In the new comedy 'Morning Glory', Harrison Ford plays Mike Pomeroy, a veteran journalist at loggerheads with his co-host (Diane Keaton) of a daytime TV show and with an ambitious young producer (Rachel McAdams) trying to win him over. Ford talks about his character, his co-stars and success.
What was it about it about Mike Pomeroy, the legendary newsman you play in 'Morning Glory', that appealed to you?
Harrison Ford: He was a very different character to one I have played before and I could see his utility in the piece overall. He's a complicated man. What also attracted to me to the role was I liked the people involved in the movie. JJ Abrams (producer) told me he was developing a part for me and when I read it I thought, 'Well done JJ. It's a good opportunity for me'. I also liked the work of (director) Roger Michell. Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton are actors I also admire so there was no reason not to do the movie.
You say Mike is complicated man. That's an interesting way to describe him.
HF: (Laughs) Yes, he's an ass. But, I could also see that the events of the film had an impact on him and he had an impact on Rachel's character, Becky. The emotional context that comes out of Mike and Becky's relationship is a bonus.
Some of the funniest scenes in the movie occur when your character goes head-to-head with Diane Keaton's character. Was there much ad-libbing in there?
HF: No, no. It was all written or something we came across in rehearsal, but I think that obviously was as fun as anything. I hadn't known Diane before, so I was pleased to get to know her.
It's surprising that you have not worked together.
HF: Well, we do different kinds of films. I describe her as being part of the intellectual branch of the service and I'm in the commando branch. You know, the jumping and falling down department.
Knowing that, did you have any preconceptions about Diane going in?
HF: I didn't really. I have always thought she was a wonderful actress and it was really fun to work with her. She really knew what she wanted to get out of her character in each scene and she was tenacious about getting it. I thought she was great to work with. She was inventive, spontaneous and always kept it fresh.
'Morning Glory' deals with the issue of losing and regaining success. What do you regard as being successful?
HF: The only significance of success is it allows you to do what you love doing. It's nice to pay your bills, but I've been doing this for 40 years. If I didn't like it I would have stopped doing it a long time ago, but I really do love it.
The film also deals with ambition. Is your approach to working different now than what it was early on in your career?
HF: I don't think it’s different. I still have the same ambitions to give the character the best expression I can. To be of service to the thematics of the film and to be a decent person to work with. They're my goals.
Can too much ambition ever be a bad thing?
HF: There's certainly this thing they call blind ambition where one is ambitious for the sake of itself. You only admire ambition that is appropriate and focused on making the film as good as it can be.
Does working on a film get easier for you or is it still a challenge?
HF: For me, the hardest part is deciding what I'm going to do. That usually comes before I'm on the set when I'm working with the director and writers to make clear what we all want from it and how best to get it. The dressing up and pretending to be somebody else is always the play part of it.
Mike has plenty of regrets in life. When you look back on your career, any regrets or do you wish you had done anything differently?
HF: No, no regrets. I’ve had a very blessed life and I’m very grateful for it.
'Morning Glory' is rin Irish cinemas from Friday, 21 January.