Harrison Ford, that DL-44 Blastech-wielding, fedora wearing, blade running actor took to reddit today to answer questions on their Ask Me Anything board. To announce his appearance, he hijacked director James Cameron’s Twitter.
His reddit introduction reads: Harrison Ford here. You all probably know me from movies such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I recently acted as a correspondent for Years of Living Dangerously, a new Showtime docuseries about climate change which airs tomorrow, April 13, at 10 p.m. ET. I’ll be here with Victoria from reddit for the next hour answering your questions.
The full conversation can be found here, but I’ve shared some of the highlights below.
Hello Harrison! Who would win in a celebrity boxing match: Han Solo or Indiana Jones?
The promoter would win.
Were there any injuries / weird occurrences / funny stories on any of the Indiana Jones sets?
Oh, let's see. On the first Indiana Jones movie, I tore an ACL in one of my knees, can't remember which knee, the scene in which I was fighting the big German mechanic on an airplane called a flying wing, I was run over by the landing gear and injured my knee, but I can't remember which one it was. Lots of bumps and injuries along the way.
Funny stories? We were shooting in Tunisia, and the script had a scene in which I fight a swordsman, an expert swordsman, it was meant to be the ultimate duel between sword and whip. And I was suffering from dysentery, really, found it inconvenient to be out of my trailer for more than 10 minutes at a time. We'd done a brief rehearsal of the scene the night before we were meant to shoot it, and both Steve and I realized it would take 2 or 3 days to shoot this. And it was the last thing we were meant to shoot in Tunisia before we left to shoot in England. And the scene before this in the film included a whip fight against 5 bad guys that were trying to kidnap Marian, so I thought it was a bit redundant. I was puzzling how to get out of this 3 days of shooting, so when I got to set I proposed to Steven that we just shoot the son a bitch and Steve said "I was thinking that as well." So he drew his sword, the poor guy was a wonderful British stuntman who had practiced his sword skills for months in order to do this job, and was quite surprised by the idea that we would dispatch him in 5 minutes. But he flourished his sword, I pulled out my gun and shot him, and then we went back to England.
Hi Mr, Ford. I think we would all like to know: Who shot first? Han Solo or Greedo?
I don't know and I don't care.
What movie quote do you get asked to do the most?
"Get off my plane."
I've seen you on a couple of late night talk shows, where it really seems that you hate being interviewed, or maybe you're just uncomfortable? Am i right? And if i am...why?
Oh no, in most cases, those guys are so talented and so funny. I don't hate it at all, in fact it's interesting you would think that because I usually have a really good time. I'm there to bring attention to some project that's about to be released, and it's great to be able to take advantage of that to bring attention to bring attention to the film.
I know from your bio that you were a carpenter before being discovered, and that you portrayed someone with better than average woodworking skills in Witness. Do you still enjoy woodworking, or do you not have the time?
I don't really have the time anymore. It's a skill that you have to really practice. But the notion that I was a carpenter before I was discovered, when I came to California to be an actor, that's what I wanted to do, if I grew up, when I grew up. And I had some good luck and worked as an actor for many years before I became a carpenter.
Harrison, are you still freaked out by David Blaine's card trick?
Yes, he's a spooky guy. I mean, obviously he's a great manipulator of both objects and people, and he's very talented, and I really enjoyed what he does.
For readers unfamiliar with this reference, the video can be seen here:
Hi Harrison! How do you choose your projects? And has this process changed for you since 1980s?
You know, it's very hard to say what the motivation is these days. Most of the time I love the material, have the time free, and look for something different to do. I look for people I enjoy working with, I look for material that i think will make a film that people will go to. It's my job.
What made you say yes to starring in Expendables 3?
I was on my way to Indonesia to do Years of Living Dangerously, and halfway around the world. And the location for Expendables was right on the way, and they asked me for a relatively short period of time, and it seemed like fun. I hadn't seen the films but I looked one of them and i thought it was kind of funny, so I thought why not?
Mr Ford, Welcome to Reddit! How did you like Spain during the filming of Indiana Jones? Have you been back? A couple more: how did you get into aviation? What's your favorite aircraft to fly? Thanks! Get off my plane.
I enjoyed Spain. 90% of the work was outdoors on horseback, and I had a great time. I enjoyed Spain very much.
