Behind-the-Scenes Stories From Harrison Ford's 'Indiana Jones' Films
Harrison Ford, a legendary actor known for his action films, achieved even greater recognition with his iconic role as Indiana Jones, surpassing his beloved portrayal of Han Solo in Star Wars. These fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of the Indiana Jones franchise will captivate any movie enthusiast. Have you ever wondered how Harrison Ford got the scar on his chin? Or why Shia LaBeouf only appeared in one Indiana Jones movie? And what are Ford's true thoughts on snakes?
Despite not being particularly fond of engaging with the press, Harrison Ford's straightforward honesty and carefree demeanor make for captivating storytelling. This is especially true when he shares intriguing anecdotes from the making of the Indiana Jones films. From unexpected illnesses to severe injuries and daring wardrobe choices, Ford's tales from the production of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981 to the franchise-concluding Dial of Destiny in 2023 are as fascinating as the films themselves.
#1. A Hilarious Scene In ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Only Happened Because Ford Had Dysentery
One of the most unforgettable scenes in an Indiana Jones movie was actually a result of Harrison Ford's battle with dysentery. In the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones embarks on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant. During his journey, he encounters a formidable opponent who challenges him to a duel.
The rival exhibits impressive sword skills, intimidating Jones to engage in combat. However, Jones, visibly worn out from his relentless pursuit of the treasure, decides to take a different approach. Without hesitation, he reaches for his gun and swiftly shoots his adversary, defying expectations and leaving the audience in awe.
People Also Read:
#2. Harrison Ford Likes Snakes And Calls Them 'Fantastic Creatures'
Even fearless adventurers like Indiana Jones have their own fears. Jones suffers from ophidiophobia, a deep-rooted fear of snakes. This phobia originated from a traumatic incident during his teenage years when he stumbled into a box full of slippery reptiles while traveling aboard the Dunn and Duffy Train around 1912. Ironically, throughout the franchise, Jones finds himself in numerous encounters with various snakes. However, in reality, Harrison Ford, the actor who portrays Jones, actually has an affinity for snakes.
The actor disclosed during a 2014 Reddit AMA: "I actually like snakes! When I was young, I was a Boy Scout nature camp counselor, and one of our projects was collecting snakes and creating an environment for them, so I'm quite familiar with them and think they're fantastic creatures."
#3. Filmmakers De-Aged Ford In The 'Dial of Destiny’ Flashback Sequence By Going Through Years' Worth Of Archived Footage
In the highly anticipated film Dial of Destiny, there is a gripping 25-minute opening sequence that takes us back to 1944 when Indiana Jones was 35 years old. This impressive de-aging effect was achieved through the use of VFX (Visual Effects) technology. The filmmakers employed artificial intelligence to meticulously analyze years' worth of archived footage of Harrison Ford from Lucasfilm. They then seamlessly integrated this archived footage with new scenes.
Producer Kathleen Kennedy expressed her hope that viewers would be so immersed in the film that they would believe the footage was found from a 40-year-old shoot. She stated, "We're dropping you into an adventure, something Indy is looking for, and instantly you have that feeling, 'I'm in an Indiana Jones movie.'"
#4. Ford Taught Ke Huy Quan How To Swim While They Were Making 'Temple of Doom'
In 2023, the heartwarming story of Ke Huy Quan, an Academy Award-winning actor, captured the attention of many. Quan had seemingly disappeared from the Hollywood scene after his memorable performances in The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Back in 1984, director Steven Spielberg cast the 12-year-old Quan in the role of Short Round for the prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark. This marked Quan's debut in the world of movies. Short Round starts off in Temple of Doom as a skilled pickpocket but soon evolves into a trusted ally of Indiana Jones.
During their time working together, Quan and Harrison Ford developed a strong bond. In a delightful twist of fate, when Quan received his well-deserved Oscar in 2023, it was Ford who happened to be on stage presenting the award. The two shared a heartfelt and joyous hug, symbolizing their enduring connection.
People Also Read:
#5. Ford And Connery Both Went Pantsless During A Hot Scene In 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'
Who needs pants, right?
In the third installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, titled Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, we witness the intricate relationship between Jones and his estranged father, Henry Sr. (played by Sean Connery). Henry Sr. is a knowledgeable professor of medieval literature with a shared interest in seeking the Holy Grail.
During a particularly sweltering day on set, both Connery and Ford decided to forgo wearing pants. In a crucial scene, the characters board a zeppelin to evade the pursuing Nazis. As they sit facing each other, the estranged father and son embark on a heartfelt attempt at reconciliation.
#6. Ford Tore His ACL Making 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' When He Was Run Over By An Airplane
Harrison Ford has now played Indiana Jones in five different films. He's also appeared in a number of physically demanding films, including The Fugitive and Clear and Present Danger. Along the way, the actor has been injured several times.
