ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: By all accounts, security and secrecy on the Crystal Skull set was a really big deal, because Steven is so leery about giving away plot points.
HARRISON FORD: I wasn't the strictest adherent. I would have a representative of Lucasfilm dogging me on the backlot at Universal, asking me not to wear my hat when I went from stage to trailer. [He mimes a cranky expression] Get outta here!
Have you noticed that thanks to the Internet, news of location shooting spreads fast now, which brings out all the fans with cameras and paparazzi, too?
I do notice that cell-phone cameras are everywhere, all the time. I'm more or less inured to it at this point. I wasn't so worried that an image [getting out] would destroy the potency of it all. [But] it's probably wise of Steven and George to be so secretive. They did make images and little Internet [videos] available, at regular times during the progress of the filming. I think they own the right to publicize the film in their terms, in a context that they think is favorable and correct.
Is it difficult trying to work on location with so many gawkers?
That's what you get paid for. Who gives a s---? Look, I read the contract when I sold my soul. You give up a right to privacy. You give it up begrudgingly, and you don't have to give it up every step of the way, and you don't have to inconvenience yourself. But for God's sake, you know that's the deal.
But hasn't the level of scrutiny gotten much worse for actors?
There was no such thing as that kind of intrusive invasion of your personal life when I started. I just wanted to make a living as an actor. But still, I knew at a certain point that I had lost my anonymity. Your face is up there 30 feet high and 50 feet wide, and after five, six years of that, you've lost it. You do not have that anonymity any more. It's a tremendous loss. It changes your life. But I'm over it. I understand, and let's get on with it.... It's a pain in the ass, to be frank. It's a royal pain in the ass. Part of what's annoying about it is that [your life] has become somebody else's business. It's not just that you're interesting. Because you're not. They have to give it context to make it interesting, and the context that they give it is often not correct, or appropriate, or useful to you. And they own that. You don't own that. And that's kind of bizarre.
Is it tougher for younger actors to protect themselves from overexposure?
I just think it's the speed of promulgation [that's changed], and the fact that it moves so quick. The shelf life is so short that it's gotta be replaced by some new bulls--- every minute. I always said about myself that I didn't want to be fashionable. I didn't want to be the most famous, the highest paid, the any of that. Because that's temporary. There's always gotta be somebody newer. You can use up people's interest in you very, very quickly.
The world has changed a lot since the '80s. What does Indy mean to overseas audiences now, with the U.S. not nearly so admired any more?
I don't think about my character in a movie that way. The character exists in the context of the film. It doesn't exist outside of that. He's there for the purpose of illuminating and illustrating the ideas of the film, for giving flesh to a notion, and to be the emotional representation of the audience on the screen. I don't have an academic point of view about what it is I'm doing. I have only the craft experience. The rest of it's for other people to do.
Click here to read EW.com's extended Q&A with Indiana Jones masterminds Steven Spielberg and George Lucas