Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Harrison Ford Quotes

1. We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.

2. I wanted to live the life, a different life. I didn't want to go to the same place every day and see the same people and do the same job. I wanted interesting challenges.

3. You know you're getting old when all the names in your black book have M. D. after them.

4. Am I grumpy? I might be. But I think maybe sometimes it's misinterpreted.

5. I don't mind doing interviews. I don't mind answering thoughtful questions. But I'm not thrilled about answering questions like: "If you were being mugged, and you had a lightsaber in one pocket and a whip in the other, which would you use?"

6. I have relationships with people I'm working with, based on our combined interest. It doesn't make the relationship any less sincere, but it does give it a focus that may not last beyond the experience.

7. What's important is to be able to see yourself, I think, as having commonality with other people and not determine, because of your good luck, that everybody is less significant, less interesting, less important than you are.

8. All my friends were going off to be professionals, and I said I wanted to be an actor.

9. You may get real tired watching me, but I'm not going to quit.

10. Bikes and planes aren't about going fast or having fun; they're toys, but serious ones.

11. Everything I do, I'm sort of half in, half out.

12. Directing is too hard, it takes too much time, and it doesn't pay very well.

13. I accrued anger from people's low opinion of me and my work, and for the work I might be capable of.

14. Hollywood's got its own particular environment.

15. I could take Sean Connery in a fight... I could definitely take him.

16. I don't do a huge amount of physical activity. I play tennis, I work out sporadically, and I eat well and take care of myself.

17. I enjoyed carpentry, and it was very good to me for 12 years.

18. I get mad when people call me an action movie star. Indiana Jones is an adventure film, a comic book, a fantasy.

19. I have the ordinary experience of being anonymous when I'm in an airplane talking to air-traffic control, and they don't know who they're talking to. I have a lot of common experiences.

20. I love the comic opportunities that come up in the context of a father-son relationship.

21. I rarely play a real person, because I don't think I'm a good imitator.

22. I think what a lot of action movies lose these days, especially the ones that deal with fantasy, is you stop caring at some point because you've lost human scale.

23. I wanted to be a forest ranger or a coal man. At a very early age, I knew I didn't want to do what my dad did, which was work in an office.

24. I think retirement's for old people. I'm still in the business, thank you. I have a young child of nine years old, and I want to live as long as I can to see him grow up. I'm enjoying my life and I want to stick around for as long as I can.

25. I was always very grateful I was never hot. In the entire length of my career, I haven't been the most adored. 

26. I was completely unprepared for the public spectacle my private life became, and didn't like it a bit.

27. I was never that much a focus of interest in my career. I'm aware of that now, which doesn't give me a lot of pleasure.

28. I've always been somewhere down from the top, so I've never had to suffer being knocked off the top.

29. I'm like old shoes. I've never been hip. I think the reason I'm still here is that I was never enough in fashion that I had to be replaced by something new.

30. I'm addicted to Altoids. I call them "acting pills."

31. I've never wanted to be the boss.

32. If I were a serious person, I'd probably have a real job.

33. If you're asking me to acknowledge that I've gotten older, I can do that.

34. It doesn't interest me to be Harrison Ford. It interests me to be Mike Pomeroy and Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan. I don't want to be in the Harrison Ford business. I take what I do seriously, but I don't take myself seriously.

35. It's very little trouble for me to acommodate my fans, unless I'm actually taking a pee at the time.

36. It took me a long time to figure out how to act, and how to conduct myself in the business so I could get what I felt I needed to support my potential and give them what they wanted.

37. My goal was just to work regularly. I didn't ever expect to be rich or famous. I wanted to be a working character actor.

38. My older kids are fantastic people. It can't be the result of my influence on them.

39. My character is meant to know nothing about rap, and not to like it very much, but I know about it, because my kids make me listen to it. There's some rap I do like very much. I like Eminem, Blackalicious.

40. Parenting is an impossible job at any age.

41. Really, what are the options? Levi's or Wranglers. And you just pick one. It's one of those life choices.

42. Some actors couldn't figure out how to withstand the constant rejection. They couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

43. Sometimes I try to improve the language, the lines, or the delivery, but I don't ad-lib because I think that makes it really hard for everybody else involved.

44. The actor's popularity is evanescent; applauded today, forgotten tomorrow.

45. The third time you say a thing it sounds like a lie.

46. The kindest word to describe my performance in school was Sloth.

47. The focus and the concentration and the attention to detail that flying takes is a kind of meditation. I find it restful and engaging, and other things slip away.

48. There is no child left within me, none whatsoever.

49. The trick of this thing and the beauty of this thing is that it's a cowboy movie first and then stuff happens. Even after stuff happens it doesn't change - it hasn't suddenly changed into another kind of movie. It's still a cowboy movie. And that's what's incredible about it because nobody has done that before, that's new territory.

