373273 07: Actor Harrison Ford attends the premiere of "What Lies Beneath" July 18, 2000 at the Mann's Village Theater in Westwood, CA. (Photo Chris Weeks/Online USA)
Movies - TV
Why Harrison Ford Took The Risk Of Playing A 'Villain' For What Lies Beneath
Coming after “Forrest Gump” and “Contact,” Robert Zemeckis’ “What Lies Beneath” might be the most underrated film of the director’s oeuvre. Starring Harrison Ford as Norman Spencer, “Beneath” is a Hitchcockian thriller about suspicion, atmosphere, and Norman Spencer might be the most villainous character Ford has ever played.
Ford has gone on record saying that he prefers to play characters that are humane and sympathetic, but the character Norman Spencer — who is a cheater and murderer — doesn’t seem to meet these standards. On the topic, Ford said, “There comes a point when you’ve exhausted your opportunities playing good guys […] I think I’m entitled to explore a bit.”
The actor went on to explain what specifically drew him to Norman, saying “I saw there was an opportunity to play a character different from what the audience’s expectation was. A chance to take their crude experience of me — of my iconography, if you will — and turn it on its ear at an appropriate juncture in the film to be useful to the process of telling the story.”