CIRCA 1985: Harrison Ford poses for the Paramount Pictures movie "Witness" circa 1985. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Witness Was Harrison Ford's Chance To Finally Play A 'Real Person'
The 1985 Peter Weir film “Witness” was a big gamble but ended up paying off for leading man Harrison Ford, who earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of John Book, a police detective hiding out in an Amish community. The actor was incredibly thankful for the opportunity because he felt it was the first “real person” he had gotten to play in a long time.
Ford gave an incredibly nuanced performance as John Book, but producers and audiences alike wondered if Ford could carry such a serious, delicate film. “Witness,” however, turned out to be a financial and critical success that proved Ford could carry a dramatic film without relying on spaceships, lost tombs, or even neon-lit streets.
It gave him the chance to be cast in a number of other kinds of films, and he would go on to star in just about every genre under the sun. Today, the movie star has ventured into television and stars in shows like “1923” and “Shrinking,” which is ironic considering there was a time when there was doubt about his ability to play more grounded roles.