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Harrison Ford Talks Comic-Con Fandom, Fat Suits and More

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 9, 2013 at 4:47PM

As his new movie Paranoia earns early pans, and he joins the cast of "The Expendables 3," Harrison Ford talks fanboys, fat suits, and the industry's urge to revive his many iconic roles with the New York Times Magazine. Highlights below.
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Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford

As his new movie Paranoia earns early pans, and he joins the cast of "The Expendables 3," Harrison Ford talks fanboys, fat suits, and the industry's urge to revive his many iconic roles with the New York Times Magazine. Highlights below.

On the difference between his leading man days in the 1970s-90s, and his "character actor" career now:

The form of film in the ’70s and ’80s and early ’90s, when I was working more and playing leading-man roles, was such that I always felt the burden of having to carry the audience along. Of making sure that they identified with the emotional condition of the character. And knowing that if they lost sympathy or investment in that character, that happened at the peril of the film. The pleasure of being a character actor is that you don’t have to think about that.

On the level of engagement in fanboy properties:

It’s another form of engagement. I think the success of Comic-Con is based on the partnership between the fans and the service providers, the entities — I won’t necessarily call them filmmakers — that supply the film product that supports their particular interest, whether it’s vampires or science-fiction fantasies or Transformers or whatever is going on.

How his classic films would play at Comic-Con today: 

Everyone would be ahead of it, and everybody would know what it was, and it would be no fun at all. But people still went to movies in those days. People went to movie theaters. It was a community experience, and that was part of the fun. Now people see a movie on their iPad, alone, with interruptions for snacks.



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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.