50. To me, success is choice and opportunity.

51. What I observed about my fellow actors was that most gave up very easily.

52. When I first started out, I was a bad actor.

53. With the CGI, suddenly there's a thousand enemies instead of six - the army goes off into the horizon. You don't need that. The audience loses its relationship with the threat on the screen. That's something that's consistently happening and it makes these movies like video games and that's a soulless enterprise. It's all kinetics without emotion.

54. What is news? It's hard to quantify. Certainly news has changed completely, and the morning shows are not really designed to bring you the news, except to tell you what happened overnight, and the rest of it is a kind of magazine mentality - a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It's harder to be an educated and informed citizen.

55. (On being a leading man) I'm like a fireman. When I go out on a call, I want to put out a big fire, I don't want to put out a fire in a dumpster.

56. I don't use any particular method. I'm from the lets-pretend school of acting.

57. I don't do stunts - I do running, jumping and falling down. After 25 years I know exactly what I'm doing.

58. Starring in a science fiction film doesn't mean you have to act science fiction.

59. Whoever had the bright idea of putting Indiana Jones in a leather jacket and a fedora in the jungle ought to be dragged into the street and shot.

60. (asked if he believes in "the Force":) I think the Force is in you. Force yourself.

61. (on Star Wars) I understood the impact of those movies because I had young children who watched them religiously. I saw the Star Wars films so often in my house that I ended up knowing all of the other actors lines.

62. If people recognize me when I'm out in public, I'm very nice to them. I'm very nice to people even when they don't recognize me. I don't even mind if people come up to me while I'm eating dinner, but if they recognize me while I'm having sex, I refuse to sign autographs.

63. (On playing Indiana Jones again) No one wants to see a hero have to pick up his cane to hit someone, but I'm still quite fit enough to fake it.

64. (From an interview explaining that Indiana Jones was not the same character as Han Solo) Different clothes, different character. That's how I feel about it.

65. (Acknowledging that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg originally wanted another actor to play Indiana Jones): My playing Indy was mentioned to me about only six weeks before shooting started, but being second choice wasn't at all offensive. I would always assume that it would be normal for a director - once having worked with an actor in a particular part - not to think of him for something else. I'd presume that he'd want to accentuate the difference between the two characters by having another actor. I was more than happy when they did ask me to play Indiana Jones, because it promised to be a terrific role in a great film.

66. (explaining his disinterest in reliving the role of Han Solo, even after the Star Wars trilogy was reissued in 1997) Once a film is finished, it's over for me. I'm on to something else.

67. (Asked if he would ever play Indiana Jones again) In a New York minute.

68. I used to shake my head, as in "No, I just look like him." But that's not fair. So I said to those little old ladies at Trenton airport: "Yes, I am Harrison Ford". And they still didn't believe it was me.

69. (about Han Solo, speaking in 1979) He's not a cardboard character to me at all. He's as real as anything else. I never thought of the character as having only two dimensions until the critics said so. And they're wrong. The third dimension is me.

70. I am a kinder, gentler Harrison Ford than I once was.

71. (Talking about George Lucas) I think George likes people. I think George is a kind, warm hearted person, but he can be a little impatient with the nature of acting, the need to work till you find something. He's like: "It's right there, it's right there, I wrote it, it's there, just do it." But you can't just do it that easily.

72. (On registering as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War) I confused them so badly that they never took action on my petition. My conscientious objection wasn't based on a history of religious affiliation, which made it difficult at the time. I went back to my philosophy training from college. I remembered Paul Tillich's phrase: "If you have trouble with the word God, take whatever is central or most meaningful to your life and call that God." I always had trouble with the notion of God in a stand-up form. So I developed a thesis and took the Biblical injunction to love thy neighbor as thyself as the central and most meaningful thing in my life. I combined it all and typed for days and sent it off and never heard a word. Never got called in. 

73. Before, I was grateful for a job, almost any job. Now, I'm apprehensive, but I know I have other options, and when I ask for the money, they pay it. It's that simple.

74. (on the early days of his career) I started by chasing a Folger's commercial. But I just somehow couldn't manage to say: "Honey, that's a great cup of coffee."

75. Los Angeles is where you have to be if you want to be an actor. You have no choice. You go there or New York. I flipped a coin about it. It came up New York, so I flipped again. When you're starting out to be an actor, who wants to go where it's cold and miserable and be poor there?

76. I am not the first man who wanted to make changes in his life at 60 and I won't be the last. It is just that others can do it with anonymity. I was interested in changing my life. I have always had the ability to change and become other people through my acting. I took a good look at myself and decided I wanted something different from the way I was living. That's not such a bad thing, is it? But, because of my past, I think it took a lot of people by surprise. They wondered what was happening to me. I was very much aware of what was happening. I'm living the way I want to live.

