The new film The Yellow Birds will give Star Wars fans a completely different look at their latest hero, Alden Ehrenreich. While Solo shows the exciting origin story of Han's (Ehrenreich) transformation from felonious smuggler to Rebel Alliance pilot, The Yellow Birds is a movie based far more in realism. Jennifer Aniston stars with Ehrenreich in the film about young Iraq War enlistees, and in an exclusive clip from The Yellow Birds, you can see the two actors in action together. Not only does the clip show Ehrenreich in a role that's much different from the iconic Han Solo, but it also shows Aniston like you've probably never seen her before.
While the former Friends star is beloved by fans for her friendly, lighthearted "girl next door" demeanor, The Yellow Birds sees her going more serious than she typically has in the past. Aniston plays the mother of a young man named Daniel Murphy (Tye Sheridan) who enlists in the Iraq War and befriends Ehrenreich's Brandon Bartle. The clip below shows a family dinner in which Brandon meets Aniston's Maureen Murphy before the boys set out for battle. While Maureen seems to want to welcome Brandon as a friend of the family, the young soldier doesn't seem too thrilled by his unit's family night.
In theaters and on demand June 15 (and available now on DirecTV), The Yellow Birds follows the story of both Brandon and Daniel's tours in the Iraq War, and it's a devastating look at the toll war can take. Daniel goes missing in action, and Maureen seems to think that Brandon knows something about what happened although he refuses to reveal much about his time in battle. Aniston's character isn't the only one who wants to know more; Brandon's own mother, Amy Bartle (Toni Collette) feels so in the dark that she even asks her son, "Who are you?"
The drama and pain is a far cry from the emotions seemingly experienced in the family dinner, when Brandon and Maureen had no idea what kind of drama and sorrow would come. Sure, Maureen seems nervous about her son going off to war, but there's no way that she knew at the base's dinner that Brandon might later hold the secrets about her son's disappearance.
For fans of Ehrenreich's take on Han Solo, seeing him as an American soldier might feel jarring, to say the least. But it shows that the actor clearly has range, and is able to take on roles as different from each other as it gets. Then there's Aniston, who, as said, is playing a character unlike most of her most well-known roles. In an interview with Variety, Aniston explained that she wanted to play Maureen because it's so different from the parts most people probably know her from. "I read the script and it was absolutely gut-wrenching. It’s not normally where I gravitate toward a film like this. I fell in love with the whole idea of it. When they asked me to play one of the mothers, I said: 'Of course,'" Aniston said.
Later in the Variety interview, Aniston praised the Solo actor's performance in the film, saying, "Alden is just like watching a young Leonardo DiCaprio." That's a pretty huge compliment, but it seems legit considering the actor's ability to convincingly star in both Solo and The Yellow Birds over the span of just a few months. It seems like Ehrenreich could very well have a sensational acting career ahead of him, just like Aniston, and seeing the two stars together in The Yellow Birds feels like a Hollywood-icon match made in heaven.