Auditions are a necessary evil of show business. While they can be anxiety-inducing for the actors involved, auditions give the director(s) a solid idea of how an actor could embody a certain character. But what happens when the script an actor is given isn’t from the project they’re auditioning for? Just ask Emilia Clarke going off her experience on Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The star of Solo and resident Mother of Dragons sat down with Variety to talk about her latest project, the comic book series M.O.M: Mother of Madness, and her role in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe series Secret Invasion. Emilia Clarke revealed that the audition process for Marvel and Star Wars was actually quite similar, saying:
The people behind it are the best at what they do; it’s amazing to be a part of that high pedigree. But Marvel, Star Wars, they all give you fake audition sides. I remember for ‘Star Wars,’ the character I read was a made-up music producer.
It seems crazy - at least, at first glance. What would be the point of giving Emilia Clarke fake sides? Wouldn’t the director want to see her read the lines of the character she was auditioning for?
Maybe not. When it comes to huge franchises like the Star Wars saga and Marvel, the threat of spoilers is a major concern. A new film could stand to rake in billions of dollars at the box office, with most of that money coming from fans who are eager to learn what happens next. If an actor auditioned for the next Marvel movie, for example, and didn’t get the part, they would still have had access to a normally top-secret script. Emilia Clarke, who played Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story, could have learned a spoiler or two from her audition and leaked it to the press. Not that I think she would, of course, but it’s a possibility that studio executives have to consider.
Marvel producers especially have a reputation for guarding new plots with their lives (well, maybe not their lives, but pretty close). If anything even close to resembling a spoiler gets out, Marvel is quick to take action. In a 2019 red carpet interview, Gywneth Paltrow slipped up and mentioned that she had been filming with the cast of multiple movies. The only version of that interview that exists now has that snippet cut out.
Star Wars is no different. When a possible spoiler for The Rise of Skywalker was shown for a split second in a new trailer, it was taken down almost immediately after a particularly eagle-eyed fan caught the mistake. When spoilers can pop up even in professionally edited trailers, giving an actor a fake script seems a little less strange. While it’s not an ideal situation for an actor, it helps protect a potentially profitable project.
As far as Emilia Clarke's role as Qi'ra goes, while there are no plans for the character to return in something like Solo 2, she has popped up in the Star Wars comics realm. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news on Clarke's professional endeavors.