A Few Things You Might Not Know About Harrison Ford

The ‘80s are continuing to punch and kick their way back to the forefront of pop culture. The “Karate Kid” reboot-slash-continuation has been so successful that we’ve been wondering which films will next get the “Cobra Kai” treatment; “Star Wars” (yes, we know “A New Hope” was in the ‘70s) is once again the biggest thing in entertainment; and this year, “Top Gun: Maverick” will emerge as the long-awaited sequel to arguably the most enduring standalone film from the ‘80s.

Not to be outdone, Harrison Ford is getting in on the ‘80s revival action as well — not just through further work in the “Star Wars” or “Blade Runner” franchises, but via “Indiana Jones 5.” Loosely rumored for some time now, the project appears to be officially a go, and according to Digital Spy will be released around July of 2022. And even though many of us Indy fans more or less washed our hands of the notion of further sequels after “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull,” it’s hard not to be excited.

As many films, franchises, and figures as there are that define ‘80s cinema, few if any can top Harrison Ford for raw impact. When you put out “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders Of the Lost Ark,” and “Blade Runner” in a three-year span, you’re just about out of reach. For that simple reason, it’s fairly appropriate to consider the return of the “Indiana Jones” franchise as representing a sort of peak of modern ‘80s revivals (though “Top Gun: Maverick” will likely tap into more ‘80s-ness, so to speak).

That makes now as good a time as any to celebrate His Scruffy-Looking Highness Harrison Ford himself. And one fun way we thought of to do so was to slap together a classic things-you-may-not-know list.

These are five pretty cool (and weird) facts about Ford.

He was a literal carpenter

If there’s one strange fact about Harrison Ford on our list you may be aware of, we’re betting it’s this one. Despite dropping out of college to pursue acting, Ford still had to hold down a side job while working on some of his earliest hits. Rather than going the cliché Hollywood route of waiting tables while searching for gigs though, Ford was a working carpenter. According to Ford himself (via a Business Insider recap of an ask-me-anything session the actor did on Reddit), he was still holding down this side gig when he got the role of Han Solo.

He toured with The Doors

It seems odd that the carpenter thing is a more famous story than the fact that Harrison Ford toured with The Doors — but it seems to be. Nonetheless, this one is true as well. Specifically, Ford worked as a cameraman on the production of a tour film, and briefly traveled with the band to do so. He’s said he called it quits essentially because the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle was too much to keep up with. Fair enough. Ford plays it a bit cooler than the average rock star anyway….

His list of turned-down roles is incredible

Look up the “almost” roles for any major actor and you’ll usually find some fun surprises and stories. But the list of films Harrison Ford has supposedly turned down is particularly noteworthy. If you buy the rumors (some of which are more fully confirmed than others), Ford could have starred in “Schindler’s List,” “The Patriot,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Perfect Storm,” “The Hunt For Red October,” and even the beloved Tom Hanks comedy “Big.” Imagining Ford as the lead in any of these movies is kind of mind-blowing.

He flies planes and helicopters

True to form given that he plays one of the most famous pilots in fiction, Ford is also known to have a rather adventurous hobby of flying airplanes and helicopters. Unfortunately, he’s not quite the talent Han Solo is. According to a blurb on Ford in a list by Poker.org of interesting movie star hobbies, Ford has been involved in several dangerous incidents. He’s crashed both a WWII-era plane and a helicopter, and once landed a plane in the wrong place at the airport as well. Then again, the same write-up notes that he also once spotted a child lost in a forest fire while volunteering to help out — so perhaps there is a little bit of that hero pilot in him after all.

He’s the namesake of multiple insects

This last one is really bizarre, because according to an article at BBC, there are actually several prominent actors who share the honor of having insects named after them — including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kate Winslet. Ford, however, has two: a spider called Calponia Harrisonfordi and an ant called Pheidole Harrisonfordi. Go figure.

What can we say? The man is just a weird, untouchable legend. And despite the “Crystal Skull” debacle, we can’t wait to see what he brings us in yet another “Indiana Jones” installment.