Harrison Ford on Indiana Jones: ‘When I’m gone, he’s gone’

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I don’t know if I will ever be able to quit Harrison Ford. I fell in love with him right after my crush on Shaun Cassidy began to wane and I’ve never looked back. And since I come from a long line of curmudgeons, this grumpy grandpa thing he has going on just endears me more. He’s currently promoting his latest film, which is – and I still can’t believe I’m saying this – The Secret Life of Pets 2. He’s plays Rooster, a no nonsense farm dog who hands out life lessons and tough love. I get that a voice gig is a good one for an actor who works only to buy himself another plane or two, but Harrison’s choices still surprise me. Remember when he was in Jimmy Kimmel’s I’m F—king Ben Affleck video? Who saw that coming?

But, the good news, of course, is that Harrison is out there doing promotion. And true to his nature, he’s doing his whole cranky-in-jest persona. When Craig Melvin interviewed him on Today, he not only found out why Harrison is doing his very first animated film at the age of 76 (nobody’s ever asked) but also who he saw as the appropriate successor to his iconic character Indiana Jones once Harrison vacates that role. According to Harrison, no one, he’s it, something he reinforces when he can’t even remember which Chris is supposed to wear the fedora.

Some highlights:

Listening to Rooster, Rooster sounds a lot like Harrison Ford

It’s typecasting. When I first came in to the recording studio, I said, “you gave me a lot of money, thank you very much. Do you want me to do something? Do you want me to do a dog voice?” And they said no. I said, “well, how – what do I do?” and they said, “be yourself.” It’s type casting.

What made you decide to do this one?

They asked me. Nobody ever asked me before.

So many iconic roles. So many films. My personal favorite – Air Force One and that line, “Get off my plane.” It got me to thinking, of all the roles you’ve had, all the one-liners you’ve uttered, what’s your favorite one liner from a Harrison Ford film?

“I’m sorry Mr. President, I don’t dance.” That’s Clear and Present Danger.

Indiana Jones. When you’re done with that role, who would you like to see as Indiana Jones?

Nobody is going to be Indiana Jones. Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones. When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy. This is a hell of a way to tell Chris Pine. I’m sorry man.

Of course, Harrison meant Chris Pratt, who is rumored to take over the role, but you just know Chris Pine was on the phone to his agent, shouting into the receiver, “He said it was me! No take-backs!” As for actually relinquishing the role, I can’t imagine he cares that much. He was gracious to Alden Ehrenreich when he took over Han Solo so I’m sure he’ll extend the same courtesy to the new Indiana Jones, whichever Chris it ends up being. One thing I’ve always admired about Harrison is he’s practical in his approach to movie-making. He knows it’s always about money and knows that eventually, his films will be remade or continued without him. He probably also knows that every other person who takes on his roles will be compared (unfavorably) to him and that makes it easier for him to let them go.

But Harrison isn’t just a gruff fusspot. When he appeared on The Tonight Show last week, Jimmy Fallon asked him about losing Peter Mayhew, the man who played Chewbacca. Harrison had already issued a truly lovely statement after his death. When he spoke to Jimmy about it, he suspended his crusty façade and, understandably emotionally, said some really beautiful things about Mayhew:

Thanks to DListed for the story!

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Photo credit: YouTube and WENN Photos

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37 Responses to “Harrison Ford on Indiana Jones: ‘When I’m gone, he’s gone’”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I honestly cant see anyone replacing Harrison Ford as Indy. Replacing him as han solo only worked because they were doing an origin story, and considering how young Indy was in the Raiders, I’m not sure we need to see an origin story (or something similar.) Besides, the only young Indy in my opinion is River Phoenix.

    I love the Star Wars trilogy as I have said on here numerous times (well I love the Star wars saga in general but the original trilogy is my favorite), but I think Harrison’s acting was a bit weak in those movies. He hit his stride in the Indiana Jones movies. It’s not that I don’t think anyone else could play Indy, its that I don’t want to see it. I would rather stay home and rewatch Last Crusade than go to the movies and see an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford. Maybe I’m the outlier though.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      River was good but Sean Patrick Flanery was also really good as a young Indy in the Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show. I loved that show.

