Press Conference Interview With Harrison Ford On Ender’s Game

Enders Game Harrison faces off with Asa

Could talk about your experience working with Sir Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis?

Harrison Ford: With great pleasure. I have the utmost respect for Sir Ben Kingsley and Lady Davis. They are both tremendous actors and I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with them. Sir Ben is hugely imaginative in the creation of his characters, and I had no idea what to expect from his version of Mazer Rackham. I thought it was really intriguing and useful in telling the story. Viola is just a wonderful, visceral actor to work with, and I enjoyed working with her also. I was very pleased to be able to work with both of them.

Going back to when you said that there were things in this script that intrigued you, is it still easy to find those roles that are intriguing and engaging or is a little harder to look for them? Also, can you find something intriguing and engaging in say the fifth part in a series of films?

Harrison Ford: What I look for is identifying what the utility of a character is to the telling of the story overall. If I can identify that from reading the script, then I get a clear idea of whether or not I think the character is worth playing. And then the creation of that character; is it fully realized? Is there more work to be done? Can I think of an idea that might make it better? I just like the process of taking something written on a sheet of paper and giving it life and shape, and I like the collaborative process of filmmaking which is to simply say I love my work.

I will continue to look for things that have the potential to be engaging and successful. What I always look for in the Indiana Jones films was that we advanced the notion of the character and the audiences’ understanding of the character in each film to the other in an ambitious way. So Indiana Jones’ father would appear and Indiana Jones’ long lost love and the son he never knew would appear. All of that made it very much more interesting. So the potential to build on the audiences’ knowledge of the character, you can take advantage of that if you are ambitious.

With the roles you have played in your career, you have earned the adjective of icon. Is this a role that you were able to maybe put that sort of iconic reputation to work for you, and are there other roles where you have to figure out ways to work around it?

Harrison Ford: Icon means nothing to me. I don’t understand what it means to anybody actually. It seems like a word of convenience and it seems to attend to the huge success of certain kinds of movies that I did, but there’s no personal utility in being an icon. I don’t know what an icon does except stand in a corner quietly, accepting everyone’s attention. I don’t think about it, so I don’t know really how to answer your question.

American Graffiti came out 40 years ago. Was there anything you took away from that film that still applies for you today?

Harrison Ford: I was at a fairly early stage in my career and I was learning everything. I was learning how to deal with the camera, I was learning how to deal with the director, I was learning how to think about story, and all those things are considerations still. I think I’m still learning and still interested in perfecting whatever talents I have, and I have been continuing to grow as an actor and continuing to be useful to the telling of a story.

What advice can you give to someone who’s just starting the journey of being an actor, and what did you get from working with people so young?

Harrison Ford: Well I’m not prone to giving advice. What I think is important for a young person is to find out how to be useful and not be so concentrated on themselves, and to see what they can do to make the overall collaboration with all the other people involved in a movie work better. But I also think it’s important not to base your ambition on anybody else’s history but to figure out how best to use your own particular personality and understanding of yourself to help tell other people’s stories. So I guess there are two things, which are work hard and figure out how to be useful, and don’t try and imitate anybody else’s success. Figure out how to do it for yourself with yourself.

What was it like doing wire work for the zero gravity sequences?

Harrison Ford: It’s just another day at the office. It’s basically nothing too spectacular. You put on a harness, they cut a couple of holes in your costume and hang you from wires. That’s it.

It has been said that doing wire work can be very uncomfortable.

Harrison Ford: Well it’s better than a real job (laughs). You do that for a couple of hours. It was no big deal. For the kids, it was quite a rigorous training because they had so much of it to do. I did it in an environment where there were handholds so I could balance for a brief period of time on the wires and then propel myself or appear to propel myself when in fact somebody with sliding a trolley overhead from where I was hanging. But the kids really had to maintain that balance without any handholds, so they worked really hard. I didn’t have much to do.

No muscle pain after that?

Harrison Ford: Nah.

That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Harrison for talking with us. Be sure to check out Ender’s Game, in theatres this Friday.