Harrison Ford isn’t a stranger to playing characters surrounded by danger. He isn’t a stranger to getting the crap kicked out of him in real life, as opposed to the big screen as well. When it happens in real life, it usually has us worried, because let’s face it, we love the guy. Oddly enough, this is not his first on-set Indiana Jones injury. Or filming injury for that matter. Is it his last? Let us hope so.
Harrison Ford has had many an injury while playing his eponymous Indiana Jones character. As a matter of fact, Ford managed to tear his ACL while filming Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981. He managed to do far worse while filming the fight sequence of the attack from the Thuggee assassin in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in 1984. Ford’s discs in his back herniated during the scene. In fact you can see the moment where it starts to happen when it cuts off as soon as he throws the assassin over himself. Harrison Ford had claimed the injury was so bad that neither therapy nor pain killers would ease the pain. He still managed to shoot a few scenes while being super immobile.
Steven Spielberg (the director of all three films) called up the film’s producer George Lucas (the film’s producer and story conceiver) to bring him back to Los Angeles so he could have surgery on his back. Apparently the initial culprit, according to Ford, was the extensive riding of the elephant sequences that they shot in Sri Lanka. The injury and surgery put the Indiana Jones star out for about two months. What did Spielberg do? He did what any good filmmaker on a time clock and budget would do. He shot around Harrison until he came back on set. In fact, much of the conveyer belt fight scene (the vast majority of it) was shot with a body double. This is why when you watch the scene it is mostly composed of back shots and over the shoulders. Then he shot and added the close ups of Harrison Ford 6 weeks later.
His most recent injury on the set of Indiana Jones 5, doesn’t necessarily come as surprise, it has been more of a concern to fans. We love him, and he isn’t a spring chicken, therefore, fans have expressed concern. He managed to injure his shoulder while rehearsing a fight scene for the new film. The film’s director James Mangold, plans to do what Spielberg did before him, and shoot around Ford until he recovers.
Indiana Jones injuries aside, he has crashed a plane, and almost crashed three others. He has also managed to break his leg on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens set thanks to a hydraulic door; and now…well, this. The bottom line is, we are glad that he is okay. It’s actually amazing he is 78 and has made it this far, actually. And we love him for it and wish him a speedy recovery.
Will Harrison Ford ever stop injuring himself on Indiana Jones sets? Let alone movie sets? We may never know.