So, finally, the cast has been announced for Star Wars: Episode VII. And since it’s being filmed in London, it seems only fitting to see some new homegrown talent lining up alongside the franchise’s original stars like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and returning Brit Anthony Daniels (aka C-3PO).
But just who are the actors representing Britain and Ireland in the biggest movie event of the century so far? It’s safe to say you’ll be more familiar with some than others…
If you recognise John Boyega, chances are it’s from Joe Cornish’s urban British sci-fi horror Attack the Block, in which he plays Moses, the leader of a gang of teens from a south London estate who find themselves defending their turf from “gorilla wolfs” from outer space. He’s also currently in cinemas alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor in Nigerian drama Half of a Yellow Sun.
Newcomer Daisy Ridley has popped up in episodes of Channel 4’s teen drama Youngers and ITV’s Mr Selfridge, as well as a two-part Silent Witness story on BBC1 (not to mention the obligatory Casualty role). She’s also set to appear in the second Inbetweeners movie, but it’s safe to say Star Wars is going to be her big break – if the rumours are correct, she’ll be playing Han Solo and Princess Leia’s daughter Jaina…
The Irish star, son of veteran actor Brendan Gleeson, was last seen wooing Rachel McAdams in Richard Curtis’s time-travelling romcom About Time and will be known to fans of the Harry Potter films after appearing in concluding instalments The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 as Ron Weasley’s eldest brother Bill. On TV, Gleeson’s already experienced a touch of science-fiction, playing his own robot double in an episode of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian Channel 4 series Black Mirror.
Andy Serkis looked a little different in his most famous role to date, Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies. You might also struggle to recognise him in Rise of the Planet of the Apes where he played CGI chimpanzee protagonist Caesar. Serkis’s talents are not confined to motion-capture skills though, he was nominated for a Bafta for his portrayal of punk musician Ian Dury in biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.