Greg Grunberg Talks J.J. Abrams and Star Wars: The Force Awakens


The official Star Wars site has an excellent article up this week detailing one actor’s love of Star Wars and becoming part of the saga in The Force Awakens. Check out the interview here.



Greg Grunberg talks about his love for all things Star Wars, who his favorite character is in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, working with Star Wars icons, and a stroll down memory lane in this interview posted by


The interview lets us follow along the journey of the man behind Temmin “Snap” Wexley — the best recon flier in the Resistance’s Starfighter Corps, who took on the quest with Poe Dameron and the Resistance to take down the Starkiller base at the end of ‘The Force Awakens‘. The actor and producer, feels he really was the luckiest best friend in the world to be given the role of Snap Wexley by his long time buddy Director J.J. Abrams.


Grunberg, has appeared in many Abrams movies and television series, including “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost,” “Mission: Impossible III” and “Star Trek,” thus earning the nickname of Abrams’ good luck charm. So it made perfect sense that he would make and appearance in the blockbuster smash Star Wars: The Force Awakens.




From Okay, so who was your favorite character back then?

Greg Grunberg: Han Solo! It was almost like he was begrudgingly going through the movie. It’s just a very relatable character; the guy who doesn’t want to do things by the book and who kind of just always gets them wrong but gets them right, you know, doing it his way. I just think Harrison Ford as Han Solo is brilliant and I immediately gravitated towards him. Now Greg, let’s fast forward to the not-so-distant time of 2013, and you hear the news that your old buddy J.J. Abrams is to direct a new Star Wars film. How long was it until you picked up the phone and begged him for a part — are we talking seconds or milliseconds?

Greg Grunberg: [Laughs] I didn’t know that my autodial worked with my brain! I didn’t even have to dial the phone, man! First of all, he was undecided. It was a huge undertaking, so Kathleen Kennedy sealed the deal and when he told me, I was just so excited for him. Seriously! Usually it goes to a selfish place immediately, like “I’VE GOT TO BE IN THIS,” but I just couldn’t believe that he was being given the keys to the crowning jewel of all films. It blew me away.

And then, of course, I hung up the phone and I was like, “Wait a minute!” And I called him back and said, “Listen, there’s GOT to be something for me!”

The Mission Continues And The Got Your 6 Campaign Host Veterans Day 2012: Celebrating Leadership And Service Was your lifelong friendship on the line depending on his response?

Greg Grunberg: No, there’s nothing J.J. could do that would ruin my friendship with him and, I think, vice versa… Trust me, I’ve tried!

I mean, he had so much on his mind but he never forgot me. For the two of us, the big prize is when we get to hang out and work together. We’re so busy with our families and our work individually, so when we get an opportunity to hang out, it’s the best. So when he saw an opportunity to create a role for me and know that we’re going to be over in London, which is like our favorite city in the world, it was just amazing. I would have gone over anyway just to hang out with him. I really was the luckiest friend and actor in the world to be given the role of Snap Wexley. Which is just the coolest name, by the way. You’ve been acting for years and you’re recognizable for a number of roles, but has being in Star Wars changed your life in any way?

Greg Grunberg: Yes. It’s amazing. Everybody that recognizes me now, it’s for Star Wars. I mean, Heroes, it’s been a while and I’ll get the obscure Big Ass Spider [mention]. But usually if I walk into a room and I see somebody that recognizes me, then I can think, “Oh, she was a fan of Felicity,” or they might have been Alias fans, or, if they’re younger, then it’s Baby Daddy. But Star Wars doesn’t discriminate — everybody watches Star Wars! So it absolutely has changed my life. I mean, Heroes changed my life in a big way but this goes way beyond it, like a 100 times. And I don’t even have a huge role in the movie, so I can’t imagine what’s happening to the stars.

star-wars-han-solo Okay, your favorite character from The Force Awakens…that isn’t Snap Wexley!

Greg Grunberg: Again, I’ve got to say Han Solo. Right, so you’ve basically been giving the same answer since 1977. You’re consistent at least!

