I was invited by Disney on an all-expense paid trip to cover the HanSoloEvent. All opinions are my own. While I was in LA I had the pleasure of sitting down with Phoebe Waller-Bridge who plays “L3-37” in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. I absolutely love her character in the movie and her voice is so perfect for the part. She was very sweet and super fun to talk to, she has a bright personality and presence.
“L3-37 is Lando’s co-pilot and a self-made droid assembled from astromech and protocol parts. Despite her make-up, L3-37 is an enlightened navigator who cares deeply about droid rights.”-Lucasfilm
Here is our Q&A with Phoebe…
I like that you were actually in costume and acting along with the other characters. Tell us about that process.
Well, I had loads of fittings. I mean, the weirdest thing is, you get a kind of scan at the very beginning. I got a scan of my whole body, and then they build a complete replica of your body. And then they’d build this suit around it, so it fits perfectly. And so I had this green suit, skin-tight, really attractive green leggings and leotard. And then, on top of that, I had the kind of legs drilled onto me, and the arms, and the chest plate, and then the head. But it was the first time that they’d created a droid that could kind of move properly and be more flexible. And I could move all of my joints. Because she’s a self-made droid, so she created herself to be as flexible, bigger, faster, stronger, than any other droids that she would’ve met.
L3 is kind of sassy. Are you sassy in real life, too?
God, no! No, I’m afraid not, no. I can dream of being sassy though.
How does it feel to be the spokesperson for droid awareness?
Well, I’ve actually been that for a very long time, before I even knew about it [She laughs]. Yeah. It’s so cool that she’s got a cause, you know. She’s like a social justice warrior, and she’s a droid with an agenda that goes beyond her own existence, and that’s very unique. It’s good to have a message.
How do you prepare for a role as a droid?
Well, I was ready to do all sorts of preparation for that. I was like, “Do you want me to work out? So I can carry the suit stronger?” And they were just like, “no, no, that little weird awkward walk you’re doing is actually perfect”. [She laughs]. And the same with the voice. I think the vision that John Larry had from the writing point of view, and then you know, carrying on through the whole production. Because she’s created herself, she’s built herself to be more — not like, more human, but more relaxed, in her voice, and her body, and everything. I would offer something droid-y, they would be like “stop that, pull it back. Be more natural.”
What is the best advice you got from Ron Howard and Donald Glover? What are some life lessons you picked up from those relationships?
It was more sort of hanging out with — I mean, they are both so relaxed and such consummate professionals. But there’s a real sense of just being able to be really present with both of them, and I really learned that from them. Just letting go of everything and letting your instincts speak first.
How was it working with Ron Howard?
I mean, he’s a master. But also, I was sort of ready to meet Ron Howard, you know, the king. And then he comes in, and he’s just like, “Hey. How’s it going?” So friendly, and makes everyone feel so relaxed, and you can just feel instantly why people just want to work with him over and over again. Because he’s so clear. His eye is so brilliant, and he’s incredibly kind and very, very clever. So you feel very safe.
How did you bring such heart and humor to a character that’s not even flesh and blood?
Aw, well, I can’t take full credit for that. The script does that. But I think you have to sort of start at the heart, with any character, no matter what they’re made out of. And I felt like she had a huge amount of heart and passion, and even though she sort of wakes up halfway through the film to what her passion is, and it’s nice, knowing you’re building to something like that as well. And humor as well. Where there’s humor there’s heart and I think she’s got a lot of it.
How much ad-libbing did you do with your character?
We were allowed to go off-beat — once we got the script, then there’d be a kind of little pass around with John and he’d be like, “Does anyone else have any ideas” or “Let’s just kind to be a bit looser with the scene.” And so we did get to do that a few times. And then if anything good came out of it, then they would do a take of that. It was really fun. I mean, the whole atmosphere on set was just so fun. And encouraging. And everyone was just so excitable, and it was just like, “Ooh, that’s a good idea, let’s do that.” It was really nice.
Did you have moments where it would hit you, “I’m in a Star Wars movie!”?
Yeah. There are two major ones — there was the scene in the Falcon, that was a big one when you involuntarily scream, and I did that when I saw the Falcon, and I did that when I met Chewie. But the big one really came, like, two weeks after we’d wrapped, and then I was just on a bus going to go and get a sandwich for my love somewhere in London. And I suddenly just went, “What just happened?” I called my sister. And I was just like, “Was I just in a Star Wars movie?” She’s like, “Yeah. Love, yeah. We came to set. We saw the whole thing.” My God. How did that happen?
What do you hope people learn as far as an inspirational message within the film?
It’s a film celebrating individuality and individual causes and having courage of your own convictions. So that would be wonderful. People being like, they want to fight for their own shit. But also they’re so many amazing relationships in it, and I think it’s inspiring, and the trust it takes to partner up with somebody, and I hope that inspires them as well.
Phoebe was so delightful to speak with. Here is our group photo with her.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters this FRIDAY! Get your tickets now!
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.
- From Vision to Villain ~ Interview with Paul Bettany for Solo.
- Chatting with Joonas Suotamo who plays Chewbacca.
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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.