      • Becks1 says:

        I wasn’t a fan of that show! Maybe I should try rewatching a few episodes and see if I like it more now. That’s why I said River is the only young Indy in my opinion ;-)

    • Alyse says:

      Exactly, he’s not wrong – he IS Indy

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    I stan him so hard, my forever crush. I was in the audience when he was on Graham Norton with Bendy Cumberbatch and my friend and I seemed to be the only one stanning for Harrison – everyone else was fan girling Bendy and TBF it was at the height of the Sherlock craziness.

    Also Chris Pine would be perfect for Jones – I actually preferred his Kirk to Shatners. I don’t mind Chris Pratt, he was ok in the Jurassic Park movies and I can see from them why he is in the running to take over the role. Either way I agree Indiana Jones will pass on with him, they’ve introduced his son so I hope that they carry on with that and recast the role.

    • Becks1 says:

      I would be okay if that made Chris Pine Indy’s son and just fast forwarded a few years. Shia LeBouf was awful.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I am a BIG fan of Chris Pines. Love his take on Kirk and loved him the Princess Diaries 2.

  3. CharliePenn says:

    Gruff Fusspot! Yes! That is exactly what he is! Hahahha thanks for such a good laugh.
    I have always had the biggest crush on him, too. Han Solo, Indiana Jones: my two earliest crushes. He’s authentic and I appreciate that.

  4. Mia4s says:

    If it has to happen Chris Pine would be a way better choice than Chris Pratt. Like….WAAAAAAAAAAY better.

    I’d be fine if Indiana is done. Absolutely fine. When Spielberg couldn’t direct James Bond he and George Lucas created Indiana Jones (major upgrade in my opinion). Where is our next great original story? The next great original idea? The reboots are killing creativity.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I shudder to think what Spielberg would have done with Bond, just as I am also glad he was kept far away from the Harry Potter franchise (allegedly he really wanted to direct but Rowling said no and am glad she stuck to her guns as the rumours where he wanted Americanise it i.e. set it in an American high school).

      • deezee says:

        Yes he wanted it to be an “international school” in NYC with Haley Joel Osment as Harry Potter. I think it was after that meeting Rowling insisted on an all British cast.

    • Becks1 says:

      @mia4S yes that is my constant question now. Where is our next great story? I don’t even mind if its based on a book. but I’m ready for a new story, a new epic, new characters, something.

    • anneliser says:

      Cosign. Chris Pratt has all the sexual charisma of a Teletubby. Chris Pine would be a vastly superior choice.

  5. The Crumpled Horn says:

    Well hes not wrong.

  6. AmyB says:

    I love this man! He will forever be my crush – and I love him even today…he is the best.

    Love what he said about no one else being Indiana Jones – damn straight! LOL

  7. Bunny says:

    He’s the perfect man, and he makes his characters his own.

    I don’t really want to see anyone else as Indiana Jones, Han Solo, etc.

    Still gorgeous, gruff, and grouchy. Sigh…

  8. Lucy says:

    Gotta love HF.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    I love him.
    He’s right, when he is done, the character should be too. It belongs to him, and we have three great movies to rewatch forever. Yes three, not four.
    If someone wants to make Chris Pratt (yuck) an adventuresome archaeologist, they can come up with a new character and idea.

    • Surly Gale says:

      Gee, I thought Alicia Vanekirker did a GREAT job in Tomb Raider as a pre-quel to AJ’s role.
      I like Chris Pine’s Cap’t Kirk, not sure I see him as Indy. I get Pratt cause of Guardians of the Galazy (also a sort of fumbling, slight clueless but always gets the job done character).

      • Cindy says:

        I don’t think that’s an apt comparison. The Tomb Raider movies are definitely not as iconic as Indiana Jones, and that aside, Lara Croft was already an established and iconic character in the gaming world before Angelina Jolie played her.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree with Cindy, Lara Croft is definitely not as iconic as Indiana Jones, and there’s been several iterations of her, with the video games and all. Indiana Jones is special, and one of the characters I hope they don’t try to reboot someday.

  10. Mar says:

    I love him so much. And Chris Pine would be fab as Indy’s son or mentee/student or an Indy super fan carrying on his work. Pratt is getting one note to me and I can’t tell the difference between Star Lord from GOTG and Owen from JW. Give me Pine or Hemsworth any day in the battle of the Chrises lol

  11. susiecue says:

    Duuuude I still would. He’s my forever crush, I have loved him for as long as I can remember.

