Ford improvised this iconic line
When Leia confesses her love to Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, the scripted line was supposed to be the standard response of “I love you, too.” Ford, however, took matters into his own hands, quickly quipping “I know” – a line that’s since gone down in cinema history.
Ford always wanted Han Solo to die in Star Wars
Ford thought that the death of Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy would add some gravitas to the franchise, showing Darth Vader’s true power. George Lucas considered the actor’s request, before ultimately deciding to keep the gunslinger alive for a happy ending. Eventually, Ford got his wish, when Solo was impaled by Kylo Ren’s lightsaber in The Force Awakens.
There are species of ants and spiders named after him
Many actors have things named in the honor, but few have the claim to fame of having living creatures taking their namesake. A species of ant (Pheidole harrisonfordi) and a species of spider – (Calponia harrisonfordi) are named both named after the actor, cementing his place as one of the most iconic actors of all time.
Ford’s illness led to an iconic scene
Originally, the Raiders of the Lost Ark was supposed to feature an epic whip-and-sword fight. When the day came to shoot the scene, however, Ford was feeling unwell. Rather than subjecting the actor to the brutal choreo, producers decided to keep the scene short and sweet – leading to Indiana Jones whipping out his gun, creating one of the most iconic scenes in the entire franchise.
He once asked Adam Sandler to wash his car
Star Wars costar Carrie Fisher used to host elaborate Hollywood parties, inviting everyone from the industry. When Adam Sandler was invited, however, he said that Ford approached him, asking him if he’d be willing to wash his car. The reason? Ford thought that his kids would get a kick out of it.
He was once a Japanese beer spokesman
Back in the day, Ford appeared in numerous commercials for the Kirin beer company in Japan, with their ads being just as wild and wacky as you’d expect. Ford wasn’t the only actor to star in some odd ads, with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger also starring on the small screen.
He was a philosophy major in college
While you may think that Ford went to a theater school – learning the tricks of the trade that enabled him to be such a phenomenal actor, you’d be surprised to learn that he originally studied philosophy. He claimed he studied the topic in order to explore challenging experiences, along with bringing him better, more stable job prospects.
He rescues people with his helicopter
Ford doesn’t just play a hero on the big screen – he’s also a hero in real life. The actor supposedly rescued a wandering hiker near Table Mountain in Wyoming in 2000. A year later, Ford once again took to the skies to rescue a lost boy scout, bringing him back to civilization.
He was once named as being the Sexiest Man Alive
It shouldn’t come as any huge shock that Ford was once considered a heartthrob, with numerous fans getting googly-eyed whenever the actor showed a bit of skin on screen. He was considered so dashing that he even earned the title of being the Sexiest Man Alive in 1998 – a title also given to hunk Brad Pitt.
He was a cameraman for a documentary about The Doors
Once upon a time, Ford spent a week on the road filming a documentary about the legendary rock band The Doors. The actor said he originally found the experience exhilarating, before realizing that he was unable to keep up with the band’s hedonistic lifestyle.
His car once broke down in New York City
If there’s one place in the world you don’t want your car to breakdown, it’s in New York. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to the actor. Rather than sitting idly by, Ford popped out of his vehicle, safely directing the long queue of traffic around his car.
Kevin Costner insisted on Ford leading Air Force One
Air Force One is arguably one of Ford’s best movies, with the 1997 action thriller being heralded by cinephiles everywhere. Originally, however, the movie was set to be very different – with Kevin Costner being lined up for the role. Costner had to pass due to scheduling conflicts, but insisted that Ford be the one to take his place.
He worked as a carpenter before getting into acting
Although Harrison Ford is best known for being an actor, he originally earned his primary wage by being a carpenter. He picked up a few acting roles here and there, but his carpentry income meant that he could be more selective as to which roles he picked. Soon, that changed forever, when he was cast as the iconic space ruffian Han Solo.
