Joonas Suotamo knew how to instantly grab our attention with a brruhhhh mm-mmm that sounded just like his character Chewbacca in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Joonas most definitely is the perfect choice for Chewbacca, previously being a professional basketball player and standing seven feet tall.
When Joonas found out he would be meeting Harrison Ford, he learned the Chewbacca “Wookiee” language in less than 24 hours. When Joonas first met Harrison, he told him that he wasn’t even born when the older films came out. Harrison didn’t find it as humorous as Joonas! Haha!
This is Joonas’ third Star Wars movie as Chewbacca. Before this he was a professional basketball player. One day completely out of the blue, a call came in one day from the Finnish Basketball Association, who had a request for a tall person with blue eyes. Joonas didn’t take a second to think about it. He was definitely interested!
For his audition tape Joonas sent in a video of himself playing a caveman, half naked in his old high school gym. He grunted and played around for the audition. Clearly they enjoyed it!
Born for the Role
Basketball certainly gifted Joonas extra body awareness since he was a basketball player. He met so many wonderful players and people being on the national team of Finland. He said the Fins have an exceptional tolerant for heat which prepared him well. He was definitely born to play the role of Chewbacca.
Everyday someone had to poke his eyes to color the whites of his eyes black for playing Chewbacca. He said it was constantly a challenge removing the hairs from his mouth and eyes.
The biggest obstacle for Joonas is respecting the legacy of Chewbacca, because he was played by Peter Mayhew, the legendary, original Chewbacca. Chewbacca is so loved and he wanted to respect that.
Solo: A Star Wars Story Trailer
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SOLO: A Star Wars Story opens in theatres everywhere on May 25th!