24 December 2013 4:26 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Harrison Ford always wanted to be a character actor, but stardom got in the way. “It was never my intention to be a leading man, I always wanted to play character parts,” says the 71-year old superstar of the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises, before quipping: “I guess I had bad luck.”

Ford is finally getting his opportunity, thanks to his stellar turn in the Jackie Robinson biopic “42.” Ford plays Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, who made the historical choice to allow Robinson in the minor leagues in 1947. Ironically, the only hitch in Ford landing the role was that writer-director Brian Helgeland didn’t want a star. “Brian was really looking for a character actor,” recalls Ford.

So the actor researched Rickey before sitting down to lunch with Helgeland, where he plead his case. “I was able to speak to him not only about the character, but my ambition to play him. »


- Jenelle Riley

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