New New Star Wars covers Rolling Stone this month, and it features an interview with ole grumpy guts himself, Harrison Ford. Or, as he reveals he once wanted to be called—Kurt Affair.


Let that sink in. Apparently Ford was once advised to change his name as a young actor, so he suggested “Kurt Affair” as his nom de plume, and the studio executives decided that “Harrison Ford” wasn’t so bad after all. But we could have lived in a world where Han Solo and Indiana Jones and President James Marshall (greatest movie president of all time) were played by KURT AFFAIR. That would-be world is a magnificent place, with pillows made of cake and everybody has a talking unicorn friend, and Kurt Affair is the #1 celebrity in the world.

The interview was sent to us by reader Kendra (tip o’ the cap, Kendra!), who made a Ron Swanson connection, and she’s not wrong. Between the talk of carpentry and the Kurt Affair/Duke Silver secret identity connection, Ford sounds very Swansony. All this interview is missing is a discussion of meats, and then it would be the full Swanson. But there’s also an attitude Ford has about work that is vintage Ron Swanson. Ford is not a precious actor. He views acting as work, a job like any other, and he doesn’t distinguish between acting and, say, carpentry. He obviously loves both, and he approaches them both with a similar utilitarian attitude.

The younger generations of actors are all so f*cking precious about acting, when really, it is just a job. It’s not even the most important job on a movie set. Actors are like, fifth or sixth on the scale of importance. Ford seems to get this, saying, “My highest ambition is to be an assistant storyteller, to know what it is and my place in the story, to understand the mechanics of it, and to hit my mark.”

ASSISTANT STORYTELLER. These are the words of a man who really understands what an actor is doing on a movie set—serving someone else’s vision of someone else’s story. Do you think this is how Leonardo DiCaprio would describe his work? Do you think Leo would ever call himself anyone’s assistant anything? 

Give yourself time today to read Kurt Affair’s whole interview, it’s great. He’s less grumpy than in recent years, though still enjoyably irascible, and he talks about getting the role of Han Solo and what it’s meant to his career (chiefly, more work). It seems like New New Star Wars jump-started some enthusiasm in ole grumpy guts.