AppleTV+’s ‘Shrinking’ is a comedy-drama series created by Brett Goldstein, Bill Lawrence, and Jason Segel. It follows Jimmy Laird (Segel), a therapist grieving the death of his wife. However, Jimmy starts breaching the ethical barriers of his job to help his patients in a meaningful fashion. In the series, Jimmy’s colleague, Paul Rhoades (Harrison Ford), explains the negative effects of the former’s actions while dealing with his own issues. The first episode implies that Paul has Parkinson’s, affecting his relationships with everyone. If you are wondering whether Harrison Ford’s Paul has Parkinson’s in ‘Shrinking,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Who Is Paul Rhoades in Shrinking?
Paul Rhoades is introduced in the series premiere episode of ‘Shrinking,’ titled ‘Coin Flip.’ He is a cognitive behavioral therapist, and actor Harrison Ford essays the role. While the actor is a celebrated figure among pop-culture fans, he is arguably best known for portraying the charming smuggler Han Solo in George Lucas’ ‘Star Wars‘ franchise. Ford is also known for playing the titular archaeologist in the ‘Indiana Jones‘ franchise, a role he is set to reprise in the upcoming fifth installment ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.’
Despite being a famous film star, Ford has also moved to feature on television at this stage of his career. Ford plays the role of Jacob Dutton in ‘1923,’ a prequel to the acclaimed Western drama ‘Yellowstone.’ ‘Shrinking’ marks the actor’s first foray into scripted television comedy. Ford’s Dr. Paul Rhodes serves as a mentor figure to protagonist Jimmy Laird (Jason Segel). He is Jimmy’s colleague and helps the latter deal with the passing of his wife. When Jimmy starts actively meddling in his patients’ life, Paul becomes the voice of reason in the room.
Does Harrison Ford’s Paul Have Parkinson’s Disease?
In the first episode, Jimmy becomes fed up with his patients talking about the same issues but doing nothing to resolve them. Therefore, he starts openly expressing his opinions and feelings to them. However, when Jimmy tells Paul about the same, the senior therapist reminds Jimmy of the ethical boundaries of their job. Later, when Jimmy has a similar conversation with his colleague, Gaby, the latter briefly mentions Paul’s Parkinson’s disease. While it is not explicitly stated in the show’s initial episodes, it is evident that Paul has Parkinson’s. Moreover, the show’s promotional material confirms that the disease will be a big plot point in the first season.
In reality, actor Harrison Ford does not have Parkinson’s disease. The actor is reasonably fit and reportedly does not have any illness that is commonly seen among people at the age of 80. Ford is married to Calista Flockhart, and the couple lives on their ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. On the other hand, Ford’s Paul quietly deals with Parkinson’s in the show, adding a new layer to his character. Despite being an accomplished therapist, Paul grapples with a disease whose effects are outside his control. Therefore, it is likely that the interesting internal conflict faced by Paul enticed Ford into accepting the role. However, viewers will have to wait for further episodes to see the repercussions of Parkinson’s on Pauls’s life in ‘Shrinking.’