When I was a little girl watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones, never in million years did it cross my mind that one day I would get to chat with Han Solo and Indy himself. So when the time came to interview Harrison Ford during the Star Wars Event, I have to say…I was stoked.
After waiting for the interviews to start, Marshall, the PR rep came in to tell us…”about 7 minutes guys”, and then shared that Harrison asked what this group of ‘mommy bloggers’ was all about. When it was explained to him about our online influence, he got excited and said, “cool”, and then in a blink the 7 minutes were up and in walked one of the biggest Hollywood stars.
So what’s the set up like? Well here you go. It’s a small intimate setting. I am in the front row, and I can’t lie, the excitement of waiting for Harrison to arrive into the room was, well, overwhelming.
Once he walks in and gets settled, he checks out the toys on the table, sees himself in miniature Han Solo form and lays it face down on the table. We all can’t help but to crack up. Then the interview begins.
Harrison Ford talks about his Return as Han Solo
With a friendly greeting of hello and thanks for being here, it was surprising to see Harrison Ford so soft spoken, yet extremely funny.
What was it like to come back into the Legacy thirty years later?
It was familiar. Same thing only different. I was there in service of a script that I thought was very good. A sort of road map for the character that I thought was worth coming back to with a director whose work I admired and who I knew from a previous film (JJ Abrams wrote Regarding Henry) twenty five years ago. It was an all together attractive prospect.
You know, if we were trying to do exactly the same thing, if we were trying to pretend, if I died my hair and pretended that 30 years had not gone by, I would be much less comfortable. But this acknowledges the reality of the passage of time. It deals with the question of what happened while I was off stage for 30 years. And it deals with it in a really smart way.
If it were not for the fact that these films have been passed on by parents to their children at an appropriate juncture in their lives and that generations have thus been introduced to me, I probably would have a much different career.
So I’m very grateful for the fact that these were family films that been passed on as though there were some nugget of useful information or at least entertainment in them and recognizing their value to the audience gives them significance to me.
Do you have a favorite Star Wars moment from then?
No. I don’t have an anecdotal memory either. I don’t have much of a memory at all. I could make something up but I’m not generally disposed to do that. I don’t come away from camp saying “we all had a great time” and “we love each other” and “it’s great”, although I could.
I mean, it’s great to be back with Mark and Carrie. I spent a little time with them and a lot of the crew. Some of the older members of the crew have worked on the earlier films. But more often, there were sons and daughters of the people who worked on the original film now are still in the same craft business and were back to work with us.
And I was back in England. I haven’t made a film in England since the last Indiana Jones movie which we tended to do there as well. And it was fun to be back in England. The food has gotten a lot better.
In your opinion, what is most appealing to the Star Wars fans?
(Asked by Colby of Days of a Domestic Dad.)
You’re not a Mommy!
We all laugh and then Colby repeats the question.
You know, the breadth of the imagination that’s involved in these films, the strength, and worthiness of the mythology that underpins them, the questions that it generates in our minds about our own responsibilities, our own behaviors, all of that plus, whiz and bang and flash and music and good stuff.
When you read the first Star Wars script, did you have any concept of the legacy that it would become?
No, No. You’d be locked up if you came to that conclusion. But in the context of making that first film, I did recognize both the utility of my character to the telling of the story and there might be, you know, somewhere in this, in this meshugas, there might be some really strong elements that people would relate to. I really, what I recognized was that I didn’t know much about science fiction, I didn’t care much about science fiction at that time and probably still don’t although I find it very interesting. It gives us the chance to explore places and things that we haven’t seen before and that’s cool. But what I recognized was that there is a kind of fairy tale structure in the characters and in the story. And I’d seen Grimm Fairy Tales that have lasted for the last 400 years, so that was a strength that I recognized and when you have a beautiful princess and a callow youth and a wise old warrior and then me, it was easy to figure out my place in that structure.
Out of all of the toys that have been made in the last four decades, is there anything that you particularly like or do you collect any of them for yourself?
Well I mean, I just don’t get caught up in the toys. I really don’t care personally. (Laughing) I mean, that’s great and that’s for other people. This is service occupation. Story telling is a service occupation much like being a waiter. You deliver the food. You don’t bang it on the table in front of them. You wait til the right moment, you set it down. You keep your eyes scanning the crowd, the diners. And you are there, when you see them beginning to look for you. It’s the same. It’s a public service job, you know. And the toys are for them, they’re not for me. First of all, I wouldn’t get them for free if I wanted them. (Laughing again) So it’s not about, you know, it’s not about me. I’m not the customer exactly but I love working here.
Was it hard to get back into the mindset after so many years or was it second nature?
No, you put on those clothes. You know, you turn around and see that guy in the Chewbacca suit. You know what the drill is. I have walked more than a mile in those shoes and it was a familiar path. I was happy to be back.
How much was improvised?
Every word was written in stone. (kidding) Look it was a collaborative process and collaboration is not one person’s unilateral decision. It’s a matter of agreement. If it’s in the movie, J.J. agreed with it when we shot it. A lot of the process of film making is problem solving, is saying this is not working, is it? How can we fix this? And I love that part about it. There’s a kind of urgency and to try to keep the ball rolling, doing the right thing, because time is limited that there are a lot of people standing around waiting for you to get it right. All of those things, that’s a compelling atmosphere in which to work. I love that. But I don’t feel a sense of ownership or pride about these things. So I can’t remember what’s mine or what good idea came from the grip (from the set)?
We are told it’s the last questions and Harrison was quick to say –
Really? I just think there’s a lot of people here and…go ahead, I’ll make much shorter answers. Yes and no from now on.
Was your interest of flying inspired by Millennium Falcon?
No. (We all laugh)
What take away do you have or what do you want the new generation to take away from Star Wars?
What was the most challenging part of the process in making Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
There wasn’t any. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I love doing it. I had a wonderful director. The hardest process is when you and the people you’re working with don’t see eye to eye. We see eye to eye. It was a luxury.
You mentioned you don’t collect the toys, but do you have any props that you’ve kept over the years for yourself?
I bought my horse and Daniel Craig’s horse from “Cowboys and Aliens”. I still have mine.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!