Thank you to Disney for sending me to the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story in Los Angeles so I could write this article!
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo, I’d have to say the star of the show in Solo: A Star Wars Story was L3-37, the self-aware, self created female droid whose human companion is Lando Calrissian. Played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this new Star Wars droid is funny, touching, and serves a bit of feminist realness in the movie.
L3-37 is a self-made gal!
We sat down with Phoebe who is almost as tall as Joonas Suotamo who plays Chewbacca, and had a nice chat with her about life, liberty, and the pursuit of love. Droid love, that is.
Here’s everything you want to know about the new Star Wars droid, and the actress who plays her:
Prior to being cast for the role, Phoebe hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars films!
I hadn’t seen any of the films, there’s like five of us in the world!
In some ways, it might have worked in my favor, especially from the droid perspective because I was very loose in the audition. I had no idea what a droid was. They said to me, ‘Oh you’re taking this droid thing very lightly!’ and I said, ‘OH! Is she not a person?’
I’ve seen them all now and I love them so much!
Phoebe wasn’t just a voice actor for Solo: A Star Wars Story. She actually had on a costume and acted alongside the other actors!
I had loads of fittings. You get a scan of your whole body at the very beginning, then they build a complete replica of the droid. They build the suit around it so that it fits perfectly. I had this skin-tight, really attractive, green suit. On top of that, the legs, arms, and chest plate are drilled onto me.
The head piece was almost a hat. It was amazing, but it was heavy!
This was the first time that Star Wars had created a droid that could move like a human.
It was the first time they created a droid that could move properly and be more flexible. She’s a self-made droid so she created herself to be more flexible, bigger, faster, stronger than any other droids that she knew of.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is nothing like her character in real life. L3-37 is sassy and Phoebe only dreams of being sassy.
L3-37 is the spokesmodel for droid liberation, and that’s a cause Phoebe can get behind.
It’s so cool that L3 has a cause! She’s like a social justice warrior. 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.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is also a talented scriptwriter who enjoys both writing and acting.
I like them both for very different reasons. I was writing “Killing Eve” while shooting this film. There was something really joyous about having to go from writing serious things all morning to getting into my droid suit and being a droid for hours. They’re both liberating from each other in different ways. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
They did not want Phoebe to workout to prepare for this role!
I was ready to do all sorts of preparation for this! I was like ‘Do you want me to work out so I can carry this suit stronger?’
and they were just like, ‘No, no, that weird, awkward walk you’re doing is perfect!” It was the same with the voice. The vision that they had was that because she created herself, she would feel more relaxed with her voice, body, and everything. Every time I’d offer something Droidy they would be like ‘Stop that!’
What’s love got to do with it?
Sometimes when people are rude to each other and they can take it, that’s a sign of love in itself.
This warmed my heart because I always love being around couples who jab at one another in playful ways that allow you to know they really have some sort of special connection. And she’s not wrong! When the jabs are done in a way that isn’t malicious, anyway. A big part of love and relationship is being able to deal with the other person’s crap, and conversely being aware that they’re also putting up with yours. When you’re able to make light of that, a relationship is right where it needs to be.
Phoebe dished on why it was so great to work with Ron Howard
Ron is a master. I wasn’t ready to meet THE Ron Howard, but then he comes in all excited and he’s like “HEY! How’s It going?” He’s so friendly and makes everyone feel so relaxed. You can just feel instantly why people want to work with him over and over again. He’s so clear. His eye is so brilliant, he’s incredibly kind, and very, very clever. You feel very safe working with him.
Then she told us how the fact that she was in a Star Wars movie didn’t really set in until after filming had wrapped
Two weeks after we wrapped, I was on a bus in London going to get a sandwich somewhere and I thought ‘WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? Was I just on a Star Wars film?’