Earlier this week to celebrate the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story UNILAD sat down with Emilia Clarke to talk about the galaxy’s most infamous smuggler and that cameo.
UNILAD: If you could start by describing Qi’ra to me in one word, what would it be?
Emilia: Ooooooh in one word? I would have to describe her as ‘legendary’ [bursts out laughing] yeah why not!
UNILAD: Yeah she’s pretty legendary!
UNILAD: She tamed Han Solo…
Emilia: She did!
UNILAD: I’d describe her as a survivor?
Emilia: She definitely is a survivor, that’s exactly what she is.
UNILAD: So how did she survive the three intervening years where she and Han are separated?
Emilia: Well, I think it’s quite a dark. I’m very serious when I say this is so dark that it wouldn’t work in the realm of parental guidance because you can only imagine what someone in her position would have been forced to experience to get from where she was to where she is at the beginning to where we find her.
So I think she used a lot of nouse to escape dying, and it was probably quite dark and those experiences shaped her into the character she was when Han meets her again.
UNILAD: The character’s a lot harder when we meet her again, how did you approach that as an actor?
Emilia: I like to build up a character in layers. You know the experiences you go through shape the person you are today, and those experiences are all there it’s just there are certain triggers which can breach everything you put up to protect yourself from those experiences.
UNILAD: Like Tobias and Val you’ve retroactively informed Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, how does that feel?
Emilia: Amazing, which bit am I! Which bit did I do? And I watch the older movies now and I look back and I think, I know why that was there now.
UNILAD: So did you rewatch the original trilogy to prepare?
Emilia: Oh yeah and I did a tonne of research into the characters because there’s so much fandom around Han Solo so I looked to see whether Han had ever mentioned a girl ever before. It ain’t there, it ain’t here.
UNILAD: So at the end of the film, there’s a character who appears…
Emilia: Oh I know!
UNILAD: So is he going to be a villain moving forward and does he factor into Qi’ra’s backstory?
Emilia: I don’t know and I don’t know where this particular storyline will go, no one’s told me. Scout’s honour. But from my own personal research, ‘yes’.
I actually didn’t get told who it was for ages!
Emilia: I was just talking to a blank screen.
UNILAD: So did they lie to you about who it would be?
Emilia: Nah they were just like… [shrug]. So I was like I’ll just guess then, so I built up this whole thing and then when I saw it I was like ‘okay’…
Solo: A Star Wars Story is out now!
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.