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Rutger Hauer plays Roy Batty in Blade Runner

Roy Batty

True Designation:
Rutger Oelsen Hauer

Incept Date:
23 Jan 1944

Incept Location:
Breukelen, Netherlands

Height: 6' 2"

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Hauer's official site is well worth a visit if you're a fan. Plenty of info and regular diary updates by Rutger himself, giving an insight into his world. Other interesting bits and pieces, chats and a short story competition open to all. In 2002, the site has been completely revamped with a double intent - the first being the continuing insight into Rutger's world, the second to bring attention to the Rutger Hauer STARFISH Association. There is also great stuff on Blade Runner including convention photos and audio clips. Please visit.

Rutger Hauer will be attending the Collectormania2 Show in Milton Keynes in the UK on 20-22 September. There will be a showing of Blade Runner with Rutger doing a Q&A session afterwards as he did in New York. Check out Rutger's Site and the Show site. Rutger will also be visiting Stockholm for an SF Convention there 26-27 October.

If you think Rutger Hauer deserves to be given the Special Honorary Academy Award (Oscar), then please add your support to the request.

Asked on Rutger's site:
Q: Do you have a favourite film of all the films you have done? If so,which and why?
A: Blade Runner. Blade Runner needs no explanation. It just IZZ. All of the best. There is nothing like it. To be part of a real MASTERPIECE which changed the world's thinking. It's awesome.


Rutger Hauer plays Roy Batty, the leader of the renegade Nexus 6 Replicants. Batty is an extremely intelligent character, also fast and combat ready. His surface intent is to seek more life from his creator (Tyrell) while evading the Blade Runner (Deckard). And yet there is so much more below the surface. The humanity questions in Blade Runner are exemplified by Batty. There is a religious sub-text for those who want it, where Batty represents a Christ figure. Hauer manages to carry all these background themes while still presenting the crusading warrior.

Roy Batty plays a wicked game with Deckard in Blade RunnerRoy Batty is undoubtedly Hauer's best creation - so much more than just an action puppet, Hauer beautifully pulls together the action elements with the passion of someone living their last hours, mixed with deep emotions that can't be handled easily. At the end, Batty deals with disappointment, regret, hate, revenge, love (for Pris), bitterness, plays a "wicked game" with his enemy (Deckard), before finally showing the empathy the humans trying to kill him are supposed to have. To portray all this with believability to the point where much of the audience sympathises with this killer Replicant, says a great deal for Hauer's performance. Indeed, we even have to question our idea of who the real hero of the movie is.

Rutger Hauer made a significant difference to how the final Deckard chase scenes were to be done and contributed greatly to the impact of his famous last speech. Taking already excellent words from David Peoples, Hauer (with Scott's approval) cut the speech down, created the "tears in rain" line himself and of course, then delivered it beautifully.

Roy Batty has seen things"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams ... glitter in the dark near Tannhauser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost ... in time, like tears ... in rain. Time ... to die."

Rutger comments on how his role effectively became the starring one, "The replicants were all such great characters and Harrison Ford's character is such a dumb character - he gets a gun put to his head and then he fucks a dish-washer and falls in love with her. He doesn't make any sense. He's introduced as the detective hero, but he is not the hero, he is the bad guy. His world didn't seem to fit him, or he couldn't make it fit - I know that that was going on and I don't know why, but if he would have been stronger, I wouldn't have been so shiny, you know".

Rutger Hauer had an interesting start to life. The son of travelling actors, he ended up on stage and then TV while still a child. However, being rebellious, he ran away to sea at 15, working on a freighter for a year, travelling the world and discovering his aptitude for languages, (he speaks six!) He then came back to land as a construction worker while attending night school. Still being a rebel, he again didn't care for the schooling and his parents then sent him to drama school. He much preferred writing poetry in coffee houses in Amsterdam - I don't know if he drank coffee there ... Strangely, for a rebel, his next move was to the Dutch navy. Unsurprisingly, he found he couldn't get on with that and feigned insanity to get out - to an asylum! Then the problem of getting out of the asylum - eventually by convincing them to discharge the sane man. He returned to acting school and this time lasted the course.

Rutger Hauer in Soldier of OrangeNow 23 he was an actor, becoming well known in The Netherlands first on stage and from 1968 in film, eventually getting to play a number of leading roles. He worked with Paul Verhoeven on several projects including "Soldier of Orange" (1977) and "Spetters" (1980).

Rutger Hauer in NighthawksTime for the break to America, his debut there being with Sylvester Stallone in "Nighthawks". Although one of Stallone's best acting roles, he is easily outshone by Hauer, playing the smart terrorist, and not for the only time in his career, it is easy to end the film rooting for the "wrong" character, due to Hauer's sympathetic portrayal.

Rutger Hauer in Split secondHauer manage to sandwich in another film before creating Roy Batty in "Blade Runner" in 1982. This was followed by a TV show, "Inside the Third Reich" - showing his versatility. His 1983 movie was as John Tanner in "The Osterman Weekend" - the ordinary man being hunted. Always choosing the interesting characters, Hauer has always been kept busy. Do you remember him in 1985 movies "Ladyhawke" (with Michelle Pfeiffer) or Paul Verhoeven film "Flesh and Blood" (see Brion James in that one). How about as the chilling John Ryder in Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher"The Hitcher" (1986)? More SF in the 90s in "Wedlock" (1991) and there's the excellent "Split Second" (1992). Many strange and wonderful characters in films every year, (gaining numerous awards in the process). Then there are his TV characters - such as in "Buffy", "Lexx", "The Tenth Kingdom" and "Merlin". Ironically for the man who played a product of technology - a Replicant being hunted by a detective in "Blade Runner", he plays the old detective getting to grips with new technology in "New World Disorder" (1999).

Like many other great actors, not all the movies he has been in are great ones, indeed some are rather marginal. And not all his roles have been significant either, as his interest in the unusual characters led down a different path to the Hollywood typecasting major roles. However, there are many successes - some are commercially large films but he certainly makes time for more "art" films and nowadays has a definite preference for independent studios. However, even now, he sometimes accepts small roles that don't do him any favours, such as the co-pilot in "Turbulence 3". Hauer does a good job in this cameo, but the film itself is not good. One wonders why, when he can still play such great characters as Count Albrecht in "Simon Magus" he would appear in lesser films?

Rutger continues to act in a staggering variety of films and even puts his hand to direction of acclaimed short film, "The Room". He rubs shoulders with top Hollywood box office attractions George Clooney and Julia Roberts in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind", plays a president in "Scorcher", appears in a film starring fellow Replicant Sean Young ("In the Shadow of the Cobra") and even crops up as Dracula.

Despite appearing in several productions a year, Rutger is still finding time to give something back to the world. His website has been recreated in a new image, to focus attention on the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association - bringing to the world the plight of those suffering from AIDS in the Turks & Caicos Islands and raising funds for the Starfish Foundation he has helped create.

So, here's to a really great actor and humanitarian! Given the Dutch accolade of "Best Actor of the Century" in 1999, in our opinion Rutger Hauer should still be one of the "50 most bankable actors in the world". Roy Batty remains your best character, but we still look forward to you creating more wonderful characters that will live long in our memories and make us think.

Pint of Guinness anyone?

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