Still Rockin' Indy

Harrison Ford keeps stride with his most adventurous role

May 9, 2008
Outside Magazine

WE CAN'T HELP IT: Harrison Ford's fourth big-screen turn as Indiana Jones, in May's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, has us misty—and not with the embarrassment we felt for Sly Stallone when the sagging hero bandana'd up for one last Rambo. At 65, the elder statesman of adventure still does his own stunts. (Says longtime trainer Jamie Milnes, "He has one gear, and that's 'go.' ") ANN WYCOFF caught up with Ford to discuss battle wounds, fitness, and how to unduly influence science.

OUTSIDE: You're still swinging from vines in this film, right?
FORD: There are a lot of physical scenes in this one, and I try to do as much of them as I can—especially when the scene has an emotional component. Without that, the stunty stuff draws too much attention to itself. I've got a good sense of risk management. Besides, it's my secret pleasure to hang out with the guys and do weird shit that I'll never get to do again.

Like what? Have you ever gotten hurt?
The times that I've been hurt couldn't have been anticipated. You can't predict what riding on an elephant does to your groin. Or how a month and a half later you'll end up in some London clinic with a doctor administering saddle block [anesthesia] so that you can go back to work on Monday.

What's your fitness approach these days?
I'm less interested in performance enhancement than I am in overall fitness, core strength, and skeletal support—the general health of my body. I like to keep working out like I did when I was 40, in the vain hope that it makes a difference.

Hanging out in Wyoming can't be bad for your health either.
I have a seven-year-old in school in Los Angeles, and Calista [Flockhart] works there, but we go to Jackson whenever we can. I mountain-bike on the elk trails up on my property—it's a good escape. I have streams that I love fishing. The best thing about trout is where they live; I live there too.

How did you end up playing "Jethro the Bus Driver" in the 2004 snowboarding flick Water to Wine?
I was blackmailed into it by my son Malcolm, who is 21 and intimately involved with the tribe of malcontents that made and starred in that film.

What about you—do you shred?
I took up snowboarding after I blew my knee out skiing, then I injured my rotator cuff on a board. So I like it inside now in winter [laughs]. Actually, I still love to cross-country ski.

Did your outside endeavors inspire you to work with Conservation International?
I was interested in social payback. I came into too much money on account of luck in the movie business. Then I discovered the pleasure of supporting the environment rather than just enjoying it.

I noticed there is a Central American ant, Pheidole harrisonfordi, named after you. How did you swing that?
You buy drinks for Edward O. Wilson, the world's leading expert on ants.

Filed To: Culture

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