Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

MORNING GLORY

Never Fluffy
In one of his first comedic roles in years, Harrison Ford takes on a larger-than-life character: Mike Pomeroy, aka "the third worst person in the world” – the caustic and biting, if brilliant, old school anchorman who is forced to co-host his network's light-and-airy morning show entirely against his iron will.

Once upon a time when news mattered and anchormen were the ultimate in masculine trustworthiness, Mike was a virtual god of television, a true power player in the world of politics and international relations. Now that his ratings have slipped and the job that meant everything to him seems to have evaporated, he's been left a lot lonelier and pissed off at the world than he ever imagined. As far as Mike is concerned, things couldn't get much worse . . . until he meets producer Becky Fuller and she expertly manipulates him back onto the air to do exposés on toothbrushes and prostate exams.

"Basically, Mike finds the whole turn his life has taken humiliating,” explains the Oscar®-nominated Ford. "He does not consider this a fitting end to an illustrious career, hosting perhaps the lowest-rated morning show in the history of television. He finds it completely below his station, beneath his dignity. He takes covering the news very, very seriously and he's certainly not about to cook or give household tips or banter with his co-host.”

And yet, the more he battles against Becky Fuller, the more he begins to see that they are a lot more alike than he expected: two workaholics tempted to sacrifice everything for a job well done.

Says Ford, "Their relationship is very funny, but it's also quite emotional. There's a real connection that develops between them. I think Mike raises Becky's game by trying to impose his craft of journalism on the morning show, but she also pushes him to become more flexible, more accommodating, which, along the way, results in a lot of hilarious scenes.”

Roger Michell was also thrilled to have the chance to work with Ford in a sharply comedic vein. "This role was perfect for him. It was like a hand in a glove,” he observes. "I think he felt this was the part for him to make a departure.”

Morning Glory's deft mixture of humor and human observation was a magnet for Ford from his first read. "This was one of the funniest, smartest scripts I've encountered,” he says. "It had great dialogue, real relationships, a sophisticated sense of humor and I was just very attracted to the quality of it. I really enjoy doing comedy, but I usually don't find comedies ambitious enough. This, I thought, was especially well-written.”

He was also attracted to the almost Hepburn-and-Tracy style of biting repartee that fills the air whenever he is on screen with Diane Keaton as Colleen Peck "Diane brings something really special to this,” notes Ford, who had never even met Keaton before they were cast together. "She's the perfect person to give as good as she gets and we really enjoyed the opportunity we had to create a lot of sharp, pointed humor. The fun part is that it becomes the on-the-air contentiousness between them that makes ‘Daybreak' a success for the first time, because everyone tunes in to watch these two people who clearly can't stand each other on the air together everyday.”

Says Michell: "Their rapport is fascinating. Diane is prepared to do anything to get the ratings of their show up and Harrison is willing to do nothing. It's a lot of fun to see them antagonize each other so perfectly.”

Ford enjoyed his rapport with Rachel McAdams equally, especially watching her try to win his egregiously grumpy character over. "I honestly can say I don't think I've worked with anybody who brought more to a role on both a comedic and emotional level than Rachel,” he says. "She's the kind of actress who can make everything about a situation feel real.”

In one of his favorite scenes, Ford had the opportunity to sit around a 21 Club table with a truly rugged trio of news legends – including Morley Safer, Chris Matthews and Bob Schieffer – as Mike Pomeroy goes on a bender with his former hard-news colleagues. "They were telling me these unrepeatable stories about things that happened to them in their career,” says Ford. "It made for an incredibly fun day.”

Recalls Michell: "We had a very short window to shoot this scene because these three very eminent newscasters were only going to be in New York briefly. They all had to rush off to do other things so we were very lucky to get them. Harrison was actually quite nervous beforehand. He'd never met any of these guys before and yet, as Mike Pomeroy, he had to be the life of the party and he did that brilliantly. They were nervous, too, because they were acting with Harrison Ford, but once the ice was broken, they were sharing stories and laughing and it was all very natural.”

In the end, Ford, much like Becky Fuller, found a serious soft spot in his heart for the curmudgeonly anchor who only wants his life's work to have meant something.

"One of the things I felt I really understood about Mike is his ambition to do the best job possible,” sums up Ford. "Mike does make snobbish judgments – judgments that might be vain-glorious and completely self-serving – but, at the end of the day, he wants to do the right thing because, in spite of what he might say or how it might appear, he actually really cares deeply.”

Next Production Note Section

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2014 1,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google