As a promotional run for Showtime’s “Years Of Living Dangerously,” the new 9-part documentary series that focuses on the “human impact on climate change with very real stories of lives changed,” Harrison Ford did something I never thought he’d do (but now I love him EVEN MORE for): braved the fanboys and jumped in the Reddit pool for his very own AMA (Ask Me Anything) session.
Even though he was supposed to be there to discuss the upcoming Showtime series, of COURSE he did what a man of his age and stature does – ANYthing he wanted.
Here are some of the biggest highlights:
On the subject of snakes: “I actually like snakes! When I was young, I was a boy scout nature camp counselor, and one of our projects was collecting snakes and creating an environment for them, so I’m quite familiar with snakes and think they’r fantastic creatures.”
Blade Runner 2: “I’m quite curious and excited about seeing a new script for Blade Runner if in fact the opportunity would exist to do another, if it’s a good script I would be very anxious to work with Ridley Scott again, he’s a very talented and passionate filmmaker. And I think it would be very interesting to revisit the character.”
Whether or not Deckard is a replicant: “I think that it’s a wonderful storytelling mechanism for that question to be left unanswered. I love that people are still curious about it.”
Best/Worst set experience: “The set for Blade Runner was maybe the hardest set I’ve ever worked on because I think we worked 50 nights in a row, and it was always raining.”
Injuries/weird occurrences/funny stories on any of the Indiana Jones sets: “Oh, let’s see. On the first Indiana Jones movie, I tore an ACL in one of my knees, can’t remember which knee, the scene in which I was fighting the big German mechanic on an airplane called a flying wing, I was run over by the landing gear and injured my knee, but I can’t remember which one it was. Lots of bumps and injuries along the way.
Funny stories? We were shooting in Tunisia, and the script had a scene in which I fight a swordsman, an expert swordsman, it was meant to be the ultimate duel between sword and whip. And I was suffering from dysentery, really, found it inconvenient to be out of my trailer for more than 10 minutes at a time. We’d done a brief rehearsal of the scene the night before we were meant to shoot it, and both Steve and I realized it would take 2 or 3 days to shoot this. And it was the last thing we were meant to shoot in Tunisia before we left to shoot in England. And the scene before this in the film included a whip fight against 5 bad guys that were trying to kidnap Marian, so I thought it was a bit redundant. I was puzzling how to get out of this 3 days of shooting, so when I got to set I proposed to Steven that we just shoot the son a bitch and Steve said, “I was thinking that as well.” So he drew his sword, the poor guy was a wonderful British stuntman who had practiced his sword skills for months in order to do this job, and was quite surprised by the idea that we would dispatch him in 5 minutes. But he flourished his sword, I pulled out my gun and shot him, and then we went back to England.”
Line fans ask Ford to say the most (is SURPRISINGLY not from “Star Wars”): “Get off my plane.” (From Air Force One.)
On whether or not he has an ant or spider named after him: “Yes, I think an ant was named after me by Dr. E.O. Wilson (Harvard University) and they offered to name a butterfly after me, and I thought that would be better that it be named after my daughter, Georgia.”
(Author’s note: here’s what his bugs look like!)
Pheidole harrisonfordi (ant)
Calponia harrisonfordi (spider)
On how he became Han Solo: “I was approached with the offer of a job, which at that point, was all I wanted to hear. I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principle parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han, I was quite surprised when I was offered the part. My principle job at the time was carpentry, I had been under contract as an actor at Columbia and Universal. I had a house at the time I wanted to remodel, a bit of the wreck of a house. I’d invest money in tools but wouldn’t have money for materials, so I realized this was another way of putting food on the table. And allowing me to pick and choose from the acting jobs that were being offered at the time.”
On Han’s famous “I know” line and if it was ad libbed: “It’s not really an ad lib, it was a suggestion, and movie making’s a real collaborative process at its best. You don’t ad lib it, you suggest it and then you try something in rehearsal and then you agree. So it was my suggestion, because I thought it was more of a character line than what was written, but the director and Carrie and I all thought it was a good idea at the time so we did it.”
Why he said “yes” to “Expendables 3”: “I was on my way to Indonesia to do Years of Living Dangerously, and halfway around the world. And the location for Expendables was right on the way, and they asked me for a relatively short period of time, and it seemed like fun. I hadn’t seen the films but I looked one of them and i thought it was kind of funny, so I thought why not?”
On the new Showtime documentary series “Years Of Living Dangerously”: “Years of Living Dangerously is a wonderful opportunity to reach a lot of people with the story and importance of climate change in our lives, in recent history there’s no bigger threat to the quality of human life than what is taking place right now in respect of climate change. So the chance to bring attention to this issue, this problem, and the potential solutions and mitigations of the problem, was a really important opportunity for me. I’ve been committed to try to be useful in the protection of nature for a long time through my association through Conservation International, and I thought the people involved in this project were thoughtful and creative and I was very happy to have the chance to work with them.”
(You KNEW this was coming) Who HE thinks “shot first”: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
But I gotta say my FAVE answer from the AMA comes courtesy of Redditor biscuitSnatcher:
“I live in your old house on Woodrow. Are there any secrets I should know about?”: “Yes. There’s millions of dollars buried in your basement.”
I’d always pictured Harrison Ford as a grizzled old man like in the old SNL sketch “Are You Grizzled?” featuring Garth Brooks and Robert Duvall but it seems that my love for the man burns stronger than ever with this simple paragraph.
Someone said thank you for being a part of so many childhood films: Well, thank you. I really appreciate that. It’s a privilege to be able to be involved with people as talented as the people I’ve had the luck to work with, and it’s just been a great experience for me, and I’m glad that so many of the films I’ve had the luck to do were films that could be enjoyed by families together.
If you’d like to know more about the absolutely fascinating Showtime series “Years Of Living Dangerously” and catch the first episode, hit the official website.
Thanks again for this amazing AMA, Mr. Ford. I’d say “I love you,” but I already know your reply. Oh, to hell with it. I LOVE YOU.
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