Harrison Ford has solidified himself as an iconic actor, playing some of the best characters of iconic movie franchises. From Han Solo in Star Wars and Indy in Indiana Jones (a character he recently revisited for Indiana Jones 5 at the whopping age of 80), Ford has excelled in his decades-long career. But, in a new interview, the seasoned actor admitted that his success in acting came at the expense of being the best parent he could be.
Ford recently sat down with Esquire to “talk about what really matters is life,” and he got really candid about the toll his career took on his success as a dad. Ford has five children: Ben Ford, 56, Willard Ford, 54; Malcolm Ford, 35, with his ex-wife, Mary Marquardt; Georgia Ford, 32, with his second ex-wife, Melissa Mathison; and Liam Flockhart, 21, his wife, Calista Flockhart’s son whom he legally adopted.
“I want to ask you not about your children specifically but how becoming a parent changes a person,” Esquire writer Ryan D'Agostino posed to Ford, noting that in his long career on the big screen, he didn’t often play the role of dad. Ford’s answer was very personal and very candid.
“I can tell you this: If I’d been less successful, I’d probably be a better parent,” he admitted. “I accept my flaws and my failures—I don’t accept them, I own them,” Ford continued. “And certainly, the more constant gardener is the better parent, and I’ve been out of town, up my own ass, for most of my life.”
Ford’s struggle isn’t something he bares alone, though he might be on a larger (and way more affluent) scale due to the nature of his career. Parents everywhere try to find a balance in a similar struggle — achieving enough at work to provide a stable life for their kids, but still somehow managing to be a present parent who their kids can rely on.
It’s rare we hear Ford speak about his life as a dad, and even rarer for a person with such a big spotlight to admit to failing in some respects. His brutal honesty is good for parents to hear, not just as a cautionary tale but as a valid, wise perspective on a life full of hard-learned lessons.
You can read the full interview with Harrison Ford on Esquire.