In the upcoming movie Solo: A Star Wars Story, Alden Ehrenreich is taking on the iconic role made famous by Harrison Ford—but as it turns out, he’d also make a pretty good Chewbacca.
E! News’ Sibley Scoles caught up with the actor at the world premiere of the film in Hollywood Thursday, where she convinced him to mimic the wookie (played by Joonas Suotamo). “I can’t translate it or anything,” Ehrenreich said, “but I had to learn how to make the sound.” The trick, he explained, is to make it sound as if you’re gargling and “moaning in the back of your throat.”
Ben Burtt, the sound designer from the original Star Wars film trilogy, created Chewbacca’s voice by mixing recordings of a badger, four bears, a lion, a seal and a walrus. As Ehrenreich revealed to E! News, Suotamo taught him to “do it like your voice is breaking—like you’re 13.”
Of course, Ehrenreich’s real focus was on embodying the iconic smuggler. He talked to Ford about the role—watch the video for that story—but he also wanted to put his own spin on Han.
“I think the main thing is to absorb everything that would be useful about what the original [movies] feel like, and have a kind of continuity about that, and then really make it feel like its own character and its own part so you’re really involved with this particular story,” the actor said. “I think with anything like this, 5-10 minutes into it, you’re [already invested] in this story.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters May 25.