Beefs between actors have been common in Hollywood for decades. Just watch FX's anthology series Feud for proof, which depicts the years-long fight between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. One of the other big actor conflicts that's been prominent is the feud between Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford. With the release of his memoir Nevertheless, Baldwin has finally shed some light on why he dislikes the Star Wars and Indiana Jones star, and it has to do with the character they've both played, Jack Ryan.
As most of you probably know, Alec Baldwin played Jack Ryan in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, the movie based off the Tom Clancy novel of the same name that also starred Sean Connery and James Earl Jones. Jack Ryan returned to the big screen in 1992 for Patriot Games, but this time Harrison Ford was the one occupying that role. In his new book (via Business Insider), Baldwin claims that Ford was cast as Jack Ryan behind his back. According to Baldwin, this is what Ford said when director John McTiernan asked him if he knew Paramount was negotiations with Baldwin to come back:
Ford's reply, according to John, was 'Fuck him.'
Well, how's that for not mincing words? While Alec Baldwin's absence from Patriot Games was originally attributed to him having to perform in the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire, in 2011, Baldwin elaborated that the "studio had cut his throat" when an executive entered into negotiations with another actor to take over as Jack Ryan to help alleviate a debt Paramount owed this individual over a different scrapped production. While Baldwin didn't name who this other actor was at the time, given that Harrison Ford succeeded him and the claim he's making about Ford in his memoir, it's easy enough to put two and two together. Baldwin also wrote in his book that he later met Ford at a benefit, and described him thusly:
Ford, in person, is a little man, short, scrawny, and wiry, whose soft voice sounds as if it's coming from behind a door.
This behind-the-scenes conflict over Patriot Games happened over 25 years ago, but clearly Alec Baldwin is still peeved about how things went down if he was willing to discuss the subject in his memoir. We're only getting one side of the story here, but unless Harrison Ford decides provide his take in an interview or his own memoir, what we have to work with right now doesn't paint a good picture. While Ford went on to reprise Jack Ryan in Clear and Present Danger, he too was forced to drop out of the role after having script issues with The Sum of All Fears. That movie was subsequently turned into a reboot starring Ben Affleck, and in 2014, yet another reboot was released: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, starring Chris Pine.
While Jack Ryan's time in the movies is over for now, The Office's John Krasinski will take over as the protagonist in an Amazon TV series. And rest assured, if Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford ever bury the hatchet, we'll be sure to let you know.