Ford was the second choice for the iconic character
Harrison Ford, the renowned 80-year-old actor, recently graced the Taormina Film Festival in Italy, accompanied by his co-stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen, to promote their highly anticipated film, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” In an interview with Deadline at the event, Ford revealed captivating insights about his casting as the iconic character of Indiana Jones. Interestingly, he disclosed that he stepped into the role after Tom Selleck, now 78 years old, had to withdraw from portraying the adventurous archaeologist in the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Ford expressed his gratitude towards Selleck during a panel discussion, explaining that Selleck had secured the part but had a television series commitment he couldn’t get out of. This turn of events made Ford the second choice for the iconic character, and he expressed his appreciation to Selleck, even addressing him directly, if he happened to be listening.
Ford went on to recount his journey into the role. George Lucas, the creator of the franchise and someone Ford had already collaborated with on Star Wars, called him and asked him to read a script. Lucas was insistent, urging Ford to read it within an hour, and then instructed him to visit Steven Spielberg’s house for a conversation. Ford had never met Spielberg before, but after about an hour of discussion, he landed the coveted job.
When questioned about his process of discovering the character of Indiana Jones for “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Ford playfully commented, “Imagine a man in the midst of a jungle, sporting a whip and donning a leather jacket. It’s scorching hot, and yet he persists with the jacket and a substantial felt hat. He’s an archaeologist, a professor—what more could an actor ask for? This is a man who wields a whip. Need I say more?”
Tom Selleck’s departure from the first Indiana Jones film was due to his commitment to filming Magnum P.I. instead. Lucas initially hesitated to cast Ford, fearing the development of a pattern similar to frequent collaborations seen between Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. However, Spielberg encouraged Lucas to approach Ford about the three-picture deal, and Ford gladly accepted, having enjoyed working with Lucas on Star Wars.
Ever since his debut in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Harrison Ford has mesmerized audiences with his portrayal of the beloved character Indiana Jones. Ford’s remarkable journey as the adventurous archaeologist spans five films, and fans eagerly await the upcoming installment, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”