American Graffiti marked the first of Harrison Ford’s many collaborations with George Lucas, and the very first substantial role in his movie career.
Even though all the actors were supposed to be playing teenagers, Ford, 30 at the time, was the oldest cast member in a group whose ages ranged from 12 to 27.
He initially turned down the role after they offered him 485 dollars a week for it, claiming he could make twice as much as a carpenter, his day job at the time. He eventually accepted when the original offer was raised by just 15 dollars.
Falfa famously wore a cowboy hat after Ford himself refused to cut his hair in a ‘60s crew cut, feeling the part was too small and it was not worth the trouble of having to grow it back out for potential future parts.
She strolled down the hallway to his room with determination. Since the shooting, she’s only allowed herself to cry once when she saw that NAVY sweatshirt well folded in his closet.
But she had to get it together quickly. Tears weren’t going to help him. She figured that she had to be the strong one when he couldn’t be and the best way to help him was to be his advocate, his gladiator… his right hand by doing what she’s the best at: reverse the narrative. Tell the American people what they want to hear. Give people hope. And when Mellie forbade her to see him, she thought it was for the best too. Though it wound her in places she couldn’t even say, she couldn’t do anything about it. She wasn’t his wife.
She went home at night and made lists. Stupid lists about his favorite song, his favorite bands, his favorite quotes and then somewhere in between, she realized that she couldn’t remember one thing…
She’d been hacking her brain trying to remember the last time she told him she loved him and nothing came to mind. She kept drawing a blank.
So tonight as she walked down those pasty white walls of the hospital, she was barely holding on because all the piled up feelings were threatening to crack her chest wide open.
Slamming the door behind her, she took a step towards his bed and looked down at him surrounded by all those needles and monitors.
The irony wasn’t lost on her. The most powerful man in the world… The president of the United States of America… Leader of the free world… All those titles, they meant nothing because lying in that hospital bed was a shell of a man hanging on by a thread.
He wasn’t invincible.
Hesitantly, she reached for his cold hands and her lips trembled.
What kind of monster would do this to him?
“I can’t remember the last time I said it, Fitz.” Tears streaming down her cheeks, she took a seat at the edge of the bed and placed their entwined hands on her lap. “I’m trying to remember but I can’t. I can’t.”
He laid there still and pale. The beeping monitor at his side the only indication that some part of him was still here with her.
“Don’t you ever suggest to me again that Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III is going to die. That is unacceptable coming from you. He calls you the love of his life so don’t you dare give up on him.” Cyrus’s words rang like a bell in her head and a bitter-sweet smile graced her lips.
“They all want you to stay.” She said. “They all want you to wake up and be fine but it’s not because they care. Not really.” Her index finger grazed a feathery touch against his cheek, her broken heart hoping that he could feel it.
“Cyrus wants you to wake up because through you, he can continue to be the president that he never was or ever will be.
Mellie, well without you she’s not relevant. Without you, there’s no meeting the Queen of England, there are no more state dinners, no more portraits of Eleanor Roosevelt or Elizabeth Truman. Her title as First Lady is no more. There’s no spotlight.
And the American people wants you to wake up because you’re their president, they elected you to do a job and it’s not yet finished.”
A dry chuckle, then; “I get it. It’s a lot of pressure. If the roles were reversed I probably wouldn’t wanna wake up either because I’m sure where you are right now must be paradise.” He was as still as ever. Peaceful. “It’s not easy being the president of the most powerful nation in the world, so I’m saying I get it, baby. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting. It’s okay if you let go and choose the light. I’d forgive you. I’ll understand. But I’m begging you Fitz, don’t make me have to be all alone again. Everyone wants you to wake up for beneficial reasons to them. But I want you to wake up because I wanna look into those beautiful blue eyes of yours and remember.”