Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Rutger Hauer

Plus, the star on this week's Hobo With A Shotgun and why Blade Runner is his favorite performance.

by | May 4, 2011 | Comments

In a busy career tracing back to the late 1960s, Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has carved out a unique niche as a performer, alternating between dramatic parts and iconic cult roles that have earned him the admiration of successive generations of audiences. His performance in 1977’s World War II drama Soldier of Orange made the world aware of both Hauer and director Paul Verhoeven, while several of his roles in the ’80s — like the menacing villain in action classic The Hitcher and replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner — continue to resonate with movie fans today. Filmmakers have drawn on Hauer’s singular presence in later years for supporting roles in the likes of Sin City and Batman Begins, and this week he’s back in all of his full, starring glory — headlining the splattery B-movie throwback, Hobo With a Shotgun.

Based on the popular fake trailer submitted for Tarantino and Rodriguez’s Grindhouse, Jason Eisener’s deliberately trashy feature debut stars Hauer as… a hobo… with a shotgun: a homeless vigilante out to make the streets of a corrupt town run red with the blood of evil.

We spoke with the actor recently, where he shared his thoughts on the film, and what it’s like looking back at Blade Runner today. Read on for the interview; but first, here are Rutger Hauer’s five favorite films.

 


GasLand (2010, 100% Tomatometer)

 

Let me start with the last one I saw that I was really taken by, which was Gasland by Josh Fox. It’s an investigation into the pollution of the drinking water all over the States. It’s a guy with a camera, somewhere in the middle of America: he got a letter from an oil company saying “We want to buy your land for a hundred grand, are you game?” and he started to investigate what they wanted; and just from one thing to the next he started finding out all these things about the pollution of the water. I just admire this guy and this documentary, and I’ve always been a major fan of good documentaries. It couldn’t have been done with a sh***ier camera, and I love that about the sh***y cameras.

Position Among the Stars (2011, N/A Tomatometer)

 

Then there’s another documentary that I saw last time at Sundance, which is called Position Among the Stars. This is a Dutch-Indonesian director who has made a portrait of one family over the course of 12 years in Indonesia. His name is Leonard Retel Helmrich. I talked to him for a few hours on the last day, before he won the award in Sundance, about what he was doing and how he was doing it, because the way in which he conducts his camera is completely different. He said, “I wanted to make a very simple portrait about a very poor family in Indonesia and see if I could find a link to the bigger picture, so to speak, and the alignment of the stars above their head.” And he succeeded. It’s an awesome documentary. It’s just a portrait of a small family, with a universal theme coming out of it at the end.

Hiroshima mon amour (1959, 95% Tomatometer)

 

I’ll go back to the one that hit me hard a long time ago, Hiroshima mon amour by Alain Resnais. I think the first cuts are so deep, you know, when your hard disc is still pretty empty, and these first films hit you so hard where you go, “Oh my god, I didn’t know this existed, it’s so beautiful.” Hiroshima mon amour was a film by a filmmaker where I didn’t know this language was even possible on film — I was looking at wax museum films and Westerns and war movies and horror movies and everything, but not this one; it really woke up my eyes for something else. It was so poetic and so cool, and just really enjoyable.

Wings of Desire (1987, 98% Tomatometer)

 

Wings of Desire, by Wim Wenders. The guy who wrote the screenplay, Peter Handke, is a playwright in Germany, and I was very much a part of reading the avant garde writers, be it plays or novels. I loved his writing, it was so strong and so sharp, and when the film came out, I just loved it. Everything about it was marvelous. Bruno Ganz was so brilliant. He’s brilliant most of the time. On our side of the ocean, let’s say, he was one of our stars, like Redford and Paul Newman and Brando were on that side. I had a few European actors where I went, “They’re so fantastic.”

Apocalypse Now (1979, 98% Tomatometer)

 

Okay, last one — Apocalypse Now. That movie was so stunning and so ahead of its time. I don’t know, it’s probably a story like Blade Runner, because there are so many things that happened on it. And I didn’t even see the longer version. I think there’s a version that’s like three or four hours long. It’s such a mixed feeling of painful darkness — it’s not surprising with Heart of Darkness, to quote that — and of course Brando, he was always my big love/hate hero in acting; his speech, “The horror, the horror,” it’s just killer, you know?

 

Next, Rutger Hauer talks about his new cult film, Hobo With A Shotgun, and why his performance in Blade Runner remains his personal favorite.

 

 

RT: What were your thoughts when [director] Jason Eisener came to you and said, “We want you for Hobo With a Shotgun“?

Rutger Hauer: Well, that’s the funny part. I read the script and thought it had crazy things — a script like this really reads badly, because it’s all in pretty much how you do it. But what I read was just “F*** this, f*** that, you f***in’ a**hole,” and that wouldn’t do it unless you have a delicious pleasure in saying “f***” — and I do. But I’m not sure if that’s good on film; I’m pretty sure that it’s not. The funny thing is that I ended up cutting a lot of them out, because I felt that it would make the hobo stronger — not because he was decent or something, but because he’s pretty straight.

