Richard E Grant: ‘JJ Abrams didn’t tell me my Star Wars character’s name’

The Oscar nominee has revealed further details about his casting as Allegiant General Pryde for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Richard E Grant at The 91st Oscars®

Oscar nominee Richard E Grant has spoken out about the cloak-and-dagger casting process for his part as Allegiant General Pryde in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.


The actor revealed that after submitting a mysterious self-tape audition, he didn’t know what part he was going to play until after JJ Abrams cast him — and it wasn’t until a cast dinner that Grant was told the name of the character he was set to play.

“I got sent a scene to self-tape with ‘top secret’ written across it. It was a 1940s B-movie interrogation scene. I taped it, sent it off and didn’t think about it, and then I got a call saying, ‘The producer wants to meet you at Pinewood. They’re sending a car for you’ — and that never happens,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine.

He arrived at Abram’s office, where he also saw Daisy Ridley (who plays the lead role of Rey in the film trilogy).

“JJ Abrams speaks at bullet speed, like a Scorsese character, and he’s asking me if I’m going to do it or not. I said I haven’t read a script and he said, ‘Nobody gets a script,’ and then he tells me ‘You’re going to play this guy’ — but at such speed it was surreal.”

“I don’t remember him telling me the name of the character or anything,” Grant revealed. “He just gave me a big hug and said, ‘So you’re going to do it?’ And I said, of course I’m going to do it, whatever it is. And then I was told I couldn’t tell anybody anything.”


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in UK cinemas on 19th December 2019