A beard helped him decide on taking a role
Aside from the odd bit of facial fuzz, Ford’s onscreen characters rarely had any facial hair. The actor always wanted to play a character with a beard, though his requests were frequently denied by production. In the 1993 movie The Fugitive, however, Richard Kimble has a hefty beard for the first chunk of the movie, swaying Ford’s decision in accepting the role.
Ford was destined to play Jack Ryan
In the first Jack Ryan movie, the iconic character was played by Alec Baldwin, with Ford only picking up the role for the following two installments. In a strange twist of fate, John McTiernan, the director of the first movie, said that he always wanted Ford in the role in the first place.
His number of Oscar nominations may surprise you
How many Academy Awards do you think Harrison Ford has been put forward for? Five? Maybe six? Nope, the correct answer is a measly one. He earned the nomination for the 1985 neo-noir crime drama, Witness, though he unfortunately didn’t win the sought-after accolade.
He hated one particular role
Movie fans have discussed Ford’s phoned-in voiceover work for the Bladerunner movie for decades, with the narration being regarded as the weakest point of the movie. Ford agrees with the general consensus, stating that he was “very, very unhappy” with the work, and that he received no notes or feedback from the studio.
He won an award for his piloting
Ford doesn’t just take to the skies in Indiana Jones, he’s also a skilled pilot in his day to day life. Due to his mastery over various different aircrafts, and him having spent countless hours cruising through the sky, the actor was awarded the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy in 2010.
He’s rather fond of Indiana Jones’s nemesis
Despite his realistic onscreen performance depicting Indiana Jones’s deep phobia of snakes, Ford himself is actually quite fond of the critters. In fact, the actor once helped to collect snakes, building environments for the creatures when he was a boy scout nature camp counselor.
His movies have brought in BIG bucks at the box office
Harrison Ford has starred in some of the biggest movies of all time, so it should come as no surprise that the actor has raked up an impressive amount of box office dollars. Collectively, his films have brought in a whopping $10 billion, making him one of the most successful (and profitable!) actors of all time.
Ford has never seen the original Bladerunner
Despite starring in – and narrating – the OG Bladerunner movie, Harrison Ford has never actually watched the dystopian flick. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise – many actors refuse to watch their own work, saving themselves the embarrassment of seeing themselves on the big screen.
He drank alcohol during a morning interview
In what is perhaps the most iconic interview of all time, Harrison Ford joined Ryan Gosling to be interviewed by British TV host Allison Hammond. All three had a little sip of whisky while they nattered about all things acting, with the hilarious interview going viral across the internet.
He has a scar on his chin
It’s one of those things that’s hard to unsee once you notice it, but Ford has a faint scar just beneath his lower lip. The actor says he got the distinct mark as a result of a fast car crash. He claims he was trying to fasten his seatbelt whilst driving to work, but ended up crashing into a telephone pole, resulting in the injury.
He narrated The Empire Strikes Back trailer
Although his Bladerunner voiceover may have lacked any emotion, his Star Wars work was significantly better. The 1979 animated preview came out just a few months before the blockbuster’s big release, featuring plenty of action, robots, space ships, and lightsabers. Who knows – Ford’s dulcet tones could’ve partly been the reason behind the movie’s phenomenal success.
Ford’s most requested line may surprise you
You’d likely think that Ford’s most requested quote would be something Han Solo stated in Star Wars, or perhaps a line from Indiana Jones. Nope, the actor claims that most of his fans ask him to say: “Get off my plane!” from Air Force One.
Ford has played Indiana Jones six times
Despite there only being Indiana Jones five movies, Ford has donned the whip-and-hat combo six times. The extra appearance was during ABC’s The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. However, his appearance was brief, with him only popping up at the end of a single episode.
He has a snake named after him
Scientists recently discovered a new breed of snake on remote Peruvian land. In a cheeky nod to Indiana Jones’s famous dislike of the creatures, the snake was named Tachymenoides harrisonfordi, bringing the actor’s grand total of animals that have been named after him up to three.
