A TAUNTON actor has landed himself a starring role in the latest Star Wars film having outshone thousands of other hopefuls at an open audition.

Pip Andersen, 23, a well-known free-runner and expert in the field of Parkour, beat off competition from around 37,000 performers at open castings and auditions in 11 US and UK cities, to land the highly-sought Hollywood role.

As an actor, Pip is still relatively unknown, but was recently the star of a Sony Spiderman commercial where he showed off his death-defying free-running skills jumping across rooftops.

Which role the former Heathfield School student will play in JJ Abraham's Star Wars Episode VII is still unknown, but Pip will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mark Hamill, who secured the starring role as Luke Skywalker in 1977, before going on to appear in the next two films - he will also feature in the forthcoming Episode VII.

Pip, a member of pro free-running team Storm Freerun will join Hollywood legend Harrison Ford for the next installment of the immensely popular sci-fi epic.

In a statement on the Star Wars website, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: “The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition.

"We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film.”