‘Star Wars’ cast gets two unknowns, takes break while Harrison Ford heals

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(CNN) — Filming for the next “Star Wars” movie will take a break next month to give Harrison Ford’s broken leg time to heal, producers said Monday.

Two “young aspiring actors” will join the cast as the result of a search “high and low for young and undiscovered talent,” the filmmakers also announced.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is still on a path to land in theaters on December 18, 2015.

“In August, the team will take a brief two-week hiatus while adjustments to the current production schedule are made as actor Harrison Ford recovers from a leg injury,” producers said in a note to fans on their official website. “Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon.”

Ford, who is reprising the Han Solo role that brought him fame in the first “Star Wars” in 1977, broke his left leg in an on-set accident at London’s Pinewood Studios on June 12, according to his publicist. The 71-year-old actor underwent surgery and began rehab on his leg last month, spokeswoman Ina Treciokas said in a statement to CNN.

The two new faces Ford will see when he returns to the production are American actress Crystal Clarke and British actor Pip Andersen. They were chosen through an open casting call by Lucasfilm and Disney executives starting seven months ago, according to a statement.

Producers considered 37,000 hopefuls who showed up in 11 U.S. and British cities, and another 30,000 who submitted online applications, they said.

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in the announcement. “We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film.”

Clarke was born in Belleville, New Jersey, but later moved to Nashville, according to her biography on the Internet Movie Database. The bio and producers’ announcement did not list her age, but she will graduate this year from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, her bio said.

Her professional acting resume is short. Clarke’s first feature film role will not hit theaters until next year, when she acts opposite Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt in “The Moon and the Sun.”

Pip Andersen’s budding career is built on his skills as “a practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility,” the release said. He is best known for using his parkour skills in a Spider-Man ad for Sony, the producers said.


By Alan Duke



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