N: We know that at the time Ridley
Scott wasn't as good at managing actors as he later learned he needed
to be, and that Ford was someone who wanted direction and participation.
But really, it's been 20 years now - Scott has effectively apologized
for the difficulties. Isn't it time that Harrison came forward to
admit to what so many, including Scott, have said? That Blade
Runner is one of his best films?
PS: A lot of the hardships people suffered while making
Blade Runner became highly personalized. There's still some
residual bitterness over that. Yes, even after 20 years! BR
was a very, very difficult shoot to get through; things were rough
on that set, man. Now, I can't speak for Ford, but I think it's
fairly obvious that, besides being a consummate pro, Harrison's
a very private person. A guy who just doesn't get off on routinely
revealing his innermost self to the media. To which I say, good
for him! But I do know that Ford looks back on BR as being
a highly unpleasant experience, for any number of reasons.
instance, I think Harrison felt that Deckard was an underdeveloped
character, and that Ridley was placing more emphasis on the sets
than he was on the people populating those sets. Ford also really
wanted to get in there with Ridley creatively, you know? He really
wanted to discuss this Deckard guy with Ridley, to see what they
could come up with together. But Ridley was usually off on a crane
or scaffolding somewhere, lining up a shot (laughs). And then there
was the Rutger factor; I mean, Rutger was like this human tornado,
you know? So perhaps Ford felt the emphasis shifting away from Deckard
and Rachael to Batty and the replicants, which I'm sure wouldn't
have made him happy. Plus Ford was well aware of all the arguments
going on between Scott and Tandem. Additionally, he hated the way
the voiceover was written, he disliked working with Sean Young,
and Harrison must have been disappointed by the way audiences initially
shunned Blade Runner. After all, that turning away meant,
to a certain extent, that they were shunning him. I'm sure
there were other things Ford couldn't stomach about BR either.
With all that, I'm not surprised that Harrison Ford's been so quiet
about BR all these years. Still, I do wish, like you and
many others, that he'd just sit down someday with someone he trusts
and talk freely about the picture. After all, Ford's perspective
is the biggest missing piece of the BR puzzle. Then again,
Harrison probably doesn't feel it's professional to air personal
grievances in the press. Or, to backtrack, perhaps Ford still hasn't
found a journalist he feels he can trust, one who'll record his
side of the story without embellishing or twisting the facts. Who
Personally, I think the saddest part of all is how Harrison seems
unaware of just how good he was in BR. His portrayal of Deckard
is certainly nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, like yourself, I
think it's one of his best performances. And we're not the only
When did you notice Harrison Ford and Sean Young not getting along?
Do you know why that was?
PS: I guess the politest response would be to say that Sean
and Harrison just didn't seem to click, personally or professionally.
Ford's an intelligent man with a deeply engrained work ethic, you
know - he does what he does with great focus and integrity. Sean,
on the other hand, was new to the business then. A little green.
What's interesting is how the real-life tensions between those two
actors carried over into characters they portrayed in the film.
In a positive way. I mean, I think the personal issues Sean and
Harry were dealing with behind the scenes added an interesting edge
to BR's Deckard/Rachael romance.
N: Despite the difficulties, one of
the reasons Blade Runner was made so well was the superb
talent enlisted in every area. Was this the philosophy from the
beginning or was some of it just lucky?
PS: Very little of what made BR great had anything
to do with luck. One of the reasons a Ridley Scott film is always
so impressive is because he hand-picks the best people to work on
them. Ridley's a producer as well as a director, you know. So he's
always aware of who's the current top dog, in terms of being the
best actor or technician. So, for Blade Runner, he went after
- and got - some of the finest filmmakers then available in Hollywood.
Harrison, of course, but also guys like Jordan Cronenweth, who shot
the film, and Vangelis, who scored it. Or Syd Mead, the concept
designer. Or Doug Trumbull, who did the special effects. They were
all individually chosen by Ridley. And Scott doesn't only hire the
best, he demands the best. He can be a hard taskmaster. But he's
harder on himself than anyone else. Again, though, if you can realize
where he's coming from, then you can also roll along with his demands.
My take on the issue is that all Ridley's trying to do, in every
film he makes, is to maximize his resources in order to create the
best picture possible.