There’s no questioning the fact that the Star Wars franchise is as enormous as it is iconic. When it first debuted back in 1977, it helped launch the careers of its leads, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, acting as a springboard into movies, TV, theater, and voice work among the three. Ford though was unequivocally the star of the group, a man whose footsteps one Anthony Ingruber is looking to follow in himself. Ingruber, 25, is one of almost 2500 actors vying for the role of a young Han Solo, in the planned Star Wars “Anthology” film set to be directed by LEGO Movie masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller. In a prospective group that includes stars like Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Rami Malek, Ingruber holds one, distinct advantage: He’s already been Harrison Ford.
In 2015’s The Age of Adaline, he played a young Ford to perfection in various flashback sequences, and it’s led to a considerable outcry for him to continue the trend as Han Solo. As a skilled impressionist, talented actor, and lifelong Star Wars fan, Ingruber is eminently qualified for the role. And while Lucasfilm and Disney continue to cast a wide net in search of the next Solo, we’re left to wonder: Could the franchise bring yet another talented newcomer into stardom? We dug in further with him to find out what makes him tick, his hopes for the future, and what advice he has for young actors looking to break into the industry the same way he has himself.
Making It In Hollywood
What are three “cheats” you use in your daily life to succeed?
1. Do what you enjoy.
2. Stay close with your family.
3. Respect and be grateful to your fans.
What advice would you have for young actors trying to break into the industry?
Never burn bridges and always be courteous. Rejection is discouraging but is unfortunately part of being an actor. Having said that, success can always just be a phone call or audition away. In my own case, I spent some tough years in Canada trying to break into the industry. Having my Visa expire and having no work to show for it, made me feel pretty low. However, during this time and unknown to me, the Director of The Age of Adaline, Lee Toland Krieger, had discovered me on YouTube and was discussing with the producers about me portraying my childhood hero in a major film.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
To trust your own instincts and never do anything that feels wrong or makes you uncomfortable. I was given some advice by an industry professional to delete my YouTube channel early in my career. Had I listened, I think I would still be an unknown, struggling actor and The Cheat Sheet would not be interviewing me.
Into the World of Star Wars
Describe to us your own background as a Star Wars fan — When did you know you wanted to be a part of the films yourself?
I first saw the original trilogy when I was only about 6 years old and living in Australia. I immediately fell in love with them the moment that amazing John Williams score kicked in over the opening titles. A few years later The Phantom Menace came out and although the film was met with mixed reception by the fans, I was only 9 and remember enjoying it immensely. When I was in high school and started messing around with impressions, I think Han Solo was my earliest and most successful. It also got the biggest laughs.
Ingruber and Ford on the set of The Age of Adaline (Source: Lionsgate)
Being able to portray Harrison Ford in The Age of Adaline last year was a childhood dream come true and getting the chance to meet him and to express what an inspiration he had been to me since childhood was an amazing thing. With news of the young Han Solo spin off film being announced and my history with the series, I’m naturally pretty interested in becoming involved!
What’s it been like for you to see such positive feedback from fans in support of you assuming the role?
It has been incredible and really unexpected to get such great fan support and comments regarding me playing the character. I honestly didn’t expect such enthusiasm from so many people and it has been very touching. I’m very grateful to the fans for their kind words and encouragement.
How would you prepare for the role if you were picked?
After the massive celebration party, I would want to meet with the producers and directors and ask about their approach and thinking on the film and what they are looking for in the character. It’s difficult to say beforehand what steps I would take as it would depend really on the script and the character. My role is to deliver the best performance possible that would satisfy the high expectations of the fans and deliver something fresh and exciting.
The Untold Story of Han Solo
I think because his origin is mostly untold until the audience is first introduced to him in the cantina, it leaves it pretty open to tell some interesting stories and to explore how he became the lovable rogue that he is.
What the Future Holds
Anthony Ingruber isn’t simply an actor trying to break through into the Star Wars universe. He’s someone whose talent extends far beyond his on-screen charisma, having done “a number of projects including voiceovers for radio, animation and even museum exhibitions.” Most recently, he’s lent his considerable voice talents to Private Eye, as the lead character for the neo-noir Oculus Rift game. A stint as Han Solo feels all too much like a natural progression (and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s a dead ringer for a young Harrison Ford).
What the future holds for Ingruber with Star Wars is unclear, and with a May 2018 planned release for Lucasfilm’s Han Solo movie, it may be awhile before the studio hands down their final decision on the lead role. That being said, it’s no secret that thisis a franchise with the ability to vault fresh talent into international stardom. The likes of John Boyega and Daisy Ridley have already been the beneficiaries of the new-look Star Wars, and knowing this, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Anthony Ingruber joined their ranks in the near future. For now though, the quest continues.