Whenever Harrison Ford is on any kind of press tour, it feels like he’s being dragged kicking and screaming everywhere. He does not enjoy talking about himself. He can barely tolerate talking about his work for more than three minutes. He constantly gives the impression that he would rather be walking on nails instead of granting a magazine interview. So while it’s a coup that GQ got Harrison for their October cover, let’s not pretend that this was ever going to be some kind of tell-all piece where Harrison confessed his deepest, darkest secrets. He’s not that guy. He’s 75 years old and pretty crotchety. You can read the full GQ piece here – Harrison is promoting Blade Runner 2049 and this piece was probably conducted months ago. He already sounds over it. Some highlights:
He’s not into explaining: “It’s always better not to talk about it, I think. Just f–king do it. Don’t ’splain it. Especially if you’re getting away with it.”
Why he decided to do Blade Runner 2049: “I saw no downsides at all. The experience of making a film that was a bit different to what I’ve lately been doing. And the intellectual puzzle of it. And I got paid. Always happy to be paid.”
How he’s like his Irish-Catholic father: “I like a good joke. I like a nice glass of scotch. I recognize well-made clothes. And there’s also a bit of an unscratchable itch somewhere. I conveniently found a way of saying it once—my father is Irish Catholic, my mother was Russian Jew…Jesus, I can’t even remember it now.”
His plane’s near-miss at John Wayne Airport this year: “Embarrassing. It’s thoroughly embarrassing.” The media versions weren’t entirely right, he says—“I didn’t fly over him, and it wasn’t a near miss”—but he was at fault. “Officially, I admitted to two of the common mental processes that can lead a pilot to making a mistake—distraction and fixation.” He says that he’d come from visiting his 101-year-old aunt who’d just been put into hospice care, “so I was thinking about a couple of other things. And it was a good landing. In the wrong place.” When he was told over the radio what he’d done, Ford knew immediately what would follow. “I thought that I would suffer the consequences…I knew I f–ked up. I knew what process I would have to go through. I even knew it would be in the newspapers. I didn’t know it would be for weeks. And that I would be Mike Flynn’s new best friend. Because he was in the sh-tbox, and it took him out of the news cycle.”
How he punched Ryan Gosling on Blade Runner: “I punched Ryan Gosling in the face… Ryan Gosling’s face was where it should not have been. His job was to be out of the range of the punch. My job was also to make sure that I pulled the punch. But we were moving, and the camera was moving, so I had to be aware of the angle to the camera to make the punch look good. You know, I threw about a hundred punches in the shooting of it, and I only hit him once.”
He likes Gosling: “No, he was fun to work with. I like him a lot. He’s a smart guy. I mean, he’s a f–king Mouseketeer—he’s been doing this since he was 6 years old or something. He knows what he’s doing.”
How Carrie Fisher talked about their affair in her last book: “It was strange. For me.” Did you have any advance warning? “Um, to a degree. Yes.” And what did you think? “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, with Carrie’s untimely passing, I don’t really feel that it’s a subject that I want to discuss.” Can I ask you whether you read it? “No. I didn’t.”
Harrison clearly does not want to talk about Carrie Fisher in any way, shape or form. It was just a month before her passing that Carrie revealed that they had an affair when she was 19 years old – they were together for about three months as they filmed the first Star Wars movie. She didn’t present the information like Harrison was her one and only true love, she presented it more as vintage gossip and that’s how I took it too. I’m guessing that Harrison probably wasn’t too happy about it but he’s not going to say one word against her now that she’s gone. As for the rest of it – I love that he describes Gosling as a “f–king Mouseketeer.” Bless.
Cover courtesy of GQ, additional photo courtesy of Getty.