I was invited by Disney on an all-expense paid trip to cover the HanSoloEvent. All opinions are my own. Back when Captain America Civil War came out, I had the chance to interview Paul Bettany for Civil War and while I was, Chris Evans walked in! So we got to sit down with both Chris and Paul and the result was absolutely hilarious. We could not stop laughing. Because of that great time, I was excited to have the chance to sit down with Paul again, only this time for Star Wars! Paul plays “Dryden Vos” in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY and he does an excellent job as his character, he is so good at being bad in this movie. “Dryden Vos heads up an emerging criminal syndicate. Under Vos’ leadership, the organization quickly gains a reputation for ruthlessness. But as ruthless as Vos is, he is not a crude cutthroat, preferring instead to surround himself with luxury.”
Here is our Q&A with Paul…
You’ve said before that Star Wars changed your world as a child. Was there a moment for you on set when you kind of went ‘I’m in a Star Wars movie?!’ Paul:
Oh yeah there were many moments where I went, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m in a Star Wars movie!’ And I think because Ron and I were newcomers on the block as it were. You know, everyone else had been in there for eight months or whatever. And we were still totally un-jaded by it. And I kept elbowing him and saying, “we’re making a Star Wars movie! We’re making a Star Wars movie!”
How did you become involved in this movie?
Paul: This is a hugely embarrassing story which I shouldn’t tell you but I’m gonna tell you anyway. I heard that my old mate, Ron, was doing it. And in 1977 I saw Star Wars, right. So I was six years old and it took me out of the gray, miserable 1970’s London. London was really depressed in the ‘70s, by the way. So to be taken away to that universe and it was amazing. But now I’m in the Avengers so I think there’s no way I’m ever going to be asked to be in Star Wars. Unless Ron Howard becomes the director. And that happened. And so, I literally texted him this, I said, “Hey, Ron, have you ever spent long winter evenings, like I have, wondering why you’re not in the Star Wars franchise?” And that’s a true story. And he said, “LOL. Give me a moment.” And two weeks later I was flying to London to shoot it.
What a story.
Paul: True story. If you don’t ask…you know what I mean?
Can you talk to us about the makeup application?
Paul: There was none. It’s all CG. Yeah, the thumb as well, yeah, all CG. The makeup was all post (production). It’s amazing what they can do nowadays, isn’t it? I also can’t make my eyes bleed. That’s another thing I failed at.
Is it hard jumping from being a superhero to a villain?
Paul: No. I know Vision very well. And there were two times that I flew from Atlanta, and there were times when literally the makeup crew on Star Wars were finding bits of purple still on me from playing Vision. Can I tell you the amount of work it takes to get that stuff off? yeah.
How does it feel to be in two of the biggest movies this summer in two different universes?
Paul: It feels pretty great. It’s like the moment in Arthur where the florist says, “hey you’re the millionaire right?” And he goes, “yes”. And he goes “what’s it feel like to have all that money?” And he says, “It feels pretty great. That’s a stupid question.” It feels really good and look, it’s very nice going around the world selling something that people want to buy. I’ve done both. And this is a much nicer feeling than the other.
What was your favorite moment while filming?
Paul: Oh, you know, there are a few. One is watching an old friend, somebody who I really love, you know. Ron is as close to family as you get in this business. He’s put his hand out and helped me out so many times I can’t tell you. And seeing him be so accomplished and so welcomed and what could potentially have been a very tricky situation for him, and his ability with staging, he’s just a fine, fine director. He’s just so confident that he is able to be really open and collaborative. I think that’s a sign of a really strong leader is when they’re listening. So, that was beautiful.
And also, bringing my children on to set, you know, and I’m bringing friend’s children on set and taking them onto the Millennium Falcon. Oh, my God, I was like a tour guide. It’s like “You’ve got to bring the kids. I can take you on the Millennium Falcon!” I was just endlessly leaving set to take children around because it’s amazing seeing their faces when they are on–, I mean it’s just-, it’s phenomenal. Like you walk around the whole ship.
How do you feel your character ranks with all the other Star Wars villains?
Paul: I think I’m the best. How can I answer that question elegantly? That’s for you to answer. How do you think I rank? I can’t answer that question myself. I think that my Star Wars villain, I really wanted to do something very different. I felt like I could because the offshoot films, they’re not encumbered with the same set of responsibilities that the main franchises are encumbered with. There is the possibility to have a more playful tone.
So, I really wanted to sort of be quite loose with it. He is an entrepreneur. He knows who he is and is super happy about it. Like, no problems with being bad. I mean, and he’s really, really gifted at hurting people. And some people are gifted at playing the piano or whatever and he’s really gifted at torture and murder. And he’s like, really okay with it. And that’s really fun to play because you’re just able to sort of close down all the conscious stuff and just be great at torture and murder.
Do your kids think it’s cooler that you are in Avengers or Star Wars?
Paul: Oh, man, I think it’s right down the middle for them. Well, you know, Avengers have kept us all in shoes for the last.. [laughing]. I don’t know. We’re really feeling how privileged and blessed we all are at the moment. And it’s been an amazing ride and that’s the other thing with my kids, they’re really aware of their privilege, really because I’m not willing to raise one of those children. I want them to know how rare this situation is and to prepare them for a life in which they can hopefully, give back in a way that we’ve all received.
Paul was so great as usual and had us laughing a lot. He even saw that one of the bloggers was injured and refused to sit on the chair for the group photo unless she sat with him. He is truly a gentleman.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters May 25th! THIS FRIDAY!
Watch the trailer…
Also, check out…
- My interview with Alden Ehrenreich who plays “Han Solo”
- Talking with Emilia Clarke about her role in SOLO.
- Sitting down with Director Ron Howard about SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
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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.