Harrison Ford is a real grouch during his GQ interview: rude or he’s earned it?

Harrison Ford

Here’s a photo of Harrison Ford at the Ender’s Game LA premiere on Tuesday. He looks just as handsome as always and is flanked by Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Viola Davis. Asa and Hailee are both wearing Saint Laurent, but I can’t find an ID on Viola’s very cool color-block dress.

Ender’s Game is the long-gestating adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi novel. I haven’t read the book, which means I’m uneducated enough to make all sorts of inaccurate Hunger Games comparisons. Ford’s role is one of the military official who trains Asa’s Ender character. Harrison seems really over the movie in this new interview with GQ. Maybe he’s just over promoting movies. Whatever the case, he does not come off very well in this discussion:

You’ve had a disproportionate amount of success with science fiction: the Star Wars trilogy, Blade Runner, now Ender’s Game–: “That’s three out of forty-one.”

Although it’s three of the more prominent ones, right? “If you say so.”

I was going to ask you what draws you to the genre. But maybe you don’t see it that way: “I don’t see it that way at all. It really is a very small percentage of the films that I’ve done.”

Between Ender’s Game and the Hunger Games franchise, why do you think we’re so entertained by kids killing one another? [long pause] “Beats the sh-t out of me. Ender’s Game is a very different kind of movie and a very different kind of warfare.”

Were you troubled at all by the political beliefs of Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card? “The issues that are coming up now are not part of the book, which is twenty-eight years old. So they don’t really concern me. [long pause] ‘Concern me’ are really not the right words. I think it’s better to say that they are simply not issues; his point of view on some of these issues that are getting such attention now is not promoted by or part of the story that we’re telling.”

Are you enjoying the gruff-authority-figure phase of your career? You get to play a lot of colonels and high-ranking executives and generals these days. “I don’t remember a general, but maybe I’m just not paying attention.”

Is it hard to work with CGI? “No. Acting is about using your imagination.”

Is there a trick to making seemingly ridiculous dialogue like “When the aliens first invaded…” work? “Yeah. That’s my job. That’s why I get paid.”

[From GQ]

Does Harrison seem a little rude to you in this interview? He points out how it’s his “job” to deal with unbelievable dialogue, but it’s also his job to promote his movies. If a studio wanted a star whose promotion didn’t matter, they could hire a total unknown for the role and save millions. They didn’t do that here. They hired Harrison, and he should get over himself long enough to give a polite interview. He’s not quite approaching Bruce Willis territory — although Bruce might have 1/10th of an excuse with his hearing problems. Maybe Harrison has hearing problems too, but that doesn’t mean being rude is the answer.

Harrison should be in a great mood about everything right now. He’s almost certainly (“without a doubt“) going to play Han Solo in Star Wars Episode VII. Yes I think of Star Wars and sci-fi when I think of Harrison Ford. He should stop complaining about that too.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Photos courtesy of WENN

 

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94 Responses to “Harrison Ford is a real grouch during his GQ interview: rude or he’s earned it?”

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  1. T.fanty says:

    He’s out of line. This IS why he gets paid lots of money and he depends on press and an audience for his continued success. That’s part of the job. And beating up on a junket journo is a very different thing to sniping at a pap, or Paul Dacre. This was graceless and petty.

  2. amelia says:

    I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done, but no-one ‘earns’ the right to be rude to someone else.
    Simmer down, dude. You’re an actor. You act. You’re not saving the world and you get paid very handsomely to do your job. So take a leaf out of TommyAnne’s book, and be plesant on the promo circuit.

  3. blue marie says:

    While I’m a fan of his acting, he comes across boring and rude in most of his interviews. I’m not entirely sure that he has a sense of humor. He’s out of line here, it’s part of his job to answer these type of questions.

  4. Zbornak Syndrome says:

    I remember when it was scandalous for boys to pierce their ears…

  5. Here or there says:

    I have no patience for actors who are jerks without provocation.
    Also? WTF is with the earring. Did I miss something? When was that mid-life crisis?

  6. Lucy2 says:

    I’ve seen him in a lot of filmed interviews, and he has sort of a quiet, dry, sarcastic way of doing them- often a little uncomfortable, but not mean. I read this in that tone and it sounds like typical him, but in print it does come off rude.
    I get the impression he’s never liked the promo aspect of all of this, but it is part of the job he decides to continue doing.

