Morning Glory: Harrison Ford’s New Comedy

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Harrison Ford stars as a morning show news anchor in “Morning Glory,”  directed by Roger Michell. The romantic comedy, which also stars Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton, is being released by Paramount on November 10.

In one of his first comedic roles in years, Ford takes on a larger-than-life character:  Mike Pomeroy, aka “the third worst person in the world” – the caustic and biting, if brilliant, old school anchorman who is forced to co-host his network’s light-and-airy morning show entirely against his iron will.

“Basically, Mike finds the whole turn his life has taken humiliating,” explains the Oscar-nominated Ford.  “He does not consider this a fitting end to an illustrious career, hosting perhaps the lowest-rated morning show in the history of television.  He finds it completely below his station, beneath his dignity.  He takes covering the news very, very seriously and he’s certainly not about to cook or give household tips or banter with his co-host.”

A thrilled director

Roger Michell was also thrilled to have the chance to work with Ford in a sharply comedic vein.  “This role was perfect for him.  It was like a hand in a glove,” he observes.  “I think he felt this was the part for him to make a departure.”

Spiking Ford’s interest

Morning Glory’s mixture of humor and human observation was a magnet for Ford from his first read.  “This was one of the funniest, smartest scripts I’ve encountered,” he says.  “It had great dialogue, real relationships, a sophisticated sense of humor and I was just very attracted to the quality of it.  I really enjoy doing comedy, but I usually don’t find comedies ambitious enough.  This, I thought, was especially well-written.”

Working with Diane Keaton

He was also attracted to the almost Hepburn-and-Tracy style of biting repartee that fills the air whenever he is on screen with Diane Keaton as Colleen Peck  “Diane brings something really special to this,” notes Ford, who had never even met Keaton before they were cast together.  “She’s the perfect person to give as good as she gets and we really enjoyed the opportunity we had to create a lot of sharp, pointed humor.  The fun part is that it becomes the on-the-air contentiousness between them that makes ‘Daybreak’ a success for the first time, because everyone tunes in to watch these two people who clearly can’t stand each other on the air together everyday.”

Says Michell:  “Their rapport is fascinating.  Diane is prepared to do anything to get the ratings of their show up and Harrison is willing to do nothing.  It’s a lot of fun to see them antagonize each other so perfectly.”

Rapport with Rachel McAdams

Ford enjoyed his rapport with Rachel McAdams equally, especially watching her try to win his egregiously grumpy character over.  “I honestly can say I don’t think I’ve worked with anybody who brought more to a role on both a comedic and emotional level than Rachel,” he says.  “She’s the kind of actress who can make everything about a situation feel real.”

Thoughts on his character

In the end, Ford, much like Becky Fuller, found a serious soft spot in his heart for the curmudgeonly anchor who only wants his life’s work to have meant something.

“One of the things I felt I really understood about Mike is his ambition to do the best job possible,” sums up Ford. “Mike does make snobbish judgments – judgments that might be vain-glorious and completely self-serving – but, at the end of the day, he wants to do the right thing because, in spite of what he might say or how it might appear, he actually really cares deeply.”