Chicago suburb rejects Harrison Ford statue over cost, actor’s bullying memories
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A Chicago suburb reportedly decided against a pitch this week to build a statue of actor Harrison Ford, who attended high school in the city.
Aldermen on the Park Ridge, Illinois, city council said they were concerned over the cost of a statue, that the pitch had come from outside of the city and whether Ford, who was reportedly bullied when he was a teenager, would appreciate the recognition, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Ford told GQ in 2017 that others kids used to regularly push him down a hill starting when he was in sixth grade.
“So, I was the new kid and I was kinda short and geeky, he said. “I would climb the hill and then they would push me down the hill. If they had enough time, they’d push me down again. “
Actor Harrison Ford arrives at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 21, 2013, in Beverly Hills, California.
(Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Surprisingly, he said it didn’t really bother him – at least to think about it now – adding that he doesn’t always have much “emotional attachment” anymore to events from his childhood. He stated that he was more focused on the bullying than the girls’ “sympathy” at the time. In light of these sentiments, Park Ridge Mayor Marty Maloney stated this week: “Based on some Park Ridge lore regarding Harrison Ford and his departure from Park Ridge, I would just like to make sure that he is comfortable with what we are doing if we take that step on this. “
The statue pitch came from Omri Amrany an artist who owns the Highwood, Illinois-based studio Rotblatt Amrany that has been behind other statues of celebrities like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson in Chicago and Napoleon Dynamite at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles.
Amrany said that if the pitch was approved by the town, he would reach to Ford. He suggested the statue could increase tourism in the area.
City Hall, Park Ridge, Illinois
“He has an enormous fan base and it’s easy to imagine people from nearby communities stopping by to have their picture taken with a sculpture,” he told the city council.
Ford has starred in the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises since the 1970s and has been in a multitude of other blockbusters from “The Fugitive” to “Air Force One.”
Julie Rotblatt-Amrany and Omri Amrany’s Michael Jordan statue are located outside the United Center, which is home to the Chicago Bulls basketball team, and the Chicago Blackhawks hockey teams.
(Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
Park Ridge Ald. Harmony Harrington stated that she was concerned about the pitch’s inextricability from the local community and that it has received no support from the community.
“I know we were approached from a very reputable fine art studio with perhaps greater vision than some of us have about what this could be for our town,” she said. “But I would love to see projects such as this come from the ground up. That means that the public and other stakeholders are truly invested in this. “
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