He recommended River Phoenix for the role in Raiders
River Phoenix has Harrison Ford to thank for landing the career-defining role of playing a young Indiana Jones, with the actor pushing for Phoenix to snag the role. The two had previously played a father-son duo in the 1986 movie The Mosquito Coast, leading to Ford’s recommendation.
He’s quite the daredevil
During the filming for 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Harrison Ford unexpectedly ran across a flimsy rope bridge, supposedly testing its safety. Director Steven Spielberg was one part scared, one part impressed, claiming that Ford truly is the real-life Indiana Jones.
He was originally against the casting of his father
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Sean Connery playing the role of Indiana Jones’s father but, if the actor had his way, it’d be a reality. He was originally against the casting choice due to the mere 12-year difference between the two of them, but soon changed his tune when he realized just how great Connery was to work with.
He didn’t get into acting until his was 26
Many famous actors land minor roles as children, blossoming into actors in their teen years, winning Oscars in their early 20s. Ford, however, didn’t land his first acting gig until he was 26-years-old – late in Hollywood’s terms, particularly back then. His first acting job was a per-week contract with Columbia Pictures for bit roles in their movies.
His favorite character may surprise you
Despite Han Solo being his most successful role, Harrison Ford claims that his favorite onscreen role to play is actually Indiana Jones. Perhaps it’s because he’s the central character, or perhaps it’s because the treasure seeking, adrenalin-hunter more accurately reflects who Ford is as a person.
He wasn’t a fan of his most successful film
Despite tales of a galaxy far, far away captivating audiences around the world for almost half a century, Ford isn’t particularly keen on the Star Wars franchise. He considers Han Solo to be one-note and flat, not enjoying playing a supporting role to Luke Skywalker.
He never signed a contract for Star Wars
When Harrison Ford signed up to do Star Wars, he couldn’t imagine the smash-hit success the movie would become. Therefore, he refused to sign a sequel clause in his contract, preferring instead to see how well the original movie was received before he agreed to do more. Thankfully, the movie went down as a hit, resulting in the awe-inspiring franchise we know today.
He did his own stunts during Indiana Jones
Never one to shy away from getting his hands dirty, Ford insisted that he did his own stunts while filming the Indiana Jones movies. The main reason for Ford jumping in the deep end was that he didn’t want to stand around as a spare part, fearing he’d become bored while his stunt double got all the action.
He’s no stranger to danger
Although Ford is considered to be a bit of a daredevil, his actions have had very real consequences. He injured his knee during Raiders of the Lost Ark, hurt his back during the Temple of Doom, and broke his leg due to a door malfunction on the set of The Force Awakens. He even survived a small plane crash back in 2015.
He’s a big environmentalist
Harrison Ford has used his wealth in order to protect the environment, even taking to the skies to patrol the Hudson River and deter polluters. Due to his efforts, he was asked to name a new species of butterfly, which he chose to name Georgia, after his daughter.
He wasn’t the first choice to play Han Solo
It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Han Solo. That, however, was almost a reality, as director George Lucas didn’t want to reuse actors he’d already worked with. Original choices were Al Pacino and Kurt Russell, but Lucas eventually gave Ford the role when he was testing lines for other actors.
He became the highest grossing actor of all time
When Ford returned to a galaxy far, far away for The Force Awakens in 2015, he was billed as being the highest grossing actor of all time. His gross of the new Star Wars installment combined with his 41 other feature flicks led to a grand total of $4.7 billion.
He had an affair with Carrie Fisher
If you thought that the onscreen chemistry between Ford and Fisher seemed a little too realistic, you’d be correct. Fisher detailed in her memoir about her whirlwind three-month fling with the actor, despite Ford being married with children at the time. Fisher said she always held a place for Ford in her heart, wishing that he’d truly love her.