Star Wars fans were elated when it was announced that Westworld star Thandie Newton joined Solo: A Star Wars Story, only to be disappointed with her minimal screen time before her character dies. Val being an inherently sacrificial character, even co-writer Jonathan Kasdan thought Newton was too good a performer to settle for so little screen time.
âLooking back, Thandie Newton may have been too good and too interesting as Val,â the writer explained on Twitter. âIt was always in the conception of the story that Beckett would lose his trusted crew members during the Conveyex job going awry and being forced to rely on newbies, Han and Chewie, and that would also open up the door to Lando, Qi ‘ra, and L3 to join the team, but Thandie is so convincing to watch that her character’s death feels a bit like a cheat. It’s a weird and unexpected problem that comes from working with actors also amazing and fascinating in the Star Wars universe. You just want more. “
From a movie standpoint, a big part of putting the cast together is finding the best performer to do the job, with Newton making Val a compelling and interesting character. A director can’t always anticipate the audience’s reaction to the role, although it seems Kasdan wished Newton wasn’t cast or his character had more to do.
Newton’s performance as Maeve on the HBO series propelled her into the limelight, even earning an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Fans are thrilled to see her performances, despite the fact that she has almost quit acting.
âI was actually, very seriously, thinking about quitting playing because I’m writing now and wanted to make my own material. And we have three kids,â Newton explained with Deadline earlier this year. “Time is precious. The time I’m going to spend away from my kids must be really worth it and less and less of it for me, frankly, other than paying the bills and so on.”
In addition to exploring other elements of cinema, it was the negative interactions with male directors that kept her from taking action.
“And I found myself in situations where I was being exploited, outright,” Newton admitted. âWhether it’s with the nudity, whether it’s using the skills I’ve honed and taken the time to develop, and I really care what I do, as an actor, and I ‘use these skills to say words that I haven’t been able to fully recover from, as a political activist, as a thinker, as a Cambridge University graduate anthropologist. “
Fortunately, Newton found passion and inspiration in a number of characters, allowing audiences to see her impressive acting abilities.
You can see Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story, now available on Digital HD and on Blu-ray and DVD September 25.
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