Harrison Ford may be one of the most respected actors in Hollywood today, but there was a time when he was a virtual unknown in the film industry.
Late actor Alec Guinness proved that when he referred to Ford, then aged 35, as a “rangy” and “languid” actor who is “probably intelligent and amusing” in a written correspondence that dates way back in 1977.
— BBC Ents News Team (@BBCNewsEnts) March 14, 2016
Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Oscar Isaac read the letter in Letters Live, an event in London that celebrates the “power of literary correspondence.”
However, Isaac, 37, joked to the audience that he would not dare attempt an impression of Guinness while reading his letter to a friend, Anne Kauffman, during the filming of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
— Mashable (@mashable) March 14, 2016
In the letter, Guinness said that everyone on the set was treating him like he was 106, although he did point out that he could not say that he was enjoying the film.
“New rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper, and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable,” said Guinness, who was 62 when he filmed A New Hope.
It was apparent in the letter that Ford, 73, was then an unknown in Hollywood, whose name Guinness even failed to remember right away.
“I must go off to studio and work with a dwarf (very sweet, – and he has to wash in a bidet) and your fellow countrymen Mark Hamill and Tennyson (that can’t be right) Ford – Ellison,” said the Obi-Wan Kenobi actor of Harrison Ford.
— Mirror TV (@MirrorTV) March 14, 2016
Aside from Issac, Shakespeare actor Benedict Cumberbatch also made an appearance on Letters Live and read a letter from Mark Twain addressed to a poet, Walt Whitman, while his co-star Louise Brealey read letters written by two sweethearts who were separated during World War II.