THE SOON to be released Dial of Destiny may be the last time we see Harrison Ford portray the iconic Indiana Jones, but — if he has anything to say about it — it certainly won’t be the last time we see the 81 year-old grace our screens.
In a recent interview with CNN, Ford opened up about his work life and the prospect of retirement. When asked whether retirement was on the cards, Ford responded: “I don’t do well when I don’t have work. I love to work… I love to feel useful. It’s my Jones, I want to be helpful.”
So what is it that tethers the actor, whose career launched nearly 50 years ago, so firmly to his craft? According to Ford it’s the people and the intimate nature of collaboration in film.
“It’s the combined ambition, somehow forged from words on a page. I don’t plan what I want to do in a scene and I don’t feel obliged to do anything but I am naturally affected by the things that I work on,” he told CNN.
Having juggled acting jobs and carpentry (a trade he adopted out of necessity when acting wasn’t paying the bills), it wasn’t until his mid-thirties that Ford became a household name. In fact, Ford himself says he was a ‘late bloomer.’
“Through carpentry, I fed my family and began to pick and choose from among the roles offered,” Ford has said in the past. “I could afford to hold out until something better came along.”
And, serendipitously, it was his carpentry that landed him in the industry he so loves now.
Ford worked as a carpenter for casting director Fred Roos, who, as it turns out, would be responsible for the part-time chippie landing the role of Han Solo. Roos, having a feeling he’d be the perfect match for the the Corellian captain, hired him to build a door in the same building Director George Lucas had scheduled the casting call for the Star Wars role. After spotting him working, Lucas asked Ford to assist in the auditions by feeding lines to the other actors.
And it seems he fed them well, having beat out the hopeful actors he was assisting, for the role. He fed them so well, in fact, that the charming and effortlessly handsome carpenter was able to drop his day job and settle into his place as a charming and effortlessly handsome actor. So, it’s safe to say, if not for carpentry, Ford might never have cracked the whip as Indiana Jones.
Now, as he celebrates the final time he will play the iconic archaeologist, his love for film and ambition as an actor is long from gone. And if one were to sum up Ford’s career thus far, there’s potentially just one line that articulates it perfectly: “Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.”