Movie star Harrison Ford has joked that he’s only appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for financial gain. When asked by presenter Jonathan Ross about whether he thought about the public anticipation of a film when taking on the part, he said: “No Jonathan, I’m in it for the money.”
Ford appears in the latest Star Wars film, released yesterday, as Han Solo, a character he first played when the movie franchise began in 1977. But he wasn’t initially offered the role.
“I was asked as a favour to read lines off with other actors and the people that asked me were people who had been important in my life before that and I thought ‘yeah I’ll do that’.”
The actor, 73, also joked that he had been waiting for his next role when director George Lucas approached him.
“Star Wars has been very, very good to me. It gave me a career that I have enjoyed and all the opportunities that have preceded from that attachment to Star Wars, so when George called and asked if I might be interested in coming back, I said, ‘Yes, why not’. Basically, I’ve been sitting around waiting for somebody to give me a job.”
While filming The Force Awakens, Ford broke his leg in a dramatic accident that involved him being pinned to the floor by a hydraulic-operated door on set. “They built a f***ing great hydraulic door which closed at light speed and somebody said: ‘Ooh I wonder what this is’ and the door came down and hit me on my left hip because I was turned to my right.
“And then it flung my left leg up and it dislocated my ankle and as it drove me down to the floor, my legs slapped on the ramp up to the [starship] Millennium Falcon and broke bones in my left leg.”
Ford discussed his plane crash earlier this year, in which he broke his right leg. “I was taking off from Santa Monica airport, I was 800 feet in the air and the engine quit. I was in a built-up congested area so I turned back to the airport.
“I knew when I turned back that I wasn’t going to make it there but there was a nearby golf course so I went to the golf course. It turned out well… I count myself as a lucky guy although I broke my other goddamn leg.”
Asked if he had a favourite among the films he has made, Ford said: “I just don’t think of it that way. I have five kids, I don’t have a favourite kid. I have nine, well now eight, airplanes and I don’t have a favourite one of those…
“I don’t have a favourite movie, each of them are so different, one to the other, made under different circumstances in a different time and I love to work.
“I love the day to day process of going to a studio or some place with a bunch of people. It’s a very collaborative enterprise… to make this story thing and that’s what I love doing.”
Ford also talked about the mixture of technology and talent on the Star Wars set. “I can’t remember anything like that, there’s an infusion here of new technology and the work of a very talented director, JJ Abrams, who you all know, who I worked with about 25 years ago…
“He was 23 years old at the time and he was a remarkable talent at that age so it all together seemed like a good idea.”
John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, both 23, star as Finn and Rey in The Force Awakens, but Ford said that neither turned to him for counsel. “They are terrific. John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are fantastic actors and are going to be around in your lives for a long time… They didn’t ask and I’m not the kind of guy who gives advice much.”
Harrison Ford is on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday 19 December, 9.45pm, ITV