77. (When asked: If heaven exists, what would you want God to say to you at the pearly gates) You're a lot better looking in person.

78. I grew up in the mid-west. You don't ask what a person's religion is, you don't ask what their politics are, you don't ask how much money they make and I pretty much still have that attitude about it. It's none of anybody's business and I don't advantage anyone by telling them what my personal politics are…The arguments are much too subtle to be entered in that way, to my mind. There are things that I think are happening in he world that are egregious mistakes but I'm only operating out of my own box and I don't have any expertise. I'm a voter…I have one vote, that's all I should have.

79. I don't think I've mastered anything. I'm still wrestling with the same frustrations, the same issues, the same problems as I always did. That's what life is like.

80. (Asked if he would ever play Han Solo again) No, because I have outgrown that character.

81. I am Irish as a person, but I feel Jewish an an actor.

82. (To cinema owners in Las Vegas) I'll make you a deal. I'll try to keep making films that put people in your theatre seats and you try to keep their shoes from sticking to the floor.

83. I think I did have a reputation for being grumpy. I don't think I'm grumpy. I have opinions. I have an independent vision. I am a purposeful person. But on a daily basis, I think I'm other than grumpy. I think it is a case where I am coming to do business and not there just to be flattered and cajoled and used.

84. The loss of anonymity is something that nobody can prepare you for. When it happened, I recognized that I'd lost one of the most valuable things in life. To this day, I'm not all that happy about it.

85. What does that mean (when a director says) "trust me"? Does that mean I should obviate all of my experience? Should I replace a certain knowledge with belief? Where does that get you? I have had experience in my life. I am 63 years old. Why should I be trusting a director?

86. (After his first screen test) The studio guy told me: "Kid, you have no future in this business." I said: "Why?" He said: "When Tony Curtis first walked onscreen carrying a bag of groceries - a bag of groceries! - you took one look at him and said: "THAT'S a movie star!" I said: "Weren't you supposed to say: "That's a grocery delivery boy?"

87. (On his marriage to Melissa Mathison) It was just part of the continuum of the relationship…I don't know if I ever proposed to her.

88. (Talking about Blade Runner 1982): It could have been so much more than a cult movie.

89. There have been times in my life when I have felt I was lonely, but I don't think you want to live your life in order to mitigate against loneliness.  (from People magazine June 23, 2003 issue)

90. (on what made him choose acting as a profession) Failure in all other fields.

91. I'm very disturbed about the direction American foreign policy is going. I think something needs to be done to help alleviate the conditions which have created a disenfranchised and angry faction in the Middle East. I don't think military intervention is the correct solution. I regret what we as a country have done so far.

92. Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist.

93. I don't want to be a movie star. I want to be in movies that are stars.

94. I had no expectation of the level of adulation that would come my way. I just wanted to make a living with a regular role in a television series.

95. I think American films right now are suffering from an excess of scale. Lots of movies we're seeing now are more akin to video games than stories about human life and relationships. Twelve-to-twenty-year-olds are maybe the largest economic force in the US movie business. I'm not a very nostalgic person - but I enjoy a good story.

96. (Talking about the appeal of Indiana Jones) Indiana Jones is always getting in way over his head and just barely getting out by the skin of his teeth.

97. I saw a bit of director Steve Gaghan's movie Syriana (2005), and I wish I'd played the part that was offered to me - George's part. I didn't feel strongly enough about the truth of the material and I think I made a mistake. I think the film underwent some changes, and I think a lot of it is very truthful: the things that I thought weren't, were obviated after I left the table.

98. I'm very troubled by the proliferation of arms, at the fact so many people in the United States carry guns. It obviously contributes greatly to the crime problems we have. I'm sure gun laws should be strengthened in the United States. I just don't know the correct mechanism.

99. (Talking about George Lucas) He doesn't really understand the nature of acting. He's like: "It's right there, it's right there. I wrote it, it's there, just do it." But you can't just do it that easily.

100. Identification solely with Star Wars could have been the beginning and the end, with no middle, to my career.

101. I had a very strong feeling about the Vietnam War, and I had a strong feeling about participating in it. The military draft was in place, I was summoned for a physical exam, and I was either going to be classified as fit for military service or make my objection to it. So I made my objection to it.

102. My approach to acting is the let's pretend school of acting. If real emotion is available, use it, otherwise I follow what I think is an AA rule: "Fake it till you make it." Emotions are an interesting language. Sometime they sneak up on you when you're not expecting, when you are available to it.

103. It's a little-known fact, but I wanted Han Solo to die at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). I thought it would give more weight and resonance. But George Lucas wasn't sympathetic. He didn't want me killed by those teddy bear guys.

104. Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice.

What do you think of Harrison Ford's quotes?

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