For Harrison Ford, the allure of reprising Indiana Jones for a fifth time in the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” was all about time. Ford will celebrate his 81st birthday in July, just a few weeks after “Dial of Destiny” opens in theaters, which is not the typical age of your 2023 Hollywood action hero. That was a selling point for Ford, who told Esquire magazine that he ensured Indiana Jones looked and felt like an old man in “Dial of Destiny.”
“I wanted an ambitious movie to be the last one,” Ford said about reprising Indiana Jones. “And I don’t mean that we didn’t make ambitious movies before — they were ambitious in many different ways. But not necessarily as ambitious with the character as I wanted the last one to be.”
One of the action set pieces in “Dial of Destiny” finds Indiana Jones riding a horse through the streets of New York City during the 1969 ticker-tape parade to celebrate the moon landing. As he was finishing up filming the scene, Ford felt the hands of three stunt workers spotting him from the ground as he was on horseback.
“I thought, ‘What the fuck?’ Like I was being attacked by gropers. I look down and there’s three stunt guys there making sure I didn’t fall off the stirrup,” Ford recalled. “They said, ‘Oh, we were just afraid because we thought, you know, and bah bah bah bah.’ And I said, ‘Leave me the fuck alone…Leave me alone, I’m an old man getting off a horse and I want it to look like that!”’
For similar reasons, Ford made the decision to go shirtless during one of the early scenes “Dial of Destiny.” He said, “Waking up in my underwear with the empty glass in my hand was my idea.”
Ford’s age did show itself at times during the making of “Dial of Destiny,” such as when he pulled the subscapularis muscle off his right shoulder during a fight scene with co-star Mads Mikkelsen. The film’s production shut down for two weeks. When it resumed, Ford had to sit out an additional six weeks.
“Yeah, well, I’m also known for shutting movies down because I get hurt, which is not something you want to be known for,” Ford said. “But hey, shit happens.”
At nearly 81 years old, Ford isn’t slowing down. He’s been spending time in Atlanta filming “Captain America: New World Order,” his first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Is it fun making a Marvel movie? “Uh,” he said. “Yeah. I mean, there are tough days and easy days and fun days and all kinds of days. It’s a tough schedule and, yeah, it’s fun. But it’s not a walk in the park. It’s not fun fun. It’s work.”
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” opens in theaters June 30 from Disney.