Twitter Facebook Instagram Youtube

Photo : ©Marika Rinno
2018/10/22  #013
Reflections on Han Solo: A Star Wars Story and My Interviews with Ron Howard and Alden Ehrenreich

Official website of the show :

■Behind the Scenes

On this morning I headed over to the Ritz Carlton in Roppongi to do interviews for the film Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. Up until this point I’d interviewed a director and interviewed an actor, but this was my first time doing multiple interviews on the same day: director Ron Howard and lead actor Alden Ehrenreich.

My stylist Scarlet and I had decided that my basic look for interviews would be suit and tie, but as I was conducting two interviews on this day, we wanted to change something about my wardrobe between the first and second. As it seemed that I would have some downtime between the interviews, we decided that I would keep the same suit but bring a change of shirt and tie.

On this day I also got to attend my first ever press event. It took place in Tokyo Midtown’s large Hall A, with photographers taking up position in the front, and the TV cameras lined up on elevated platforms in the back. Reporters, us included, sat in the middle. It was a memorable experience, finding myself in a scene that I’d only ever seen on TV.

Watching Ron Howard and Alden Ehrenreich answer reporters’ questions was sobering. Getting to fly around the world to promote a film sounds like a lot of fun, but having to answer the same kind of questions day-in and day-out while acting as if you’re hearing them for the first time sounds...exhausting. In that regard, our two guests were upbeat and sincere throughout—true professionals.

Photo : ©Marika Rinno






■Some Thoughts on Han Solo: A Star Wars Story

As I’ve mentioned in this column before, I’ve been a big Star Wars fan from way back. The epic scale of a space opera, told with elements of adventure and Westerns. A story that appears at first glance to be a hackneyed damsel-in-distress tale, but is actually turned on its head. It’s the perfect recipe to capture the imagination of a young boy on the cusp of becoming a teenager.

The “Star Wars Story” series are anthology films that tell side stories tangentially related to the main Skywalker saga. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) was the closest thing Star Wars has ever had to a war film--the tale of the Rebel Alliance stealing the plans to the Galactic Empire’s space fortress, the Death Star.

In that sense, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is the closest thing Star Wars has ever had to a heist film, portraying space smuggler and outlaw Han Solo in his younger days. Ostensibly, the protagonist of Star Wars has always been Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. But in various character popularity rankings Han Solo has usually been neck and neck with Darth Vader for the top two spots.

Despite the enduring popularity of the character, my feeling is that fans haven’t exactly been chomping at the bit for a Han Solo “solo” film. Han Solo’s story arc in the original trilogy is complete and self-contained: a space outlaw who only looks out for himself (and his sidekick Chewbacca) falls in love with a independent-minded woman, and gradually resolves to fight for a larger cause. Harrison Ford’s performance is restrained but idiosyncratic, and for the longest time it was impossible to imagine anybody else in the role. That person was surely doomed to present a poor imitation of the original.

In that regard, the mere fact that Ehrenreich’s performance is not just a cheap imitation is worthy of praise. As an actor, he’s the real deal, and I can’t wait to see the work he does in the future.

On the other hand, the fact that the performance is not a straightforward imitation presents its own problems, namely the question of whether or not the protagonist of this story needed to be Han Solo. It doesn’t help that there are so many scenes and lines that evoke or overtly reference the original trilogy. That kind of inside baseball is often cringe-worthy from a fan’s perspective, while completely going over the head of the casual moviegoer. Perhaps the story—and Ehrenreich himself—would have benefitted from the film being about a separate space pirate-type that had nothing to do with Han Solo.

Of course, then you would be left without the heart of this film—the meet-cute between Han Solo and Chewie. Is there enough to this story to stand on its own? It’s an agonizing dilemma.


僕は、以前このコラムでも述べたように、子供の頃から『スター・ウォーズ』の大ファンです。宇宙を舞台としたSF (いわゆる“スペースオペラ”)のスケール感、西部劇を意識したアドヴェンチャー的な要素、“囚われの姫を救う王子様”というありきたりの伝説でありながら、それを見事にひっくり返したような展開は、まさに少年の興味をくすぐるものでした。



かと言って、ファンがハン・ソロ単独の映画を熱望していたかと言うと、微妙なところがあります。なぜなら、ハン・ソロのストーリー・アークは、『スター・ウォーズ オリジナル・トリロジー(旧三部作)』で完結しているからです。相棒のチェーバッカを除いて、自分のことしか考えていなかったような宇宙の無法者が、男勝りな姫様に恋をし、大義のために戦うことを決意するという物語でした。ハリソン・フォードの控えめながらも、独特な演技なイメージがあまりにも印象深く、違う俳優が演じるとなるとどうしても“モノマネ”にならざるを得ないのではないかという恐れもありました。


