First Classics: When Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott were talking about Blade Runner in 1982

38 years ago, the actor and director were already bickering over the Replicant issue.

While Blade Runner arrives on Netflix, we dive back into the archives of First, in 1982, when the magazine devoted a file to the future cult film.

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In September 1982, the film did not cover the issue (it was Nastassja Kinski which is on the front page), because the editorial staff moderately liked the science fiction feature film, which will become cult over time. This did not prevent the team from devoting a substantial subject to the project, consisting of filming photos and interviews with the director Ridley scott and its star Harrison Ford. Best-of.

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On page 7, Jean-Pierre Lavoignat delivers a mixed review, which highlights the visual beauty of the project Ridley scott, but regrets that style takes precedence over substance. Extracts: “As always, Scott takes care of the sets, the atmospheres, the costumes, the lights, wanting to create a new plastic universe with each film. (the work of the designer Syd Mead and the special effects creator Douglas Trumbull is then greeted). Rarely has the city of the future been so well thought out and realized and presented such a dense vision. (…) Ridley scott cared so much for the decor and the atmospheres that he somewhat forgot the history and the characters to whom, however, Harrison Ford and three ‘discoveries’: Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Sean Young strive to give life … The setting is superb but … a little empty, perhaps? “

A little further, Henri Béhar precisely addresses this question of content and form with the filmmaker, who, at 38, signs his third feature film after The Duelists and Alien. “We have always praised your visual sense, while stressing that it was sometimes exercised at the expense of your characters and your acting direction”, tries the journalist in charge of international meetings. “I was never told in front!, retort Ridley scott tackle before explaining that in Alien, that made “part of the game” : “this is a variation on the Ten Little Negroes principleAgatha Christie. Simple plot, characters who disappear one after the other. There was no room in Alien for a subtle psychological analysis of the characters. ” Regarding Blade Runner, he admits having started by working on the visual of the film: “It’s a process that seems logical to me”, he answers before detailing that the drawing is at the origin of his projects (H. R. Giger and Moebius for Alien, Syd Mead for Blade Runner). The first creations of the film are vehicles: “We wanted to create a dense conurbation with multiple nationalities, we were going to shoot in the studio, I wanted a certain excess in vehicles and traffic, a bumper against bumper side in constant and monster traffic jams.” The incessant rain is also a crucial element in creating the atmosphere sought by Scott, who “derived directly from Bogart films” he says, even if this idea is transposed into a futuristic world. It also helps to tone down the side “studio shot” : “On a practical level, the rain, the fog, the vapors which escape from the macadam like a New York, all this gives it a certain authenticity.”

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Harrison Ford, he says little about Blade Runner. He quickly explains that Rick Deckard is a character “completely different” of the ones he’s played before, and he’s delighted that the audience is all about Deckard and not the actor. He also evokes in half-words a conflict which has since been widely discussed over the course of the film’s multiple reissues (final cut, director’s cut, etc.): from the start, Scott imagined his character as a Replicant, while Ford played like a human. “Ridley is demanding, but not more than me. He has a vision, which he defends, I have one too, and I defend it. This leads to discussions, then to an agreement on the conception of the character and his place in the whole movie. ”

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The actor then returns to his early career, his few figurations, then his famous conversion into a carpenter-carpenter before trying again in Hollywood. He is proud of his eclectic filmography, Star Wars at Heroes going through War and passion : “If by strange you mean it doesn’t have a rigid, rigid guideline, that’s exactly what I was looking for.” He confirms having obtained the role of Indiana Jones following the refusal of Tom selleck, which was spinning Magnum (“I got this role by forfeit.”), and when Francis Ford Coppola offered him Apocalypse Now, he asked “the smallest role”, since he was filming Star Wars at the same time. About the saga of George Lucas, precisely: at the time, Han Solo was frozen at the end of Empire strikes back, but we didn’t yet know how he would come back in the next episode, then titled “Revenge of the Jedi”. “I’m thawing. So I can talk. Don’t you think they pay me such royal sums to stay still with a single expression on their face?”

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