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Joonas Suotamo: The Face Behind the Fur

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney

When you think of Chewbacca, what comes to mind? A warm cuddly creature from the world of Star Wars? But, there is a human behind all that fur and kindness, and in Solo: A Star Wars Story, it is Joonas Suotamo. Every little boy dreams of being Chewbacca, my boys especially, so when I told them I was going to meet the man, the myth, the legend, behind Chewbacca in Solo: A Star Wars Story….they almost fainted.

The one thing that stood out to me about Joonas Suotamo is that he is not your traditional actor. When looking for someone to play the part of Chewbacca, they apparently needed someone tall, so the director seemed to our local pro basketball teams to find. “I got the role out of the blue sky with a call one day from the Finnish Basketball Association, who had received a request for such person who has blue eyes, is seven feet tall,” said Suotamo.

How did his incredible talents at basketball prepare Suotamo for the role? “I think basketball certainly gifted me extra body awareness. Suotamo continued to say, “And also the trips I made with various team and the national team of Finland and everything. I met so many wonderful players and people. And I grew, grew up to become a very social guy. And I have always observed movements, and I have always observed — because we had guys on our team who run with a very specific kind of way, and I’ve always loved the fact that we are different as humans.’

What was it like playing the iconic role of Chewbacca? “The biggest one probably is just respecting the legacy of Chewbacca, because he was played by Peter Mayhew, the legendary, original Chewbacca. I want it to be so that the fans going to these films see the same Chewbacca who was in the original films because Chewbacca is so loved and I would not want there to be a feeling that Chewbacca somehow feels different this time around,” said Suotamo.

Don’t miss Suotamo legendary performance as Chewbacca in Solo: A Star Wars Story this Friday! Learn more about Solo: A Star Wars Story online, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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