'Force Awakens': Harrison Ford Talks 'Star Wars' Secrecy, Becoming Han Solo Once More
The actor also reveals to THR that he gave advice to young star Daisy Ridley about dealing with fame — but not John Boyega: "He's not a guy that asks anybody about anything."
Han Solo was introduced to audiences in 1977. That is when actor Harrison Ford first picked up a blaster and donned his now iconic vest, becoming film's favorite space cowboy, steering the Millennium Falcon straight into the hearts of moviegoers.
Thirty-eight years later, audiences get a second chance at a first introduction with the upcoming release of Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But releasing a Star Wars in 2015 is very different than releasing a Star Wars in 1977.
During the Star Wars media day, which took place at an publicly undisclosed location, The Hollywood Reporter sat down with the actor who said one big difference between the two releases is that the first time around "nobody gave a rat’s ass."
Spoilers weren’t really an issue the first time around with Star Wars. How has that affected your experience this time?
I can’t tell you — It’s a secret. [Laughs] It’s easy for me to keep a secret. I don’t want to talk about the film, I want people to submit themselves. I want people to let the whole thing wash over them and discover it in context of the music and the popcorn in a sequential way. You have to preserve the information. They aren’t secret, they are just information that you don’t want people to know so it becomes a secret. When the first one came out, nobody gave a rat’s ass because nobody knew about it. Nobody knew there was going to be a giant spaceship that flew over head and nobody knew what John Williams score was going to sound like — it was a surprise. People would sit there and watch a guy in a dog suit, some monkey running around, some space cowboy running around, some wise old warrior and a princess with buns on her head. It was original.
What was it like revisiting Han Solo after time away?
It was comfortable. I had walked more than a mile in his shoes, so when I put back on his shoes I felt like I knew the path. The shoes knew the path. The right actors know the right direction to take it in. J.J. is sensitive to the utility of a character, so I was in good hands and I had a good script. I was happy to come back and be useful.
Have you given any kind of advice to newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega about handling instant fame?
Daisy asked directly about how it felt and we had a conversation about it. I did tell her it was going to help her get a last-minute dentist's appointment.
Did John ever approach you?
No. He is not a guy that asks anybody about anything. He’s a interesting character. He will tell you that I am his best friend — that is how full of shit he is — but he is fun to be around and brings a real energy to the part.
Daisy, as well. She worked really hard to become physically the way this character is. That is just the bottom line of what she did. They are both wonderful in the movie — J.J. brilliantly cast them and lent them the power that the film has to articulate their characters.
How was it visiting Star Wars as a tactile world again?
It is nice to be on any film set for me, whether it is an office or a spaceship or a horse. I like my work … not my work, but the work. I enjoy the process of working with people to tell a story. I am there for the fun of it. I love the business of figuring out what to do and figuring out how to do it as best you can. I love the pressure of time. I love the fact that there are 250 people who don’t know what to do unless you know what to do. I like the problem solving aspect of the job.
Three of your franchise films (Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Blade Runner) are either rumored or definitely being brought back for sequels. Why do you think now is the ideal moment to be doing that?
It isn’t. it is just the way it shakes out. It is not something I or anyone else has plotted. The whole point is to build on what was solid in the earlier versions and take that goodwill and make a new, more developed experience.
It is fun. To work with Steven [Spielberg] on an Indiana Jones movie would be great fun. To work with a new director on a script that was crafted that Ridley [Scott] was partially responsible for and work with Ryan Gosling, who I have always admired greatly, is good stuff. That is the business I am in, and I'm just happy to still be in business.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens flies into theaters on Dec. 18.