Most celebrities use late-night or daytime talk shows to plug their latest project and share a handful of pre-determined anecdotes. Harrison Ford is not most celebrities.
For years, the now-73-year-old actor has been one of the most unpredictable and entertaining talk show guests in Hollywood. During last fall’s promotional tour for Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, he admitted to Jimmy Fallon that he did not get “emotional” when he put on the Han Solo costume for the first time in over 30 years. “No, I got paid,” he told the host.
That trend continued on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday night when Ford spoke for the first time about his upcoming return to his other iconic role: Indiana Jones. This past week, director Steven Spielberg announced that he would be teaming with Ford for the fifth installment in the series, due in theaters July of 2019.
When Kimmel brought up the news during their interview last night, his audience erupted in cheers. “I’ll be ready, I’m excited about this,” Ford said dryly. Asked if the team finally came up with an idea that he loved after the disappointing fourth movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ford delivered a more hearty, “Yeah!”
“I haven’t read the script,” Ford clarified. “I’m talking about the contract!”
Ford then insisted that he was just kidding around, but when Kimmel suggested that he would do it for no money at all, a dark cloud fell across the actor’s face. Attempting some damage control, Ford said that he relishes “the opportunity to work with Steven [Spielberg] again” and “the chance to revisit this character which has brought pleasure to so many people,” including him.
“It’s great fun to play this character, it’s great fun to work with Steven,” he added. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Earlier in the Kimmel appearance, Ford displayed a similar level of candor when he touched on the—spoiler alert!—final demise of his character in the Star Wars films. “You work for like 25 years for the company, you do your best, you show up every day, you do your job, and then they just let you go,” he joked. “I argued for 30 years for this to happen and finally I wore ’em down.”
However, asked if he—or Han Solo—will be in any of the upcoming Star Wars movies, Ford mysteriously locked his lips and threw away the key. As for the secret regarding Han Solo’s death at the end of The Force Awakens, Ford said fans only avoided spoiling it for others because they knew he would personally show up at their houses and “beat the shit out of them.”
While it is highly unlikely that Ford’s Han Solo will be making any more on-screen appearances, Disney is in the process of casting actors to play Han Solo in a new franchise to be directed by The LEGO Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller. As of this week, Hail, Caesar!’s Alden Ehrenreich, Transformers: Age of Extinction’s Jack Reynor, and The Kingsman’s Taron Egerton are reportedly among the leading contenders.
During a surprise appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday, Ford had some advice for the young men in the running for the role that made him a star.
First off, Ford corrected Ellen DeGeneres, who said that Disney has been trying to cast a “new Han Solo.” According to him, it’s “worse than that.” They are looking for a “young Han Solo.”
And while Ford said he was “flattered” that so many actors want to play the part, he had one piece of advice for them: “Don’t do it.”
It seems there are just some things the highest-grossing actor of all time can say that others wouldn’t dare.