A role and a betrayal, the origin of Alec Baldwin’s grudge with Harrison Ford

With the stratospheric salaries being handled in Hollywood and the power that fame brings, it’s no wonder the history of the movie mecca is rife with rivalries. From Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, to Olivia de Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine, to Vin Diesel and The Rock, Tom Hardy and Shia Labeouf, through the years of media fight between Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds because of a man and the origin of the fight between Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere started by a chicken with mustard.

However, the most common reason behind the disagreements is related to the fight for the dream roles. After all, an ideal character can have hundreds of candidates, but only one performer will be chosen. And while some overcome defeat with sportsmanship, focusing on new castings and projects, others like Alec Baldwin vent their grudge without regard. And it is that according to the actor, Harrison Ford He would have played a trick on him by using his fame as an infallible weapon, robbing him of a key role in his career. And without saying anything.

American actor Alec Baldwin on the set of The Hunt of Red October, based on the novel by Tom Clancy, and directed by John McTiernan. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

This anecdote takes us back to the 90s, when Harrison Ford He was already established as a heavyweight in the industry, carrying iconic characters such as Han Solo, Indiana Jones or Rick Deckard behind him. He was basically one of the most sought-after actors of the time and his films did not go unnoticed at the box office. Let’s say that it would not be surprising if a producer had done the impossible to have him among his credits.

It turns out that Harrison spent some time developing a political drama for Paramount titled Night Ride Down, but the high budget it needed caused the studio to cancel the idea. Upon being released, he would have offered, or was offered, to replace one contract for another through the role of Jack Ryan in Patriots game, the emblematic character from Tom Clancy’s novels (today turned into an Amazon Prime series with John Krasinski) and another of the roles that would later leave their mark on his filmography. Interestingly, he had already refused when it was offered to him in 1989 by The hunt for Red October because he preferred the role of Commander Marko Ramius, which was reserved for Sean Connery. But knowing that the sequel was in the works and being free of commitments, he opted for the role without seemingly caring that Alec Baldwin was negotiating his involvement.

Or at least, that’s how Alec remembers it.

Alec Baldwin had played Jack Ryan in The hunt for Red October, an adaptation with such critical and box office success that they immediately began to develop the idea for the sequel. The director of the first film, John McTiernan, was on board, as were Alec and the original screenwriter, John Milius. The idea was to continue the story with the adaptation of the following novel, Imminent danger, but then the studio changed its mind. They wanted to continue with Patriots game -although chronologically the plot took place before The hunt for Red October- However, neither the director nor his protagonist were convinced. History placed the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as the villains of the moment, and although neither of them is sympathetic, they do have Irish ancestry and did not feel comfortable throwing down on their family legacy (until Alec’s daughter with Kim Basinger was called Ireland). According to McTiernan, they begged the studio to stick with the original plan since the script for The hunt for Red October it was much better ”, however one of the producers had the rights to Patriots game making his participation and decision about the saga greater.

At that time it was officially explained that Harrison Ford was taking the place of the original actor, accusing Alec Baldwin’s commitment to the play A Streetcar Named Desire and Broadway. However, ten years later the actor could no longer keep his secret and told his truth. One full of rancor.

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Baldwin, now 63 years old, revealed his version on a blog Huffington Post 2011. Without naming Harrison Ford, he shared that John McTiernan called him multiple times on one occasion when the actor was traveling to see his mother, recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In the calls he confessed that he had been negotiating Harrison Ford’s participation in the sequel for several months because Paramount “I owed him a large sum of money “ to the actor for the project they had previously canceled, and “that to alleviate the debt they put someone with greater force at the box office than me on paper. ”

“There was a lot of intrigue to get Alec out of that role.” said John McTiernan via Indiewire, who was also replaced by Phillip Noyce.

He says he was speechless because not only was he himself negotiating the role with the studio, but he had no idea that they were also doing it with another actor at the same time. Reveals that you decided to opt for A Streetcar Named Desire upon discovering that a studio executive named David Kirkpatrick wanted to close an open-date contract, without being honest and, along the way, lose the opportunity to star in “one of the best works of the American theater ”.

Although in that article, Alec Baldwin did not name the actor by name, it is clear that it was Harrison Ford, who eventually ended up starring in the film and another sequel. And while David Kirkpatrick responded to the actor on his own blog citing that the problem was a lack of mutual trust, Baldwin went further a few years later.

In his memoirs published in 2017, Nevertheless, threw the blame straight on Harrison Ford. In its pages, he writes that when the Indiana Jones interpreter approached director John McTiernan in search of the role, he asked him if he knew that Paramount was negotiating the return of Baldwin. Ford’s response, according to John, was ‘screw it’ ” wrote in his book.

Anne Archer and Harrison Ford in a scene from the movie & # 39; Patriots Game & # 39;, 1992. (Photo by Paramount / Getty Images)

Anne Archer and Harrison Ford in a scene from the movie ‘Patriots Game’, 1992. (Photo by Paramount / Getty Images)

According to Baldwin, the actor who just turned 79 would have gone to get the role behind his back and would not have cared about Alec’s sentimentality with the character or the fact that he had already played it. And that resentment is palpable in the book when Baldwin refers to Harrison Ford as “a small, short, scrawny man whose soft voice sounds like it comes from behind a door“.

The book was published four years ago and neither of them has commented on it. And while Harrison is used to airing stories from his life, as did his friend Carrie Fisher revealing to the world their three-month affair on the set of the first Star Wars when she was 18 and he was a 33-year-old father – and he replied with a concise ‘for me it was strange ‘ (Independent) – it is likely that in this case it will not affect you in the least. Although it is clear that Alec Baldwin does.

In 1991, Alec Baldwin was riding the crest of the wave thanks to his film with Sean Connery and other well received such as Miami Blues (1990) the Success at any cost (1992). It was the time when he had the opportunity to climb into the paradise of the male heroes of the big screen, but if we look at his filmography, it was as if he was suddenly halfway there, and who knows, maybe because of Harrison Ford. Considering what a great movie it was Patriots Game –although with a very different air to the visual wonder that was On the hunt for red October- and the joint blockbuster (the first made $ 178 million worldwide in 1992 and the second, Imminent danger, $ 215.9 million in 1994) it is no wonder that his words seem to have nested so much resentment over the years. In addition, Ford was a key player in changing the more vulnerable but effective agent air that he transmits in his two films, giving them that added air of cinematic superiority as a result of his presence.

In turn, none of the films Alec starred in during those years managed to match his gain. While Harrison was triumphing as the new Jack Ryan, that wave Alec was riding at the beginning of the decade suddenly he was left in foam with poorly received productions such as La huida (1994) son of Kim Basinger, Malice (1995) with Nicole Kidman, or her frustrated attempt to enter superhero cinema with The shadow (1994), one of his worst hits.

In this way, while he has always maintained his place in Hollywood, he never quite reached the commercial height of Harrison Ford. That is, it is hard for me to imagine that there has been a role where he has been an essential and irresistible option such as Ford.

Life has taken them down different paths. To Baldwin down the road to supporting roles, reliving his fame during the years he parodied Donald Trump in Saturday Night Live, while Harrison Ford relives his most beloved characters by the public when he is a year away from turning 80. He returned to Han Solo, to Rick Deckard and now he is filming the fifth installment of indiana Jones (actually he is out after injuring his shoulder, but the movie continues). Judging from Baldwin’s book, one harbors a grudge; and because of Ford’s silence, the other does not seem to be affected.

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