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Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a challenge, says Greg Grunberg

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Greg Grunberg, a lifelong Star Wars nerd, was so excited to watch The Force Awakens that he couldn’t help but do so while on set. Unfortunately, this proved to be a problem for his longtime friend and director J.J. Abrams, since Grunberg was also acting in the film.

“J.J. caught me watching the movie,” Grunberg says. “He’s like, ‘Cut! Cut.’ He comes over to me he’s like, ‘Dude, you’re watching the movie as I’m shooting the movie. You can’t do that.’

Grunberg, who appears in The Force Awakens, was describing a scene he was acting in, which featured “legacy” Star Wars actors like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

“I’m around a table and there’s Harrison and there’s Carrie and you know, Carrie Fisher is the greatest. Harrison is great too. I mean come on, it was a dream,” Grunberg says.

The experience of working on the film with Abrams, who directed Grunberg on TV shows like Felicity and Alias, brings their friendship full circle. They saw the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, together when Grunberg was 12 years old. “We got dropped off and we saw it at the Avco theater which is why the code name for Star Wars when we were shooting it was Avco,” Grunberg explains.

But even with their long history with the franchise and each other, Grunberg wants to go into the finished product as fresh as possible for someone who was on set.

“As a fan I don’t want to know,” Grunberg says, echoing his previous sentiment to EW about being in the film. “But he is like a kid in a candy store. He’s like, ‘John Williams scored the movie!’ I’m like, ‘Dude, I don’t want to hear it.'”

For more from Abrams himself about The Force Awakens, as well as stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega and Daisey Ridley, check out EW’s latest issue.

Reporting by Abby Stern for People.

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