jack Reynor in his profession. To him, just the experience of making a film and everything that comes with that is what is rewarding and fulfilling. When making a movie, you get to meet new people and go to new places, and that makes the experience worth it, regardless of what happens once it’s actually released.
That belief is why, even knowing all the drama and the way the film disappointed both critically and financially, Jack Reynor would still have played Han Solo had he been given the opportunity. He doesn’t even hesitate or say maybe, he’s unequivocal. You’ve got to respect that as it shows his love for Star Wars and the character as well as his appreciation for the process of moviemaking.
Jack Reynor is still young in his career and Star Wars isn’t going anywhere. After being considered for two Star Wars films out of five in the Disney era, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jack Reynor eventually find himself in a galaxy far, far away.
Right now you can see Jack Reynor in a place far, far away (depending where you’re reading this from) and one that, despite its sunny disposition, is far darker than what you’ll find in any Star Wars film, in Ari Aster’s Midsommar. And if cultish horror isn’t your bag, you can hop aboard the Millennium Falcon once again when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20.
Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all this year’s biggest movies and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.