Greg Grunberg: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! I just think it was the best performance that Harrison Ford has given in any Star Wars. I turned to J.J. when I first saw THAT moment happen, and I said, “Man, you are not [messing] around,” and he smiled, but I did not smile. I was so bummed! So you didn’t know at all that it was going to happen?

Greg Grunberg: We didn’t get the scripts. I would ask him all the time how it was going and he was always very secretive, he’s all about secrets, but he would say, “Oh, there’s some really cool moments,” but that was it. We usually share a lot of ideas and secrets, but this one was totally top secret.

Carrie Fisher You’ve talked before about how excited you were to be around classic characters such as C-3PO, R2-D2, and Chewie, but who did you most enjoy working with on set? Was there anyone in particular who surprised you?

Greg Grunberg: The ones that you hear the most lore or the most stories about are usually the ones that are so awesome, and just immediately break all the walls between you and them, and here that was Carrie Fisher. She is the greatest, she’s the most fun, and there’s just no pretense. But Harrison Ford is the most professional actor I’ve worked with.

Kevin Smith Finally, I see that later this summer you’ll be working with fellow Star Wars super-fan, Kevin Smith?

Greg Grunberg: Yes, we’re doing Geeking Out on AMC, we’ve partnered with the Weinstein Company. It’s us totally geeking out on the things we love on a peer-to-peer basis. We’ll be using our friends, who are makers of the things that we all know and love, and watch a million times over. Yes, I was in Star Wars, but I’m just as much a fan as anyone else. Oh, and I should mention LEGO Star Wars; I voiced my character Snap Wexley for it! That’s coming out at the end of June.


You can check out the complete interview over at the official site.


We want to remind you that back in 2015, while speaking to a podcast show Greg Grunber revealed that he signed a contract for 3 movies. So Snap Wexley will be returning to the galaxy far, far away next December in Star Wars: Episode VIII.


Check Back for more Star Wars news here at SWNN.


May the Force be with you!


+ posts

92 thoughts on “Greg Grunberg Talks J.J. Abrams and Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • June 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Nice to see his thoughts of the franchise.

  • June 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I wonder if he shows up again in VIII or if it was Abrams nepotism.

    • June 12, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      I heard he was going to be in all 3 ST films.

    • June 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      exactly.. I hate the fact that he got cast just cause they are friends, I mean there are some many great actors out there whose career could kick start if they portrayed Wexley but JJ was more eager to give the role to his C list actor best buddy ..

      • June 12, 2016 at 8:34 pm

        No one’s career is going to be kicked off in a three-minute performance as an X-Wing pilot. JJ didn’t cut some poor brilliant actor off by not giving them this role.

        • June 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm

          How can you honestly say that? Having the TFA on a young newcomers film credits would be golden.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:38 pm

            I hate to break it to you, but a lot of the X-Wing pilots in TFA weren’t even credited. I haven’t seen many Naboo fighter pilots from TPM go on to fame and fortune either.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:56 pm

            Ok fair point, but was Greg credited?

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:01 pm

            Yes. Because he is a fairly well-known actor.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm

            Really?? Only IMDb have him listed for 3 known films, one of which is TFA. I think he might be more well known for being JJ’s friend. It may well be that others have not had that big break, but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in the future.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:11 pm

            He had a fairly large role on the television show Heroes. Movies aren’t the only form of entertainment.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:18 pm

            I realise that and I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you’re feeling or something. All I’m saying is that when it comes to the big screen he’s not exactly a well known actor.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:20 pm

            You’re right. I just think in a film that has a lot of basic storytelling problems (and I like it a lot despite those), we’re doing it a disservice if we focus on little things like Grunberg’s role in it.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:38 pm

            Good point. Its just I find this guy popping up now and he wouldn’t be there, or to looks of it other roles in films/tv, if it wasn’t for JJ. I still enjoy the film despite its faults. Recently commented on how if all three trilogies have a different vibe it isn’t a bad thing.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:12 pm

            Look, JJ had a friend who worked professionally as an actor. He got to direct the biggest movie of all time and gave his friend what basically amounts to a cameo role. Are you telling me you wouldn’t do the same in that situation?

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:16 pm

            I would have given him a role, but like I said to someone else on the topic it would of been done in the manner of Daniel Craig or Simon Pegg.