ただ “モノマネ”じゃないからこそ、逆にこの映画の主人公が“ハン・ソロ”である必要があったのか、とさえ思うところもあります。また、オリジナル・トリロジーの名シーンや名台詞を明らかに意識した、いかにもわざとらしい“楽屋オチ”的な場面がいくつもあることは、ファンからするとやりすぎ感があり、逆にファンじゃない人からすると何のことだかピンと来ないのではないでしょうか。むしろ、ハン・ソロから完全に切り離されたオリジナルの宇宙海賊の物語として製作した方が、この物語の面白さも、俳優の魅力も引き出せたのではないかと思います。


■About My Wardrobe / この日の衣裳について

■Zero Halliburton Attaché Case

When putting together an outfit, choosing the right bag can make or break the look; it can also leave a client with the right or wrong impression. Recently I see a lot of guys in suits shouldering backpack-style business bags, but those shoulder straps dig in to the suit fabric, creating unseemly wrinkles and ruining the drape of the suit. Backpacks are for casual occasions, and if your business bag is one of those two-way or three-way bags, I recommend holding it down by your side like a briefcase rather than shouldering it when going to meet clients.

Up until this point in my life I’ve mostly worn business casual—including on the show—and my go-to bag as of late has been a nylon bag from Briefing. But the nylon bag is not such a great match for a suit, which calls for a leather briefcase or attaché case. So for a while now I’ve wanted a proper bag for when I go to conduct these interviews.

A “brief” is a legal document, and the word “briefcase” comes from lawyers showing up to court with a case full of briefs. An “attaché” refers to the staff of an ambassador, and the cases they would carry around came to be called “attaché cases”.

Zero Halliburton is an American bag manufacturer known for their aluminum attaché cases. The Apollo 11 astronauts used a Zero Halliburton case to bring moon rocks back to Earth.

Their classic attaché case is currently available in a lightweight polycarbonate version, as well as in black and blue colors, but I chose to the silver aluminum version: the SL Attache / 94353-05 (¥81,000 tax incl.).

Compared to the polycarbonate the aluminum version is very heavy. For that reason I can’t recommend it for everybody, but let me put it this way: in business, if a suit is your armor, than this attaché case is without a doubt one of your weapons. It has a dial lock that automatically engages when you close the case, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of opening up latches. I love the simple, slim, artistic design.






定番のアタッシュ・ケースは、今では比較的軽いポリカーボネートのものや、ブラックやブルーのものもありますが、僕はアルミニウム製のシルヴァーの『SL Attache / 94353-05』(税込¥81,000)を購入しました。


Wardrobe for my interview with director Ron Howard / ロン・ハワード監督のインタヴュー時の衣裳

■Azabu Tailor purple contrast collar shirt

Photo : ©RendezVous

Up until I started appearing on this show, all the suits I’ve ordered have been made using entry-level fabrics. But for the spring season of SNS Eigojutsu on NHK Educational, I decided to order four new suits in a higher grade of fabric.

People say that your first suit should be in navy, and the second in gray. I agree that those two colors are the most versatile. Black suits, on the other hand, are often associated with weddings, funerals, and other formal occasions and parties. For me, the film Men in Black immediately comes to mind.

Technically speaking, a black suit is different from wedding and funeral attire. I had this suit made using a black fabric with a kind of luster from an Italian fabric maker called Angelico. Now, wearing clothes with a luster or sheen at a funeral would be a major faux pas.

Also, wedding and funeral attire does not have a vent—that slit you see on the backside of suit jackets. For this suit, I asked for side vents (one vent on each side of the back panel).




因みに、日本語ではこのシャツのように襟と袖口に白い生地を用いたデザインを“クレリック”と呼びます。(“クレリック”とは英語で“牧師”や“聖職者”のことです。)しかし、この名称は和製英語であり、英語では“contrast collar”あるいは単純に“white collar and cuffs”と言います。

Photo : ©RendezVous

Azabu Tailor &C Omotesando Store
麻布テーラー &C表参道店
M.T.Bld. 1&2F Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061
〒 107-0061  東京都港区北青山3-7-10 M.T.ビル1F・2F
TEL : +81-(0)3-5485-3840
Open 営業時間 12:00-20:00(Weekday/平日)
11:00-20:00(Sat, Sun and holidays /土日祝)
Last Call 19:30
Closed 定休日 : Thursday / 木曜日

■Brooks Brothers white button-down shirt

Photo : ©RendezVous
I paired this Brooks Brothers tonal square and dot tie (¥15,120 tax incl.) with my purple contrast collar shirt from Azabu Tailor.

The design features squares and dots arranged in a geometric pattern, and the Italian silk has a refined luster.

