In Cannes, Harrison Ford Bids Adieu to Indiana Jones

The 76th Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the film "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" Out of Competition - Cannes, France, May 19, 2023. (Reuters)
The 76th Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the film "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" Out of Competition - Cannes, France, May 19, 2023. (Reuters)
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In Cannes, Harrison Ford Bids Adieu to Indiana Jones

The 76th Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the film "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" Out of Competition - Cannes, France, May 19, 2023. (Reuters)
The 76th Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the film "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" Out of Competition - Cannes, France, May 19, 2023. (Reuters)

As the Cannes Film Festival crowd stood in rapturous applause, a visibly moved Harrison Ford stood on the stage, trying to keep his emotions in check.

The warmth of the audience and a clip reel that had just played had left Ford shaken.

"They say that when you’re about to die, you see your life flash before your eyes," he said. "And I just saw my life flash before my eyes — a great part of my life, but not all of my life."

If last year's Cannes was partially defined by its tribute to "Top Gun Maverick" star Tom Cruise, this year's has belonged to Ford. This time, it's been far more poignant. Ford, 80, is retiring Indiana Jones, saying goodbye to the iconic swashbuckling archeologist more than 40 years after he first debuted, with fedora, whip and a modest snake phobia.

It's been a moving farewell tour — most of all for Ford, who has teared up frequently along the way. Speaking to reporters Friday, Ford was asked: Why give up Indy now?

"Is it not evident?" he replied with a characteristically sheepish grin. "I need to sit down and rest a little bit. I love to work. And I love this character. And I love what it brought into my life. That’s all I can say."

"Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," the fifth Indiana Jones film, premiered Thursday night in Cannes, bringing an affecting coda to the franchise begun with 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark." While that film and the next three were all directed by Steven Spielberg from a story by George Lucas, Ford's final chapter is directed and co-written by James Mangold, the "Ford vs. Ferrari" filmmaker.

The gala, one of the most sought-after tickets at Cannes this year, also included an honorary Palme d'Or given to Ford. The next day, Ford was still struggling to articulate the experience of unveiling his final turn as Indiana Jones.

"It was indescribable. I can’t even tell you," said Ford. "It’s just extraordinary to see a kind of relic of your life as it passes by."

Following the disappointment of 2008's little-loved "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull," the possibilities for a fifth film lingered for years and went through many iterations. Ford said he was intent on seeing a different, less youthful version of Jones. "Dial of Destiny" is set in the 1960s and finds Indiana as a retiring professor whose long-ago exploits no longer seem so special in the age of space exploration.

"I wanted to see the weight of life on him. I wanted to see him require reinvention and support. And I wanted him to have a relationship that was not a flirty movie relationship," said Ford, who stars alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge. "I wanted an equal relationship."

Ford is clearly deeply pleased with the movie. He was especially complimentary of his castmates and Mangold, whom he said did more than "fill the shoes that Steven left for us."

"Everything has come together to support me in my old age," said Ford with a wry grin.

The movie begins with an extended sequence set back in the final days of WWII. In those scenes, Ford has been de-aged to appear much younger. Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy was quick to say that an AI-crafted Ford won't be used by the company in the future. Ford called the employment of a de-aged version of him "skilled and assiduous" — and didn't make him jealous.

"I don’t look back and say I wish I was that guy. I’m real happy with age," said Ford. He then added, with an expletive, that it could be worse. "I could be dead."

Ford isn't retiring from acting. He has two ongoing TV series ("Shrinking," "1923") and he said he remains committed to working.

"My luck has been to work with incredibly talented people and find my way into this crowd of geniuses and not get my ass kicked out," said Ford. "And I’ve apparently still got a chance to work and I want that. I need that in my life, that challenge."

Ford, like Indiana, isn't departing without his hat. He's kept one, Ford said, but he more prizes the experience of making the films. "The stuff is great but it's not about the stuff."



Sienna Miller: I Was 'Obsessed' with Costner's 'Dances with Wolves'

Costner and Miller are co-stars in 'Horizon: An American Saga'. Valery HACHE / AFP
Costner and Miller are co-stars in 'Horizon: An American Saga'. Valery HACHE / AFP
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Sienna Miller: I Was 'Obsessed' with Costner's 'Dances with Wolves'

Costner and Miller are co-stars in 'Horizon: An American Saga'. Valery HACHE / AFP
Costner and Miller are co-stars in 'Horizon: An American Saga'. Valery HACHE / AFP

Sienna Miller was such a huge fan of Kevin Costner's films when growing up that she named her pet rabbits after animals in "Dances With Wolves".
Now she is starring alongside Costner in his ambitious film series "Horizon: An American Saga" -- a four-part project that he mortgaged his home to fund, said AFP.
The first two installments -- each some three hours long -- hit cinemas this summer, with the first released on June 28.
Miller, 42, said she remained star-struck.
"I'm a child of the 90s. I can still barely look at Kevin, because he was such a huge part of my childhood," she told AFP.
Costner's Oscar-winning "Dances with Wolves" from 1990 was "the first time I really had my heart broken by a film -- I was obsessed with it," Miller said.
She had two pet rabbits named Two Socks and Cisco after the wolf and horse in the film.
"Horizon" follows multiple characters and storylines on the violent frontier of the 19th century as European settlers took over Native American land, with Miller playing a woman whose family is attacked and faces a brutal struggle to survive.
"I like to think I would be an OK frontier woman. I'm more outdoorsy than you might assume," she said.
"But I don't think it would have been fun. I know Kevin says he wished he lived back then. I think it was a very difficult time to have been alive."
Miller was pregnant for the filming of the second installment, which made the conditions even tougher.
"We were really out in nature. That was hard, because you're in corsets and it's boiling and there are scorpions and rattlesnakes.
"I found earth, that red earth, in my hair for like a month. Up my nose, ears, every orifice. Well, not every orifice," she added with a laugh.
Only Costner knew she was pregnant during the second shoot.
"I was feeling pretty sick. That corset was not my friend!"
'Horrific genocide'
Miller welcomed the chance to learn more about the history of the period.
"This country with an indigenous people who were exterminated violently, brutally, in a horrific genocide -- that isn't talked about nearly enough," she said.
"It's a bloody history and a gory history and a devastating history. But it happened. And I think to be able to look at it and not get too political, but just to show the truth of it, that's refreshing."
Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, where "Horizon" got its world premiere last month, Costner told AFP he began working on the script way back in 1988 but could never find a studio to back it.
"But I loved it and so I decided I would write four, which is very American of me -- insane," he said.
Reviews so far have been decidedly mixed, however, with IndieWire calling it "the dullest vanity project of the century" while The Telegraph gushed over its "sheer, magisterial sweep".
Costner says he has no concerns about bankrupting himself.
"What's the fear? If they take it away from me, I still have my movie. I still have my integrity. I still listened to my heart," he said.