Films

Harrison Ford on Han Solo

He may be responsible for one of the most popular characters in film, but Harrison Ford remains as elusive as ever

What does it mean to you to be one of the few things connecting the old films and the new ones?

It’s gratifying to be asked to be part of this. There was an interesting story to tell, through the character. It’s always nice to anticipate working on something you know people will have an appetite for. This is not a crapshoot – it’s a casino – and it’s fun to play with these toys again.

Did you notice a difference in the way the film was being made, compared to the older ones?

No, there wasn’t a huge change. Directors are as different as auto mechanics are to one another. You can’t generalise about directors. Each director is different. I don’t like to compare one to the other. They’re different, that’s all. JJ Abrams is a really experienced director, he’s made some wonderful films. I admire what he’s done in the past. He’s very respectful of the legacy that George Lucas created, and I think he’s taken full advantage of George’s original imagination, and he’s managed to take it a little further. And he’s made a film which I think is really good.

What did you learn during it?

You learn little things on every film you work on; every day in life you learn little things, but I don’t think you know exactly what it is until several days down the line.

It feels good to be home…

Was there anything that surprised you, playing Han Solo again?

Not so much, but I was pleased that in the script there was the opportunity to take him a little bit further, in directions that had maybe not been anticipated. I think the audience will find those interesting.

Has Han Solo softened, or is he more of a rogue than ever? 

I think it would be more fun for you to discover that, and to experience the story, rather than to be told what you’re meant to think.

Do you agree with the assertion that Han Solo is one of the most iconic characters in film?

I just work here, you know? I’m gratified that one might think that, but, er, my mind doesn’t go to that kind of association.

Which of the new leads do you think will cope well with being thrust into the public eye?

I think they’re all going to be good. They’re all going to be fine, because they’re all very smart people and their heads are in an appropriate place to deal with the changes that will occur in their lives. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega… they’re really talented, hard-working young actors. They’re going to enjoy a wonderful future in this business, and I’m very happy for them.

What’s the biggest difference between this Star Wars film and the old ones?

It’s hard to say. I can tell you how it feels: it feels familiar, it feels good. It’s good to be home. I’m aware of the value that’s placed on these films by the audience, and I’m gratified that they’ve been passed on. There’s still some value to them. It’s a bit of a mystery but it’s very gratifying to be part of it. But at the wrap party, it was really hard, for example, to get a drink compared to [the earlier films]. I didn’t know where the bar was. It was so big.