Russell, 64, revealed he read for the parts of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
Talking to Graham Norton, he explained: “Guys my age were all lining up to be in it. I read for both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
“At the time we were saying, ‘the Millennium Falcon this’ and ‘the Death Star that’ and we had no idea what we were talking about.
“There was a western show I had been chosen for and I had to make a choice so I asked George Lucas if he thought he would use me but he said he didn’t know so I went for the western — I had to work.”
Currently starring in director Quentin Tarantino’s new movie,, he heaped praise on working with the famed director.
“I love the guy. You have to come to the set prepared to give everything you can think of and you’ll have the greatest time you could have on a movie set,” he said.
“The love of what he does is infectious. If you come ready to play, you’ll have the time of your life.”
However, he did warn that Tarantino has strict rules on set, one being “no devices you can switch on and off”.
The other is no sleeping on set, which Russell revealed had a hefty ‘fine’: “If you are caught, your photo is taken with Big Jerry, a very large purple dildo, next to your face and the photo is displayed on the wall. And, as you get older, you like to take more and more naps.”