Did you see Gravity? Hopefully you sat nice and close (as our critic David Edelstein recommends: “…[sit] as close as you dare to the biggest screen possible, preferably in a seat like the one I had, which rocked back and forth as I recoiled from the impact of light, sound, and my own bedazzled [and bewitched and bewildered] senses”), though that would only make you more anxious through all that space peril. The one reassuring note through the opening spinning calamities was the voice from Mission Control coming through the astronauts intercoms. Why does this voice seem more reassuring than it should?, I wondered. Only later did I realize why: In case you missed it, it was the voice of Ed Harris. Apollo 13’s Ed Harris. He’s held our hand through space jams before!
It’s clear that Alfonso Cuarón isn’t trying to surprise audiences by using Harris: Hell, he’s clearly in the credits. Still, if you’re wrapped up in Gravity’s tense space adventure, you might not have recognized Harris immediately (or even, like me, the first time around at all!)
You can actually hear a bit of Harris’s voice as Mission Control in the clip below.
For comparison’s sake, here’s Harris in Apollo 13, about to save the day: