top of page

From Carpenter to Captain: Harrison Ford’s Big Break

Harrison Ford is set to reprise his iconic role in the new Indiana Jones film, which is slated for 2022. It will be his final Indy outing and in many ways is a culmination of a staggering career that almost didn’t get going. Before Harrison Ford landed his breakout role as Han Solo in the epic space opera Star Wars, he was a carpenter. report that he built a studio for Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes in 1970 and was in charge of renovating Joan Didion’s home in Malibu. After spending a couple of months there, Ford became friends with the feminist writer’s family and was always invited to Didion’s annual Easter parties. Aside from fancy Easter parties carpentry helped Ford out in another big way. While installing a door for film director, producer, and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola, Harrison Ford met George Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, and Brian De Palma (who were there to talk about a new science fiction film). Back then, Lucas thought Ford was there pretending to work on something so he could catch the eye of the film directors. This assumption was what fueled Lucas to invite Ford to come in for an audition. That audition led to the film American Graffiti. Despite working for one of Hollywood’s hottest young directors he didn’t make any money out of that film, nor did it springboard him to even more acting opportunities. When his first movie break didn’t pull through, Ford had to go back to his day job. Until another film opportunity for the same director came up. According to Ford himself, his role as Han Solo marked the beginning of his working life as an actor. Ford became a cinematic sensation over night and this led to iconic roles in Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, and the Jack Ryan series. Throughout his career, Ford starred in a wide array of films. From action-packed films like The Fugitive, Witness, and Apocalypse Now, to romantic comedies like Sabrina and Working Girl, Ford dominated the screen.

With a successful acting career behind him, Ford was able to pursue other careers. His most famous is his career as a pilot and he has put his flying skills to good use. A feature reveals that Ford saved a person from a forest fire when he volunteered to fly his helicopter as part of a rescue search. In addition to being a carpenter, an actor, and a pilot, Ford is also a dedicated environmental activist. According to an article by The National News, Ford has been campaigning for environmentalism, sustainability and archaeology, among other issues since the early 90s. Two years ago, Ford had the chance to discuss climate change onstage during the World Government Summit in Dubai, demonstrating how he has put his celebrity to good use. If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about outstanding actors like Harrison Ford, you can check out our other Film articles.


bottom of page