Harrison Ford has always been a lovable rogue, probably even back when he was a carpenter, but he has really settled into his new role as a lovable curmudgeon and made it his own. He has clearly relished his many opportunities over the last few years to put his most famous characters to bed and never think or speak of them again, and the rollout of Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny has given Ford a few opportunities to gruffly speak his mind while we all clap and cheer.
In May he defended the film’s use of de-aging technology to make Indiana Jones look younger for flashback scenes, and now Esquire has published an interview with Ford where he tells a story about yelling at the film’s stunt performers for not letting him hurt himself trying to get off a horse—an interview, it should be said, that also includes Ford sending back eggs that aren’t runny enough and asking the interviewer (Ryan D’Agostino) not to mention how often he says “fuck” because Calista Flockhart told him he says it too much.
Before we get to the horse story, some important context: Ford mentions in the Esquire chat that he’s “known for shutting movies down” when he gets hurt, “which is not something you want to be known for.” Esquire points out that production on Dial Of Destiny completely stopped for two weeks after Ford hurt his shoulder practicing a punch for a fight scene with Mads Mikkelsen (and then it was another six weeks before he could start throwing punches again), and there was also the time he almost got killed by the hydraulic doors on The Force Awakens’ Millennium Falcon.
So “Harrison Ford got hurt doing something relatively normal” is not a completely unheard of concept on a film set, and yet here’s how he tells the story of filming Dial Of Destiny’s big Manhattan horse chase scene:
As Ford finished the scene, he felt hands all over his legs and, he says, “I thought, What the fuck? Like I was being attacked by gropers. I look down and there’s three stunt guys there making sure I didn’t fall off the stirrup. They said, Oh, we were just afraid because we thought, you know, and bah bah bah bah. And I said, Leave me the fuck alone, I’m an old man—”
Ford later added that he’s “an old man getting off a horse” and that he wanted it “to look like that” when he did it. He should recognize why people may think he’s a little fragile (no one wants to be responsible for hurting Harrison Ford, and also the company responsible for the Star Wars door injury was fined $2 million), but this does also speak to why Ford’s Star Wars/Blade Runner/Indiana Jones reunion tour has been so compelling. He’s not precious about it.
He let Han Solo die as a plot device and he let Rick Deckard be a standoffish jerk (though he did also get the phenomenal final line in that movie), so they need to allow him to make Indiana Jones look like an old man when he gets off a horse! The guy hid in a refrigerator while an atomic bomb went off, we can’t expect him to be a spry, punch-throwing archaeology professor anymore.