    • Mata says:

      +1.
      I was thinking the same thing. It’s worse in print than when you see it live. From what I’ve heard, though, the movie might do well at the box office, but it’s awful, so maybe he’s a little more uncomfortable than usual promoting it.

    • mom2two says:

      I have to agree. I saw the Graham Norton show that he was on and actually he seemed to come across with more personality then usual. He seemed fine with discussing his Halloween costumes and what not. I just don’t know if his interviews translate well into print. He is in 70′s so if he comes across annoyed in interviews, I’ll give him a pass.

    • Rhea says:

      +20000
      It’s just him being him like always.

    • drea says:

      I agree. I imagined him answering these questions the same way he did on Graham Norton. He’s not rude, he’s just really not perky. If you read the interview again and imagine your gruff but harmless pepaw answering, it comes off differently.

      Also, I don’t quite know how anyone (much less someone who doesn’t like interviews) would answer, “why do you think we’re so entertained by kids killing one another?” It’s a tough, slippery question. Obviously, the reporter wasn’t there to play Hollywood “nice” either.

    • Mel says:

      I don’t see “rude” even in print.
      The problem, if there is one, is not him – it’s the sense of entitlement of Hollywoodsy interviewers who, with few exceptions, seem to resent anyone who does not play to their “scenario”, or indeed, anyone who doesn’t appear to be duly grateful to be interviewed.

      Look at the first few questions. They are hilarious, in a way, because HF is absolutely right: three projects out of FORTY-ONE is a very small percentage.
      But no, the interviewer had the idea that HF was somehow especially attracted to SF, and so HF is expected to comply. Only, he doesn’t.

      He may be rude for all know – I don’t know him – but this interview is no evidence of it.

  7. bowers says:

    No one “earns” being a boor.

  8. LadyMTL says:

    He sounds like he’s turning into the stereotypical grumpy old man. Makes me a bit sad, because I never thought that Indy would get on my nerves or be rude, alas.

    Slightly random aside: Ender’s Game is a great book and bears very little resemblance to Hunger Games. There’s a twist in EG that had my jaw hitting the floor, and I can’t wait to see if this movie does the book justice.

  9. Dorothy#1 says:

    Eh, he seems a little grumps but not too bad. I read the book and I loved it!! It is nothing like Hunger Games.

  10. Jessica says:

    Honestly, I don’t think he was that rude to the interviewer. I’ve seen a number of Harrison’s interviews and this is just how he is. He talks slow and is straightforward; he’s pretty dry and doesn’t really give a crap. I mean, if he was like this to this one reporter and not like this to anyone else, then I’d say you all have a point, but this is how Harrison Ford is with everyone (or at least everyone I’ve seen him give an interview to).

    • Rhea says:

      Yup. He’s always like this.

    • sophia says:

      i think the interviewer asked the questions in a way that made it seem like she/he did not know his body of work, called him old, asked him about society liking to see kids killing (i guess his or her own take on how the movie is being appreciated by the public) and then calling the actual lines in the movie ridiculous. he is getting paid by the people who wrote, directed and produced those lines, how was he to answer…”yeah pretty sweet huh, getting paid to talk stupid”. or was he supposed to call the audience stupid for paying to see it?
      i think the interviewer was the problem in this situation.
      and the earring, meh!

    • Merricat says:

      True, he’s been like this since the beginning of his career. I remember reading an interview from him from a loooong time ago where he bluntly said that acting is just a job for him, he doesn’t like to wax on about “the craft” and getting into the mindset of a character. It’s a job, he gets in front of the camera, acts like the person he’s supposed to be, they yell cut, he goes home and doesn’t think about it for another second. And that’s his prerogative, I just wish the movie studios would stop making him do promotion for films because it’s always like this and doesn’t seem to do much for selling the film.

    • Stinky says:

      I laughed and laughed and laughed reading this interview, as I’ve done with every interview I’ve heard him give. This man has not changed since he started acting in the ’70s. His answers were spot on and honest. I couldn’t be more entertained.

      Harrison Ford was–and still is–the absolute best.

    • Decloo says:

      I agree. Does not seem rude to me. He’s kind of a stiff guy and always has been. Someone is reading way too much into this.

    • RMJ says:

      Yeah, I don’t see the rudeness. He’s answering the questions directly if a bit bluntly. There’s no mockery of the questions or interviewer, a la Bruce Willis.