「麻布テーラー」の紫色のクレリック・シャツと合わせたネクタイは『ラグジュアリー トーナルスクエア/ドット ジャカードタイ』(税込¥15,120)です。


Photo : ©RendezVous

Brooks Brothers Aoyama Flagship
ブルックス・ブラザーズ 青山本店
3-5-6 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061
〒107-0061 東京都港区北青山3-5-6
TEL : +81-03-3404-4295
Open 営業時間 :11:00~19:30
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

Wardrobe for my interview with actor Alden Ehrenreich / オールデン・エアエンライクさんのインタヴュー時の衣裳

■Global Style white dress shirt

Photo : ©RendezVous

After finishing my interview with director Ron Howard, my producers and I had lunch before returning for my interview with Alden Ehrenreich. I changed shirt and tie along the way.

I ordered this shirt last year along with my navy and gray Global Style suits. It has a semi-wide collar and French cuffs.

For studio tapings I usually don’t wear a tie and stick with button-down shirts, but occasions like this are reminder that every man needs simple white dress shirts in his wardrobe.





■Global Style navy suit / 「グローバル・スタイル」のネイヴィー・スーツ

Check out WARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #005 for more information about this item.

この商品は、以前紹介したのでWARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #005を参照してください。

Photo : ©RendezVous

GlobalStyle Shinjuku South Exit Store
グローバルスタイル 新宿南口店
3-29-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-29-5
TEL : +81- (0)3-5413 3949
Open 営業時間
平日:11:00~21:00 / 土日・祝日:11:00~20:00
3月、9月、11月: 第3日曜日は13:00~20:00 Closed 定休日 : 5月、7月 第3日曜日は休店日

■Brooks Brothers striped tie

Photo : ©RendezVous
For my white Global Style dress shirt I went with this BB#3 Rep Tie (¥12,960 tax incl.).

The “repp” in repp ties refers to a type of weave rather than a type of pattern, and so come in many designs. Perhaps the most well known is the regimental tie. The name comes from the fact that the striped patterns were originally used by British army regiments in their flags and ties to identity their affiliation.

This is a burgundy tie with gold stripes, eerily similar to the official school colors of UCLA rival and nemesis USC—cardinal red and gold. For that reason I hesitated before buying it. Regimental ties carry a message—they represent and reflect upon the wearer. Something to think about when choosing colors.


「グローバル・スタイル」の白いシャツと合わせた『Basic BB#3 バーストライプ レップタイ』(税込¥12,960)です。



Photo : ©RendezVous

Brooks Brothers Aoyama Flagship
ブルックス・ブラザーズ 青山本店
3-5-6 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061
〒107-0061 東京都港区北青山3-5-6
TEL : +81-03-3404-4295
Open 営業時間 :11:00~19:30
Closed 定休日 : No fixed holidays / 不定休

■My Very First Selfie

On this day my first interview was with director Ron Howard. As someone who grew up watching a lot of TV reruns, Ron Howard will forever be associated in my mind with his sitcom roles—specifically as the son of the titular sheriff in The Andy Griffith Show and as the naive teenage protagonist of Happy Days. I also think of him as class president Steve Bolander from (Star Wars creator) George Lucas’s film American Graffiti. These days, of course, he’s known more for his directorial work in such films as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. But in person the man still has a kind of boyish charm, a twinkle in his eye. During the interview I had to stop myself from wanting to shout out “Richie!” his character from Happy Days.

From the moment Alden Ehrenreich came onto the state at the press event sporting a leather jacket and cool bracelet, I knew he was unlike the young stars and celebrities of today—this was someone cut from the same mold as old Hollywood greats. During our interview he broke the ice when he asked me where I was from and we realized we were both Californian (he grew up in the Pacific Palisades, on the west side of L.A.). I’m excited to see what he does next as an actor. For anybody unfamiliar with his work, he is an absolutely scene-stealer in his role as a side character in the Coen brother’s 2016 film Hail Caesar.

There was a surprise waiting for me at the end of my interview with Alden Ehrenreich. A certain “walking carpet” walked (barged?) into the interview room—Han Solo’s wookie sidekick Chewbacca. (There is a scene in the film A New Hope where Princess Leia refers to Chewie as a “walking carpet”.) Chewie is an imposing figure, but when I asked him for a hug he happily obliged. A dream come true!

What’s more, my interview with Mr. Ehrenreich was going to air on an episode where we were featuring #selfie, so I got to take a selfie—my first real selfie, at that—with Han Solo and Chewie. (My first real selfie!) Side note, it was impossible to tell on TV, but the selfie stick I was using was actually a lightsaber.




エアエンライクさんとのインタヴューの終盤にサプライズがありました。インタヴュー・ルームに突如現れたのは、なんとあの“ウォーキング・カーペット”(歩く絨毯)、ハン・ソロの相棒であるウーキーのチェーバッカでした。(『スター・ウォーズ エピソード4/新たなる希望』でレイア姫は毛むくじゃらのチューバッカを“ウォーキング・カーペット”と呼んでいます。)一見すると威圧的な姿の彼ですが、僕がハグをしたいというと、快く受け入れてくれました。子供の頃からの夢が一つ叶いました。