“While describing the uncommon experience of being rejected for a role he coveted, Harrison Ford is amused and understated. He provides the details calmly, without disdain or condescension for the director who initially refused to even talk to him. The story has a successful ending with Ford getting exactly what he wanted, but the striking part about Ford telling it is the noticeable absence of entitlement. Here is a man who has generated an estimated $6 billion in movie-ticket sales worldwide and is one of the most successful actors in film history. But he is still not even slightly offended by a hesitant director.
The character Ford found so compelling is Branch Rickey, a man of surpassing intelligence who played a significant role in advancing civil rights in this country, not only because it was morally proper but also because it was good business. Rickey was the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the man who desegregated baseball by signing 26-year-old Jackie Robinson in 1945 to play for the Montreal Royals, the organization’s top farm team. After spending the 1946 season with Montreal, Robinson was promoted to the major leagues in 1947. Their story is told in the film 42, which debuts in theaters this month. In Rickey, Ford saw a man with complex motivations — honorable because Rickey deplored racial prejudice, but also practical because the better his baseball team, the more money he made. “Ethnic prejudice has no place in sports,” Rickey once lectured, “and baseball must recognize that truth if it is to maintain stature as a national game.”
Harrison Ford. An inspiration. Read more @ American Way Magazine