Harrison Ford on story behind "Ender's Game" and making "Star Wars"

(CBS News) Actor Harrison Ford has played some of the most iconic film characters of our time in some of the most successful movie franchises in cinematic history; from Han Solo in "Star Wars", to the whip-cracking Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan in "Patriot Games." His films have grossed nearly $6 billion worldwide.

Ford was 31-years-old when he landed his big break in the 1973 classic "American Graffitti." It was his first collaboration with director George Lucas, who four years later cast him as Solo in the Star Wars trilogy.

At 71-years-old, Ford remains one of Hollywood's most popular actors. In 2010 he married actress Calista Flockhart. The couple adopted a son, Liam.

The actor's newest film, "Ender's Game" is a science fiction epic based on the 1985 novel of the same name. He plays a battle school commander who trains young geniuses to protect the earth against alien invaders. The movie also stars Viola Davis, Sir Ben Kinsley and Asa Butterfield as his young apprentice.

Ford told the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts that the book behind the film is what caught his eye.

"It's a story set in the future, written 28 years ago, that predicted the Internet - didn't predict Al Gore, but it did predict the Internet - it predicted drone warfare and so there's some wisdom here, in this book," he said.

He said in the movie, it is understood that very young people are the best people to fight these alien invaders.

Ford said he plays both "manipulator and mentor" to one young boy, Ender Wiggin, who he recruited to help fight. While his character is complex, Ford isn't one to cast any moral judgment on him.

"I don't judge a character whether he's good or bad, because that's not what somebody does in their life. I don't think. So, he's got good parts and bad parts."

The movie itself took about 10 years and cost over $100 million to make. Ford said that the reason it was years to get the film produced was that it took a long time to get the script to where they wanted it, but then no one wanted to make a movie that was so "complicated."

"It's a complicated movie and nobody wanted to make complicated movie," he said. "Except for the people that put up the money for this and it's really a big independent film."

For some, the highlight of "Ender's Game" is that it brings the actor back into an "outer space" role, yet Ford said he doesn't look at genres and he's not the "space guy."

"They keep saying I'm the space guy and I've only done like three - I've done 50 movies and three of them have something to do with space," he said.

However, the actor said that he was "glad" to have been part of those three space movies since The Star Wars Trilogy made him the super star is he's become. He told the co-hosts that when he began filming as Han Solo, he didn't immediately understand how the movie would develop.

"At a couple of weeks, I didn't know what was going on and neither did anyone else. There's a guy, a 7-foot guy, in a dog suit walking around and a princess," he said. "It's a fairytale - so you've got this wise old man walking around in his bathrobe, Alec Guinness, you got this callow youth, you got the beautiful princess and then you got this smart ass - that was my job."

For Harrison Ford's full interview, watch the video in the player above.

  • Shoshana Davis

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