Hollywood veteran Harrison Ford has launched into a whip cracking fitness regime as he films the new Indiana Jones saga.
The actor, 79 next month, has been cycling up to 40 miles a day, taking plenty of walks and eating energy boosting supplement bars.
The punishing regime – after just six hours of sleep – helped him to manage an 11-hour night-time filming schedule in the North East.
Ford has been filming the fifth Indiana Jones movie at Bamburgh Castle, 50 miles north of Newcastle.
At around 5am he arrives back at the five-star Malmaison hotel in the Quays area of Newcastle – where co-stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Bond baddie Mads Mikkelsen were also thought to be staying.
But by 11am Ford has been up and out – seen strolling by the waterside before lunch at a local restaurant.
Then it was back to the seventhfloor penthouse suite to change into his black cycling gear before heading off for coastline rides with two aides.
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A source said: “It’s incredible. He seems to live a very strict routine. You can set your watch by the things he does at the same time every day. regimented
“It’s clockwork, very regimented. It’s wake up, lunch, a very long bike ride, then he’s at the film set from 6pm.
“He then arrives back at the hotel around 5am. That exercise and work regime would be punishment for a man half his age. It’s real dedication.”
Ford uses a carbon Colnago road racing bike, which retails at up to £12,000.
One 40-mile ride took him from Alnwick to Newcastle.
Another day he was seen riding 12 miles along the River Tyne before stopping for lunch at the Ship’s Cat seafood restaurant in North Shields, where he dined on sea bass.
He always rides with a security guard and personal assistant, with a security car following behind. It is thought some of his gear was picked up at the Sigma Sports cycle shop in Hampton Wick, West London – where Ford posed for a picture with owner Ian Whittingham.
While the actor is in tremendous shape, a younger stuntman has been seen on set.
One plot rumour is that archaeologist Jones will find the legendary Fountain of Youth.
If the character rolls back the years, Ford may have to be replaced by a younger, possibly CGI version, for some of the movie.
Locals in Grosmont, near Whitby, got to see Ford up close when he took a stroll to check his costume fit.
Our source said: “Harrison had the costume fitting on Sunday.
“He had to make sure he was comfortable in it so he went for a little walk around.
“It was quite bizarre. He just walked around the village for 15 minutes in costume saying hello to the locals. He stopped off and said hello to the landlord of the pub.
Laurance Jones, who runs the Station Tavern in Grosmont, takes up the story, saying: “Harrison Ford came to the pub and I had a chat with him. About six Mercedes limos had pulled up and he was saying how we must all feel a bit surprised and inconvenienced by the Hollywood film crew descending on our small village.
“I replied ‘No not at all – Tom Cruise filmed Mission Impossible here three weeks ago’. You could tell he was a bit crestfallen. It was funny. We’ve had this village used as a film set a few times, starting off with Heartbeat back in the 1990s.”
Ford’s dedicated regime also extends to making sure everything is perfect on set.
He has the last say on the script and is alert to risks – after suffering a crushed leg on the Star Wars set at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire in 2014.
An insider said: “Harrison’s big rule is he can change any line he wants to on the day of filming. He is the star of the show and it’s important that the script is right. Another big priority is making sure he doesn’t get hurt like he did in 2014, while also setting up scenes where he can do at least some of his own stunts.
It’s a balancing act, but this is the way Harrison likes it.”
Ford’s body double was seen filming on the North Yorks Moors Railway.
A section of track near Grosmont had been set up for a prison camp escape sequence.
Filming later moved to the Scottish Borders.
Ford left Newcastle yesterday aboard a £15million Sikorsky helicopter to head for London ready for filming at Pinewood.
His representative did not comment