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Harrison Ford Chokes Up in Critics Choice Awards Speech

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Harrison Ford didn’t even need a full three minutes to give one of the most memorable speeches of Sunday night’s Critics Choice Awards.

A visibly emotional Ford took the stage midway through the ceremony to accept the career achievement award, honoring his body of work, which includes some of biggest blockbusters in history, like playing Han Solo in “Star Wars” and archaeologist Indiana Jones.

Critics Choice Awards host Chelsea Handler had already called out Ford in her monologue for being one of her celebrity crushes, but it was “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” director James Mangold who presented Ford with the prize.

“The largest stars in the known universe are called variable hypergiants … Of course Harrison Ford is a star. However, I submit tonight that he is a variable hypergiant,” Mangold said. “A star so big he contains multitudes. A star so unique he attracts other stars. He has warmed each of our lives.”

Mangold then listed off more than a dozen of the actor’s biggest movies — from “American Graffiti” and “Apocalypse Now,” to “Witness” and “The Fugitive,” as well as “Working Girl” and “Blade Runner.”

“The fact that I spit out that incredible, enviable list of films and performances without even mentioning ‘Star Wars,’” the director quipped. “Harrison’s body of work is breathtaking. It is utterly timeless. It is authentic, deeply felt, masculine but vulnerable, often moving and frequently hilarious. His work has been wildly popular and critically revered, and it represents the voice of a singular artist.”

James Mangold presents Harrison Ford with the Career Achievement Award during the 29th annual Critics Choice Awards.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

After a reel of Ford’s greatest hits played for the crowd, the superstar actor looked a bit verklempt as he kissed his wife Calista Flockhart and began his walk to the stage, scooting through the room of A-listers applauding his work.

“First of all, I’m really happy to be here and just see what our business is turning into,” Ford said once he reached the microphone. “And all of the talented people who are getting opportunities that probably would not have existed in the early part of my career. I’m very happy about that.”

Looking back own career, Ford said, “I’m here because of a combination of luck and the work of wonderful directors, writers and filmmakers. I feel enormously lucky.”

The emotion of the moment seemed to sink in deeper as Ford thanked Flockhart, who “supports me when I need a lot of support… and I need a lot of support.” Then, he saluted his co-stars, many of whom were sitting in the room. “I’m grateful to all the fine actors … I’ve worked with and I’m deeply happy to have had the opportunities that I’ve had and I’m grateful,” as the camera cut to his “Indiana Jones” co-star Ke Huy Quan in the audience.

Growing seemingly bashful about all the attention, Ford quickly wrapped up his remarks, telling the audience, “I won’t take any more of your time.” But based on their whoops, cheers and applause, it certainly seemed as if they’d listen as long as he would’ve liked.

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart on the Critics Choice Awards red carpet.
Gilbert Flores for Variety

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