Daisy Ridley, Joonas Suotamo


Fans are finding out just how hot Chewbacca really is under all that fur, both literally and figuratively, and they are living for it.

The man behind the mask is the handsome Joonas Suotamo, who will be apprising the role of Chewbacca when he officially takes over for Peter Mayhew in the upcoming Star Wars film about the early life of Han Solo.

Before Suotamo became Harrison Ford's furry friend on the Millenium Starship, however, this 31-year-old was studying film and video at Penn State. While attending, the 6-foot 10-inch student took advantage of his tall height and played power forward for his basketball team until he graduated in 2008.

That same height advantage didn't carry on into his professional life, unfortunately, as the star struggled to find roles that weren't hindered by his height. So for a time he sold insurance, telling Business Insider, "I actually sold the insurance over the phone, so my size wasn't a factor when approaching people with my pitch."

A post shared by Joonas Suotamo (@joonassuotamo) on

Luckily, however, the Finnish actor took his talent from the basketball courts to the big screens when he was cast as the lovable—and tall—Wookie for the Star Wars films.

Since then, he has had a great time learning the ropes of playing the giant character from Mayhew himself and even working alongside all the famous actors, although he does regret that one time Chewbacca smacks a porg.

In his free time, the actor is also preparing for the arrival of his first child in February (he popped the question in early August) and, of course, playing battlefront with his friend and co-star, John Boyega. Not to mention the time Prince Harry and Prince William stopped by the set and he offered them a seat onboard the Millenium Falcon. 

Joonas wrote on Instagram, "With them both being pilots, I told them that the pilot seat of the #milenniumfalcon has recently become vacated and that we are searching for a fearless fighterpilot-type to join the team. They promised to give it some thought."

Star Wars fans will sort of get a sneak peek at the Finnish actor when both he and Mayhew play Chewbacca in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which hits theaters on December 15.

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