The Hilarious Story Behind This Incredibly Happy Photo of Harrison Ford Will Make Your Day
This is what happens when you party with The Rolling Stones.
Harrison Ford may be a movie legend and an action hero both on and off screen, but he's always seemed fairly serious. In fact, part of the appeal of both Ford and some of his most iconic characters is how seriously they take themselves, often only showing emotion via that infamous crooked grin.
So when music publicist Eric Alper recently shared an old photo of Ford uproariously laughing with his Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill and Monty Python's Eric Idle, fans just had to know the backstory.
— Betsy Hodges (@BetsyHodges) August 20, 2019
According to Hamill, their fellow Star Wars cast member, Carrie Fisher, had rented Idle's house while they were filming Empire Strikes Back in 1979. All three stars—Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia—were hanging out together at Idle's flat when he came back. "I vaguely remember mocking awards shows by presenting him with his own gold Monty Python record," Hamill wrote on Twitter. "What I REALLY can't remember is Harrison ever laughing this hard."
Carrie rented Eric's house while we were filming #ESB when he briefly returned from Europe to see a football match. I vaguely remember mocking awards shows by presenting him with his own gold Monty Python record. What I REALLY can't remember is Harrison ever laughing this hard.🤣 https://t.co/3thJrOlsHU
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 20, 2019
It turns out, there's a reason Hamill struggles a bit to remember the events of that night. Luckily, Fisher provided more details in a 1999 essay for Newsweek, and they're pretty wild. Idle had just come back from shooting The Life of Brian in Tunisia. He brought a "drink that he said they gave the extras so they'd work longer," and well, we'll let her tell the rest:
"As a rule I'm allergic to alcohol, and Harrison doesn't really drink either. But that night, there was a makeshift party. The Rolling Stones were there. They were recording two blocks away. We stayed up all night and drank … and never went to sleep. When we arrived at the set the next morning, we weren't hung over—we were, like the extras in Tunisia, more than willing to work. That morning we shot our arrival at Cloud City, where we meet Billy Dee Williams. And it's one of the very few times in the series both Harrison and I smile. To this day, Eric is proud as a papa of his impact on the trilogy."
Idle has previously shared his own warm recollections of that evening as well. In response to a query on Twitter about the photo in 2017, he recalled sharing the bottle of Boukha, a distilled Tunisian liquor made from figs, with the stars of Star Wars.
They we're down so I opened a bottle of Boukha a date liqueur I had brought back from Tunisia and they cheered right up.
— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) January 2, 2017
It's nice to know that even as much as times have changed—and even though Fisher may no longer be with us—we can still share in their happy memories together. And for more great stories about these life-long friends, check out This Screenwriter's Behind-the-Scenes Mark Hamill Story That Will Brighten Your Day.
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