Today, July 13, 2022, is Harrison Ford’s 80th birthday. The legendary American star has appeared in an impressive number of successful franchises over his 50-year career, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Blade Runner, to name a few.
But one of Ford’s franchises in the 1990s caused a deep rift between him and countryman Alec Baldwin. And, finally, a few barbed words were exchanged.
Baldwin starred in The Hunt For Red October in 1990 as Jack Ryan – one of Tom Clancy’s most iconic and revered characters of all time.
The actor did some stand-up work and was to be welcomed back into the film’s sequel, Patriot Games, which would hit theaters two years later in 1992.
But things have changed behind the scenes. Ford stepped in and took the role of Baldwin for a “debt” Paramount owed the Han Solo star.
Baldwin recalled the storyline in an article he wrote for Huff Post.
Baldwin revealed: “[Director] John [McTiernan] further told me that Paramount owes the actor [Ford] a large sum of money for a greenlit movie that flopped before that, and putting me aside would help ease that debt and put someone with a lot more box office strength than mine in the role.”
Baldwin admitted to sitting “slightly dumbfounded” after learning he had been dismissed by Paramount backstage from the person he described as “a little man”.
Ford was asked at the time by McTiernan if he knew he was taking the role of Baldwin.
According to Baldwin’s memoir, Ford’s response was, “F**k him.”
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However, it didn’t take long for Baldwin to start fighting back against Ford.
The actor’s 2017 memoir, Nonetheless, had an entire passage dedicated to describing Ford.
Baldwin scathingly wrote, “Ford in person is a short, short, lean, wiry man whose soft voice sounds as if coming from behind a door.”
Despite the stars bickering behind the scenes, Ford eventually claimed Baldwin’s role in Jack Ryan.
He played the character in the 1992 movie Patriot Games. But he didn’t stop there.
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Ford then played the same character again two years later.
In 1994, Ford faced Jack Ryan again in Clear And Present Danger.
Since then, Baldwin has not played Jack Ryan again in his career.
Instead, both stars were replaced on Amazon Prime Video’s reboot of The Hero’s Journey when John Krasinski played the character.
Ford has since returned as many of his classic Hollywood heroes.
He reprized his role as Han Solo in The Force Awakens in 2017, before killing off the character.
The star also returns as Indiana Jones in the 2023 film Indiana Jones 5.
With that in mind, Ford could still make a return as Jack Ryan in the future.
Patriot Games is available to stream on Netflix now.