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'Star Wars' to Hold Open Auditions Online

Casting in U.S. continues as open calls in the U.K. attract thousands of hopefuls

People queue outside the Bristol Arnolfini art centre in Bristol, England for the second day of open auditions for two lead roles in the next Star Wars film.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
November 11, 2013 10:35 AM ET

Actors who missed the opportunity to audition for Star Wars: Episode VII are getting a second chance in the U.K., according to the BBC. Hopefuls may now try out online for two roles, detailed below, by visiting Cast It Talent's website.

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That site also details a string of U.S. meet-and-greets with casting director Maryellen Aviano, who has cast extras for films including Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III and Django Unchained. Those began last week and are continuing through the end of the month with stops in Chicago, Troy, Michigan, Austin and Nashville. The first of those sessions last week saw 1,000 people show up in St. Louis.

The film is set to come out in December 2015. Recently, director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasden, one of the cowriters on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jeditook over screenwriting duties for the film following the departure of Michael Arndt. Casting rumors have been surrounding the production, including the return of the original cast, ever since it was announced. Han Solo himself, though, would neither confirm nor deny those rumors.

The decision to allow online submissions comes after several open casting calls last week in the U.K. and Ireland. At the open audition in Bristol on Saturday, an estimated 4,500 would-be actors, who came from as far away as the U.S. and Sweden, showed up, according to the Bristol Post. The line had reached its capacity before the casting agents even opened the doors. Some hopefuls who did not get the chance to audition on Saturday camped out overnight in temperatures in the low 40s for a shot at Sunday. Nevertheless, while there, the agents were able to meet with a reported 2,500 would-be cast members over the course of the weekend. Several more U.K. and Ireland open castings are scheduled throughout the month in cities including Glasgow, London, Manchester and Dublin.

A rep for Star Wars production company Lucasfilm, Barbara Gamlen, told the BBC that 75 of the actors who were seen on Saturday received callbacks to read for the team again. She expected the same number would be called back on Sunday.

The roles that the U.K. casting agents are looking to fill, either in person or online, are as follows, according to a Twitter post by @UKOpenCall:

"Rachel – was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by." The actress should be over 16, but look young enough to play a 17- or 18-year-old. She must be beautiful, smart and athletic. All ethnicities are welcome.

"Thomas – has grown up without a father's influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn't have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can't take life too seriously." The actor should be at least 18 and passable as someone between the ages of 19 and 23. He, too, must be handsome, smart and athletic. 

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