Memorable Harrison Ford Quotes From His Early Career

Harrison Ford has been one of the most successful and beloved actors in Hollywood since Star Wars hit theaters in 1977. His career was nothing short of a rocket into the stratosphere after portraying the swashbuckling scoundrel Han Solo and then soon after, the world-traveling archaeologist Indiana Jones. By 1986, he was featured in 5 of the 10 top-grossing movies of all time (and could have been six had his cameo role in E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial not been left on the cutting room floor.)

While not all of his films have been smash hits, critical speed bumps like The Mosquito Coast never changed his approach to acting or the mass media. Despite being one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, Ford made it quite clear in early interviews that his career and his personal life were very separate. For journalists, it sometimes became a challenge to extract the information they wanted from Ford. Yet despite holding his ground and even earning the reputation of being difficult to interview, his answers gave enough back story to satisfy the inquiring minds of fans and occasionally jab at his own industry.

Here are several quotes from Harrison Ford taking from newspaper interviews during his acting career in the ’80s.

A big contention arose from the violence in Stephen Spielberg’s PG-rated films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (director) and Gremlins (executive producer) in 1984. The criticism prompted the MPAA to develop a PG-13 rating, an intermediary between PG and R rated films. Ford gave his opinion of the rating in a 1985 interview:

I thought it was bull. I thought it was the media exercising themselves. Everyone is allowed an opinion on the question of taste. I really think that’s what it came down to. I don’t think the film was any more or less violent than any other that might have been cited (Gremlins), and I think that what led to it was the intensity of the film rather than the violence.”

– Harrison Ford – Harrison Ford: The Bravado Stops Here

Early in their careers, actors typically don’t have the luxury of being selective with the roles. They are quick to take what they can get to make money and build their resume. Harrison Ford took a different approach after he signed his first contract with Columbia Pictures for $150 a week. In a 1986 interview, Ford said rather than continue playing small parts for small pay, he quit and took up carpentry.

“Yeah I made good money doing that. More importantly, it kept me from having to take every acting job that came along. It allowed me patience. Without carpentry, I wouldn’t have had the patience or the courage to say no.

Harrison Ford – Harrison Ford says good luck has made him a success

Harrison Ford has never been one for traditional acting, but more from the school of “I just get dressed up and pretend I’m somebody else.” He also has never separated himself from his audience and recognizes that they are smart. In a 1986 interview, he explained:

“I don’t think of the audience as someone separate from me. You have to seduce an audience with something they recognize: you can’t beat ’em and you can’t kiss their asses. You can grab them by their basic instincts. You can also grab them by their loftiest notions of their goodness and worth. To me, that’s far more successful entertainment than that which is about revenge and rape and badness. Tit-Flash-Die movies. Those movies where as soon as the girl takes her clothes off, you know she’s gonna die.

Harrison Ford – American Esquire

Ford has always seemed to “know his role” in Hollywood and never had aspirations to become a director. In a 1987 interview, he said about directing:

“It is too hard. It takes a year to a year-and-a-half for a director to setup a complete project, whereas I work three, five, six months at most. It lets me have some time for my private life which is important to me, and I have not developed those skills which are necessary to direct. I am just interested in becoming a better performer.

Harrison Ford – Harrison Ford, the star who believes small can be good

In June of 1982, Blade Runner was released to theaters and Ford was made available to the press. Deborah Caulfield of the L.A. Times came a-prodding about some production issues on set and if he liked the film. Not wanting to give his personal opinion, Ford dodged the questions, but later loosened up on some less controversial or personal matters. He revealed his role as Han Solo will be “finished” after filming Revenge of the Jedi (later changed to Return of the Jedi of course.) Caulfield also asked Ford if he’ll be looking for roles outside of the action-adventure films to which he sarcastically replied:

“Sure I am. But do you know of any good scripts? Do you have one in your purse?

Harrison Ford – The Harrison Ford Policy

As mentioned previously, Ford is a private person and enjoys his down time at his ranch. Woodworking has always been something he goes back to and seems to be the only physical activity he does at home. In a 1981 AP interview, he was very honest about his workout regimen:

“I’m never in shape when I start a picture, but I am by the time I finish. Making movies is the only exercise I get.

Harrison Ford – Second-choice Actor Fills the Bill

The above statement may be more true than you think. He’s always been willing to do stunt work and it especially shows in the Indiana Jones films. In a 1989 AP interview, Ford gave his thoughts on doing his own stunts:

“I think we get some very important moments when I do (stunts) myself. I think we have great moments of humor and characterization that occur in the midst of physical action. That characterizes these films (Indiana Jones.) In an action-adventure film, you lose sight of your protagonist when you see the back of the head of a stunt person.

Harrison Ford – Star Watch

Just a few years after the overwhelming success of Star Wars, Ford recognized that not all of his projects would have the same kind of success. His approach to a question in a 1980 interview about his other films not measuring up was very level-headed:

“I haven’t compared the success of everything I’ve done since to Star Wars because I didn’t take its success personally. It was George’s success and I was glad to be a part of it.

Harrison Ford – Fear Not, The Force Is Still With Us
About Jason Gross 557 Articles
'80s Kid, '90s Grad, and '00s Dad. I've been writing and podcasting about 1980s pop culture since 2011 at my website. I collect vinyl, cassingles, '80s comics, Batman memorabilia, and all things Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply