Finding Ford – Interview Two – The Raiders Villains (Cardiff 30/10/17)
Being a fan of Harrison Ford has brought me into contact with so many people over the years that I probably never would have met had I not been one. Back in July 2013 I attended my 3rd convention, MCM Comic Con Manchester, and it was the first time I had gone ‘full Indy.’ It was a fun day, I met Warwick Davies for the first time, and got lots of compliments on my costume, I was also told that there was another Indy there that day but we didn’t actually meet up. Colin Wilby and I tracked each other down on facebook and eventually met up at Star Wars Fan Fun Day for the first time to discuss our fandom of Indiana Jones and of course the man himself.
A New Adventure
Fast forward to October 2016 and Colin got in touch to ask if I fancied a trip to Cardiff Film & Comic Con, as there was going to be an exciting Raiders Of The Lost Ark reunion occurring there. Showmasters were bringing back together Paul Freeman a.k.a Rene Belloq, Wolf Kahler a.k.a Colonel Dietrich, and Anthony Higgins a.k.a Gobler. As it turned out Colin was now helping with Indy Mag and due to my background with journalism (having previously been a writer for Starburst Magazine), he asked if I would like to help him with the interviews. How could I say no?
So on Saturday 29th October we set off on the long drive to Cardiff armed only with Indy Gear, a soundtracks play list, and a whole lot of conversation to be had about our hero, and films in general. Its amazing how much a journey can whistle by when engaged in conversation, geeking out for 4 hours. After a couple of beers at the hotel we hit the sack and were up bright and early to hit the Motorpoint Arena (a short Facebook live video of our arrival here). As a thank you I prepared a unique print each for Colin and I to get signed, a panoramic blu ray screen grab of all three characters from Raiders, first order of business was to get this signed. Each actor signed them with their line in the scene, pretty cool eh?
The Raiders Panel
After a bit of hanging around and checking out the vendors, including picking up a Star Wars The Force Awakens One Sheet from my old Manchester film fair dealer mate John, it was time for the Raiders panel. There are some pieces coming soon to Indy Mag where you can read all about the panel and the separate interviews we did with Paul, Wolf and Anthony about their time working on Indy’s first cinematic outing, so I won’t go into detail here. Suffice it to say that Wolf and Anthony didn’t have too much Ford specific information, but Paul did.
Haven’t We Met Before?
I had met Paul Freeman previously at London Film and Comic Con in 2014, and he was great, but as I told him this time, it felt like we should have met many years ago. My Dad had done some supporting artist work for TV back in the 1980s and 1990s and had worked with Paul on Yesterday’s Dreams (1987) and House Of Cards (The Final Cut 1995). It was whilst working on Yesterday’s Dreams that Dad came home and told me he’d met Belloq (my 10 year old mind blown). Paul had chatted with Dad and told him, the now famous story, behind the shooting of the Arab swordsman in Raiders being Harrison Ford’s idea. I knew this amazing on set tale in 1987 long before it was in any books or making of documentaries. Then 8 years later upon returning from his first day on The Final Cut Dad told me he was working with Paul again, so I sent him back the next day with my Raiders Quad and pictures which all came back duly signed.
The Gentleman Villain – Paul Freeman
I already knew Paul was a great guy, but before beginning the interviews (For Indy Mag & Finding Ford) Paul told us about the great work he does for UKHF (UK Friends of Healing Focus), a charity that supports an orphanage in Uganda. He agreed to giving us as much time as we wanted in return for a small donation to this great cause, once again how could we refuse? He even invited us to come on the next trip! It was towards the end of the day and the convention was winding down, so Paul was able to give us his undivided attention, and he did indeed give us a great chunk of his time. He talked in detail about working on Raiders, with some great anecdotes, then we started the camera’s rolling on the Finding Ford interview and he gave us more on specifically working with Harrison on the Spielberg/Lucas classic. Not only that but he had met Ford on several occasions since, and recounted some insightful tales about those meetings. But once again I won’t reveal that here, you will have to wait for the film, but in the meantime keep your eye out for Indy Mag, and can I also encourage you to please donate to Paul’s charity here. He is heading over to Uganda, as he does every year, in February 2017 so the funds will be much needed soon. Also please lend your support to the great work that Colin does every year in support of Derian House (Children’s Hospice) with the brilliant Star And Cars.
May The Ford Be With You, P