Harrison Ford recalls Indiana Jones fight scene in 1990
Hollywood chatter has been dominated in recent weeks by the news that Harrison Ford, the heavyweight responsible for flicks such as Air Force One and the Blade Runner franchise, will be returning to his role as Indiana Jones a final time. The Chicago-born legend spoke out during a press event confirming new details regarding the franchise’s fifth installment, titled simply Indiana Jones, which is set to be released in June next year. In it, he spoke candidly about the chances of Indiana Jones making a return to the silver screen, leaving fans and critics concerned for the future of their favourite film star archaeologist.
Ford, who has worked with an array of cinema’s finest directors including the likes of George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott, once revealed how hard he worked in the build-up to his big break, with producers convinced he may never make it.
The head of Columbia Pictures, Far Out Magazine reported this year, once claimed that Ford had “no future” in acting, and so to protect his family and career, the Hans Solo actor took up the “steady trade of carpentry instead”.
A CBR report from 2015 noted that he was able to “feed my family and begin to pick and choose from among the roles offered”, as a result of his move to becoming a self-taught carpenter, helping find money for his wife and two young sons.
He added: “I could afford to hold out until something better came along. But I never gave up my ambition to be an actor. I was frustrated but never felt defeated by my frustration.”
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Harrison Ford was a carpenter alongside his acting roles
Among Ford’s clients were the likes of writers Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, whom he and his wife ended up becoming close friends with.
This in turn led him to befriend casting director and producer Fred Roos, who championed the young Ford’s career by recommending he take up an audition he secured with Lucas, which would go on to cement the actor’s legacy through Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
Another director who would work with Ford was Coppola, who had initially hired the Hollywood star to “expand his office”, and he was then cast in the director’s films The Conversation and Apocalypse Now.
Patricia McQueeney, who represented Ford between 1970 and 2005, also discussed Ford’s decision to continue with his craft outside of acting. She said: “Harrison always had enormous dignity and was extremely smart.
Harrison Ford in The Fugitive
“If he didn’t like a role that I gave him, he would just turn it down. And sometimes they were good jobs, very lucrative.
“But they were television jobs, and he wouldn’t tie himself up with a series. He had two little boys and a mortgage, but he’d say, ‘No, I’m not going to do it. I’ll go build a cabinet.'”
Though his role as Han Solo in the Star Wars trilogy, created by Lucas, earned him the breakthrough he so desperately craved, Ford would later note how unimpressed he was with the character, describing it as “relatively thin”.
He told Starpulse: “I would have liked to see some complication for the character; the only complication I didn’t get was to die at the end of the third one. I thought that would have given the whole film a bottom, but I couldn’t talk George into it.”
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Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Ford would later note his affection towards the character, however, when it came to talks of him returning to the role, the star demanding more “mortality” in Han Solo.
Soeaking to Entertainment Weekly, he added: He’s got a good heart but I think he’s certainly a much less interesting character than Indiana Jones. He’s dumb as a stump.
“The breadth of his story utility was never extensive. He was the foil between the other more compelling elements of the film, between the sage old warrior and the young hero.
“There’s not much breadth of character to explore beyond what we got out of him.”
When pressed as to whether he would ever return to play Han Solo, the character who was revisited for 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ford concluded: “No, no, no. Han Solo was very good to me at a certain point in my career. But I’m done. I’m done with him.”