In early August, Star Wars: Episode IX began production, and amid all the excitement about the return of Carrie Fisher’s Leia – with the late actor added to the film using deleted footage – it was easy to forget some of the other newer faces joining the film, including Keri Russell and Richard E Grant.
However, Grant’s making up for that oversight himself with his sheer enthusiasm for the role, revealing to fans the mysterious audition process he went through before landing the part.
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“So, my agent calls me and says ‘You know that thing that you self-taped for a couple of months ago? A generic scene. The director of this film, JJ Abrams, would like you to come to Pinewood Studios for a meeting,” Grant recounted in the short clip, which is really worth watching to get the full scale of his excitement
“To which I go,” Grant continued, unable to stop a grin creeping across his face. “And emerge an hour later. Prostrate myself in front of Nina Gold, the casting director who’s got me in there in the first place.
From left of field, came a call from my Agent about a generic audition scene I’d self taped a couple of months ago ……. @starwars courtesy of casting director #Nina Gold #Star Wars pic.twitter.com/zmGCHIlheu
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) August 5, 2018
“And JJ has said to me, during this meeting: ‘So do you want the part?’
“I’m trying to be cool about this,” Grant laughed, before punching the air.
“I’ve been smiling ever since. Yes!”
Clearly, the Star Wars universe has added a devout new member – but we’re still asking ourselves one question.
Who could Richard E Grant be playing in Star Wars Episode IX?
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) July 28, 2018
From the sounds of it, Grant was a shoo-in for whatever role it is he landed, and while we’re a long way away from knowing anything about Episode IX’s plot we do have some ideas about the sort of figure Abrams and co might have cast him as.
Well, just one idea really – because if there was ever a man born to play one of the cruel officers of the First Order it’s Richard E Grant, the heir apparent to all those sharp-cheekboned, cut glass-accented Imperial Officers in the original trilogy.
Can’t you just imagine the sneer on his face as he orders a Star Destroyer to fire on those Rebel Scum? The arrogance radiating off him as he struts in front of some prisoners? Yes, it’s the role Grant was destined to play – and given how many other times over the years he’s played villains (recently in Doctor Who and Logan) it’s not implausible that Abrams would have had him on his radar for such a part.
Of course, we might be well off the mark and he could be playing an entirely different sort of character – we could also picture him as an eccentric genius called to the Rebel cause, or a smarmy politician trying to get ahead, to take a couple of examples – but really, that’d be a waste of the most perfectly poised officer the First Order might ever find.
Still, whatever the truth about his part, one thing’s for sure – Grant is going to have an AMAZING time playing it.
Star Wars Episode IX is released in UK cinemas in December 2019