He explained during a 2014 Reddit AMA: "On the first Indiana Jones movie, I tore an ACL in one of my knees, can't remember which knee. The scene in which I was fighting the big German mechanic on an airplane called a flying wing, I was run over by the landing gear and injured my knee. But I can't remember which one it was. Lots of bumps and injuries along the way."
#7. Harrison Ford Called Shia LaBeouf A “F**king Idiot” For Publicly Criticizing ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’
Do you recall when Shia LaBeouf was seen as a rising star in the film industry? Unfortunately, since his successful days in the mid-2000s, the actor's behavior and choices have repeatedly marred his once-promising career.
One notable misstep from LaBeouf was when he openly criticized Steven Spielberg's fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series, titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, released in 2008. In the movie, LaBeouf portrays Mutt Williams, Indiana Jones' son. While Crystal Skull may not be regarded as the franchise's finest entry, it still managed to entertain and captivate a majority of movie enthusiasts.
#8. Ford's Chin Scar Became Part Of Indy's Backstory In 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'
Harrison Ford's chin scar has become a distinctive trait that fans immediately associate with the actor. The story behind the scar dates back to a car accident in 1964 when Ford crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole. Throughout Ford's career, the scar has been integrated into his roles, receiving the Hollywood treatment.
A notable example is seen in the 1988 film Working Girl, where his character Jack Trainer faints after getting his ear pierced and injures his chin in the process. In the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the opening prologue takes us back to the younger days of Indy, portrayed by River Phoenix. This sequence reveals that Jones didn't initially possess the mastery of his iconic whip; it was a skill he developed over time.
#9. A 66-Year-Old Harrison Ford Wanted To Do Many Of His Own Stunts For 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'
Tom Cruise isn't the only actor who performs the majority of his own stunt work. In 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 66-year-old Harrison Ford wanted to do as much of his own stunt work as possible. Ford wanted the audience to see Indiana Jones's age.
He explained: "What astonishes me is that people can't imagine Indiana Jones aging at all. Why expect any character to be frozen in time? The appeal of Indiana Jones isn't his youth but his imagination, his resourcefulness… My ambition in action is to have the audience look straight in my face, and not the back of a stuntman's head. I hope to continue that, no matter how old I get."
#10. He Doesn't Like Movies That Use Violence In A 'Reprehensible' Way
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, released in 1984, served as the sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, even though it was actually set before the events of the first film. Temple of Doom takes place in 1935, while Raiders occurs in 1936.
During that time, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) had only four ratings: G, PG, R, and X. Temple of Doom faced criticism for its intense violence and graphic content, which some deemed inappropriate for young children, despite its PG rating that suggested it was suitable for families. This raised concerns about the need for a rating that fell between PG and R.
#11. Ford's Performance In 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Helped Him Land The Role Of Deckard In 'Blade Runner'
Harrison Ford's portrayal of an enigmatic anti-hero in Ridley Scott's dystopian sci-fi film Blade Runner marked a significant departure from his previous roles in films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the 2007 documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, it was revealed that several prominent '80s movie stars were considered for the role of Deckard, with Dustin Hoffman emerging as a top contender. Other notable actors in the mix were Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ultimately, the decision to cast Ford as Deckard was influenced by his performances in the Star Wars films. Additionally, Ford had just finished working with Steven Spielberg on Raiders, and Spielberg praised his exceptional work in the adventure movie. Following the tremendous success of Raiders, which became a blockbuster sensation and a cultural phenomenon, Harrison Ford secured the role of Deckard in Blade Runner.
#12. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny' Is Officially The Last Movie Of The Franchise
Exciting news for devoted Indiana Jones enthusiasts! The highly anticipated film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will serve as the final installment of this iconic movie franchise. According to Harrison Ford himself, no other actor will step into the shoes of the beloved character, at least not to his knowledge. (Although there have been discussions about the possibility of Disney exploring an Indiana Jones TV series for their streaming platform, Disney+.)
Despite being in his eighties, Ford shows no signs of slowing down in his acting career. In fact, he has been more active than ever, especially in television productions. Fans can catch him delivering impressive performances in the Apple+ dramedy Shrinking and the Paramount+ prequel to Yellowstone, titled 1923.
#13. Harrison Ford Had No Problem Showing Emotion While Rolling Out 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'
Harrison Ford is typically not associated with being overly emotional, often described as a bit of a curmudgeon. However, that doesn't mean the experienced actor is devoid of sentimentality. With the conclusion of the fifth and final installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, titled Dial of Destiny, Ford has officially retired his iconic whip and fedora
. The depth of his attachment to the character became evident in 2022 during Disney's D23 fan expo, where Ford became teary-eyed while presenting the film's trailer. Additionally, he was moved to tears once again when he received a standing ovation at the world premiere of this adventure movie at the esteemed Cannes Film Festival.
What do you think about the list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!