Series 14, Episode 1 - Harrison Ford, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jack Whitehall, James Blunt
Indiana Jones film, Benedict Cumberbatch remains tightlipped on Sherlock, Jack Whitehall reveals he is huge fan of both Harrison and Benedict, and James Blunt performs Bonfire Heart.
Harrison Ford, with movies under his belt that have grossed more than $6bn worldwide, modestly talks about the accompanying international fame, "There are places to go unnoticed and I'm fine with that. I've taken a canal boat through Britain and not been noticed." Asked if that was boring, he says, "Yes! That's what I like."
Asked if fame is easier to deal now he is older, he says, "I am so over it. It doesn't matter at all, I'm happy either way. It's not a big deal and if I'm asked, 'Are you Harrison Ford?' my usual answer is, 'I used to be.' It takes them a while to figure out what that means!"
Jack Whitehall, putting Harrison at ease, teasingly says, "I am a huge fan of your work and without being too girly-fan about it, I think the defining moment for all swash buckling young chaps like myself growing up, was your performance in Working Girl! You've got so many hits, not a dud yet!"
On whether his kids thought having Indiana Jones and Hans Solo as their dad was amazing, Harrison says "Frankly, my kids couldn't give a s**t. Actually, they've never really cared because they grew up in the sausage factory and it doesn't matter to them."
Talking about his seeming inexhaustible work ethic, the 71 year-old star jokingly says, "It comes from the fact that I have spent it all, I still have to go to work," and more seriously, adds, "I love working. I can't imagine what I would do all day long if I didn't work occasionally."
Dispelling some myths about his early career, Harrison says, "I started out as an actor and then became a carpenter because I didn't like the kind of work I was getting. It was part of a grand strategy - I had a couple of kids and needed to put food on the table and it gave me the option to pick and choose what (acting roles) was offered to me."
And, on whether it is true that he worked as a carpenter for some of the great Hollywood directors including George Lucas, he says, "If I'd worked for all the people that I'm credited with working for, I wouldn't be here tonight. I'd be wealthy enough to ignore acting!"
Asked if he would be tempted by a new Indiana Jones movie, "He says, "In a New York minute, yes. I don't think there is any barrier to Indiana Jones being an old fart. I'm old enough that we don't need Connery any more - I'm old enough to play my own father!"
Revealing that a future Indiana role might be a bit more sedate with fewer of his own stunts, he says, "I used to enjoy physical acting, it was fun. I was more fond of it then than I am now and people don't ask me to do it that much any more."
On his new film Ender's Game and in praise of its young star, British actor Asa Butterfield, he says, "I am very proud of the movie. It has some great actors in it and a highly trained, professional actor somehow has got in the body of a 16 year old. He's got an incredible work ethic and working with him is such a pleasure."
Benedict Cumberbatch joins Graham a tad late, having arrived after a high-speed motorbike journey across London from the set of his latest movie. Apologising profusely for his tardy arrival, he says, "Traffic was terrible. If I'd been driving the bike it might have happened a little faster!"
Heaping praise on Harrison, Benedict reveals how he embarrassed himself during their first meeting, "When I met you in LA at a party we talked and I made a complete idiot of myself. You were very nice but I said, 'I am a really, really big fan, I used to fantasise about you...' What I meant to say was I used to fantasise about being Hans Solo and Indy. You took it very well and said, 'It takes all sorts!'"
Harrison, reciprocating Benedict's praise, says, "I am a big fan of yours. I think the Sherlock Holmes thing is amazing."
Both Harrison and Benedict, uttering unintelligible noises reminiscent of Chewbacca, refuse to be drawn on speculation that they have been cast in the new Star Wars film. Harrison only says, "I've not quite made the choice."
Benedict talking about the seemingly endless number of movies he is making currently, and needing a little reminder of what they all are, says, "It's pretty much non-stop but I do have vague weekends. It's a wonderful wave and I am enjoying it."
Asked if he was nervous about playing Julian Asange in his latest movie, The Fifth Estate, Benedict says, "I guess he could mess with my life, but he's got bigger fish to fry. I emailed him, which was quite scary, and he emailed back to say 'don't do the film' on the day before we started filming. That was interesting. He was respectful, considered, articulate and polite about it and I emailed back equally, and hopefully, considerate and polite, saying why I thought it would be a good idea to tell his story."
On immersing himself in Asange's character, Benedict adds, "He is a revolutionary of journalism and what anyone wants to throw at him as a character assassination comes after the fact that he made us question what the status quo is, the rule of law and power structures that are corrupt or needed exposing. He served democracy a great turn I think. WikiLeaks opened a very good can of worms."
Talking about Sherlock, Benedict says, "I can't say an awful lot but he comes back, there's a reunion that doesn't go as planned, there's a wedding and there's a new bad guy."
James Blunt and his band perform his new single, Bonfire Heart live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.
Talking about his accident-prone stage appearances, he says, "I have learnt that you have to warn people you are going to do a stage dive. I once didn't give that warning and ran in, the crowd parted and I just smacked the ground in front of my friends. It's gone wrong several times. In Chicago I jumped off the stage, ran towards the audience and a large security guard who didn't recognise me tackled me to the ground. And, at Glastonbury the stage was too tall for me to climb back on to. There was one man on the stage and as I begged for him for help I realised he was the BBC cameraman, broadcasting to the nation!"
And finally, revealing himself to be a huge Sherlock fan and desperate to find out what happened at the end of the last series, Jack begs Benedict to tell him about the detective's death scene. Benedict, who won't be drawn on the plot, says, "Smoke and mirrors."
- Friday 11th October 2013
- BBC One
- 50 minutes
Cast & crew
|Graham Norton||Host / Presenter|
|Jon Magnusson||Series Producer|
|Graham Stuart||Executive Producer|
|Chris Webster||Production Designer|
|Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis)||Composer|