I'd always been interested in airplanes and flying, I'd taken a couple of lessons when I was in college, and later on in life, much later on in life. The lessons I took in college cost about $11 an hour for a plane and an instructor. But I only took 3 lessons because I didn't have enough money. Then later in life, I was interested starting again. I don't have favorites, I like all kinds of aircraft and all kinds of flying. I also enjoy helicopter flying.
What was your favorite Indiana Jones movie?
I don't have favorites. I just love the work, and I'm glad that the films were so well-received. But I don't really have favorites.
Were you really a carpet salesman until you were 37?
Harrison, Blade Runner is my favorite movie of all time. What are you thoughts on Ridley Scott's talk of making a sequel? How can he improve upon perfection?
I'm quite curious and excited about seeing a new script for Blade Runner if in fact the opportunity would exist to do another, if it's a good script I would be very anxious to work with Ridley Scott again, he's a very talented and passionate filmmaker. And I think it would be very interesting to revisit the character.
Why is nobody asking about Blade Runner? Do you think Rick Deckard was a replicant or not a replicant?
I think that it's a wonderful storytelling mechanism for that question to be left unanswered. I love that people are still curious about it.
What's the best and what's the worst set you've ever been on?
The set for Blade Runner was maybe the hardest set I've ever worked on because I think we worked 50 nights in a row, and it was always raining.
How did you feel about Star Wars when you first started? How were you approached?
I was approached with the offer of a job, which at that point, was all I wanted to hear. I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principle parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han, I was quite surprised when I was offered the part. My principle job at the time was carpentry, I had been under contract as an actor at Columbia and Universal. I had a house at the time I wanted to remodel, a bit of the wreck of a house. I'd invest money in tools but wouldn't have money for materials, so I realized this was another way of putting food on the table. And allowing me to pick and choose from the acting jobs that were being offered at the time.
Favorite non-movie Star Wars product?
I don't know anything about it, sorry.
If you and Mark Hamill fought who would win?
Me, of course.
Who did you prefer portraying, Han or Indiana?
I think Indiana Jones was a lot of fun to do because of the places we went to and the adventures and the action. But Han Solo was also a huge part of my life.
Did you ad lib Han's famous line "I know"?
It's not really an ad lib, it was a suggestion, and movie making's a real collaborative process at its best. You don't ad lib it, you suggest it and then you try something in rehearsal and then you agree. So it was my suggestion, because I thought it was more of a character line than what was written, but the director and Carrie and I all thought it was a good idea at the time so we did it.
Did you keep any props from any of your movies, if so which ones are your favorite?
No, I don't keep any, I'm not terribly nostalgic and I don't have a lot of things from my movies. And certainly don't have a lot of them around my house. Those are separate worlds for me.
Mr. Ford, would you share any of your favorite helicopter rescue stories?
You know, anything that I was involved in with picking people up in a helicopter, I was one of a group of people working with Wyoming on search and rescue. And they were always team efforts, and it was always embarrassing to be singled out and given credit for a rescue or any help I was able to give because it was always a team effort.
Mr. Ford, thank you so much for doing this AMA, it's an absolute pleasure!
Were you able to meet E.O. Wilson personally? I'm an ecologist and he's one of my heroes, and to think that you both work together towards a goal that I hold so important is incredibly inspiring.
How do you feel about flagship animals? Is it important to preserve animals and biodiversity because they are captivating to people and help the cause, or do you think that it's potentially a waste of funds and resources that could be better applied to more "crucial" links in ecosystems?
Yes, I know Dr. Wilson quite well. We served on the board of Conservation International together for many years, and I'm very interested in his projects and in his work. He's a very charming man, as well as being a great scholar and author.
Biodiversity is critical to the protection of nature. The intricate interrelationship between species in a biodiverse environment is one of the mechanisms that keeps them flourishing. Most noticeable is when a flagship species, one that we are all very familiar with, is threatened by extinction, you want to go back and look at where it's all coming from, and frequently it's from much lower down.
Is it true you have an ant or a spider named after yourself?
Yes, I think an ant was named after me by Dr. Wilson. We spoke about him earlier. And they offered to name a butterfly after me, and I thought that would be better that it be named after my daughter, Georgia.
