Evangeline Lilly Wanted to Play Princess Leia, But Carrie Fisher Already Had It in the Bag

Evangeline Lilly had a dream. That dream was to play Princess Leia.
Evangeline Lilly had a dream. That dream was to play Princess Leia.
Photo: Disney

Evangeline Lilly actively asked to be a part of a project one time, and one time only. It was when she found out J.J. Abrams was making a new Star Wars movie.


“Several years ago, when I found out that J.J. Abrams was remaking, or rebooting, the Star Wars franchise, it was the only time in my career that I’ve ever put a call out. I wanted to be Leia,” Lilly said talking to Syfy.

Obviously, at the time Lilly didn’t know exactly what the movie—which would become The Force Awakens—actually was. She just knew Abrams (from his work on Lost), loved Star Wars, and wanted to cover all her bases just in case. It was, after all, a childhood dream.

“I was so in love with Leia when I was a little girl,” she continued. “Those were my two fantasies: to be a woodland elf and to be Leia tied to Jabba the Hutt in her sexy bikini. But then they called me back and said, ‘Well, there’s a little-known actress called Carrie Fisher who will be playing Princess Leia.’ Well, FINE, I guess that’s OK.”

Luckily there was a consolation around the same time. Lilly was cast as Hope Van Dyne in Marvel’s Ant-Man, with the plan of becoming the Wasp after that. “If I got to be a woodland elf and Kate from Lost and Leia, that would cover it. And then I got to be the Wasp! That’s all the big franchises,” she said.

Lilly will next be seen, somehow, in Avengers: Endgame. A film that, predictably, she can’t say much about. But head over to Syfy to read what she had to say, plus some thoughts on Lost, The Hobbit, and her new book too.

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Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.



If they had gone down that road (and thank god they didn’t) I could see it.