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We Talk To Harrison Ford About How Steven Spielberg Was Involved In Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny & More

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company Malaysia, we received the opportunity to participate in a roundtable interview with none other than Han Solo AKA Rick Deckard AKA Indiana Jones; the legendary Harrison Ford himself.

Harrison Ford returns to the role of the legendary hero archaeologist for the final entry in the iconic franchise, a big, globe-trotting, rip-roaring cinematic adventure. Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Shaunette Renée Wilson (“Black Panther”), Thomas Kretschmann (“Das Boot”), Toby Jones (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), Boyd Holbrook (“Logan”), Olivier Richters (“Black Widow”), Ethann Isidore (“Mortel”), and Mads Mikkelsen (“Another Round”).

Directed by James Mangold (“Ford v Ferrari,” “Logan”) and written by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth and David Koepp and James Mangold, based on characters created by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, the film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel, with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas serving as executive producers. John Williams, who has scored each Indy adventure since the original Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, has once again composed the score.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny premieres in Malaysian cinemas on 29 June 2023. Check out our spoiler-free review of the movie by heading over here.

(L-R): Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and Teddy (Ethann Isidore) in Lucasfilm’s INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

What gives Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny its appeal across generations?

Harrison Ford: It’s movie-making like it used to be. Real human stories, real adventure, real action without gore, real contests without too much unnecessary conflict. It’s more about movies and the pleasure that a movie can bring than it is about archaeology.

Shh, don’t tell anybody.

There’s such a brilliant combination of the elements of joy, about human contact and the importance of getting your life right. I mean, they’re great family movies and I’m so grateful that they’ve given me the opportunity to reach new generations of people, filmgoers. It’s been a brilliant kind of boost to my career to have made these kinds of family films.

And I really am hoping that this film will be seen with families in a theatre, hopefully. It’ll be great to see it again at home, but please take the opportunity to go to a theatre. Let’s invigorate the movie business.

It really is an adjunct to human communication, to getting everybody to feel something in common, there’s so much that drives us apart. What pulls us back together is simple human emotion.

Did you ever expect Indiana Jones to last this long (42 years in 2023)?

Harrison Ford: I’m surprised, I had not imagined, we might have done one or two depending on the success. But the films were so wildly appreciated, the degree of success which made us want to bring another story, to revisit the character again.

But I had no idea we’d go on this long. I’m a different actor now, I’m now much older than I was 45 years ago. Surprise, maths work. But a character that depended on his energy, on his vigour, on his passion. We now see, with the ravages of age, somewhat dispirited, a bit broken.

But that’s a dramatic avenue to see him reinvigorated and rebuilt from the ground up by the character that Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays, who he meets. She comes with a nefarious purpose, but he doesn’t know that yet, but they’re going on a grand adventure together. And at the end of this, he’s reanimated. It’s really a beautiful story and he’s able then to reconstruct the foundation of his life, his personal life, his life with his wife.

For me, it’s a personal, emotional story, and I think that mix of emotions, laughs, and action is a beautiful combination. When that recipe is measured appropriately, they’re great family films.

(L-R): Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) in Lucasfilm’s INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Is it true that you started out as a carpenter before you became an actor?

Harrison Ford: I actually started not as a carpenter but as an actor. I came out of college with an interest in theatre. I did a little bit of theatre, I went to Los Angeles, I did a little theatre there and then I was given the opportunity to begin a career in movies. It’s been an incredible journey.

Let’s go back to the carpentry part, but one of the things that I understood at a certain point is that if I kept doing the same kind of television show that I was doing, which was all that was available to me. I mean, they were wonderful opportunities, but I was afraid I was going to wear out my face before I had the chance to do the kind of work I wanted to do, which was film.

Now, ironically, television has become so, the writing has become so fantastic, the opportunities in television are equal to those in film. But there’s still something about being in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and a wonderful sound system and having that common experience.

There were so many great action scenes in the movie. Were there any stunts you performed that were your favourite, or any that were particularly memorable for you?

Harrison Ford: I don’t do stunts. Stunt people do stunts. I do physical acting. Running, jumping, falling down, fist fights, rolling around on the floor with sweaty men. Stunts are different. Stunts can hurt you, can ruin the opportunity to finish a film. You got to be really careful about what you do, because you’re disadvantaging the opportunity for many, many other people when you do something outside of your skill range. But when it’s carefully done, when you have really hardworking people doing those things, they can bring real pleasure and joy to those scenes.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm’s IJ5. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Why have you decided to go into television and other new projects recently in the current stage of your career, being more than 80 years old?

Harrison Ford: There’s always opportunities to work, but what I’m always looking for, as I have always looked for, are great stories. Great collaborators. Ambitious projects, things I haven’t done before, and I ran into a vein of really good writing with (Apple+ TV series) Shrinking, (Paramount Plus TV series) 1923, with Indiana Jones and even in the Marvel Universe.

I hadn’t worked through the pandemic, and I was hungry to work, I really love my work and I was anxious to get back to work. I found really great writing, which I cannot resist wanting to be part of.

What tips or advice can you give to aspiring actors?

Harrison Ford: I’m an assistant storyteller. That’s what I do. It’s a service occupation, storytelling. From the time of painting on the cave walls, people yearn for stories that help them navigate through the world, through their lives.

And I love my job. I think I’ve had enormous luck, so much of my success is based on other people’s success and I’m so grateful for them. But my advice to younger artists is very simple; don’t try to imitate anyone else’s success. Find it in yourself, it will always be there, use yourself, what you really feel, what you really know, how you bring that as a gift, as an offering to the story.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm’s INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

If you could turn back time, who would you like to meet?

Harrison Ford: Miles Davis. There’s a whole pantheon of characters I’d love to meet. I’d like to meet Abraham Lincoln. It’s a question that stimulates my imagination but I don’t have any hard choice. The opportunity to travel in time, that would be enough. I could meet Jo Blo on the street and it would be exciting.

What was it like working with James Mangold, and not having Steven Spielberg or George Lucas directly involved in this movie?

Harrison Ford: Steven was there, part of the fabric of the making of this film. He’s executive producer, he worked with Jim (James Mangold) on the script, he saw our dailies, he was making his own film at the time, but he did participate with us. We can feel his spirit, and his energy, and his focus, and his filmmaking skill.

James Mangold is an accomplished artist in his own way, he’s built many beautiful movies that I really admire, and he’s a wonderful script. He works really well on the story, so he created a story for us. We’ve been trying for a couple of years just to get the right story and we never got it to the point where we were really happy with it.

So Jim came along with this invention of the MacGuffin and the story that surrounds it that we’re all very excited about, including Steven. So, Steven was never missing from the mix.

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  1. The Bethesda Indiana Jones Game Will Be An Xbox Exclusive

    June 23, 2023 at 2:55 am

    […] the meantime, check out my review of Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny here, or check out my interview with the legendary Harrison Ford […]

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