After taking a break from action movies for a long time, Harrison Ford has decided to return to the genre with a bang in Sylvester Stallone’s third installment of the Expendables franchise which hits theatres next month. Here are some excerpts from an exclusive interview with Harrison Ford.
1) You are making your debut in the Expendables franchise which also stars Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Trench, who come with a history from the previous two movies. Tell us something about the role that you will be essaying in the movie?
A) I’m playing a character that is an authority figure. He creates an assignment. He manages the Expendables, and he has an interesting relationship to the character sly plays. While I am involved a little bit in the action, it’s not so much. It’s an interesting character, and I didn’t know Sly before. It was fun.
2) Could you elaborate on the kind of action that you have done in the movie?
A) Just flapping my gums. (laughs)
3) This has been termed as Sylvester Stallone’s pet project and he was very keen on making this third installment so much so that he has even contributed in the scripting process. Comment on your experience while working with Rambo himself.
A) I had the best time working with Sly. He’s a very talented actor who long ago won the battle of whether or not he should be taken seriously. He’s a real filmmaker.
4) The original choice for Max Drummer, the character played by you in Expendables, was Bruce Willis, but he had a falling out with Sly and you came in as a replacement.
A) You can’t replace Bruce Willis. I didn’t replace Bruce Willis, I played another character. Bruce Willis said he didn’t want to do it and that’s his business, not mine and they asked me if I wanted to be on the movie and they gave me a reason I should be.
5) The first two Expendables were a hit at the box – office and have been said to re-invent the action movie genre. Having been cast in the third installment, did watch the other two to get an idea what the movie is about?
A) Why would I do that? I really don’t care.
6) Patrick Hughes is a young lad on the block with Sly having given him the role of director after just watching ‘Red Hill’ directed by Hughes. What was your experience working with someone who was much junior than you in the industry?
A) Patrick is young but he’s also tremendously focused and very aware. He sees detail and he recognizes opportunity. His understanding of the importance of tone was extremely impressive.
7) A lot has been said about the new movie with it being touted as one of the best Expendables yet. However, if you had to describe the movie in a few words of your own, what would you have to say about it?
A) It’s Stallone’s version of The Avengers. We have Rocky, The Terminator, Indiana Jones, The Transporter, Mad Max, Desperado and Blade. The movie has tons of humor, there’s a lot of energy and action, but it’s well phrased and controlled.
8) From playing Indiana Jones in the franchise of the same name to Han Solo in Star Wars and now Max Drummer in the Expendables 3, what makes you step into the shoes of any character?
A) It’s that I’ve been able to understand how it might be useful.. the responsibilities of the character in the telling of the story overall. I see something that I can emotionally relate to in that character in that story. But, you know the joy of this business is being able to live different lives, have the experience of being different people. It really does multiply your life experience in a wonderful way.
9) Acting alongside some of the biggest names in action movie history in The Expendables would have definitely raised the competition bar for all of you. What was the atmosphere like on the sets and how did you’ll manage to keep it together?
A) I have no interest in how anybody else does what they do. I am interested in their work you know according to what it is but I don’t feel competitive with anybody else. So I think we all have to figure out ourselves the job before us and also our way. We all do our work the same way. We’re part of the process of story- telling. We have to figure out what the story is and tell it in its most efficient and emotional way.
10) What was the one role that changed your life? The people that hung around you, the car that you drove.
A) Well, I packed up my carpentry tools when I was just in Star Wars and I’ve never gone back to carpentry for a living so I suppose that’s the one that changed my life.
11) You have earned the reputation as being a grumpy interviewee with complaints of you being grumpy to the interviewers and not answering their questions. Would like to shed some light on that?
A) I am not grouchy. They say I am grouchy but I am not, I am sweet!
12) You being a veteran actor in this field, how do you think times have changed from then to now to make it big in Hollywood?
A) You know I don’t really know. The job market is not what it was when I graduated school. It seemed like everyone could find a place. It’s difficult now and I think that young people are a little more disconnected. I mean this virtual world that you live in and you have friends who like you at the press of a button and that you are connected to so many people without knowing them face to face induces a kind of feeling that you can do anything.