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Timing can make the difference in any sort of scenario you can come up with. In the case of Anne Heche going on her first public date with then girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres, her timing couldn’t have been worse in the eyes of those who disapproved of a same-sex relationship. Literally a day before their big coming out, Heche was cast in the ‘90s comedy Six Days, Seven Nights alongside aviation enthusiast and actor Harrison Ford, and it’s something that almost lost her that part altogether. That is, until Ford stood up for his co-star, being a real-life hero in the process.
During a guest hosting spot on Entertainment Tonight, Anne Heche shared the story that after her big revelation to the public, she was basically shunned by an industry framework that wasn’t as comparatively progressive as it is today. In her own words, here’s how Harrison Ford reassured her that she wouldn’t lose out on her role in Six Days, Seven Nights:
I would not have gotten that movie [Six Days, Seven Nights]. He called me the day after they said I wasn't going to get it, because I took Ellen to the [Volcano] premiere, and Harrison Ford, he was a hero. He said, 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn who you're sleeping with. We're going to make the best romantic comedy there is and I'll see you on the set.'
When Harrison Ford says something, it usually sticks unless the party on the other end is either sizably larger, or unafraid of losing their job. This was definitely true in 1998, with Ford’s role in Six Days, Seven Nights coming after not only a two-film run as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, but also a year after Air Force One became a major hit on his resume. So for him to push for the security of Anne Heche’s job is no small feat, as he could have found himself blacklisted in a similar, but less severe context.
The results couldn’t have spoken for themselves any better, as not only was Six Days, Seven Nights a hit at the box office, but Anne Heche was absolutely the right choice for the role. Even by merely watching the trailer to the Ivan Reitman directed film, you can see that Heche and Harrison Ford were an on-screen pair that was meant to work like gangbusters:
In her post Six Days, Seven Nights career, Anne Heche went on to do everything from star in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho to making guest spots on Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck, and even Adventure Time. More recently, Heche was eliminated from the competition on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, making headlines in the process. Her career seems to have been quite fruitful in spite of outdated thinking almost derailing things early on, and in its own small part, the actions of Harrison Ford helped boost Anne Heche to where she is today. Something, as you can see, she is consistently grateful for.
Should you want to enjoy the adventure-comedy Six Days, Seven Nights for yourself, the film is currently streaming over on HBOMax. Though, if you want to see Anne Heche in something new, you can find her in the 2020 film The Vanished, which is available for digital rental, and co-stars Thomas Jane. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the 2020 release schedule, as you’ll probably want to know what movies haven’t vanished from the theatrical picture altogether.