    • Sankay says:

      Agreed. He’s answering the questions directly. Anyone who’s seen his interviews knows this.

  11. mkyarwood says:

    Haha, he is a VERY grumpy grandpa and if he hadn’t had his weed before the interview he’d be even more so. Check out his Graham Norton interview with fangirly Cumberbatch, tho. He is still a good sport in general, he just doesn’t have time for certain parts of the business. If you’re mothereffing Han Solo, you’ve earned it.

  12. boredbrit says:

    Watched him on Graham Norton and he seemed nice but very out of it. I felt really sorry for him because in that moment he was just an old, confused man, albeit a very famous one.
    I do think he was a bit of a dickhead in this interview, though.

    If I was the interviewer I would have just said, ‘Look, what do you wanna talk about because it’s obviously not this film you’ve just made?’ Or I would have back up questions about stuff I know he likes talking about.

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t understand the “not wanting to talk about this movie” bit, the only two questions about Ender’s Game was (1) a comparison to the Hunger Games and (2) about the political thoughts of the book’s author. 1) All he says is EG is a very different kind of film from HG, which it is and if the reporter had known that he wouldn’t have even made the comparison; 2) every single person on the EG production has been distancing themselves from OSC’s recent political/social comments, so naturally Ford is going to be dismissive of that question.

      • boredbrit says:

        The questions the interviewer asked weren’t out of left field. They related to the film/genre in some way. I’ll admit, the questions aren’t particularly original and Ford probably got sick of answering the same questions but that’s no excuse for being cranky and rude. He seems dazed and confused whenever I watch an interview of him though so I’ll cut him some slack.

        In regards to the ‘not wanting to talk about the film’ bit: he gave the impression he obviously didn’t want to be there. I inferred that from the way he answered, I know it wasn’t explicitly stated.

  13. Green is Good says:

    He’s Harrison Ford, dammit! Grouch away , Han Solo!

  14. Dani2 says:

    His grouchiness makes me laugh in the same way Kanye West’s overinflated ego does. He’s being a stereotypical old grump, doesn’t bother me much.

  15. NYC_girl says:

    I’m going to watch “Witness” now. ;)

  16. Merritt says:

    No one has earned the right to be rude for no reason. He is a jerk. I’ll always think of him as the guy who flew Polanski’s Oscar over to Europe to give it to him.

  17. lamamu says:

    He may be a boor, but at least he’s not boring. So tired of the same smiley robotic actors giving the same smiley robotic answers.

    And what do we care if he’s not into promoting his movie? It’s not like we as viewers have any kind of stake in it. Jeez.

  18. DesertReal says:

    He’s not rude. He’s dry, sarcastic, he’s Harrison effin Ford. At least he promotes his movies. Before Nickelson retired what was the last movie you can remember him promoting? Batman? Maybe? That’s HFords sense of humor and he’s earned it.

  19. Kenyan254 says:

    Bedhead, cut 5the man some slack!he is an old man now who has done alot in his lifetime and is over all the excitement that comes with such interviews. Not to justify his alleged rudeness but come to think of it, most old people are pretty much this grumpy, maybe its just age.I mean they can be allowed to get away with it.Or maybe he was just in a bad mood!I loooove him regardless.

  20. Cazzee says:

    I am in my forties, and I am watching my male friends turn into grumpy old men by the day! I totally laugh at them, and eventually they smile about it.

  21. eliza says:

    Sorry, but no one earns the right to be grouchy and rude. There are far better actors out there than him who are not nasty like he is who have been around for years.

  22. Tig says:

    Even in your 70s, one can be gracious. The answers were curt and dismissive. Maybe he’s grumpy in the am, or whenever this interview took place.

    OT- I hope Hailee has a better performance here than in R&J- she was so bad in it.

  23. Karen81 says:

    I can understand why he is annoyed with all the Star Wars Episode VII questions but that is no way to act like an ass for the entire interview.

    And for Pete’s sake, get rid of the earring!

  24. Kaci says:

    I’m not going to spoiler the book or movie, but if you’ve read “Ender’s Game”, then you should understand fully that the interviewer was a moron who didn’t the most basic homework when they lobbed him the “kids killing kids” question. That has NOTHING to do with Ender’s Game. HF’s answer and long pause were completely justified.

