Emilia Clarke was excited to play a character that ''could very easily well be a dude'' in 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'.

The 31-year-old actress portrays Qi'ra in the upcoming origins tale and she was delighted to get the chance to portray such a unique woman.

She said: ''We're going to hit you with a character that could very easily well be a dude, because you question her motives.

''That's really f***ing exciting in the 'Star Wars' universe, because that has never happened.''

However, Emilia admitted she initially ''struggled'' with the lack of direction she received in the early days of filming.

She said: ''I'm not gonna lie. I struggled with Qi'ra quite a lot. I was like: 'Y'all need to stop telling me that she's ''film noir,'' because that ain't a note.' ''

But four months into filming, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the project due to ''creative differences'' and the actress credits their replacement, Ron Howard, with ''saving'' the project.

She told Vanity Fair magazine: ''All hail to [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] for hiring Ron.''

And Emilia praised the director for the rapport he quickly built up with the cast, recounting a self-pitying discussion they had over a private meal before production resumed.

She said: ''He even feigned enthusiasm! I know for a fact he had that discussion with everybody. I think we all came to set feeling like his favourite. It makes for a really happy load of actors, with our egos.''

But the former 'Happy Days' star insisted he was quickly impressed with the 'Game of Thrones' actress.

Ron said: ''[Emilia had] the kind of pragmatism and a can-do spirit that often comes from people who have cut their teeth doing television.''

Though the actress wasn't sure why the director change happened, she wasn't totally surprised.

She observed: ''When it comes to that amount of money, you're almost waiting for that to happen. Money f***s us all up, doesn't it? There's so much pressure. Han Solo is a really beloved character.

''This is a really important movie for the franchise as a whole. It's a s**t ton of money. A s**t ton of people. A s**t ton of expectations.''