Interview…Joonas Suotamo on Playing Chewbacca in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

For the third time in as many years, Finland’s own Joonas Suotamo dons the iconic Wookie get-up to continue playing Chewbacca in a galaxy far, far away. Suotamo, at 7 feet, certainly has the height to play the famous walking carpet, but how about his acting chops? Well, if you somehow thought Chewie was still being played by Peter Mayhew, then you can thank Suotamo’s thespian background for the seamless performance.

We got to sit with Suotamo (who has a very Star Wars looking name) to discuss the role, the gestural and non-verbal delivery, his inspirations, and his hard to pronounce last name. I fell in to the trap inadvertently referring to him in his own tongue as a “swamp worm“. [cue Finnish children’s laughter] Chalk it up to the dizzying environment of a press junket, and my last name is also regularly butchered, so I get a pass.

But Suotamo is a delight, and has embraced the film series and the culture. He’s also got a great sense of humor. As he was a professional basketball player in Finland, we discussed the possibility of him playing basketball dressed as Chewie. Would a Wookie have a wicked hook shot?? His answer is pretty funny. Enjoy our time with Joonas.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is directed by Ron Howard from a script by Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan, and is executive produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, and, of course, Joonas Suotamo.

Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have slated Solo: A Star Wars Story for release on May 25, 2018.

During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.