Han Solo: “Never tell me the odds.”
– Han Solo, Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Could there have been anyone else that could have played Han Solo? Indiana Jones? Some people may be surprised that Harrison Ford didn’t become a household name until his mid-thirties. Yahoonews.com noted that, as any Ford buff would know, Harrison kept his family fed by being a carpenter. He would take roles here and there, but nothing really stood out.
“Through carpentry, I fed my family and began to pick and choose from among the roles offered,” Ford said. “I could afford to hold out until something better came along. But I never gave up my ambition to be an actor. I was frustrated but never felt defeated by my frustration.”
Well, how did Ford become Solo? Casting director Fred Roos saw potential in Ford and was able to convince George Lucas to give Ford a shot after also conveniently hiring Harrison to work on a door during the Han Solo casting. Even with names like Kurt Russel, Christopher Walkin (imagine that???) and Nick Nolte reading for Han Solo, ultimately the role fell in Ford’s lap. And every Star War fan is thankful for that!
Today is Harrison Ford’s birthday so how about we celebrate by seeing some of his best roles over the years: