Harrison Ford was told he'd never be a star

2013-11-30 12:00
 
Harrison Ford
Los Angeles - 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 on Wednesday, 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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