Jack O’Connell on the “Tediously Frustrating” Han Solo Audition Process

Jack O'Connell in Money Monster

“The most frustrating thing is when you feel like your full potential hasn’t been recognized.” – Jack O’Connell on Auditioning

The history of film is filled with stories of actors who auditioned for big roles they didn’t get, and perhaps the most scrutinized “big role” audition process in the last several years has been the search to find the actor to succeed Harrison Ford as Han Solo in a Star Wars origin movie. Almost every actor under thirty that had even a passing resemblance to Ford was reportedly in the running, with the role ultimately going to Hail, Caesar! star Alden Ehrenreich. One of the actors who had auditioned unsuccessfully for the role was Unbroken star Jack O’Connell. In a conversation with Yahoo! Movies, O’Connell spoke about his frustrations with the Han Solo audition process.

O’Connell admitted that while he’s fine with being rejected for roles, but he felt the Han Solo casting process was “tediously frustrating.” He explains, “I love the process of auditioning, even the rejections. It will refine you and make you stronger as an actor. Or sometimes it can be so tediously frustrating that it exhausts you as an actor. I think that applied throughout this process. It didn’t go my way. I wish them all the best of luck. But I don’t know necessarily agree with the reasons given.”

According to O’Connell, part of the problem was that he was only given one opportunity to audition and didn’t feel like it showed his talent. He says, “The most frustrating thing is when you feel like your full potential hasn’t been recognized. Or, the imagination required for your potential to be recognized, isn’t necessarily there. And it’s very hard to convey all these things in one audition. But that’s the process, and I don’t think one individual will change that.”

However, O’Connell recognizes that the audition process — even ones that he feels aren’t reflective of his actual abilities — is part of the profession he chose. He explains, “That process kind of contributes to the overall exhaustion that you have to face as an actor. It’s part and parcel of the job, and the roles that are worth getting are the ones that you’ve got to fight for. As the way I see it, it’s only so often that you’re given a role that you’ve always wanted to play.”

Leave a Reply

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Star Timothée Chalamet: “What scares me is being boring”
"At a certain point I was able to come to grips with the idea to just 'be.'" - Timothée Chalamet
‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville: “It’s so easy to make someone bad look good on film. In theatre, there’s no hiding place”
"Filming is different. You’re getting a moment right. You can go in and create something very good, very quickly. That’s a different challenge to having five, six weeks to rehearse a play.” - Lesley Manville
Chadwick Boseman on ‘Black Panther’ and How He Refocused His Career
"As soon as I came to L.A., things immediately shifted for me." - Chadwick Boseman
Bernadette Peters on Returning to Broadway and Why She is Still Trying to Improve Her Craft
"You have to do your best to fulfill the role, not fulfill yourself" - Bernadette Peters
Ellen Pompeo: “Acting, to me, is boring”
"Anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that's a f*ckin' skill." - Ellen Pompeo