J.J. Abrams has expanded the already impressive cast of his upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, as both Pip Anderson and Crystal Clarke have climbed on board. Both actors were found after an open casting call across 11 U.S. and U.K. cities. 37,000 individuals attended the casting calls, with a further 30,000 submitting applications online.
If you’re unfamiliar with the names Pip Anderson and Crystal Clarke, it’s because neither has appeared in a released feature film before. Andersen is a parkour artist, having highlighted this skill set in a Spider-Man ad for Sony and in the first World Freerunning Championships in September of 2008. Clarke, on the other hand, is an American actress studying in Glasgow, who has appeared in stage productions and has a role in the upcoming The Moon and the Sun.
In an official statement, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said:
“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.”
Andersen and Clarke join a packed cast, which includes Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow. It seems likely that both will only have small roles in the movie, considering how late news of their casting has come, but it’s still exciting that Lucasfilm is staying true to its practice of casting newcomers and fresh faces in the Star Wars films.
Star Wars: Episode VII is set to land on December 18th, 2015.