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While it does cover a lot of ground, Hollywood is also, paradoxically, a small town, in that it isn’t terribly difficult to cross paths with a well-known actor. Oftentimes this occurs just with typical fan interactions, and then there are the more unusual scenarios, like that time Star Trek: Voyager actor Garrett Wang almost ran over Harrison Ford.
During the inaugural episode of The Delta Flyers, Garrett Wang’s podcast with Star Trek: Voyager co-star Robert Duncan McNeill, Wang reminisced about his audition process for the role of Harry Kim in the Star Trek series in the mid-1990s. On the day that Wang learned he’d been cast as the character, he drove to Paramount Studios to do a fitting, which led to this near-catastrophe with the man who brought Han Solo and Indiana Jones to life. In Wang’s words:
I’m cruising around, I'm actually speeding around the parking lot, and I come around this one bend, and this guy in a suit walks between two cars right in front of my car. So I slam on my breaks, and you know when you almost have an accident, your heart is beating a thousand miles a minute? And I lock eyes with this dude in the suit, and it's Harrison Ford! I look at him, and I go 'Oh my God! I almost killed Han Solo, Indiana Jones!’ I would have been hated by nerds everywhere! I would have been this pariah.
Yikes! I shudder to think what would have happened if Garrett Wang had taken Harrison Ford out of commission. Not only would one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors of the last four decades not have gone on to shoot movies like Air Force One, K-19: The Widowmaker and 42, not to mention make more Star Wars and Indiana Jones appearances, but what should have been one of the greatest days in Wang’s professional life would have immediately been ruined.
Fortunately, that’s not what happened, and Harrison Ford and Garrett Wang continued to go down their separate life paths. That said, it didn’t take long for Wang to get some extra context following the near-accident, with the actor saying:
I remember reading the Variety paper, our Hollywood sort of trade paper, the next day, and on the front page was a photo that says 'Harrison Ford at Paramount Studios for the Clear and Present Danger screening.' So he was there for that, wearing that same suit that I almost maimed him in, right? He could have been a cripple because of me.
Released to the public on August 3, 1994, Clear and Present Danger marked Harrison Ford’s second time playing Tom Clancy creation Jack Ryan, having previously done so in 1992’s Patriot Games. Like its predecessor, Clear and Present Danger was met with a solid amount of critical and commercial success, though in addition to this being Ford’s final outing as Ryan, it also the character’s final movie directed by Phillip Noyce, who kicked off the film series with the Alec Baldwin-led The Hunt for Red October.
As for Garrett Wang, he stayed on Star Trek: Voyager for the entirety of its run, with Ensign Harry Kim being one of the main characters. Wang has gone on to reprise the role in a few video games, as well as played Commander Garan in the fan-made miniseries Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.
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