Posted by Adam from 184.108.40.206 on January 28, 2000 at 16:26:07:
It was announced that Harrison Ford is in talks to star in the upcoming film TRIFFIC, an independent film directed by none other than Steven Soderburgh (SEX LIES & VIDEOTAPE, OUT OF SIGHT).
This represents perhaps a first step of Harrison's new career path, as he recently signed with an agency with the hopes of becoming more exposed to new material and new directors.
TRAFFIC represents a bold move, being that Harrison plays A CRIMINAL DRUG LORD! Yup, you read it right. A BAD GUY. TRAFFIC is a large ensemble piece concerning the US war on drugs in Mexico -- it traces nearly every step, from the US law enforcement officers struggling to control the organized crime, to the criminal side of the nefarious activities.
The role Ford is considering, the largest role of the ensemble, is a supercool drug lord hell bent on making sure his business is successful. Yet he also has a private dilemma, as he struggles to save his own daughter from her deadly addiction to cocaine and heroin.
Ford has always been, in my mind, a great actor. But over the last few years, I've been frustrated by his limited choices -- while the likes of the Jack Ryan films, AIR FORCE ONE, DEVIL'S OWN, SABRINA, 6 DAYS 7 NIGHTS, and the recent RANDOM HEARTS have presented him with some interesting parts, he never seemed comfortable in doing anything very daring.
Not that he hasn't in the past. One of his best performances -- if controversial films -- was THE MOSQUITO COAST, directed by Peter Weir. Weir has always been the actor's director (check out FEARLESS, THE TRUMAN SHOW, and DEAD POETS SOCIETY as well as his earlier WITNESS and YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY), and I suspect he was able to draw more out of Harrison's darker side than anyone before. That MOSQUITO COAST was a commercial failure given the expectations probably made Ford uneasy.
Soderburgh is the kind of filmmaker who hasn't shied away from risks -- in fact, he embraces them. I LOVE to see Harrison GET MEAN AND UGLY, vindictive like Terence Stamp in THE LIMEY. We can see a whole new side of Harrison -- not Harrison Ford the movie star, but Harrison Ford THE ACTOR.
While I'm sure Bruce Willis and Sly Stallone have their detractors, you have to give them credit for taking risks. Willis took a pay cut to do the likes of THE SIXTH SENSE and PULP FICTION, and Stallone did a masterful job in COP LAND. And Sean Connery did Willard Carroll's wonderful PLAYING BY HEART for a mere $60,000. I'm looking forward to Harrison FINALLY following these examples and do something REALLY DARING with his career.
Post a Followup: