All those kind of questions. To watch him and hear his stories about the adventures on The Force Awakens was brilliant. I’ve been lucky enough to be friends with J.J. for 15 years now, so I’m able to have fun with him and playfully try and convince him to put me in a movie, which he eventually did.
Did you lobby for a role once J.J. was hired to direct The Force Awakens in 2013?I don’t think we think of it as she’s going to live there. We thought of it as just paying her respects and sort of undoing the original sin at the end of the third movie, which is the separation of the twins. I mean, of course, they had to be separated to keep them safe, and the trilogy wouldn’t exist, the six movies wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t been separated! But that felt to us like it was almost like a wrong that need to be righted. We very deliberately in the script described the wrapping of the sabers, as ‘like you were wrapping infants.’ That’s the thing that you see at the of the third movie, where the two infants are wrapped, and one is sent to Tatooine to be a farmer, and one is sent to Alderaan to be a princess. Leia’s home doesn’t exist anymore, so we thought, ‘Well, Luke could take Leia to his home where he grew up, and where we first saw Star Wars.’
Oh, yeah! Any time J.J. is doing a project, I’m always kind of asking him if there’s anything. I’ve worked with a lot of people, but certain people stand out much more than others. J.J. is certainly at the top of the list. He’s always been such a high-flyer and such a cool cat to spend time with. When The Force Awakens was announced, I’m sure he was inundated with phone calls, emails and text messages. I, shamefully, was another one of those people, and J.J. got back to me quite quickly and said, “We’re attempting to cast unknowns,” which became Daisy (Ridley), John (Boyega) and to a lesser degree, Oscar (Isaac), who’d worked a little bit. He wanted people to identify with characters that had no history. With me, I think he thought that people might think, “Oh, there’s that guy from Lost and Lord of the Rings,” which could be a little distracting. When I found out he was coming back for this third one, I’m sure J.J. would say I was even more obnoxious. I was going, “Oh, c’mon, man. I have a Star Wars tattoo. We’ve been talking about Star Wars for 15 years. Please let me do something.” And it worked out.