Withnail and I, Warlock, Hudson Hawk, Doctor Who, Logan, Spice World…Richard E. Grant has been everywhere, and is such a familiar and welcome presence onscreen that even if you don’t know his name, you probably know who he is. And you’d expect that at this point he’d just be one of those people that directors just call up to say, “Please be in my film.” That isn’t the case, however: even Grant occasionally has to self-tape auditions and send them in, and doing so has turned out to be a great use of his time.
Because a recent, generic scene turned out to be…well, the headline has already given it away, but let’s let him tell the story.
Yes, Star Wars. And to be fair to J.J. Abrams, the entirety of the callback sounds like it was simply a flat-out offer, one that made Grant very happy indeed. Born in 1957, Grant would have been 20 years old when the very first Star Wars movie came out, and while we usually think of kids that saw it then as the first-generation of fans, it appealed to adults too — he has evidently never stopped being a fan, but the glee on his face is like that of a child on Christmas Day rather than the more stoic face of a typical 20 year-old. Even though the new movies focus on younger talent, it’s great to see old-school fans getting to finally play a part they’ve dreamed of.
And while we don’t know what he’ll play, Grant really was born to sneer his way into an Imperial/First Order uniform. Hux had better watch his back.
Are you as happy as Grant is that he got cast? Let us know in comments.