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May 18, 2018 at 08:46 AM EDT

Paul Bettany reminds us it never hurts to ask. The actor plays crime boss Dryden Vos in Solo: A Star Wars Story and he might not’ve landed the role if he didn’t send director Ron Howard this hilarious text message.

“Have you ever spent long winter evenings wondering why you’re not in the Star Wars franchise? I have,” he wrote to Howard, as revealed on The Tonight Show Thursday.

And Howard replied, “LOL I’ll get back to you.”

“It’s a true story” Bettany promised. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You gotta ask.”

Obviously, Howard got back to him and, as Bettany said, he was heading to the Star Wars set two weeks later.

Bettany, who also plays Vision in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe of films, had only just flown back from the film’s screening at the Cannes Film Festival. He was joined by fellow cast members Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, and Joonas Suotamo.

Solo: A Star Wars Story tells of a younger Han Solo (Ehrenreich) as he meets Chewbacca (Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Glover). The film opens in theaters on May 25.

Watch Bettany discuss the film with Jimmy Fallon in the clip above.

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