In this year’s release of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, Grant Feely plays Luke Skywalker, a role made famous by Mark Hamill, and he worked alongside a cast including Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Most recently on screen, Grant played Young Jack in the TV mini-series Echoes, with Matt Bomer playing the older Jack, and he will be appearing as the younger version of Luke Kirby’s character Bell in this month’s release of Panhandle. For Grant’s first on-set experience, he played Timmy in Creepshow last year, and his other projects have seen him play Young Stephen in Stephen DeFrancesco’s music video for In the End. Chatting to us, Grant tells us about playing Luke Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi for Disney+, filming as Young Jack in Echoes and his upcoming role in Panhandle – playing Young Bell.
You play Luke Skywalker in the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, how did you feel finding out you’d booked the role?
I was very excited. I had been auditioning for this part for several months and when Deborah Chow called to tell me I had the part, I was very happy and relieved.
How much did you know about the Star Wars franchise before auditioning and what was it like reading your script for the first time?
Everyone has heard of Star Wars but I did not know much about the plot and had not watched any of the movies at the time. I had watched The Mandalorian and loved it, though. The script for Obi-Wan Kenobi was a big secret. I was only able to see the scenes I was filming the day I was filming them. It was very cool to read those scenes when I got to set and try to piece together what was happening in the show.
What is the young Luke Skywalker like to play and how was it taking on the role that Mark Hamill played in the original films?
Since I hadn’t watched the movies (and was asked not to watch any of the films), I didn’t feel the pressure to be a young Mark Hamill. Luke didn’t know he was special when he was a kid so my job was easy – just to be a regular kid. I did know what an honour it was to be selected for this part though.
How was it working with the rest of the cast and what do you remember from your first day on the project?
The cast was fantastic. Everyone was very nice and acted like regular people. On my first day on set, we filmed the scene of me walking into the store and I had to act with a big, hairy creature. I was nervous because there were so many people and different creatures everywhere. It was a lot of fun.
How did you find the experience on the set of the series and getting into character?
The sets were so realistic that it made getting into character pretty easy for me. It was easy to imagine I was in Tattoine because it felt like I was in Tattoine.
Is there anything you enjoyed most about being part of Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Being on set and in that environment was such a fun experience. I loved seeing every aspect of film-making. And now I am a part of the Star Wars story forever!
What are some of your stand-out highlights from your time filming as Luke Skywalker?
The day we filmed the rock scene I was harnessed by the stunt crew and loved running up on top of the rocks. I also had a day when I played with a lightsaber on set.
It has been announced that you will be playing Young Bell (Luke Kirby) in the upcoming series Panhandle, what can you tell us about this?
The show is about an agoraphobic Bell Prescott who is trying to solve the murder of his wife. I play the young Bell in hallucinations and flashbacks.
You are also in the cast of mini-series Echoes as Young Jack (Matt Bomer), what was this like to film?
The best part of filming Echoes was filming with other kid actors. This was the first time I had acted with other kids and it made the experience more fun.
What are you looking forward to for the release of both series?
It will be great to see myself on screen again! I also look forward to watching the shows and seeing how they are received by the audience. They are both great series!
Last year, you played Timmy in Creepshow, how was this?
This was my first experience on a real set and I was taken aback by how much work goes into one scene. I also had to act with a cat so was able to see how the handlers manage animals on sets.
How was your time filming for Stephen DeFrancesco’s music video In the End?
This was filmed in Birmingham, where I live, and was my first time in front of a camera. With this experience, I realised how much I enjoyed acting and that I wanted to continue with other projects.
Where does your love of acting come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
I watched some behind-the-scenes footage from TV shows around three years ago and thought it would be fun to do that. I started taking acting classes and loved it, so things just spiralled from there.
Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from acting?
My favourite TV shows include Stranger Things and Cobra Kai. Movies are Top Gun: Maverick, The Goonies and Napoleon Dynamite (all pretty different!). When I’m not acting, I enjoy writing and filming short films with my friends, travelling, and cooking.
Have you been given any advice that has stuck with you over your time as an actor so far?
My acting coach (Meg Deusner) taught me to not act. She taught me to just put myself in the character’s shoes and give the performance the person would actually give to make it more believable.
What are you hoping the rest of 2022 brings for you?
I would love to film a lead in a movie! Steven Spielberg, if you are reading this…
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