I live in your old house on Woodrow. Are there any secrets I should know about?
Yes. There's millions of dollars buried in your basement.
Hey Harrison! I have learned that you are involved in Years of Living Dangerously JUST NOW from James Cameron AMA, and found out that was the reason of your visit to Indonesia. As an Indonesian, thank you for caring about the disastrous environmental problem in our country!
I have some questions regarding your visit:
What shocked you the most regarding the facts of environmental problems in Indonesia? How devastating was the general condition?
You had an interview session with Indonesian Minister of Forestry, and he was ridiculously "offended" by your questions, saying that you were emotionally charged and even threatened to deport you. What was your first thought upon hearing the news? Could you share some details on the matter itself?
Is there any unforgettable experience on your visit? Did you try any Indonesian local food?
Did you keep the money from Fallon and Conan for realz?
I wasn't shocked by the situation in Indonesia, I've been involved with an organization called Conservation International for more than 20 years, and our mission has always been to try to preserve what we call the "natural capital' of nature, because of its importance for human well-being. I was quite familiar with the issues of deforestation and the fact that some of the world's most important standing flourishing forests were concentrated in the tropical belt around the equator, and many of these countries are rapidly developing like Indonesia, in which the kind of problems we talk about in Years of Living Dangerously are not untypical.
Well, the opportunity to speak to the minister of Forestry was important and critical in the telling of the story of why deforestation continues at the rate that it does in Indonesia. And it represents a threat not only to the worldwide environment, but to the stability and quality of life for people in Indonesia. And although the government, which is a coalition government, the president had made efforts to preserve the standing forests through a number of different mechanisms, I think that the forestry minister was more interested in granting concessions for extractive industries in these forests which threaten their valuable utility in sequestering carbon. And mitigating against greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia is the 3rd largest producer of greenhouse gasses, after the United States and China. And the president had committed to a policy that would have reduced those emissions. And it seems as though that the Minister of Forestry- there were mechanisms in place to allow forests to be preserved for their environmental value, and he was thwarting that process. Also, there are questions of inequity and corruption. And it's not unique to Indonesia, we have a lot of problems in our own governments, but it really was an opportunity to get some straight answers from somebody who was responsible for a big part of the potential for doing good and seemed not to be interested in using his authority and office to protect the environment but instead was enabling the devastation and destruction of a great resource in his country. So I was frustrated by his answers. Now the threat to deport me came from another politician, who I believe was just taking advantage of access to the media, but that was not a serious reality, there was no actual threat to deport me.
Oh yea I loved indonesian food! The whole experience was fantastic. It was really a vibrant and curious place, I loved the opportunity to be there and to see and experience the culture. And to get to know some remarkable indonesian people.
Oh, I think it was Conan. Conan gave me $1000 to tell him something and in fact it was real. I remember that I put it in my pocket, and nobody remembered to get it back from me and I forgot all about it until the next day, when by coincidence I was at a neighbor's house and I ran into the producer from the Conan show and I excused myself from the party and went back to the house and got the $1000 out of the suit which I just remembered was still there, and I gave it back to him.
Can you tell us a little more about Years of Living Dangerously and how important this issue of climate change is to you?
Yes. Years of Living Dangerously is a wonderful opportunity to reach a lot of people with the story and importance of climate change in our lives, in recent history there's no bigger threat to the quality of human life than what is taking place right now in respect of climate change. So the chance to bring attention to this issue, this problem, and the potential solutions and mitigations of the problem, was a really important opportunity for me. I've been committed to try to be useful in the protection of nature for a long time through my association through Conservation International, and I thought the people involved in this project were thoughtful and creative and I was very happy to have the chance to work with them.
What is your favourite type of cheese?
Hey! First I'd like to say when I was younger I use to think Indiana Jones played Han Solo in Star Wars. I was corrected many times but still didn't quite understand as a five year old. My question, what was it like being a part of two of the most iconic film series? Thank you for all your work!
What was it like? It was like being incredibly lucky.
Someone said thank you for being a part of so many childhood films: Well, thank you. I really appreciate that. It's a privilege to be able to be involved with people as talented as the people I've had the luck to work with, and it's just been a great experience for me, and I'm glad that so many of the films I've had the luck to do were films that could be enjoyed by families together.