HARRISON FORD on 'FIREWALL' Edited by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
January 28, 2006
In the techie crime thriller Firewall, a computer security expert (Harrison Ford) is forced to hack into his own system to steal $100 million by a criminal (Paul Bettany) who kidnaps his wife (Virginia Madsen) and children. In this interview, Harrison Ford talks about the making of the movie.
MEDIA: Are you comfortable working with computers?
HARRISON: Yeah. I have the basics of it down, I think. I've been using computers for years for basic tasks and doing research and doing educational programs for flight training...I'm fairly comfortable with it. What was necessary--in the period of time that we were working on the script--was to prove our theory of how this robbery might be accomplished through the computer system. And in trying to test that, we spoke to many banking professionals and computer professionals and had a lot of very well-qualified advice.
Are you concerned about identity theft?
Well, I'm perhaps less fearful than some. It doesn't concern me that much. I think that under most circumstances, anything that happens on a computer can be set right, you know? I'm not concerned about somebody stealing my identity. I think it's unlikely that my identity would be as useful as some anonymous person's identity might be.
How did you feel about performing the running/jumping/falling aspect of the movie?
I had no problem with it. It's fun. Enjoyed it.
What was shooting the final fight scene like?
It was like a big choreographed dance. It was simply a matter of making decisions about where the camera would be and how we would accomplish each element of the fight, and then doing it.
Any tips for relaxing after filming those types of action-heavy scenes?
I think a little scotch doesn't hurt at the end of the day.
What input, if any, did you have in the casting? Do you keep a mental checklist of actors you'd like to work with?
I think it's always a question of who is available, who is interested, who is appropriate. And no, I don't keep a running tab. I'm aware of the work of a lot of actors and admire the work of a lot of actors...There are casting professionals, and they come up with lists of people. And you sit and you look at the lists and you discuss amongst the filmmaking group what the best decision might be.
Were script changes prompted by the fact that technology evolves so rapidly?
The reason the script changed in process was adjustments for character, for story...Not for computer technology. We were continually working on refining and honing the story.
Do you currently have any ambitions to direct?
No, not really. I enjoy the job I have. And also, I've spent years acquiring a certain skill set which allows me to do a certain job. I haven't spent the time on developing some of the other skills that I would want to have to direct. Which doesn't mean that if I made the choice, that it wouldn't be easy enough to learn them...It's just simply not my job.
As a pilot and chairman of the EAA Young Eagles, what can you tell us about that program? Do you get young people behind the controls of a plane?
No, it's not about teaching them to fly. Pilots volunteer their time and the use of their aircraft to take kids up into the air who have never been in a general aviation aircraft and invest them with the notion that this is something that they might be able to do, to give them experience with something that they may feel is outside of their potential or impossible for them, and to encourage them to think about it because it affords them a way of assuming responsibility for themselves. It gives them a sense of self-esteem, and it allows them an opportunity to participate in what we, the volunteer pilots, feel is a beautiful experience.
With the Oscars coming up, have you seen any of the Best Picture nominees?
I've seen some.
Did you like any of them?
I liked Good Night, and Good Luck very, very much.
Because it was political?
No, because it was moral...It's about morality. It's about the difficult judgements that people make. And that's what I appreciate about it.