In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens newest Resistance pilot, Greg Grunberg, opened up (as much as the mystery box would allow) about shooting his role in Episode VII with director and best friend JJ Abrams.
Grunberg has worked with JJ Abrams on the popular tv show Lost, which Abrams directed. On getting the call from Abrams about having a role in The Force Awakens, he said, “But just imagine that you get a call from your best friend saying, ‘It’s true, I’m doing Star Wars and you can stop begging me, yes, I want you to be in this movie.’ It was an absolute dream come true.”
“Everything looks like a poster. Every shot I’ve seen I’m like, ‘That’s a poster! That’s such an iconic image.'”
In fact, both Grunberg and Abrams were geeking out and having the time of their lives. “Like there were moments when J.J. would yell, ‘Cut’, and then come over to me and go, ‘Are you f–king kidding me? Did that just happen? Did I just pan from C-3PO to R2-D2 to Han Solo and then to you?”
Despite the secrecy surrounding the project, Grunberg, who shares a close friendship with Abrams, is confident in the film’s success.
"“And it’s crazy cause usually I’m the first person that J.J. calls to bounce ideas off. This one is so top secret, and so on lockdown, that all I can do is ask him, ‘How’s it going?’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, I’m really happy.’ So I know if he’s happy it’s just gonna be incredible.”"
The secrecy of Abrams’s mystery box is so tight, the actors couldn’t even take their scripts home. Not even the elite actors, like Carrie Fisher, had such privilege.
"“We got our script pages, only the scenes that we were in. Not even what was being shot that day! It was all on red paper so we couldn’t copy it or take a picture of it. And then we had to give the script pages back at the end of the day. And we didn’t get them the day before to take them home and learn them—Carrie Fisher and I were talking about it several times, like, ‘This is crazy! An actor does not get to prepare on this movie.'”"
But none of that dampened Grunberg’s excitement about the part he played in Episode VII.
"“I know my scenes. I’m very excited about my scenes. I was really happy with the stuff that I got to do. But I’m sprinkled throughout the whole movie, in a very small way. I can’t wait to see the rest of this stuff.”"
Speaking of the rest of the “stuff,” it appears that the iconic look of Star Wars that fans love, with every shot a beautiful vignette meticulously arranged, is coming back in spades. “Everything I see I get more excited about. Everything looks like a poster. Every shot I’ve seen I’m like, ‘That’s a poster! That’s such an iconic image.'” He also says the practical effects are just as important, “if not more important,” than the special, CG-rendered effects.
Of the new cast, he had nothing but praise to give. “And these new characters, these actors are unbelievable. They’re so well cast.”
In the end, he is confident in the direction Star Wars is going and the competence of those guiding it along.
"“It’s really being done the right way. So I think it’s gonna be incredibly satisfying. To see this world re-created with such attention to detail to everything everybody loved about the original films, it’s just special. Disney is so brilliant to have done what they did, with all the other films they’re doing on individual characters, really squeezing this franchise in a really good creative way.”"
Grunberg is yet another voice for positivity in the fandom with his expression of enthusiasm and confidence in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as in its management in the hands of JJ Abrams and Disney. Star Wars is truly a special franchise, because it inspires so much love and life and fun in all who put their energy into it! I’m looking forward to meeting Greg Grunberg’s character and seeing the joy he had on set translate into his performance and the overall feeling of the movie itself.