Unknown pair land Star Wars roles

Star Wars

Two young, unknown actors - one of them British - have landed roles in the new Star Wars film following an open casting attended by thousands of hopefuls.

British actor Pip Andersen, 23, is an expert in the gravity-defying sport of parkour and recently showcased his skill at jumping across rooftops in a Sony Spider-Man commercial.

Crystal Clarke is a US actress who is studying in Glasgow and will be seen in her first feature, The Moon And The Sun, which stars Pierce Brosnan, next year.

It is not yet known what roles the pair will play in JJ Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII.

Around 37,000 hopefuls attended open castings in 11 cities across the US and UK, while more than 30,000 submitted applications online.

Lucasfilm president and 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."

Movie bosses said that they were looking to fill lead roles during the open casting.

Film-makers said that they wanted a "handsome, smart and athletic" man to play "Thomas", a 19-to-23-year-old who has grown up "without a father's influence" and "doesn't have the strongest sense of himself".

"Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can't take life too seriously", they announced.

The 17- or 18-year-old female character was described as a street-smart teenager with no family and who, played by someone who is "beautiful, smart and athletic", is forced to "make her way alone in a tough, dangerous town". 

According to his website, Andersen has been doing freerunning and parkour for seven years and is based in Taunton, Somerset. He is married, according to his Facebook page.

Last month it was announced that Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong'o and British actress Gwendoline Christie, best known for Game Of Thrones, have joined the cast of the film.

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) are all reprising their roles in the movie.