In 'Morning Glory,' Harrison Ford plays a former serious network news anchor who is now forced to co-host a struggling morning show he finds frivolous.
He's recruited by the show's executive producer (Rachel McAdams) to sit alongside the current host (Diane Keaton), and as you might expect, he doesn't make life easy for either of them.
Ford, an actor known for his iconic turns in the 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones' series, talked to Moviefone about using his celebrity for environmental awareness, working with -- not against! -- Rachel McAdams and changing the shape of "action heroes" in movies.
Your character has a very antagonistic relationship with Rachel McAdams' in this movie. Was it fun playing against her?
The fun of it is playing with Rachel, not against her, even though the characters are contrived to be in opposition. The pleasure is working with somebody who has such a facility of comedy but yet is so emotionally available. She brings a kind of depth to the comedy that's rare, and in this case really necessary and appropriate. So I found it a real pleasure to work with her.
Why did you take the role in 'Morning Glory'?
They gave me hundreds and hundreds of dollars. No, I took the role because I hadn't had a chance to play a character like this and I thought it was going to be a really good movie. I admired Rachel. I admire Diane [Keaton] and I came to know [director] Roger Michell, who is terrific. I did [producer] J.J. Abrams' first movie with Mike Nichols 25 years ago and I just had the chance to work with some really good people on ambitious material.
Your character laments the transformation from news to "news infotainment." Do you agree with that stance?
Sure I do. [Laughs] Yeah, actually. I do. I think there are not enough dependable sources of information. A lot of what we get is disguised as news, but clearly a lot of it is full of opinion, and in the fractured society in which we live, one can go and have your preconceived notions confirmed for you. But that's the business of religion, not of news. I miss the kind of news that we all grew up with. That being said, it's still being done by the network anchors to as much extent as their budgets and demographics will allow, and there are people I very much respect still doing the news. But the fact that news is now on all day long means it really isn't news anymore.
You're also very involved in Conservation International and concerned with environmental protection. Where does that come from?
It comes from 20 years of work in the environment and conservation. I've been on the board of Conservation International for almost 20 years. I've always felt that the protection of nature against the pressure of human population was a really important thing to be attended to, and the work that Conservation International was doing was specifically and strategically helpful. I did go to Nagoya, Japan about a week and a half ago to address the delegates on behalf of an agenda Conservation International was advancing to create more protected spaces on land and in the oceans to preserve what biodiversity still exists so that nature can resist the pressure of human population and the effects of the degradation of the environment and sustain us into the future. Our children and our children's children are going to inherit a very much depleted and degraded world if we don't step up to the plate and get stuff done now.
It's an important way to use celebrity.
It's an important way to use access -- access if you have access to the means of communicating and if you have something worthy of communicating about. I feel responsible as a parent and a citizen to do that.
If you had to, could you pick a favorite role you've done?
No, any more than I could say which of my children was my favorite child. They're all different. They all come out of different circumstances and they have different intentions. You know, I love the work so I'm happy to have the opportunity to do all kinds of films. But I don't really have favorites.
Through Han Solo and Indiana Jones especially, you kind of created these "action heroes" that don't exist in movies anymore. What was it about you that made that happen?
I think it was just a lucky opportunity that I had. The movie business was in its heyday, really, when 'Indiana Jones' came along. But I don't really even think of them as action movies. I mean, sure, there's a lot of action in them, but I think of them as adventures and as fantasies more than I do as action films. But I'm really happy that I had the opportunity to play those roles and certainly their success allowed me to do a lot of other films that I might not have been able to do. So I'm very grateful.
CONTINUE READING: Harrison Ford on the 'Star Wars' Prequels