Actor of the Week: Harrison Ford
With the long-awaited The Last Jedi out this weekend, it seemed like a fitting choice to have Han Solo himself, Mr Harrison Ford, as our Actor of the Week. The great thing about Ford is that, even though he has played one of the most iconic characters in cinema history, in Solo, he has not been held back by this like many actors can be. We see this in his performance of another iconic character - Indiana Jones.
In 1977 the world was properly introduced to Harrison Ford as we saw him play the aforementioned iconic smuggler Han Solo in Star Wars. As many of you are already aware, Han Solo was the pilot who helped Luke Skywalker rescue Princess Leia from the evil Empire. If Luke brought the heroism and Leia brought the a strong female lead to Star Wars, Han certainly brought the comedic side. Harrison Ford has an incredible sarcasm to him which fitted perfectly for Han Solo, making him an instant fan favourite, to the point where Ford wanted Solo to be killed off at the end of the 2nd installment - Empire Strikes Back, but he was just too important to the franchise and the fans to be removed. I hope we get a bit of Ford in the next Star Wars film “Solo”, in one form or another.
When actors hit the big screen with such an iconic role, they usually struggle to shake off people seeing them as anyone else. You could possibly argue this happened to a previous Actor of the Week in Mark Hamill, with his role as Luke Skywalker, but not for Ford. Whilst being a firm part of the Star Wars franchise, Ford teamed up with one of the best directors of all time, Steven Spielberg for the legendary Raiders of the Lost Ark, where we see Harrison Ford play an Archaeologist who loves a bit of adventure - Indiana Jones. Raider of the Lost Ark has a simple story, seeing “Indie” being hired by the US Government to locate the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi’s. Sometimes a simple story is all you need when you have such a great character like Indiana Jones, a man who can do the impossible with a whip. Harrison Ford plays this role perfectly, only highlighting that how great Ford is as an actor, as it could have been very easy for him to fall into the trap of being typecast. Ford continued to play Indiana Jones for four more films.
With Harrison Ford proving to us that he won’t be shadowed by the scale of a role, he moved on to become the top of A-list acting, starring in films like Blade Runner to playing the President who saves his own plane in Air Force One. But cementing his acting ability was the Academy Award nomination he received for his role in Witness. Ford plays John Book, a policeman who goes into hiding in the Amish country to protect an Amish boy who is the sole witness to a murder investigation.
Harrison Ford is a rare breed of actor who can play drastically different roles, to a very high standard. The fact he has played two of the most iconic characters in cinema history and is still able to play other roles in hollywood blockbusters is an incredible achievement in itself, which is why Ford is an obvious choice for our Actor of the Week segment. We would tell you we love you Ford, but you already know.