Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What if Kurt Russell had Landed the Han Solo Part?

Thanks to Geoff Boucher of the invaluable LA Times Hero Complex, I found this intriguing audition where Kurt Russell reads for the part of Han Solo opposite William Katt of Greatest American Hero fame.  Believe it or not, it is a real possibility that Kurt could have landed the Han role.  Thankfully he didn't.  He's a little too Dexter Riley in this reading, and too little Snake Plissken.  I would argue that Russell had so much of the residual fairy dust from his Disney live action films, that he may have made a great Luke.  He has the charm, he just lacks the ruggedness.

I'm a big fan of Russell's, but if I had seen this footage before watching Escape from New York or Tombstone even I would have had a hard time believing that Russell could emote "grimness."

I have also realized another thing after watching these, and other, auditions for Star Wars. I realized that had I been directing the films, the actors may have become frustrated with hearing a single piece of direction uttered by me. That phrase would have been, "FASTER...MORE INTENSE!" It's true of the Harrison Ford audition as much as it is of these. The actors just seem so calm when they are delivering these lines.


Tony Bro001 said...

Great Post, I agree that he has too much Disney still in him and If he'd read like this for Escape from New York or The Thing I doubt he would have been cast for either of those parts.

Watching the clips, it reminded me of how I felt when I read the Star Trek TNG Casting Memo on Letters of Note

Christina Rodriguez said...

I agree with everything you've posted. I'm a HUGE Kurt Russell fan, and likely would've loved him in this role no matter what, but he just wasn't right for the role at that time. He didn't have Ford's swagger and intensity.

Now a post-"Big Trouble in Little China" Kurt Russell might've nailed the audition...