Harrison Ford in Chattanooga to film '42'

Harrison Ford in Chattanooga to film '42'

June 1st, 2012 by Adam Poulisse in News

A giant "green screen" wall is seen around the outfield as filming gets under way at Engel Stadium for the movie, "42."

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Actor Harrison Ford

Actor Harrison Ford

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

He has many names -- Han Solo and Indiana Jones being the two most popular -- but on Thursday night, Harrison Ford walked into a local hotel as himself, carrying some of his own luggage and wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.

Ford walked into the hotel about 8 p.m. and quickly walked toward the lobby's elevators. He declined to comment along the way, not wanting to publicize his stay at the hotel, he said.

The Hollywood actor, who's graced screens in blockbusters ranging from "Indiana Jones" to "Star Wars," is in Chattanooga to film scenes for "42," the baseball movie about Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), the first black player to break the major league color barrier in 1947. Ford will play Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey in the film, currently shooting at Engel Stadium.

Minutes before he arrived, Long Beach, Calif., natives Beth Cassford and Pat Harris, sat in the hotel lobby, musing at the opportunity to meet him.

"I would tell him that I loved him in 'American Graffiti,'" Cassford said.

"I would tell him that he still looks just like Han Solo, even though he's probably about my age," said 72-year-old Harris.

A black SUV rounded the drop-off area just outside the lobby, and out emerged Harrison Ford, followed by Harris yelling, "There he is!"

Hotel employees are not allowed to give information regarding guests staying in the hotel.

For the past couple of months, aspiring movie stars have donned their 1940s apparel and crowded casting calls, hoping to be picked by talent scouts to fill seats in Engel Stadium as extras during filming.

Shooting of "42" has already taken place in Birmingham, and will take place in Chattanooga through most of next week before moving to Atlanta and Macon, Ga. It is scheduled to arrive in theaters next spring.