    As someone who’s personally horrified by giving Orson Scott Card any money to further promote his homophobic agenda, HF’s answer about Card’s views almost makes me want to see the film. I love that he acknowledges that he probably finds Card’s political stance abhorrent, but also points out that the story of Ender doesn’t promote any sort of homophobic hate.

    I really don’t understand why he was suppose to be fawning to an idiotic reporter. His answers are intelligent, well-worded and brisk. What’s wrong with that?

    • grabbyhands says:

      THANK YOU. I love how Benedict Cumberbatch (and I say this as a fan) gets a pass for being an ass in interview after interview last year during the Trek press tour (I lost track of how many times I read “Oh, I love how bitchy he is!!”), but Harrison Ford is suddenly an ass, a rude jerk etc, Please.

      • Eve says:

        Ok, I won’t argue he may have been a bitch many times before (and yes, I like when he snarks), but Cumberbatch was a complete professional during the press tour for STiD.

        Polite, engaging, he even participated in silly little stunts (I believe, while he was in Asia) in order to promote the movie.

        ETA: I don’t find Ford particularly rude here either.

  25. Beth says:

    I don’t think anyone earns the right to be nasty to people.

  26. grabbyhands says:

    I guess I’m the only one not seeing his replies as rude. The interviewer should have stopped with the genre them after the first question. The rest of the questions were answered in a realistic, mature way.

    • Eve says:

      No, you’re not the only one. If anything, it’s the interviewer who sounds rude to me.

      It kinda feels like that time Jesse Eisenberg was interviewed by a girl (who tried to pull the “cute girl” act but he wasn’t having any of it) — many thought he was rude, I thought he was reacting to a poor interviewer.

  27. bettyrose says:

    I just read Ender’s Game. It is a great book with a really offensive undertone of sexism & racism. It is no Hunger Games, even if 28 years older. I can see why he’d be touchy about choosing to star in a film adaptation of a this book. I bet the film is great, but it also edited out the offensive elements of the book.

  28. MissMoody says:

    I think the initial question in that excerpt may have rubbed him the wrong way. I don’t see Harrison Ford as the scifi hero although he is also that. He’s Jack Ryan, you know? He’s Richard Kimble. No one has “earned” the right to be rude but he gets a pass from me on this one

  29. fhm57 says:

    He’s always been a tough interview. If you’re going in to interview him and you come at him with fluffy mamby-pamby questions, this is what you get. Fault goes to the interviewer, not the interviewee. Be prepared.

  30. Naomi says:

    I agree dry and sarcastic fit Harrison Ford. The book is wonderful and the question about politics is misleading. The author is does not back homosexuality and has been quite vocal. The politics in his the books five or six I have read have not expressed those views. I was surprised when I first heard his thoughts. His views are based on his religious beliefs as I understand.

  31. Sarah says:

    Harrison can do no wrong, IMO. He has done a lot that wasn’t sci-fi which I think was his point. He was asked about CGI and answered. Asked about stupid dialog (didn’t bring up the fact that dialog was stupid) and answered. I will never hate on Harrison Ford!

  32. Naomi says:

    I agree dry and sarcastic fit Harrison Ford. The interviewer might have received better answers had they thought through their questions more thoroughly. An actor is there to promote the film but there is no reason to do the interviewers job as well especially when one considers the volume of interviews the actor does in support of the film. As for the author he is against homosexuality and has been quite vocal.

    While Harrison Ford is known for Star Wars and the Indiana Jones films they in no way make up the bulk of his work. So, yes, I can see him getting snippy when an interviewer whose job it is to be familiar with the persons work does not even feel it necessary to acknowledge the fullness of their career.

  33. buzz says:

    baffled by his choice to associate with someone like Orson Scott Card

  34. Tig says:

    Replying to far upthread- if memory serves, Alex G had an horrendous alcohol problem- he essentially drank himself to death. It was so tragic- so talented as an actor, and an incredible dancer. Think he was with the Kirov(?)

  35. Chinoiserie says:

    I saw one interview where he was talking about Enders Game and he seemed pretty nice there. He might have worded things a bit better, but I just think his way of speaking does not come across that well in print.

  36. pink elephant says:

    This is nothing new at all. HF is notorious for being rude in person, particularly to interviewers and extras.

