Nov 04, 2013

    I don't judge the morality of characters I play

    Hollywood veteran actor Harrison Ford, who plays Colonel Hyrum Graff, the administrator and trainer of an army of children in alien-invasion flick Ender's Game, has left a long-lasting impression on audiences over the past decades due to his portrayal of Han Solo in the Star Wars trilogy and the titular character in the Indiana Jones films.

    In an interview provided by Golden Village, the 71-year-old speaks about taking on another science-fiction film and his thoughts on the Vietnam War.


    Were you reluctant to return to the sci-fi genre after the Star Wars films?


    No. Genre doesn't mean anything to me. It's like wallpaper.

    What I'm looking for is a character I can identify with and a human, emotional story. It doesn't make any difference whether it takes place in space, in someone's drawing room or on the back of a horse. It just doesn't matter to me.


    Do you view Ender's Game as a post-Sept 11 allegory?


    Well, emotionally, we register this, but we also need to understand that this (story) is not about nations fighting other nations, cultures fighting other cultures, religions at war with other religions, or a war fought over economic control of oil resources, or anything like that.

    This is about an alien invasion, and the story proposes that there's a world government and an international fleet.


    Did you model Colonel Graff on anyone?


    I don't judge the characters I play in terms of the morality of that character. I try to understand what his utility is in the telling of the story, try to place him in a context that, emotionally, I can understand, and I try and look at his relationships with other characters.

    This character is both mentor and manipulator, which makes him complicated and interesting. But it's not up to me to decide if he's a good guy or a bad guy. I wouldn't want to send my kids to a school where he was the head trainer.


    One of the first films you appeared in was Apocalypse Now (1979), a film about the Vietnam War of which you were a conscientious objector.


    Yeah. My thought at the time was that (the war) was a managed conflict, a created conflict.

    I was never a strong believer in the Cold War and the threat of an economic theory wiping out our potential to prosper and enjoy our own political system. I thought it was all a managed conflict, and I didn't feel morally comfortable with being part of it at the time.


    Is Indiana Jones 5 happening?


    Um…not yet! But if it did, I'd be happy to be involved.

    Ender's Game is showing in cinemas here.