Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones isn’t fazed by rats, insects or Nazis, but he is paralyzed with fear at the sight of snakes. A running gag throughout the franchise is that the macho hero hates the fanged creature. There’s even a famouse scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade that explains his phobia. Young Indy is forced to traverse thriugh a train car full of reptiles. He encounters an anaconda, but he evades the one snake only to be trapped in a box full of others. However, does Ford himself share a fear of snakes with his alter ego?
According to an article from We Got This Covered, Harrison Ford isn’t afraid of snakes. In fact, he actually likes them. Back in 2014, during a Reddit AMA, Ford let fans know about his summer camp days working with snakes – and how much he enjoyed it. The Chicago native worked as a counselor at Wisconsin’s Camp Napowan, where he oversaw the Reptile Study merit badge class. One of his jobs there was “digging a terrarium and lining the walls with wooden stakes and acquiring a collection of snakes and turtles and amphibians to go in it,” Ford told Parade. Because of this, the veteran actor is something of an expert on the creatures.
A friend from Harrison Ford’s teen years weighs in
Jonathan Howe was a former staff member at Napowan. He recalled Harrison Ford’s reptile-collecting skills from when they were both young. “Unlike the Indiana Jones portrayal, he was fine handling a snake,” Howe told The Boy Scouts of America in 2015. As one might guess, Harrison Ford attributes his love of snakes for allowing him to play the snake-cursed Indiana Jones. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the chracters famously faced off with a tomb full of them. He was required to work with over 6,000 snakes and legless lizards during filming – no easy feat even for an actor of Ford’s stature.
It seems Steve Edge, the film’s snake-wrangler, also remembers things similarly to Howe. “He was actually braver than Indiana Jones . . . Harrison wasn’t fazed by it whatsoever,” he told The New York Daily News in 2016. Along with Harrison Ford, director Steven Spielberg claims to like snakes.
In a behind-the-scenes featurette, the Indiana Jones’ director stated that he’s “fine with snakes.” However, the word “like” might be strong. “I think I was able to suggest snakes as Indy’s phobia because I’m fine with snakes,” he said. ” I was raised in Arizona. We had snakes, you know, in our house, the director quipped. “They would just come out of the desert and somehow get into the house, so snakes were something that I never had a problem with.”