Thandie Newton, who is the first woman of color to have a leading role in a “Star Wars” film, says it’s “extraordinary” that it’s taken 10 movies to get here.
“I felt excited that I could let go of my own personal resentment and frustration and feeling of hopelessness, frankly,” Newton told Page Six at the Tribeca Film Festival “Westworld” premiere on Thursday. “I just felt like celebrating every single day, and that celebration kind of was reflected in the way the movie felt because it was such a great experience working alongside that cast.”
Her role of Val in the upcoming “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is still a bit of a mystery, though fans do know that the film follows young Han Solo in his escapades around the galaxy.
“It felt brand new,” the 45-year-old actress told us. “We were pirates, you know what I mean? It had that vibe of just rebels out there and that’s kind of what I feel like, because in order to break glass ceilings, you kind of got to be a rebel. Rebels get s–t done.”
Newton expressed her thanks to “Solo” producer Allison Shearmur and “Star Wars” executive producer J.J. Abrams, who is also a producer on “Westworld.”
“J.J. Abrams really started the conversation by casting John Boyega [in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’],” Newton said. “I know it was really down to J.J. Abrams that John had that prominent role and it really started it going … I’m just so grateful to him. He’s a single individual and what he’s doing in cinema is unprecedented. I wish it wasn’t unprecedented, but it is.”
Emilia Clarke, Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover are also set to star in the film, which Page Six previously reported is slated to debut at Cannes in May.