7ft Tall Star Wars fan misses out on his chance to play Chewbacca

bacchi3A 7ft-tall sci-fi fan says he is disappointed to have missed the chance to play one of his childhood heroes in the forthcoming Star Wars film — despite having the support of online fans.

He may not be named Skywalker, but Christiano Bacciocchi, 21, has his head in the clouds, in more ways than one.

The superfan, who is exactly 7ft tall, has loved the sci-fi series since childhood and even has his own lightsaber.

He dreamed of playing the role of space smuggler Chewbacca, Han Solo’s towering companion, so was delighted when he heard the filmmakers were inviting 7ft-tall actors to audition for the role.

He said: “A friend sent me a link to an article which said the director of the new film, J. J. Abrams, was looking for someone to play the role of Chewbacca. Due to the physical specifications needed, he was having some difficulties.

“Never before had I seen physical prerequisites that fit me so perfectly. As an avid Star Wars fan for years, the idea of actually being Chewbacca sounded magical and exciting.

“I reasoned that since he was having trouble finding someone of my build, maybe there was a chance I could try out for the part.

“I had no acting experience aside from my home movies and brief on-stage performances at school.”

Mr Bacchiocchi, who works in a hospital public relations department, was bombarded by emails from friends who had seen the casting call, telling him that he must go for the part.

He said: “My friends insisted that I would be perfect for the role and that I should do everything I could to get the attention of casting directors.”

Recognising the intense competition for the part, Mr Bacchiocchi immediately took to online communities to drum up support for his quest to be accepted for the role.

He said: “I knew there was not a strong possibility of getting the part. But I am a dreamer. And when one lives their whole life feeling out of place, too big for everything, it is hard not to jump at the chance to belong – especially if that chance involves being the galaxy’s favourite wookie.”

bacchi2Two posts he submitted to Reddit on September 25th, in which he laid out his credentials, received 1,016 comments and were up-voted – given the approval of users – more than 4,000 times.

“This would be such an honour. I’ve never acted much before, but I can do a pretty good wookie-call,” he wrote.

He said: “My first Reddit post hit the front page and I started a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #Chewbacchi, trying to play off my last name in a humorous way.

“I received a lot of support, though there were many who did not think I should get the job, as they held on to the hope of Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca, reclaiming his role.

“Others did not support me because they felt my rise of internet fame in an attempt to get a movie part was insulting to those who worked hard in order to achieve their acting prowess.

“I meant no disrespect to either Peter Mayhew or the acting community. I was simply an individual who wished to be given a chance, and knew no better way to get noticed.

“All the support on Reddit and Twitter was amazing to behold. I have never seen so many people come together to support one idea.”

A day after he posted the message on Reddit, Mr Bacchiocchi was contacted by an actor who informed him that he had been too late – the casting call had closed.

He said: “I was privately messaged later on Reddit by a professional actor who was also auditioning for a part in the new Star Wars movie, and he informed me that the casting call had already closed.

“As much as I didn’t think it would all work out, I was still disappointed.bacchi1

“I had stirred up a strong buzz in the Star Wars community, and hoped someone of importance would at least take an interest in me. Alas, they did not. My emails and other forms of attention-grabbing techniques were useless.

“Though I may not be the next Chewbacca, I will never stop striving for my dreams.”

Mr Bacchiocchi, a lifelong Star Wars fan from Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA, has always stood out because of his size.

“At university, I was so sick of everyone trying to recruit me for basketball, I’m terrible at the sport, that I started a fencing team,” he said.

“I get approached so often about being tall that I have a t-shirt that says: ‘I’m 7 feet tall and I don’t play basketball’.

“I hold the record at the hospital of my birth for longest baby, I was 24 inches long.

“I dress up in medieval attire, not for any particular reason, just because it is fun. I’ve made myself a proper cloak.

“I’ve gone on a few dates because of my height. I had a girl who was very tall come up and ask me for my phone number once.

“Something interesting always happens at concerts. Either I upset people, or I can grab the attention of people on stage.”

Rumoured to star in Star Wars Episode VII, slated for released in 2015, are Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee-Williams and Anthony Daniels, all reprising their roles from the original 1970’s trilogy.

Celebrity fans of Star Wars include actress Kristen Stewart, who was once pictured wearing a Chewbacca t-shirt, musician Gnarls Barkley, who performed on stage dressed as Darth Vader, and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.

Pictures by Benjamin James Steenson

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One thought on “7ft Tall Star Wars fan misses out on his chance to play Chewbacca

  1. Pingback: Star Wars Bits: ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Script Problems Mirror ‘Episode VII,’ Plus eBooks, Trailers And Posters | Filmdot

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