Harrison Ford was told by movie executive he'd never be a star

29 November 2013 / 2 years 11 months ago

Harrison Ford was told by an unknown movie executive that he didn't have what it takes to make it in the industry at the start of his career. 

The 71-year-old actor - whose career has spanned six decades and includes high profile roles in 'Indiana Jones' and the original 'Star Wars' trilogy - was told he didn't have the star quality to become successful after beginning his career as an extra in 'Dead Heat On A Merry Go Round'. 

Speaking to talk show host Conan O'Brien last night (27.11.13), Harrison said: I was in a contract at Columbia Pictures for $150 a week which back then in those days was still only $150 a week. It was ridiculous. My first movie role was a bell boy, a bell man in a hotel. I delivered a note or a telegram or something to James Coburn and my lines were, 'Paging Mr Jones, Mr Jones, paging Mr Jones' and he raised his hand and I went over and said, 'Mr Jones? Room 204?' and he said, 'Yes' and I gave him the note and that was my job.

"There was a guy that was in charge of what they call the new talent programme and he called me into his office and he said, 'Sit down kid, I saw the rushes from yesterday, you're never going to make it in the business just forget about it.' He said, 'The first movie Tony Curtis was ever in he delivered a bag of groceries. You took one look at that guy and you said that's a movie star.' And I leaned across his desk and said, 'I thought you were supposed to think that was a grocery delivery boy.' He said, 'Get out of my office,' which I was happy to do. I didn't last much longer with them."

Harrison was spotted by the same executive over 15 years later in a restaurant after he had found great success on the big screen.

The screen legend garnered "great pleasure" when the executive apologised for his comments by sending a message to his table. 

Harrison said: "Around 15 years later I was in a commissary at some studio and a waiter came over to me with a little silver tray and there was a business card on it. I picked up the business card and written on it was 'I missed my bet' and I turned it over and it was the name of the guy and much to my great, immediate pleasure, it still gives me a little bit of pleasure now - I looked around and I couldn't figure out which one he was."

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