Anne Heche Calls Harrison Ford a 'Hero' for Supporting Her After Going Public with Ellen DeGeneres
The actress, 51, brought her relationship with the comedian, 62, into the spotlight when she brought DeGeneres as her plus-one to the film premiere of Volcano in 1997. Heche — who just came off ABC's Dancing with the Stars — recently reflected on the fallout from her decision to not hide her relationship with the talk show host from the cameras, going against those in her circle at the time who urged her against coming out.
Now, Heche tells Entertainment Tonight, that Ford, 78, whom she starred opposite in the 1998 action rom-com Six Days Seven Nights, was one of the select Hollywood colleagues to stand by her during that time.
"I would not have gotten that movie," she said. "He called me the day after they said I wasn't gonna get it, because I took Ellen to the [Volcano] premiere, and Harrison Ford, he was a hero."
"He said, 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn who you're sleeping with. We're gonna make the best romantic comedy there is, and I'll see ya on the set,'" Heche recalled. "He's one of my heroes. He fought a battle for me, and I would be on any desert island with him any day."
"He's an extraordinary human being," she added.
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Heche opened up about the public perception of her relationship with DeGeneres during an episode of DWTS. The former couple began dating in 1997 and split in 2000.
"My movie premiere for Volcano, I had told them that I was taking Ellen as my date and I was told if I took Ellen I would lose my Fox contract," she claimed on the dancing series. "At that moment, she took my hand and said, 'Do what they say,' and I said, 'No thanks.' I took Ellen to the premiere and I was ushered out before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear that they would get pictures of me with a woman."
"She was warning me, 'This is going to happen,'" Heche continued. "... I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years and the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multi-million dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years."
(Fox did not respond to PEOPLE's previous request for comment.)
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In August, Heche further discussed the details of her relationship with DeGeneres, telling Mr. Warburton magazine that she was "part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her."
Heche added that she is "proud to have been part of a revolution that helped move equality forward."
"But there is still work to do," she said. "I’ve paved this way for myself, and my honesty had every single thing to do with it. I think every interaction we have should begin with whether or not we can look at and talk to other human beings with 100 percent respect. My answer will always be ‘yes.’ We have to agree that it’s a possibility and that we all deserve it."