Entertainment News

  • 7 July 2014, 9:38

Unknowns Join Star Wars As Ford Injury Hits Film

A British free-runner is one of two unknown actors who have beaten tens of thousands of other people to land parts in the new Star Wars movie.

Pip Andersen and US actress Crystal Clarke, who is studying in Glasgow, were cast following open auditions in the UK and US.

It has also been announced that production on Episode VII will be halted for two weeks due to Harrison Ford's injury.

The 71-year-old Hollywood star, who plays Han Solo, broke his leg during filming at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire in June.

Police said he was hurt by a "garage door", but there have been suggestions the door of the the Millennium Falcon spacecraft fell on him.

There were open casting calls in 11 cities late last year as the film-makers looked for young aspiring actors to join the cast.

More than 37,000 hopefuls attended, with another 30,000 submitting applications online.

One of the stars of the original 1977 movie, Mark Hamill, was a relative unknown when he was cast as Luke Skywalker.

Andersen has been described as a "skilled practitioner of parkour" and recently featured in a Spider-Man advert for Sony.

The discipline involves people propelling themselves through any location, but usually involves urban spaces.

Clarke has stage and screen acting experience, and is soon to be seen in her first feature, The Moon And The Sun, which will be released in 2015.

Producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: "The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent.

"And in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition.

"We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film."

Principal photography is continuing at Pinewood after filming on location in Abu Dhabi was wrapped up in May.

But the production team will take a "brief two-week hiatus" in August while there are adjustments to the current production schedule as Ford recovers from his injury, said a statement.

It added: "Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon.

"Shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall [autumn] with the film scheduled for release on December 18, 2015."

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