Harrison Ford Q&A: Indy Speaks!

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Harrison Ford Q&A: Indy Speaks!

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You've got a younger sidekick this time, played by Shia LaBeouf. His character, Mutt, is a ''greaser.'' Did he even know what a greaser was?
HARRISON FORD: Shia's a very smart kid. He does his homework, does his research. Don't make the mistake of looking at Shia and thinking you're looking at an ordinary kid. One of the attractive aspects of him is that he's capable of behaving as, and portraying, an ordinary kid. And he doesn't have that gloss of ego that is so easily smelt and avoided. You want to step around it. It smells like dogs---, it is dogs---. He doesn't have that. I was really delighted to come to know him. Great to work with, for everybody. The whole cast is a remarkable bunch this time. Cate [Blanchett] is fantastic.

Shia says she was elusive on the set — that she didn't hang out much, and when she was around, she was mainly in character, as this Soviet agent, Irina Spalko. Which might have been a deliberate psych-out, since she's playing a villainess.
Two weeks into the movie, I'd only seen her in costume. She showed up one morning [in plain clothes] 'cause she wasn't working till later in the day, and I said, ''Who's that? That's who? Oh, shit — really?'' There's no aspect of her behavior that was not consistent with this bizarre person she's playing. And Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent — great actors. Not that we haven't always had great actors.

How was it reuniting with Karen Allen, back as Marion Ravenwood?
She's one of the easiest people to work with I've ever known. She's a completely self-sufficient woman, and that's part of the character she plays. A lot of her charm and the charm of the character is there. And again, it's not an age-dependent thing. It has to do with her spirit and her nature.

Denholm Elliott played Marcus Brody, a sort of artifact broker, in the first three movies. And of course he passed away in the '90s. Was it strange reuniting without him?
Denholm sort of haunts the place. In a good way. So he's not missing from the film. He was an enormously generous spirit, and everyone really loved him. He was a good guy.

There was some talk Sean Connery might return to play Indy's dad, but he declined.
You mean that old man? [Laughs]

What — you didn't want him back again?
I said no, no no no. I'm old enough to play my own father in this one. Sean's only 12 years older than I am. [In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade] I had to play so much younger than I am in order to make it work for him. It was really a strain.

Lucas has said, Probably better that Connery not cameo in Crystal Skull. If Connery showed up, people would expect he'd be along for the entire story.
And we couldn't afford that. [Laughs] I missed him, 'cause he was fun, he was a hoot. Great comic chops. But it's a different movie.

Everyone says you do as many or more stunts in Crystal Skull as you did in the earlier ones.
I probably did, because of one development: They've learned how to ''safety'' us with [guide wires] in a way that we didn't do before. It's a simple matter now to remove the wire [with digital CG doctoring]. That meant it was safe to do a number of things that probably wouldn't have been as safe 15, 20 years ago.

Why not let a stunt guy do it and just have them paste your face on digitally?
I like doing stunts. There's a degree of honesty when it comes down to physical work, that I enjoy. Gotta dig a ditch from here to there, and you gotta beat up five guys to get there. I love physical storytelling, too. I like all the little beats and moments in the middle of a physical confrontation. And I like hanging out with the stunt guys, and rolling around on the floor with sweaty men.

NEXT PAGE: ''Look, I read the contract when I sold my soul. You give up a right to privacy.... You know that's the deal.''

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