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Movie casts two newcomers ‘Star Wars’ visit a magical experience, says Smith

LOS ANGELES, July 8, (RTRS): Kevin Smith has been to the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII” at Pinewood Studios in England, and what he saw has blown him away. The “Clerks” director, whose next film is a horror called “Tusk,” opened up about a set visit — that resulted in a teary-eyed Instagram picture last week — while speaking at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland. Smith described the visit as a magical” experience that delighted his inner child because the production wasn’t reliant on CGI and had plenty of familiar faces roaming around. “What I saw, I absolutely loved.

It was tactile — it was real. It wasn’t a series of green screens and blue screens in which later a bunch of digital characters would be added. IT was there, it was happening,” Smith said. “I saw old friends who I haven’t seen since my childhood, who aren’t really friends, but I love them more than some of my relatives. I saw uniforms, I saw artillery I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that was real. I walked across the set, there were explosions. And it looked like a shot right out of a ‘Star Wars’ movie.”

The real magic — that Smith says was “missing” from George Lucas’ prequels — flowed through Smith’s body when he stepped foot on the Millennium Falcon.
“As I walked up that ramp I realized that the something that was missing from those other movies, and it’s now in these movies,” Smith continued. “He’s building a tactile world, a world you can touch. And he’s replicating with all the love of someone who has the world’s greatest collection of ‘Star Wars’ figures. “It’s like the field of dreams, the Kevin Costner movie,” Smith added. “And if J.J. builds it, we’re all going to come hard, because it’s amazing. It looks fantastic. So anyone out there wondering if he’s going to pull it off, he’s pulling it off.

He showed me cut scenes, he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried and I hugged that guy. And I’m sure as I was crying and hugging on him that he was thinking, ‘time is money’ because they’re making a movie. But he got it.
He was very flattered. And I was like, ‘Honestly dude, you’re doing it. You’re making my childhood again. You’re doing our ‘Star Wars.” What I saw, blew me away.” Two young actors have landed roles in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and they had to beat out 67,000 other hopefuls to do it.
Disney and Lucasfilm announced Sunday that American actress Crystal Clarke and the UK’s Pip Anderson were selected from 37,000 actors who attended open casting calls in the US and Britain, and another 30,000 who submitted applications online.
The film is currently shooting at Pinewood Studios in London after wrapping on location in Abu Dhabi in May. It’s scheduled to be released on Dec. 18, 2015.

Here’s the note posted on Sunday:

At the end of last year Lucasfilm and Disney invited all young aspiring actors to attend an open casting call for roles in J.J Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII. The casting calls spanned 11 cities across the US and UK and over 37,000 hopefuls attended, with a further 30,000 submitting applications online.
Having hunted high and low for young and undiscovered talent, the filmmakers are delighted to announce that two actors from the open call call have been cast.
Crystal Clarke is an American actress studying in Glasgow, UK, who has both stage and screen acting experience and is soon to be seen in her first feature, The Moon and the Sun (to be released in 2015).
British actor Pip Anderson is a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility. Pip recently demonstrated this remarkable skill in a Spider-Man ad for Sony.

“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. 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,” said producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
Meanwhile, principal photography continues at Pinewood Studios in London after wrapping on location in Abu Dhabi in May.
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.
Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon. Shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall with the film scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.

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