One of the pleasures of the fun, fresh and entirely charming "Morning Glory" is watching Harrison Ford work opposite both Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton. When I asked Ford if could talk briefly about Keaton and McAdams, his voice took on a very real amused warmth. "Oh, we can do more than briefly talk about them," he said. "We can carry on forever. I've had some very talented people to work with, and credit to them, and also credit to (director) Roger Michell, who managed us all and created an environment in which we all felt very comfortable. Both of them have great comedy chops, and so I was very lucky to be able to work with both of them. The unusual aspect of the story between Rachel and I is the emotional relationship, and I found Rachel to be that rare actress that can keep the comedy up and going and still have an emotional reality to it."
Ford has of course been in huge hits and a few misses, and is notoriously selective about what films he does. I asked him how he picks projects, what he looks for. "Exercise ... for the acting instrument," he said. "I look for something new, a different way of getting at the muscles, a different way of engaging the audience, a different way of storytelling. I look for a character that I haven't done before or a movie in a genre that I haven't visited lately. I look for great people to work with."
But even as Ford looks forward, his storied past -- as Indiana Jones, as Han Solo, as "Blade Runner" Rick Deckard -- is always in moviegoer's minds. I offered that film culture these days seems to be suffering from a slight case of nostalgia poisoning, and he made a low chuckle. Does he, I asked, ever want to say to people -- when they bring up his legendary roles from years gone by -- "This is what I'm doing now, this is my next film. Let's not live in the 1980s, the 1970s, even the 1990s"? "I don't really much care where anybody else lives; I just want to know who my neighbors are," he said. "I want to keep applying -- the audience has changed quite a lot over the years, and I want to be able to be in films that there's an audience for. If you act in the woods, nobody hears it -- is it acting? I never thought it was. It's not something you do alone; it's something you do for an audience. I want to be able to not see the money wasted, so my last film that I worked on is 'Cowboys & Aliens' with Jon Favreau, and that's the kind of film, in my judgment, that people are excited about going to these days. I hope people are excited about going to see 'Morning Glory,' too, but it's a different kind of film, a different genre."
I offered that Favreau seems to have proved with "Iron Man" that he can make a very large film that is also a very good film, and Ford agreed: "That's what I'm hoping for, and what I've seen so far has got me convinced that I was right putting my faith in him." Finally, I asked Ford, "What's the last film that you watched, that you weren't involved in, that really made you sit up and say 'Whoah?'" "'The Hustler,'" he said. "I ran across it on television. I was mesmerized by it. I've never been a big moviegoer; I've never been a student of film, I'm afraid, and it's a bit embarrassing. I was so impressed with the talent, with the focus and storytelling and acting and photography. The whole thing was just stunning, and it makes me want to go back and watch a lot of older movies." "Morning Glory" opens this Wednesday nationwide