  37. Axis2ClusterB says:

    He needs to get Patrick Stewart to give him ‘aging with grace’ lessons.

  38. Geneva says:

    I bet everything he said was taken out of context. When they do Q & A like that…they might turn an interview that was long and winding and then make it a Q&A with “front-end loaded questions” and glib answers..it is a technique. That is my humble opinion anyhow.

  39. Claudia says:

    That’s just the way he talks. Like others have said, it doesn’t translate so well in print. He’s very wry, blunt, and to-the-point– but he does it all with the merest hint of a smile.

    Ha, growing up Harrison Ford used to be my celebrity crush. I just thought he was always so rugged and handsome. My friends at that age used to think it was completely inappropriate (my being attracted to someone nearly 50 years older) and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t fawning over whoever was on Tiger Beat or Teen People at the time. Now I’m in the mood to watch Witness, Air Force One, Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark… :)

  40. Valerie says:

    I don’t think he was being rude. He’s always been awkward and uncomfortable in interviews. He hates the press, and he hates doing interviews. And he’s never made a secret of it. He also has a very sardonic sense of humour, which is a big part of what people love to watch in his performances. It just doesn’t read well in print. Read the interview with his voice and inflection in your head….he’s just being Harrison.

  41. bamster says:

    What’s all the Judgyness? Some of those questions were to provoke him and would make me grumpy too! Ford always comes across as dry smart-alecky, so why is this even an issue now? He’s fine and so what if he seems like a grump sometimes!

  42. St says:

    I think Red Letter Media said in one of their reviews recently something like this: ” Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford… Recently they look like they don’t want to be in movies they are. They look empty and bored. Well no one is forcing them to do it. I’m sure they are rich enough to allow themselves to retire if they don’t want to shoot movies. Why they still do it then? Ego? Greed?”

    And seriously – Bruce and Harrison don’t want to be in movies they are. Every look on their faces shows that they do it only for paycheck. Then they don’t want to promote movies and answer questions. And really – why do you even do it? You are rich. I think that they like and used to being celebrities and superstars. And they are afraid that people will forget about their status if they will stop doing movies. So they want to stay relevant and take movie roles. And this is about EGO.

  43. Ally8 says:

    “As handsome as ever”… Um, no. He’s creased and sad. Like Robert Redford, it just depresses me to see them on screen now, when they used to basically represent the American masculine ideal.

    On The Graham Norton Show recently, I thought Ford was acting positively senile. My partner said he was drunk, probably on wine. And lo and behold, Ford mentioned drinking & they actually had a photo of him walking around with an armful of wine bottles.

    End of an era. I wish he’d just stay at home and wizen in solitude instead of being tediously cranky and unkempt. This Honest Trailer for the ludicrous 4th Indiana Jones sums it up well:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFKu_bwMoYE

  44. Michelle says:

    I don’t think he was rude at all. He is freakin’ Harrison Ford! All his interviews are like this. He talks slower and he has a very dry sense of humor. I am pretty sure that he gets the same questions all the time, and if this a press junket, it was probably his 20th of the day. He has made many movies with many different type of characters. The interviewer should have done a little more research on his subject (he has never been a general) so he would not come across as some high school geek interviewing him for the school newspaper.

  45. taxi says:

    I saw the interview & thought he was his typical dry, low key self. I didn’t get “rude” out of it.

  46. TheOriginalWaffle says:

    If he was being rude in an INTERESTING way, then go for it. But these comments don’t lend much to further consideration of the questions or of the movie.

  47. Gina says:

    I used to really like him, not anymore. He’s a rude, unattractive, old bore, imo.

  48. Maria says:

    Ford is, and always has been, very plain spoken, and not overly verbose. I don’t think the brevity is rudeness so much as it is his normal speech pattern. Because he’s well known for a couple of fast-talking characters, I think people expect that from him when he’s NOT acting.

    I think when he was younger he put a little more effort into trying to mimic some of that crowd-pleasing charm for career reasons, but as people get older, they start to feel less compelled to pretend they’re someone else–at least, that is, when they’re not being paid to.

  49. AnnieCL says:

    I rather enjoyed reading his interview. Journalists, especially celebrity interviewers, can often ask inane questions. It’s refreshing to have an actor who doesn’t trot out the same old simpering answers. He obviously paid attention to the questions & was directly answering the interviewer. Nothing wrong with that!