  12. Lizzie says:

    indiana jones is the is the perfect character. the original three movies are timeless and he is timeless in them. you can’t tell if he’s 30, 40 or 60. you can’t tell if they were made in 1985 or now. he is iconic.

    obviously temple of doom is like – way problematic as it is exceptionally racist – but he was sublime in it as the character.

    the newest one did not work and i think pulling focus from harrison ford and trying to make a “new” indy in shia lebeouf killed the story. could anyone imagine anyone needing more of something that has already been established as….IT.

  13. elimaeby says:

    I’ve never understood his sex appeal until the beard. Now grumpy, skinny Harrison Clause could get it any day!

  14. Pulplove says:

    Please, no new, younger, modern or offspring version of Indy. Harrison’s portrayal of Indy made him unique and memorable on so many levels. I never watched the TV series b/c I never felt Indy is the kind of fictional person who I want to see with another face and vibe attached to it.

    Let it rest, Hollywood, the 4th film was already a mistake. The first 3 are forever enjoyable and iconic with the one and only Indy Ford!

  15. HelloIsThereAnybodyOutThere says:

    Just want to co-sign that while I have a soft spot for Chris Pratt leftover from Parks and Rec (if I manage to forget his personal life that makes me side eye him), he has no sex appeal or charisma or swagger that is absolutely REQUIRED for Indiana Jones. That casting would be a travesty. I’m actually not particularly attracted to Chris Pine either, but he would be a vastly superior choice and actually might make sense for the role, now that he’s a little matured in his looks and less a “pretty boy.”

  16. kerwood says:

    That clip of Harrison on the Fallon show was very moving. Ford doesn’t often let the public see his heart, so it was clear how much Mayhew meant to him. And when Fallon held up the picture I realized that Harrison and Mark are the only ones left. They all started on this amazing journey when they were young,

    I think Chris Pratt would be a better Indy because I don’t think he takes himself as seriously as Pine does. Chris is very good at swashbuckling and he’s also very charming. I have my doubts about whether or not he could play a professor or archeology but that’s why they call it ‘acting’.

  17. BeanieBean says:

    What’s next? A new Godfather? Hmm. I’ve run out of iconic characters already. There’s only one Indiana Jones just as there’s only one Michael Corleone.

  18. Mina says:

    He probably thought of Chris Pine because he (unsuccessfully) took over another of his famous roles, Jack Ryan. At least he was better than Affleck.

  19. A says:

    Pratt is by far the least charismatic out of all the Chrises, casting him as Indiana Jones would be a sad joke. I don’t know why his name is suggested for all these high profile movies, dude is a mediocre actor and has no screen presence and tries way too hard with his nice guy schtick (only person trying harder than him is Chris Evans lol)

  20. RuddyZooKeeper says:

    That NBC interview was painful. Harrison Ford is a great interview for someone who knows what they’re doing. But that was not great. Good on HF for trying to keep some sort of forward motion. Sheesh.

  21. BW says:

    I love the gruff cumudgeon thing, too. I’m always amazed how Ford became one of THE biggest stars. He started out as everyone’s 2nd choice in what turned out to be super huge movies.

    1. Han Solo. Lucas wasn’t going to cast Ford because he’d already used Ford in a bit part in American Grafitti. Kurt Russell almost got the part.

    2. Indian Jones. Tom Selleck was the first choice, but he couldn’t get out of Magnum.

    3. Jack Ryan. Anyone remember that the part was first played by Alec Baldwin?

    After that, Ford was everyone’s first choice. And I really hope they don’t replace him. He’s unique.

    • Trashaddict says:

      Alec Baldwin is NOT my favorite person, but I actually liked him better in the part of Jack Ryan. That being said, no one else will be right for Indiana Jones in my mind. It was a travesty they didn’t keep Karen Allen. That’s worth minus 100 life points for George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg.

  22. Some chick says:

    That is not how franchises work, tho.

    He dogged Carrie Fisher when she was super young and in love with him, and he was married.

    He’s also a big ol’ Polanski pal. He accepted and delivered his Oscar.
    Cite: LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2003-sep-09-et-quick9.1-story.html

    Sorry, Harry, you get to age into irrelevancy just like everyone else does. If they want a new Indy there will be one. (The entire character and premise are pretty problematic at this point tho, so perhaps he will end up getting his wish.)