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How Harrison Ford’s Broken Leg Saved The Force Awakens

It’s one of the first things they teach you in film school: don’t let your stars break their legs. Okay, maybe that’s not officially part of the curriculum, but it should be—and just about everyone would agree that the broken leg suffered by Harrison Ford during the Star Wars: The Force Awakens shoot was a major setback. Everyone, that is, except director J.J. Abrams. In a new article about Ford’s return to the franchise, Entertainment Weekly quoted the director as being somewhat grateful for the extra time this injury afforded him.

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“It was obviously a horrible experience that I wish had never happened for obvious reasons,” says Abrams. “But the truth is, once we knew that Harrison was going to be okay, we all realized this was this greatest gift to the movie, and I would think that any filmmaker would say, ‘If I could get a break after a month of shooting, for a few weeks, to recalibrate, I would take it.”

As for those who worry that Harrison Ford will spend the whole movie kicking back in chairs, recovering from his injury, Abrams says you have nothing to fear. “There are some places where he’s more active than he was prior to the accident,” the director explains. “As you’ll see in the movie, he is running and doing more physical activity in this movie than I think anyone who knows he was injured would expect. Nothing was adjusted or lessened because of that accident. Even for Harrison, who is famously resilient and strong, he blew everyone’s minds.”

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