          • June 13, 2016 at 3:11 am

            Grunberg is an actor from TV series Heroes. He doesn’t belong to cinema.

          • June 13, 2016 at 7:06 pm

            i could tell that from his acting in TFA.

          • June 14, 2016 at 12:45 am

            “Look! There’s an unemployed TPM pilot! And there’s Chancellor Velour’s shuttle!”

        • June 13, 2016 at 1:35 am

          he even got his goddamn action figure, appeared in a Marvel comic book and got an almost a full page in the visual dictionary, we’re not talking a random rebel *cough resistance* pilot here but a rather exposed character. and if you are asking me, yes, I think that sort of exposure could have started someone’s career.

          • June 13, 2016 at 2:26 am

            Yes, but if he hadn’t been a known actor, he wouldn’t have gotten that kind of exposure.

    • June 13, 2016 at 1:40 am

      But I suppose you would, wouldn’t you if you were JJ and your best mate was in need of a break.
      I mean, this is his pension now isn’t it? Good favour to do for a mate.
      But I do think he’s a crap actor.

      • June 13, 2016 at 3:09 am

        Just because you would doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Nepotism is a plague to societies, in the long run it has devastating effects. JJ Abrams himself has been awarded the direction of TFA only because he knows Kathleen Kennedy since he’s 15. She calls him her protégé. He fucked SW very good. But I suppose he couldn’t refuse the opportunity according to you.

        • June 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm

          Society is nepotism. If it wasn’t you’d be king of the internet and I’d be the Grand Emperor of Australia.

  • June 12, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    exactly.. I hate the fact that he got cast just cause they are friends, I mean there are some many great actors out there whose career could kick start if they portrayed Wexley but JJ was more eager to give the role to his C list actor best buddy ..

  • June 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Guy was a waste of time in TFA, tried to be a passable Porkins and failed, and that one liner was pretty lame.

    • June 12, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Stop comparing him to Porkins, he’s a freaking different character!

      • June 12, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        Isn’t that what comparing all about? I couldn’t compare him to a porkpie, because that’s not a character and I can’t compare him to……himself. Get over it and grow up.

    • June 12, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Exactly, and if you watched the deleted scene where he appears again it’s embarrassing. Last thing you want in a Star Wars movie is a bunch of friends who think they are at a cosplaying convention. He looked like a sore thumb and he’s barely in any scene. The presence of Daniel Craig as the stormtrooper who got mind tricked also shows the lack of professionalism of JJ Abrams. This guy wouldn’t be allowed to be near a camera if he wasn’t forced on us by Spielberg and Kathleen kennedy.

      • June 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        Got to agree, though providing identification is covered up like Craig I can let it slide. Having you’re best buddy show his face and act like a chump is totally unprofessional.

      • June 12, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        Grunberg had like three minutes of screentime. This is becoming an absurd level of nitpicking. By all means criticize the film, but your idea of critique is ridiculous.

        • June 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm

          Why is it so wrong not to like a character? He didn’t really add anything to the film, but for those that know he got the part simply from being friends with JJ adds more weight to the criticism.

          • June 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm

            He didn’t take anything away from the film either. This isn’t like Francis Ford Coppola casting his daughter in an integral role in The Godfather Part III.

          • June 12, 2016 at 9:37 pm

            Well IMO he did. The look of Porkins and the trench run was to much for me and spoilt that part of the film. A clean shaven look or basically anything to distance himself from the character of Porkins would of been great.

          • June 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm

            The trench run was already bad. Grunberg failing to shave did nothing to exacerbate that part of the film’s poor quality.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:01 pm

            Other than replicating the Porkins character in a poor way, thus reinforcing the view that it was a revamped trench run. Stick his character in another situation and he wouldn’t remind people of Porkins.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:35 pm

            Grunberg is not meant to recall Porkins. This is something the Internet has saddled him with because he’s a hefty guy. He does nothing to make the trench run into more of a redo of the one in ANH. The imagery does that all on its own.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm

            I doubt very much he was meant to be new Porkins, but it should of been realised as it might possibly be viewed that way when its including a trench run.

          • June 13, 2016 at 5:27 am

            If a fat bearded guy ruined an entire section of the movie for you, you have serious problems IMO.

