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.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - FILM -

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.

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