He is among the most popular actors of the 20th century. Harrison Ford has starred in dozens of hit films, including the second-grossing film of all time, Star Wars. So what does it take to be such a popular actor? This was the topic of discussion in a recent informal interview after a screening of his hit new movie, Firewall.
When asked how he makes his roles come to life, Ford’s jovial side shined through. “Well, there is money involved,” he said.
Ford explained that acting is his job. As such, he takes it very seriously, and gives it everything he has.
Another subject of discussion was the choosing of scripts. Ford offered several things that pass through his mind as he mulls a script. He said he likes scripts that are different and challenging, but most of all he looks for scripts that will be entertaining.
“I think this is a service occupation where we are storytellers, and there’s no sense in telling stories that people don’t want to hear,” Ford said.
Looking forward, he said he would like to do a comedy at some point, because his resume is loaded with dramas, but the category of comedy is left wanting so far.
Ford, who early in his life worked as a carpenter and messenger boy for popular rock band The Doors, reflected on what made him decide to be an actor. As a philosophy major in college, he was looking for a class that would be an easy grade. He picked a drama class. Little did he know just how challenging it would be. At first he was scared witless, but angry with himself he became determined to overcome the feeling.
“When I did, I also found that what I was engaged in, with people trying to tell a story, was something that felt better than any other thing I’d ever done before,” he said.
He never planned on being a popular actor, though.
“I thought I was going to be a character actor. I thought I would be lucky to get jobs in television and stuff,” he said.
When Star Wars hit the screen in the 70’s, he quickly realized that he had a lot more to offer.
Since then, Ford has been in one hit film after another. He has played the consummate good guy in Indiana Jones, and the secretive bad guy in What Lies Beneath. With Indiana Jones 4 due for initial filming in summer 2006, expect to see more from this great actor soon.