Oh, rats! Most people aren’t too fond of the furry four-legged critters, but thankfully, actor Harrison Ford doesn’t mind them one bit. That’s a darn good thing, too, because he had to work with a whole bunch of the rascally rodents for the 1989 Steven Spielberg movie “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.” Ford doesn’t have musophobia, or the fear of rodents, and he actually enjoyed spending time with his critter co-stars! In a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of “The Last Crusade,” Ford explained his love of the little guys and even played around with one on camera, showing just how docile and friendly the potential pest really was.
It’s a shame that rats have such a bad reputation because they’re actually incredible creatures with unique personalities and a surprising amount of intelligence. Movies and TV are finally starting to come around on the rodents, with good guy rats like the animated Remy in “Ratatouille” or the heroic horde that saves the day in “The Suicide Squad.” Maybe after seeing Ford’s endorsement, more people will realize that rats are just like us, except smaller, furrier, and a whole lot cuter.
Rats Aren’t So Scary, Seriously!
Ford has had to deal with all kinds of animals while playing archaeologist Indiana Jones, including snakes, spiders, and of course, rats. When asked how he felt about working with so many creepy crawly critters, he revealed that he was pretty in tune with Mother Nature and her children:
“Happily rats are another thing that don’t bother me very much. When I was a young teenager I was a nature councilor, and coincidentally I did have, as pets, black-footed rats. First two, and then pretty soon many, many, many more because they multiplied. So I was quite used to handling rats. Actually, I mean, they have personalities, rats do. Compared to snakes and insects.”
He then jokes about a freak accident where a man bites a rat and pretends to bite the little chonker he’s holding, showing his clear comfort with his co-star. Now, black-footed rats are a little different from the rats in “The Last Crusade,” as the former are Australian tree-dwellers, while the latter are the common brown rat, Rattus Norvegicus, the same species as most pet rats and the average New York subway dweller. Ford’s attitude with the rats is honestly really refreshing, because they get an unfair bad rap due to being blamed for carrying plague hundreds of years ago. (News flash: humans with fleas carried it just as readily as the rats, so they could blame us, too!)
Ford is really onto something, because rats rule! I may be biased because I’ve had numerous pet rats over my life and they’re hilarious little furry potatoes with a ton of personality, but we’ve been learning more about rats in recent years and they’re truly terrific creatures. In Africa, giant pouched rats are being used to find landmines from old wars that would be too dangerous for humans or dogs to try and detect, saving lots of lives by sniffing out the hidden dangers so they can be safely removed, and they’re being trained to sniff out diseases like tuberculosis faster than current medical technology.
Even the regular old brown rat has surprised us, as studies revealed that they are capable of empathy and enjoy driving tiny cars for stress relief. I’ve worked with a lot of different animals in my life, including years of dog grooming and working with small animals, reptiles, birds, and arachnids, but rats have always seemed the most like us. They’re scrappy little survivors with a social structure that’s surprisingly similar to our own, with family units and communities, and once you get to know one, it’s impossible not to love them!
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/Film – Harrison Ford Happily Hung Out With The Rats In Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
Author: Danielle Ryan
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March 12, 2023