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Harrison Ford's Behind-The-Scenes Stories Of Making The ‘Indiana Jones’ Films

Harrison Ford is an action film legend that somehow managed to top the success of his role as space smuggler Han Solo with an even more recognizable role in the span of just a couple of years - Indiana Jones.

Ford isn't the biggest fan of talking to the press, but when he does, his blunt honesty and carefree attitude make for great storytelling. This especially goes for the times he has shared juicy anecdotes from behind the scenes of Indiana Jones. From accidental illnesses to brutal injuries to risqué wardrobe choices, Ford's tales from the days of shooting Indy are as intriguing as the film series itself. 

  • His Scar Was Woven Into Indiana's Backstory

    Photo: Paramount

    One of Harrison Ford's most identifying features is the scar on his chin. In reality, he received it during a car accident, but the filmmakers behind Indiana Jones decided that it could be a fun part of Indiana's backstory, too. In the first 10 minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, a young Indiana played by River Phoenix goes through a series of obstacles running away from bad guys on a circus train. He eventually runs into a lion, and his trusty whip.

    According to Indiana lore, this first crack at the whip is how the character gets the scar.

  • For Ford And Connery, Pants Were Optional

    Photo: Paramount

    A movie set is not always the most comfortable place to be, especially when it's a hot day. The bright lights required to make a scene come alive on film can often cause on-set temperatures to soar. It's because of this that Ford and co-star Sean Connery decided to film the zeppelin scene in The Last Crusade without any pants on, since the blocking didn't require them to get up at any point.

  • He Faced Deadly Snakes, And Kind Of Enjoyed It

    Photo: Paramount

    Cobras are one of the deadliest snakes out there, but that didn't stop Ford from facing one in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The character was given a fear of snakes for both comedic effect and to add a layer of relatability. In addition to having a hospital gurney on standby, the crew put a plate of glass between the snake and Ford for added security.

    But Ford in truth wasn't that fussed. He confessed in his biography, "They don't bother me at all. When I was a kid, I worked in a boy scout camp as a nature counselor, I used to collect them. And I'm amazed that that's the most frightening scene for most people."

  • He Taught Short Round How To Swim

    Photo: Paramount

    Ford has a lot of skills under his cap - carpentry and piloting aircraft to name two - but the one that Temple of Doom star Jonathan Ke Quan, AKA Short Round, remembers most fondly is his aquatic teaching chops. While shooting on location in Sri Lanka, Ford and his miniature sidekick had a lot of downtime, so Ford decided to show The Goonies star how to swim.

    "Afterwards all of us would head back to the same hotel and we would eat together, play," recalls Ke Quan. "I love the man. I had a wonderful time working with him. To be able to work with him on any movie I think is the best thing that can happen to any actor."