Casting for “Star Wars: Episode VII” is in full swing, with open calls for two lead roles starting today in Chicago and thousands of fans turning up in the UK to compete for the same parts. As if your chances weren’t slim enough, Disney has opened up the call to online submissions. But worry not, future Lukes and Leias! MTV News has read through the sides — two pages of script meant to evoke the characters for the auditions, but not actually appear in the movie — and we have seven tips to follow so you can nail the tryout. You can thank us in your acceptance speech:
1. Actually Be A Teenager
The sides are written for two teens, Rachel and Thomas (almost assuredly not their real names) who are bloody, beaten, and on the run. But more importantly, the way they talk they’re definitely written as teens. If you were around to watch the original trilogy in the theaters, you’re in your thirties, so don’t even try out. If you were around to watch the prequel trilogy in theaters, on the other hand? Go forth and make that sweet cheddar.
2. Watch “The Hunger Games”
A large portion of the two-page epic is taken up with Thomas bleeding from the leg, and Rachel trying to get him to eat while they hide in a barn. You could watch “Star Wars” movies to prep, but those will teach you more about podracing and trade regulations than simple human decency. “The Hunger Games,” however, would be a great primer, as the scene reads like it was written for Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta. Don’t necessarily imitate, but do watch and learn.
3. Dress The Part, But Don’t Dress The Part
Since the online audition can be filmed in your home, be sure to not just wear your Yoda jams and call it a day. Dress up a bit, as if you were physically going in for an audition. But do not dress in “Star Wars” outfits! Remember, the script is set on a road and in a barn, not on a space road and in a space barn. You want to show off the intensity of your acting, not the intensity of your cosplay.
4. Get A Friend
Both Rachel and Thomas’ sides are the same, playing up each character equally. Though you can only have one person on camera at a time, the casting agency does ask for you to have someone just off camera reading the scene. Have a friend who also wants to audition? Why not work out the scene with them, and then switch off who’s on camera. Your performance will be stronger for it.
5. Shoot First, Then Second, Then Third
A particular advantage for the online audition is that you can do more than one take of your performance. Seems kind of obvious, but shoot more than once and then use the best take to send in, not just your first shot. Remember, Greedo shot first and look where that got him.
6. Use Spell-Check
One of the stage directions reads, “She lowers him down — which puts her face mere inches from his open would.” We’re pretty sure they meant to write the word “wound” instead of “would,” so please adjust your performance accordingly.
7. Have Several Movie Roles Under Your Belt
Let’s be honest here: the whole thing is just a PR stunt to set up the inevitable story where J.J. Abrams can say, “We saw thousands of incredibly talented people, but when Bershnitckity Scooperpants came in, we just knew that was our Rachel.” There’s a slim chance the person nabbing either of these roles might be a total unknown, but casting directors are going to have to sift through so much footage, headshots, and résumés that only people with real credits are going to rise to the top.
We’re not saying that Rachel McAdams will get cast, but if these truly are lead roles, directors want to know their actors are reliable workers and not just someone who wandered off the street. Remember, every “unknown” actor in “Star Wars” history, from Mark Hamill to Jake Lloyd actually had plenty of Hollywood experience behind them before they hit the big time.