Harrison Ford Firewall Interview

Harrison Ford Firewall Interview
by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.


Harrison Ford is as iconic as some of his more classic characters. On screen, he remains tough, sometimes laconic and generally the quintessential movie star. But off screen, the Hollywood superstar has successfully built a wall around him from the media. Tight lipped about anything other than his work, Ford is reserved, shy, quietly spoken and clearly uncomfortable with the publicity facet of moviemaking. Starring in Firewall, an often tense thriller in which he plays a husband and father whose family is taken hostage, Ford, sporting a small neatly trimmed beard, talked to Paul Fischer.

Paul Fischer: So was it this character, Harrison, or the whole nature of the script that appealed to you about this?

Harrison Ford: Well one doesnt exist without the other one you know. As you have to feed the character the story. What I was particularly interested in was the challenge of trying to create a character who is for 90% of the film is under extreme tension and the question of how to make that palatable, how to make that sustain for an audience, how to articulate that seem to me an interesting challenge.

Paul Fischer: He evolved apparently considerably throughout the process of making it. I mean how much evolution was there from the time that you first read it from the time that you began shooting and beyond?

Harrison Ford: A lot, a lot. I cant tell you how exactly and I have to go back and have something in front of me to look at because it is a very scene less long process. I have been involved with the film for a better part of 2 years so yeah of course there were going to changes. There were changes for the first director who unfortunately had to leave the project because of a personal tragedy. We had to find then another director who was interested in the project and who we were interested in and that took some period of time and then of course we had to make adjustments, which were to the script for Richard and we worked long and hard on the script for the better part of 2 years.

Paul Fischer: Somebody describes this as a classic Harrison Ford movie. I mean do you think there is such a thing as a classical Harrison Ford movie and what do you think that is? What defines that?

Harrison Ford: I think that is a movie that I am in [laughter]. I think they are talking about thematics and my being in other films that are relatively the same thematic structure and they would be no such thing as a Harrison Ford film without some of them having been successful. I think if I did the same genre, if I did thriller after thriller after thriller like this I would wear out my welcome as easily as if I did one romantic comedy after another. I like to do a variety of different things. So every once in a while you have to forgive me for doing what others may call a Harrison Ford film.

Paul Fischer: Paul Bettany mentioned that he was kind of in awe every time he would throw you through a window and you would just get up and do it again like 6, 7 times. But the interesting thing he says that you would go and help the guys put the window back together. Do you still dabble in your carpentry work from the days?

Harrison Ford: Only when I think times a wasting you know. I dont get much chance to do carpentry work I got you know taken up other vocations so I dont do much. I still like participating I still like you know I build…I am having things built frequently in my home or apartment and I love to participate I like the design phase now more than…Ive lost my tools skills pretty much out of inactivity but I still enjoy the design process.

Paul Fischer: Are you as passionate about the work today as you were for the last 30 years or so?

Harrison Ford: Maybe more because I feel maybe more strongly, maybe more secure in my opinion. Ive always said that the hard part of acting is deciding what to do, doing it is playing, it is fun.

Paul Fischer: So how do you decide what to do?

Harrison Ford: You would do that in concert with other people on the phone. You do it on a objective level you do it on a subjective level you talk about whether a scene is working or not articulate a fix if you think it is not working so on and so forth. But I care passionately about the product that I am offering to people with my face on it and I feel responsible to the audience and do the best I can under the circumstances to make a good film for them.

Paul Fischer: How many times during this junket have you been asked about Indiana Jones 4?

Harrison Ford: 30 [laughter].

Paul Fischer: Are we going to see it in Indiana Jones 4?

Harrison Ford: I have that expectation. We have pretty much settled on a story and doing some script work and hopefully it will happen soon.

Paul Fischer: How different is it going to be doing one 17 years later?

Harrison Ford: Well it will be somewhat different because we are…no that is not true it is going to be exactly the same [laughter].

Paul Fischer: Can you look back at some of your early films with any degree of objectivity?

Harrison Ford: I can only be objective from the point of view of my own experience and I can only be objective in a narrow sort of way, so I dont mean to interrupt the question but I can intellectually posture objectivity if you want, but I am invested, I lived there, so I have a different experience than as a moviegoer...

Paul Fischer: Are you going to see Harrison Ford direct anytime soon?

Harrison Ford: I dont have no plans to that [laughter].

Paul Fischer: What about writing?

Harrison Ford: That is even harder than directing.

Paul Fischer: What about your memoirs...I mean you are too young to do your memoirs I know but has anybody asked you to write a autobiography yet?

Harrison Ford: No...I wouldnt do that.

Paul Fischer: Ever. You wouldnt ever do it?

Harrison Ford: I dont think so. I have a hard enough time writing thank you notes from Christmas.

Paul Fischer: Apart from any Indiana Jones 4 is there anything else that youre looking at?

Harrison Ford: I am going to do a film called Manhunt, which is the capture of John Wilkes Booth the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. I have 3 or 4 things in development, which are beginning to look really good. So I dont know what I will do after Manhunt or the Indiana Jones film.

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