Star Wars: Richard E Grant told by JJ Abrams that ‘nobody gets a script’ before joining film

Richard E Grant has revealed he didn’t receive a script prior to signing onto Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with director JJ Abrams telling him “nobody gets one”.

The British actor, who was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, plays a character named Allegiant General Pryde in the forthcoming film. He was told little information about the character before agreeing to star in the film.

“JJ Abrams speaks at bullet speed, like a Scorsese character, and he’s asking me if I’m going to do it or not,” Grant recalled to The Sunday Times Magazine. “I said I haven’t read a script and he said, ‘Nobody gets a script,’ and then he tells me ‘You’re going to play this guy’ — but at such speed it was surreal.”

He continued, “I don’t remember him telling me the name of the character or anything. He just gave me a big hug and said, ‘So you’re going to do it?’ And I said, of course I’m going to do it, whatever it is. And then I was told I couldn’t tell anybody anything.”

Grant also revealed that he auditioned for The Rise of Skywalker using script pages from a different film.

“I got sent a scene to self-tape with ‘top secret’ written across it,” he said. “It was a 1940s B-movie interrogation scene. I taped it, sent it off and didn’t think about it, and then I got a call saying, ‘The producer wants to meet you at Pinewood. They’re sending a car for you’ — and that never happens.”

Grant recently said that he had “cheered, shouted, fist-pumped the air [and] cried” after seeing the film for the first time.

“It’s absolutely everything you hoped it was going to be,” he promised.

The final chapter in the current Star Wars trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker opens in the UK on 20 December.

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