Harrison Ford is an icon of Hollywood, and with good reason. With a career spanning over six decades, the 80-year-old actor has left an indelible mark on the film industry, starring in some of the most beloved and memorable films of all time, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Fugitive, and Witness, to name a few.
Recently, Ford sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to promote his new Apple TV+ series, Shrinking, and the result was a fantastic interview that gave us a glimpse into the mind of the legendary actor. From his thoughts on therapy to what he wants written on his tombstone, Ford’s responses were insightful, entertaining, and, at times, hilarious.
I know who the f**k I am
When asked about his thoughts on therapy, which is the basis of the show Shrinking, Ford responded with his signature wit. “There are all kinds of therapy. I’m sure many of them are useful to many people. I’m not anti-therapy for anybody–except for myself. I know who the f**k I am at this point,” he said.
This is what they really pay me for. The acting I’d do for free.
Like many of us, Ford isn’t always eager to get to work, but he has a unique perspective on how to motivate himself. “There are things I don’t love doing, but I want to be gracious about it, and I don’t want to shove it into somebody’s face that I don’t like doing it,” he said. “They might be having a great time. Like you might be having a great time right now, or you could be having a terrible time and are preparing to write some nasty sh** and I would never know. I’m just here to do my job, and my job, at the moment, is to help sell the product. This is what they really pay me for. The acting I’d do for free.”
On What He Wants Written on His Tombstone
Ford has a refreshingly practical approach to his own mortality. “I wouldn’t want it to be ‘Harrison Ford, blah-blah-blah, actor.’ I’d settle for ‘Was Useful.’ Well, there’s not a lot of space on a tombstone,” he said.
On Producers in Hollywood
Ford is known for his no-nonsense approach to life, and that extends to his thoughts on the film industry. “I don’t even know what a f**king producer does anymore, or why we need 36 of them around,” he said.
On Tom Selleck and the Role of Indiana Jones
When asked if he feels bad that Tom Selleck, who was offered the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, missed out on the opportunity due to a contract issue, Ford was candid. “No. I feel lucky I got it. But I don’t feel that he’s had an unlucky career. He seems like a happy guy,” he said.
On Philosophy and the Meaning of Life
Ford majored in Philosophy in college, and it shows in his thoughtful and nuanced views on life and its meaning. “There’s a Protestant theologian named Paul Tillich who wrote that if you have trouble with the word ‘God,’ take whatever is central and most meaningful to your life and call that God,” he said. “I didn’t have any religious construct, but I think nature and God are the same thing. The mysterious origin of life–science tells us how it happened, prophecy tells us another story. I found that everything in nature–the complexity, the biodiversity, the symbiotic relationship–is the same thing other people attribute to God.”
On His Near-Death Experience From a Plane Crash
Ford is an avid aviator, and in 2015, he was involved in a plane crash that nearly took his life. Reflecting on the accident and how it changed him, Ford quoted Jimmy Buffett, further cementing his legendary status. “I changed a lot of things in my life. My wife does not fly with me in vintage airplanes anymore–she will in others. I certainly don’t want to have to recover from that kind of accident again,” he said. “It was really hard on my family and it was hard on me. I went back to flying. I know what happened. So that’s part of the reason [I went back]. There was a mechanical issue with the airplane I could not have known about or attended to in any way. So in the words of the great philosopher Jimmy Buffett: Sh** happens.”
The interview with Harrison Ford was a fascinating look into the life and mind of one of Hollywood’s most legendary actors. With his wit, wisdom, and down-to-earth demeanor, Ford proved once again why he is the living legend we all know and love. Be sure to catch Ford in his latest role in the upcoming film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, set to release in June 2023.