In a GQ interview, Harrison Ford admits to being somewhat confused by the costume choices for Indy at first. As the star told the outlet:
“It was presented to me as an aspect of character in the first film. My questions about it were many. ‘Why am I wearing a leather jacket in the jungle? Isn’t it hot here? Why am I carrying a whip? What am I going to do with a f*****g whip? I’m going to whip people?’ And the hat, well it’s an evocation of a time, a period, a reflection of movies past. I said ‘ok’ and that makes it my own.”
That “evocation of movies past” was perhaps the most important point considering the similarities between Indiana Jones and Harry Steele. It’s well-known that when he first conceived of the character of Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr., George Lucas was inspired by the adventure serials he grew up watching. But the real inspiration for the character’s look clearly came from movies like “Secret of the Incas.” And for whatever reason, Ford sounds like he was unfamiliar with such films at the time.
Still, he undoubtedly embraced the costume, even going so far as to pretend to staple his famous headwear to his head to prevent it from flying off in a behind-the-scenes clip from 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” And despite his initial confusion over the whip, it turns out it came in handy, saving the hero’s life multiple times and even being used to prevent his father from going under the tracks of a tank in “Last Crusade.” It also made for one of the best moments in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Shame that the film wasn’t very good otherwise, though.