I was invited by Disney on an all-expense paid trip to cover the HanSoloEvent. All opinions are my own.
You probably know Emilia Clarke best as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. But she has joined the Star Wars family as “Qi’ra” pronounced “kee + ra” in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
“Qi’ra is deeply enmeshed in a life of crime as a member of a street gang on Corellia. Streetsmart,
calculating and ambitious, she puts her early life as a powerless street urchin behind her
and uses all her wits to move up in status within a prominent criminal organization.”
Emilia’s performance in the movie is fantastic, so it was very exciting to get to sit down with her and talk Star Wars.
When did you become a Star Wars fan?
Emilia: So I wasn’t around when it first came out. I wasn’t born then, but my brother was a huge fan. So when I was little we would dress up for Halloween. But then when episode 7 came out and I went to go and watch that with him, I became a fan because I suddenly realized what everyone must have felt in 1977 when it first came out. The enormity– like this is how a movie should be made. This is what they should look like, this is a blockbuster. So like the next level. So as soon as that happened I was like, ‘I need to be a part of this. This is like how it’s done. This is how everybody should make a movie.’ So it was kind of from then on I just watched everything and then now I’m here.
What similarities do you have in common with your character Qi’ra?
Emilia: Well goodness, I think that Qi’ra is definitely a survivor. She does what she needs to do to keep being around. I think it’s fun because you see her and Han from the very beginning, from kids.
And so you kinda’ get to see a youthful like where they both came from when nothing was too serious. They were just surviving and Bonnie and Clyding it. He’s now separated and you see her later on in life. She’s lived a huge amount in the short time that we don’t see her.
And I had to grow up really quickly. Again this was my first job and then you know literal Baptism by Fire. So like how much you know you just gotta’ hustle, you gotta’ up grow up real quick. So I think that was a bit of that that I got, but not to the level of her at all.
Were you intimated at all at playing the woman who came before Princess Leah?
Emilia: Well I just tried not to think about it. I’m not gonna’ lie. It’s scary enough like standing under the Star Wars banner but having that as well.
It’s before her so I don’t need to spend too much time worrying about– like I don’t know you know what my next 10 years are gonna’ look like. So I can kind of step away from that. I’ll let Alden take all that heat. You carry that one honey. It’s okay.
How do you want young girls to look up to you? What do you want them to come away with?
Emilia: What I would really-really like ‘cause I get the ‘you play a lot of strong women’ questions a lot and I what I would love is, we’re just women. You can take strong out of the equation do you know what I mean?
Strength is within us as women. And it would be wonderful for the young girls who are watching me play these characters now to just see that as a part of being a woman.
As opposed to it being a choice of like, “Oh I’m gonna’ be a strong woman or I’m not gonna’ be a strong woman.” You are, we all are. You have it in you anyway, so just go get it.
Broadway, The Game of Thrones, and now a Star Wars movie, do you have a preference for where you prefer to perform?
Emilia: I think it’s really important to do both stage and screen as an Actor ‘cause when you do the stage it’s like going back to Drama School. You kind of relearn everything.
My Dad was in the theater. He was the Sound Designer. So I grew up you know being able to go back stage and there’s just–it’s magic in the theater and it’s magic being part of an ensemble that is unlike anything you could ever get when you’re filming on screen you know.
You’re in your trailer doing your thing. It’s sometimes the person who’s been there for your close up because it physically doesn’t work for the eye lines and stuff. Whereas in the theater every single night every single night you’re with your squad.
You’re with your ensemble and you’re working together to make something different every night and to me, it feels like actual magic. Like it’s the most beautiful thing ever, but it’s really exhausting and it sure don’t pay the rent.
So you know you gotta’ like mix that up and if you have the ability to, but I think it’s important to keep going back and checking in with your craft in that way.
I heard you always wanted to be a LEGO, so how does it feel to be part of the Star Wars merchandise?
Emilia: I know, it’s so good! It’s amazing. My Godson is like, “I’m sorry honey but you’re just gonna’ have all the merchandise.” He’s like “Do you recognize her? Do you?” It’s so funny, yeah.
What was it like to be directed by Ron Howard?
Emilia: I mean amazing. It was just a dream come true. He literally couldn’t have been better and just to held us all in the most beautiful way and he made us all feel heard, which in a movie of this scale is so impressive.
Did you keep any fun memento from your filming?
Emilia: Yeah I was given a piece of jewelry. I got it and it’s in my safe and it’s not left yet. So yes that was amazing.
How would you say Star Wars fans compare with Game of Thrones fans?
Emilia: I sorta’ feel like there is crossover. And I’ve not has as much experience with Star Wars fans yet ‘cause this hasn’t come out yet. My Game of Thrones fans are incredible and loyal and wonderful, but I do think that a lot of people who enjoy Game of Thrones will also enjoy Star Wars.
If you were to join the Marvel Universe which character would you be?
Emilia: I wanna’ say The Hulk. [LAUGHS] [INAUDIBLE] I’m like, “Young Mark watch out honey.” [She laughs] I don’t know, he seems like he’s having the most fun like out of everyone, so yeah.
She was such a delight to talk with and here is our group photo with Emilia.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters May 25th!
Watch the trailer…
Check out my interview with Alden Ehrenreich who plays “Han Solo”
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Visit the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY website
“Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.”-Lucasfilm