Top stars speak of their alien experience
As their new film cinemas, Shereen Low gets up close and personal with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
DANIEL CRAIG and Harrison Ford have a lot in common. As well as being the stars of some of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, they are also known for being guarded.
However, while questions about their personal lives are off-limits, both appear to be in a good mood. They’re in town promoting their new film Cowboys & Aliens, in which they join forces to rid a small town of aliens. For many fans, it’s basically James Bond and Indiana Jones sharing screen time together, although the two don’t see it like that.
Ford, who celebrated his 69th birthday last month, “hemmed and hawed” about the role until he discussed his concerns with director Jon Favreau. “It was the opportunity to play a character different from any I’ve played before. The chance to make a movie that might be popular and successful. All of that, and a bit of money,” he says with a smile. “And I wanted the chance to work with Daniel. He’s a very talented actor and fun to be with.”
The appreciation is mutual, with Craig revealing: “This was a dream come true. First and foremost, Harrison’s an actor and he loves the job. So once you get over the fact that he’s a screen legend, you find out he just wants to get on with the work.”
Aside from the chance to work with one of his childhood heroes, for 43-yearold Craig, who married actress Rachel Weisz in June, there was another reason why he was keen to play loner Jake Lonergan.
“I’ve wanted to play a cowboy for as long as I can remember,” he says. “There was nothing more complicated than that. And with Jon Favreau directing, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard producing, it seemed like a good deal.”
In the film, based on Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s graphic novel, Ford – best known for his portrayals of Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and intrepid explorer Indiana Jones – relished playing the villainous cattle-rancher Woodrow Dolarhyde.
“He’s cruel and unusual – a bit of a bully used to getting his own way,” he explains. “But in the context of the events, you come to know something more about him and the circumstances he’s involved in. I’m not so much a fan of action or genre as I am of storytelling and character. That’s where my heart lies.”
Favreau fans can expect thrills and spills, yet despite being known for carving careers as action heroes, both actors admit they left the more elaborate stunts to the pros.
“I don’t do stunts. Stuntmen do stunts. I do physical acting,” says Ford in a nononsense tone. Craig adds: “A lot of what you see is my brilliant double and stuntmen. We also had a bunch of wranglers and cowboys who helped me look good in the saddle.”
While he may have escaped the stunts, the Bond star – whose muscles stretch his tightly-buttoned shirt and well-fitted jeans – definitely put in some hard work for his impressive physique.
“I genuinely don’t think about it. It is what it is,” he says, shrugging. “I try to get in shape for the movies because I like it, and because I thought we should have a skinny cowboy who looked in shape because he should look like a killer.”
While Craig is gearing up for the next 007 film, his next big screen outing is in the Hollywood remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
“From what I’ve seen, it looks amazing,” he continues. “It’s not going to be dumbed down in any way, because we’re trying to appeal to a wider audience.” As for Ford, he’s enjoying life with his family, but won’t rule out a fifth Indy outing.
“If we come up with a script that everybody has confidence in, sure, I’d love to play the character again,” he says. “But at the moment, it’s not even got to the point where I know what the story’s going to be.”
WESTERN STARS: Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens.
SALOON BAR ENCOUNTER: Olivia Wilde and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens.