A lot of interesting things have been revealed at Star Wars Celebration the past few days. As many people know, Harrison Ford was a carpenter before he was cast as Han Solo but the full story of how he landed the gig has not been documented until now. According to Ford, he had previously worked for Lucas in American Graffiti but at the time that Star Wars was being developed, he was doing carpentry and one day he was hanging a door for Francis Ford Coppola. As Ford put it:
“I was actually installing a door for Francis Ford Coppola as a favor to his art director, who had built the door but couldn’t find anyone to install it. And I said I’ll do it, but I’m only gonna do it at night because I don’t want people walking through there while I’m not trying to do the thing. And one morning, in walked, while I was finishing up the door, in walked George with Richard Dreyfuss.
“George walked in, and it was a surprise, and I thought it was an interview for a new science fiction film. Anyway, we just chatted and said hello.”
And that’s the story, the rest is history. Part of the comedy of it all was the fact that the whole time Ford was hanging the door, George Lucas thought he was just waiting outside pretending to work on something just to get his attention. Ford was quick to point out he wouldn’t sit out front and wait for Lucas, no matter how much he enjoys him. So there you go. It’s always good to have a backup job. Especially in acting.