          • June 13, 2016 at 7:05 pm

            If you had read the thread all I’m saying is that at that point with the trench run his character was a bit to much like Porkins for me.mI felt he wasn’t needed and spoiled it, slightly different to ruining that section.

          • June 13, 2016 at 11:59 pm

            I’m sorry that both trench runs had fat guys. Oh, the humanity.

          • June 14, 2016 at 12:21 am

            Ok – you don’t get it. I’ll try one more time. It was the fact that yet again we had another trench run and a guy that looked like a poor attempt of Porkins who had injected for me little to the film besides a lame joke about hyperspeed. If you don’t like my opinion that’s fine. I never labeled him or Porkins as fat guys, however its not my fault if such characters are easier to spot than others.

          • June 14, 2016 at 12:41 am

            Just for the record I’ve not once called either of those characters fat.

          • June 14, 2016 at 12:50 am

            “Husky” maybe, but never ‘fat’. Fatties get so SENSITIVE when you use that word.

          • June 14, 2016 at 12:55 am

            They’re not fat, just big boned apparently……(or whatever other excuse they use). Maybe that explains some of the hate I’ve been getting over not liking Grunberg. Except I don’t really have an issue over his weight, his acting yes, hell I like Porkins……

          • June 14, 2016 at 4:04 am

            I know. they’re fat though, just to be clear. PORKins.

        • June 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

          Imagine you’re watching a movie and all of a sudden, a weird guy appears on screen for just 3 seconds and says “Hi mom, look at me, I’m in Star Wars, YAY!”. And then you don’t hear about him again, you only see him occasionaly smirking in the background. That would suffice to take you out of the movie, especially a space epic that people were waiting for years to see. This move was made as if it was an SNL skit.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:00 pm

            I’m sorry 3 seconds of the movie was enough to make it an SNL skit for you.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:36 pm

            No, we’re only talking about Grunberg because the topic is about him. The whole movie is SNL material, from Poe Dameron wise cracker to Chris Tucker in space to Dark Helmet to kanjiklub.

          • June 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm

            You know what? You have a very niche opinion and I don’t have any desire to argue with you about it. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the film. The vast majority of filmgoers did. I loved Poe Dameron, I loved John Boyega, I loved Kylo, and I though Kanjiklub was a fine Star Wars name. I also don’t think you have the facts to back up your opinions, having seen your responses on other articles. If you really hate this movie so much, maybe go comment on a website that isn’t entirely about these new films. Have a good one.

          • June 13, 2016 at 7:04 am

            Like Mark Hamill?

            Although to be fair, I did enjoy his cameo

        • June 14, 2016 at 12:28 am

          “This is becoming an absurd level of nitpicking.”
          I mean, you HAVE met Star Wars fans, right?

      • June 12, 2016 at 10:42 pm

        I don’t think Abrams turned down anyone who wanted a part in TFA.

      • June 13, 2016 at 1:16 am


        Move along, nothing to see here.

    • June 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      I thought Greg did fine. Nothing special, but nothing embarrassing either. How was he trying to be a passable Porkins? Because he was overweight?

      • June 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm

        Just the general look, but weight is a factor in that look. If he had a more stylish beard, or even better was clean shaven it would of distanced himself from the character of Porkins.

        • June 12, 2016 at 11:24 pm

          Then people would say he was trying too hard not to look like Porkins. Fans complained about Greg as soon as he was rumored to be in TFA. I thought he was fine.

          • June 12, 2016 at 11:32 pm

            TBH I had never heard of him before.

    • June 12, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      What does his character has to do with Porkins?

      • June 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm

        Other than its a character with more than a passable resemblance to Porkins in a trench run situation, nothing.

        • June 13, 2016 at 1:16 am

          He just asked what Porkins has to do with it. Sensitive, much?

          • June 14, 2016 at 12:38 am

            No. Sticking you’re nose in much? I answered his question, what more do you want……

          • June 14, 2016 at 2:45 am

            Polite discourse.

      • June 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm

        They’re both fat cunts

  • June 12, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I thought he was lame in TFA. Completely useless and nothing likable about him. Porkins had it all going on, this chubby dude, nada.

