You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thandie Newton Spills on ‘Star Wars’ Role

Thandie Newton got the call. You know, the call that made her 16-year-old daughter want to tell her friends about mom’s next movie.

That call was about Newton landing a part in the “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff, set to hit theaters in 2018.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey as part of Variety’sActors on Actors,” Newton discussed how she learned to let everything go to prepare for her next big role — and how she waited three weeks to find out she had gotten the gig.

Newton’s friend, casting director Nina Gold, had never cast her in anything over the span of their 20-year friendship. Then, Gold, who was casting the “Star Wars” franchise, called Newton to tell her about a part for the film.

“I just had these ideas of what it would be, you know, and it was completely different to everything I imagined and I’m so thrilled,” Newton said.

There has been little revealed about the still-untitled project — and Newton isn’t spilling a thing.

“I’ve signed a non-disclosure and can’t say a word, which is frustrating because you know me. I like to chat it up,” Newton said.

Between landing “Star Wars” and wrapping Season 1 of “Westworld,” Newton got a tattoo of the word “freedom” in her mother’s native language. She said the body art symbolized liberation from being tied to a role, adding, “I felt free, and it didn’t matter.”

“That’s how it comes,” Winfrey agreed.

“In that psychic space — hello — the galaxy opened and down came a shooting star,” Newton said.

And letting go, Newton said, is the one piece of advice she would have given to her younger self.

“To be part of a legacy like ‘Star Wars,’ it’s loved for a reason,” she said. “I could have been in it for a brief little nothing, and I would have been thrilled and delighted.” She went on, “To be taken seriously, a women of color at 44 years old and be in a dope-a– franchise. It’s when you just let go.”

That little mantra has helped her rid herself of pain and suffering.

“If I have that I’ll be happier, if I have that I’ll be happier, and you know what? Never happy. So you know what? Just letting go,” she said.

Still, Newton addressed the magnitude of taking a role in such a series, saying, “It’s like you’re going through a portal that is beloved by all of humanity.”

Newton also noted the importance of diversity in future adaptations of “Star Wars.”

“We are all in this together, and we need to let go, accept, not be so afraid, fight for the truth if we know it, if we don’t know it, ask questions until you do know,” Newton said.

Added Winfrey, “That’s what these times and future times call for. The best of us.”

The interview will air in its entirety on Variety’s “Actors on Actors” Season 6, presented by Shutterstock, which premieres June 13 on PBS SoCal.

More TV

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • annapurna logo

    Annapurna TV Taps Amazon's Patrick Chu as Senior VP, Promotes Ali Krug

    Annapurna TV has brought on Patrick Chu as the division’s new senior VP. Prior to that, he had served as an executive for Amazon in drama, production, and development, where he oversaw small-screen adaptations of “Hanna” and “The Hunt.” He will develop and produce new TV projects, focusing on drama, at his new role at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content