Home Interviews One on One With The Oscar Nominee Best Actor: Harrison Ford The 42 Interview
One on One With The Oscar Nominee Best Actor: Harrison Ford The 42 Interview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Monday, 08 April 2013 17:27


Born in Chicago on July 13, 1942, Harrison Ford has Irish, German and Jewish roots. He was a late bloomer who only developed an interest in acting during his senior year of college. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as carpenter for almost a decade while struggling trying to launch his showbiz career.

He was finally discovered in 1973 while installing cabinets in the home of George Lucas. The director cast him in American Graffiti, which in turn, led to his landing the iconic character Hans Solo in Star Wars, and the rest, as they say, is cinematic history.

Ford went on to play the title role in the Indiana Jones franchise, and to make memorable outings in such hit movies as The Fugitive, Witness, Air Force One, What Lies Beneath, Presumed Innocent, Blade Runner, Frantic, Apocalypse Now and Clear and Present Danger, to name a few. Here, the Oscar-nominated thespian (for Witness) talks about his latest outing opposite Chad Boseman as Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager Branch Rickey in 42, a biopic about Jackie Robinson’s breaking the color barrier in baseball.

Kam Williams: Hi Mr. Ford, thanks so much for the interview. I’m very honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.

Harrison Ford: That’s kind of you to say, Kam [Williams].

KW: I was moved to tears several times by the movie. If 42 were released in December, I’m sure you’d be a shoo-in for another Oscar nomination.

HF: Again, you’re very kind. Thank you. I credit the wonderful material. It was very well-crafted, well-written and well-directed. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to be involved with the project.

KW: Documentary filmmaker Kevin Williams says: You have been my favorite actor for many years, as were you my Dad's ever since he saw you in Hanover Street. Thank you for bringing us so much joy.

HF: How sweet!

KW: Why did you decide to play Branch Rickey?

HF: First of all, I read what I thought was an amazing script with very high standards, telling an important story with a character for me to play who was colorful and dramatic and different from any I’d ever played before, and with a director [Brian Helgeland] I admired who had written this wonderful script. So, I had a multitude of reasons to want to do this character. I also saw this project as an opportunity to fully ascend to the rank of the noble calling of character actor. I thought that I could best serve the film by not bringing any of the audience’s history with Harrison Ford into the scene. So, I did everything I could to create a character that truly resembled and was attendant to the real-life Branch Rickey.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: You’ve earned some much-deserved acclaim for playing serialized fantasy figures—thank you big time for Hans Solo and Indiana Jones. How different is the preparation for doing a one-shot biopic of an historical figure?

HF: The truth is… the job’s always the same. It involves helping to tell the story and creating an alloy between character and story that serves the film. It also involves creating behavior that brings the information in every scene to life, and investing emotionally in the communication of those ideas.

KW: Gil Cretney asks: Will Hans Solo be in JJ. Abram's upcoming Star Wars sequel?

HF: I think you’ll have to ask somebody else that question. I’m not ready to commit or talk about that at this time.

KW: Kate Newell asks: How did it feel shooting on location at some of those venerable, old baseball stadiums?

HF: To tell you the truth, I didn’t pay much notice because in many cases the stadiums were recreated through computer graphics after the fact. We really only had the first ten rows, and the rest was added during post-production. The places where we shot were not historical or so impressive. But given that this film takes place over sixty years ago, it’s amazing how much different the world was back then. It’s seen so many changes in a relatively short period of time.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier [of www.megadiversities.com] says: I am honored to ask you a question because I have admired your work since I was a child [with Star Wars]. Jackie Robinson is special to me because his minor league career began in my hometown, Montreal. What does his legacy mean to you?

HF: This is a country which has always proclaimed itself to be founded on and to be pursuing high ideals. I believe that the racial injustice which existed such a short time ago probably would have persisted longer if the color barrier had not been broken in baseball, since the Civil Rights Movement might not have blossomed when it did, had it not been preceded by Jackie Robinson’s joining the Dodgers. You have to remember that baseball really was the American pastime in the Forties, not football, basketball or any other sport. Baseball was a metaphor for America, both here and in terms of how it was understood by the rest of the world. So, the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the part he played in this very important chapter of our history is very compelling and very meaningful to me personally.

KW: My father took a photo of me with Jackie when I was a kid in the Fifties, and I kept that picture on my bureau my entire childhood.

HF: Cool!

KW: Well, thanks again for the interview, Mr. Ford.

HF: It was my pleasure, Kam [Williams].

The Official Website of the movie:  http://42movie.warnerbros.com/

Film and television:

Year Title

1966 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
          The Long Ride Home
1967 Luv
          A Time for Killing
1968 Journey to Shiloh
1970 Zabriskie Point
          Getting Straight
          The Intruders
1971 Dan August
1973 American Graffiti
1974 The Conversation
1975 Judgment: The Court Martial of Lieutenant
1976 Dynasty
1977 The Possessed
          Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
1978 Force 10 from Navarone
          The Star Wars Holiday Special
1979 Apocalypse Now
          Hanover Street
          The Frisco Kid
          More American Graffiti
1980 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones
1982 Blade Runner
1983 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
1985 Witness
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1986 The Mosquito Coast
1988 Frantic
          Working Girl
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1990 Presumed Innocent
1991 Regarding Henry
1992 Patriot Games
1993 The Fugitive
1994 Clear and Present Danger
1995 Sabrina Linus Larabee
1997 The Devil's Own
           Air Force One
1998 Six Days Seven Nights
1999 Random Hearts
2000 What Lies Beneath
2002 K-19: The Widowmaker
2003 Hollywood Homicide
2004 Water to Wine
2006 Firewall
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
          Dalai Lama Renaissance
2009 Crossing Over
2010 Extraordinary Measures
          Morning Glory
2011 Cowboys & Aliens
2013 Ender's Game
          Anchorman: The Legend Continues
2014 You Belong To Me
2015 Star Wars Episode VII

Source: www.wikipedia.org


About the author of this interview: Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications around the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee, and Rotten Tomatoes. He is a contributor to TheLoop21.com, eurweb.com and so on.  He is also a columnist for our webmag www.megadiversities.com.  One of his interviews made recently the cover of Heart and Soul magazine.  Some of Kam Williams' articles are translated into Chinese and Spanish.  In 2008, he was Voted Most Outstanding Journalist of the Decade by the Disilgold Soul Literary Review.  In addition, he has been honored at the U.N. (for BMORENEWS GLOBAL FORUM ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT) on June 15th 2012 by the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN). Williams is an erudite Attorney who holds a BA in Black Studies from Cornell University, an MA in English from Brown University, an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, and a J.D. from Boston University. Kam Williams is a member of the Bar in NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars. He lives in Princeton, (New Jersey) with his wife and son. Kam Williams can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .