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Creator / Harrison Ford

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"I remember the flight deck was on a sound stage and there was a big sign that said NO DRINKING, NO SMOKING AND NO EATING ON SET. At one point I looked over and Harrison was in the doorway beneath the sign with a burrito, a cigar and a cup of coffee, which I thought was hilarious. I could never get the image out of my head."
Gary Oldman on Air Force One

Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American actor.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he spent his early acting career in a degree of minor roles while working as a carpenter. In fact, he was so successful as a contractor he would pick and choose movies versus carpentry projects, the latter of which included creating a massive customized bookshelf for Francis Ford Coppola's home office. Thanks to his friend, casting director Fred Roos, his earliest notable film work was in George Lucas' American Graffiti and The Conversation, directed by Coppola. Later he came in to read lines for Lucas' next project, a Space Opera titled Star Wars. Steven Spielberg persuaded Lucas to cast him as Lovable Rogue Han Solo.

The rest, to use an old cliché, is history.

Following A New Hope, Ford was kept pretty busy with smaller films, as soon was cast as Adventure Archaeologist Indiana Jones in the Lucas-produced and Spielberg-directed Raiders of the Lost Ark (after original choice Tom Selleck was unable to get released from his Magnum, P.I. contract.) It became the biggest box office hit of 1981 and cemented him as an A-List star. With Indy, it made him one of the few actors who are recognizable for two incredibly iconic movie characters (alongside Sylvester Stallone for Rocky and Rambo, and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator). He followed up with three more Star Wars films and three more Indiana Jones films. In 1982 he starred in Ridley Scott's "future noir", Blade Runner, which initially lost money and received mixed reviews but has since become one of the critical darlings of the 1980's and has achieved a cult following.


Much of his career in the 80s and 90s was as Badass Bookworm and Badass Bureaucrat characters. In 1985 he played a cop hiding among the Pennsylvania Amish in Witness. It earned him his first and so far only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Witness was directed by Peter Weir, who next made The Mosquito Coast with Ford. Based on the Paul Theroux novel about an American inventor who uproots his family to live in a Central American jungle, it also starred Helen Mirren and River Phoenix as his wife and eldest son. It was followed by Frantic, a thriller set in Paris directed by Roman Polanski, a supporting role in Mike Nichols' comedy Working Girl, and the Courtroom Drama Presumed Innocent by Alan J. Pakula.

Ford has become a very bankable actor (his work across 36 films has grossed a total of $3.6 billion; he was statistically the most bankable actor for many years until Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson surpassed his numbers, though he regained the honor after the spectacular success of The Force Awakens), starring in many famous and successful films, including The Fugitive, Air Force One. He took over the Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin (for The Hunt for Red October) in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.


While no longer headlining those big movies nearly every year as he once did, he can still be seen frequently in newer films, experimenting with character-pieces alongside the big blockbusters. But he has no intention of stopping, even well into his 70's.

Once married to Melissa Matheson, screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Ford is currently married to Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal, Brothers and Sisters, and Supergirl, with the latter featuring her character annoyed that Ford keeps hitting on her despite being someone). He has a ranch in Wyoming and is a licensed pilot, at least twice used his helicopter to rescue hikers in distress. In 2015 he was injured when he crashed a World War II vintage plane onto a golf course (an investigation by the NTSB later revealed that Ford was trying to make an emergency landing after his plane lost power). Jokes about piloting the Millennium Falcon or Air Force One were made. It has been noted by many individuals that while he is a friendly guy he is actually rather quiet and reserved in real life, contrasting the roguish and charismatic characters he plays.

Ford is also notable for having worked on more Academy Award for Best Visual Effects-winning movies than any other actor. (The first three Star Wars movies, the first two Indiana Jones movies, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Blade Runner 2049 all won). note 

Despite being delighted to return for the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, in the decades since the Original Trilogy, he's apparently developed a long standing feud with Chewbacca, the Wookiee sack of shit. Something involving his wife. See here for more details. However, they eventually made peace in time for the release of The Force Awakens. He's also apparently become good friends with his successor in the role of Han Solo, even interrupting him during an interview to tell him that he couldn't be happier with the job the younger man did (after first yelling at him to get out of his chair, of course.)

Oh, and everyone loves him. And he wants his family back, thank you.


Tropes Associated with Harrison Ford

  • Character Tic: He has two throughout his career. First, he often gives a half-smile. Second, and more notably, he'll point at people if he's angry enough.
  • Cool Old Guy: Reprising his most famous roles in his 70s makes him this by definition. Ryan Gosling noted that on the set of Blade Runner 2049, Ford came to set earlier and worked harder in the fight scenes than anyone else there, and this was only a few months after 1) being in a plane crash and 2) severely injuring his leg on the set of The Force Awakens.
  • The Comically Serious: Has this reputation in real life. Ryan Gosling related a story from the set of Blade Runner 2049 where he asked Ford whether he got his sense of humor from his mother or his father, and Ford replied "Sears, and they were closing, so I didn't have time to shop around."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Extremely deadpan in real life. If his sense of humor was any drier, you could serve it with fish.
  • Doing It for the Art: He never intended to be a mega star, he just wanted to be a working character actor and that mindset remained throughout. He has made the goal of appearing in small roles in certain projects and attempts to disappear so that it doesn't overwhelm the film. He has also worked through legitimate injuries on set believing that his character would have been hurt too in some way, and add more tension seeing him limp.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: His first two roles in American Graffiti and The Conversation seemed poised to launch a career playing sleazy villains. Then Star Wars came along.
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: He is known for charismatic quip-a-minute characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, but in real life is famous for being a very reserved, thoughtful man who needs a good interviewer asking the right questions to make his interviews interesting. Even then he has a very dry, understated sense of humour.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Will jokingly play this up for laughs in interviews, especially with talk show hosts that he knows well.
  • Guttural Growler: His voice has only gotten more gravelly with age.
  • Method Acting: He will sometimes purposefully avoid memorizing his lines when he feels his character should be desperately reacting to the moment. For the most part Ford jokes that he's from the "let's pretend school of acting."
  • No Stunt Double: He has one, but reserves them for only the most difficult stunts. He does everything he can himself, but calls it "physical acting." He became close friends with his stunt man and stunt coordinator for Indiana Jones, Vic Armstrong, and their resemblance was well noted.
  • Precision F-Strike: An absolute master of carefully deployed F-Bombs for maximum humor. During the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader revealed the infamous plot twist, Ford turned to Mark Hamill (who was the only person other than George Lucas, Irvin Kirshner, and James Earl Jones who knew who Luke's real father was) and told him, "Hey kid, you didn't fuckin' tell me that."
  • Reclusive Artist: Sort of. He's by no means shy about doing interviews and PR stuff for his movies, but he's well known for being very private about his family and works diligently to keep his kids' business out of the public eye.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: His acting career more-or-less got jumpstarted because Francis Ford Coppola loved the carpentry work he did for Coppola's office.
    • Although he'd already worked with George Lucas on American Graffiti, Lucas wasn't planning to cast him as Han, and only brought him in as a scene partner to read lines with people auditioning for the role. Lucas eventually realized that Ford was better than any of the people actually auditioning, and you know the rest.

Get off my plane page!


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