  • June 12, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Wow there are some butt hurt losers in these comments lol

  • June 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Ugh, Groanburg. Abrams is to him what Bay is to Fox, He’d be collecting unemployment right now if not for him. It looks like they are going to make him a more important character in the sequels too. Yeah, SLJ was stunt casting and even though the PT wasn’t his best work – the huge difference is that he actually has screen presence.

    • June 13, 2016 at 7:45 am

      Ha, I was expecting to be the only one as I scrolled down! The guy has the kind of face you want to slap!

      • June 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm

        No, that would be the obnoxious juvinile Kevin Smith asshole pictured above in the oversized football jersey.

        • June 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

          Yeah, him too.

          • June 13, 2016 at 8:23 pm

            Aren’t they the same dude?

  • June 13, 2016 at 5:25 am

    I seriously don’t know why everyone is complaining about him. He showed up, said one lines, and then basically exited the movie. What a crime (?)

    • June 13, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      For reals.

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I just never thought Snap had a pilot-feel to him in Aftermath (then again, that whole book didn’t have a SW feel to it).

    I’d rather him just be the tech expert/mechanic.

    But to those complaining about Grunberg…grow up.

    • June 14, 2016 at 12:33 am

      To those complaining Aftermath didn’t have a SW feel…….grow up. See what I did there?

      • June 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm

        haha, I spoke about a novel, you guys are taking on a one line performance.

        Fallacy of the False Equivalence.

        • June 14, 2016 at 11:37 pm

          You believe that a Star Wars film, more importantly one classed as part of the saga and given an episode number, is equal to that of novel designed to fill in the gaps. Staggering…..

          • June 16, 2016 at 7:32 am

            One line ruining 2 hours? That’s a nitpick beyond reason.

            An entire novel that people did not like – not a nitpick.

          • June 16, 2016 at 9:02 pm

            I never said it ruined 2 hours of film. You’re nitpicking what’s been said and jumping to conclusion in an effort to cover you’re stupid remark in the first place.

          • June 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

            No, I’m reiterating my point about Grunberg being complained about in an entire thread. The rest is obvious.

          • June 17, 2016 at 12:01 am

            No – you said “One line ruining 2 hours?” No one has said his line ruined the film.

          • June 17, 2016 at 6:22 pm

            So you are now saying people shouldn’t be allowed an opinion?

          • June 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm

            I think you’re just trying to cover up making a comment designed to produce a reaction. Very shallow.

          • June 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

            Well. No.

            But thank you for reacting. Of course, some people make a lot of hay by just reacting.

          • June 19, 2016 at 8:53 pm

            No, you’re making remarks on comments not made to produce a reaction.

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    “We want to remind you that back in 2015, while speaking to a podcast show Greg Grunber revealed that he signed a contract for 3 movies. So Snap Wexley will be returning to the galaxy far, far away next December in Star Wars: Episode VIII.”

    That’s really interesting, because I swear I remember him saying that he had lines that implied him being shot down / killed, and he wouldn’t say them because he didn’t want to be killed off. Or I could be making up things again.

  • June 14, 2016 at 4:18 am

    this guy was in the film for 20 seconds- chill pills are necessary right now

  • June 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I think some of us might be elevating Porkins’ equally miniscule contribution somehwat.

    • June 19, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Perkins was comic-relief, certainly not a serious or forced character. I wouldn’t rate Hootkins contribution as high, but then neither is Grunberg’s. The only difference is Grunberg is making the most of his friendship with JJ, hell half the interview above is related to JJ.

      • June 20, 2016 at 10:58 am

        I don’t even consider Porkins comic relief. he didn’t do anything funny other than have a name that implied he was a pig, lol. he was just one of a number of bit-part pilots. I don’t think there is anything unusual about Grunberg bigging up. one of the things i despair of is how every little spec of Star Wars has to be inflated, usually with an expansive back story. I don’t need to know who built the mouse robot or who his friends were lol.

  • June 14, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Funny. People complaining Snap has a few lines and was gone. But the lame Boba Fett who had a few lines and exited in laughable fashion is some folk hero legend bad-ass to some lol

Comments are closed.