George Lucas first turned down Harrison Ford’s request to play Han Solo in Star Wars.
Harrison Ford was almost not cast as the STAR WARS hero Han Solo. George Lucas was adamant about not collaborating with the actor from the United States. Later, on the set of A New Hope, the two got into an argument.
Harrison Ford turned 79 years old this week, which means he has been portraying the renowned space hero Han Solo for more than 50 years. Ford was a relatively unknown actor in the 1970s, and he worked hard to gain fame. The young heartthrob had a few tiny roles in independent films under his belt, but he hadn’t yet established himself as a major star. Meanwhile, Ford was working as a carpenter to help support his family and pay the bills. He was cast in a George Lucas film called American Graffiti while working on one of his smaller gigs.
One of Lucas’ first feature-length films was American Graffiti.
The film was released in 1973 and starred Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Terry McGovern, and Harrison Ford.
Ford’s role in the picture was little, but it was significant enough for Lucas to remember him in the months to come.
When Lucas was choosing performers for his next film, Star Wars, a year later, he refused to hire Ford again.
“I had previously done American Graffiti with George Lucas,” Ford said years later.
“George Lucas made it clear that he didn’t want to work with anyone from American Graffiti, and that he wanted to work with new people.”
As a result, he was eliminated from contention for the role of Han Solo.
But Ford was not the last person Lucas saw.
On the same day that Lucas was holding auditions for Star Wars, Ford began carpentry work at the offices of famed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
“Harrison had done a lot of carpentry for me,” said casting director Fred Roos.
He needed money, he had children, and he wasn’t yet a major movie star. George happened to be present on the day he was doing it. It was a happy accident.”
“I was working as a carpenter on an extravagant portico entrance to Francis Ford Coppola’s offices when George stepped in with Richard Dreyfuss to be the first of the Star Wars interviews,” Ford recounted.
“Somehow that sounded a bell with George, and I became, finally, Han Solo,” Ford continued.
Despite the fact that the star has become one. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”