We decided two things. One was — and these were the first things that we said to each other when we met for the first time — I said, “The story needs a heart” and Jason said, “Yeah, that’s why I want you.” And he was not being smart. I went, “How do you picture that?” and then he went into a little bit of a monologue saying “Well you played this in The Hitcher and you played this and that at this moment in this film.” He went on, and he pointed out exactly what I can do for the role, so I knew he was right, and I knew I liked him right away. The decision was made in seconds — and before we talked, I was ready to say, “Look, I’m very busy.” He convinced me in a second and I knew I had to do the movie. Looking back at it now, I am so damn happy for him. As far as I can see, the movie’s gonna give me a younger audience, which I always love, because that’s the very awake and undervalued audience. They’re smart, and I like that. You can only sell them so much bulls**t, because they’ve seen enough.

How does it feel getting a new audience after such a long career?

It feels… well, I’m not a different guy, but in terms of an audience that just runs with a wild horse, it’s delicious. I don’t know if there’s a word that can really describe it. It’s like they’re holding your backbone and saying, “We get it, just do it,” and that’s really great for an actor. It’s what you live for. Why else do it? I have fun in what I do, because I pick funny, funny subjects.

 

When you look back at something like Blade Runner, that’s a role of yours that gets discovered by new audiences all the time.

Well in Hollywood when that film was made, everybody was spitting on it. You know, it was the worst film made in Hollywood at the time: eight million dollars over budget with a very cocky director who didn’t understand his crew, blah blah blah, and everybody having a hell of a time, and not in a good way, making it. So that movie had a curse on it when it came out. And thank god for Ridley, you know; it’s completely changed. Times have completely changed. We’ve caught up with the movie, and now people completely get it.

Does that make you happy now?

Of course it does, but I knew what I did at the time — I was no stranger to what I did. But to have times and an audience turn like that, over such a long time — and it’s not short, like fashion or anything; this is like serious change in peoples’ thinking — that is pretty amazing, to see that happen. I don’t think it’s ever been done before. [laughs] I like these things, when things happen and there’s no soil to stand on — you discover a completely different ground for a movie. Nobody saw this coming. I really do believe that the audience has made this happen. There’s a ton of things on that movie that were circumstance and coincidence. History has dealt a certain amount of justice to Blade Runner, yes. [laughs]

Is there a role in your career that stands out as your favorite, or most memorable experience working on a film?

The deepest was Blade Runner, because it was the first time where I just danced with the director and, let’s say, the concept and the tone: I understood, on a very strong level, what he wanted, and by instinct I gave it to him. Half the time, what the hell did I know? I was just starting out to be an actor right there. This was after an experience on Nighthawks which was pretty tough and very bureaucratic and difficult. If your creative ideas are strangled, that doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t mean I have to be right — that’s not the point at all. It’s just there needs to be a click between the creator and you. That was Blade Runner for me. To dance along, so long and beautifully, and then for it to be reformatted so it could live another 20 years; this is something completely unique. So there’s only one way to answer that question.


Hobo With a Shotgun opens in select theaters this week.

Tag Cloud

Food Network MSNBC robots Song of Ice and Fire Ghostbusters Animation Disney+ Disney Plus slashers witnail Toys franchise scary movies Interview dramedy Best and Worst 21st Century Fox serial killer political drama Mary Poppins Returns Cannes Starz space anime TNT Stephen King Apple TV+ Sci-Fi period drama YouTube Premium spider-man CNN criterion CMT based on movie stoner cooking Drama stand-up comedy Captain marvel reviews dceu Film Festival psychological thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt a nightmare on elm street Tumblr Tarantino comic Comedy GIFs Video Games Horror nature police drama Hallmark Christmas movies sitcom PaleyFest New York Comic Con 45 Showtime AMC cartoon kids Crackle hist CBS teaser crime Rock Kids & Family FXX Marathons foreign BBC FX Pet Sematary spy thriller romantic comedy Spring TV television concert science fiction Winners Fall TV game of thrones documentary Shudder book revenge talk show NBC Sundance Now Photos miniseries CBS All Access Comic Book Music Marvel Universal Writers Guild of America DC Comics jamie lee curtis Marvel Television Star Trek parents Extras zombie Comics on TV Marvel Studios Pop First Reviews natural history adventure rotten movies we love Rocketman comedies Hallmark mutant Mystery Creative Arts Emmys 2017 adaptation Mindy Kaling Winter TV harry potter Classic Film canceled TV shows child's play Masterpiece Lifetime TCA Winter 2020 breaking bad Christmas Sony Pictures christmas movies HBO Max IFC RT21 Pop TV anthology Apple dark ITV supernatural Emmy Nominations Pirates Chilling Adventures of Sabrina VH1 politics Rocky Opinion The Witch SundanceTV Tomatazos Star Wars blockbuster Esquire LGBTQ biography Superheroe TruTV Tubi Podcast Shondaland war WarnerMedia Sneak Peek OneApp TV renewals TCM joker Holiday renewed TV shows SXSW casting Action screen actors guild Netflix Polls and Games richard e. Grant ABC Family Syfy Grammys cults Countdown Lucasfilm Lifetime Christmas movies hispanic Summer Brie Larson Turner Classic Movies WGN Disney Channel tv talk BBC America spinoff FOX psycho VICE Premiere Dates doctor who Superheroes A24 TIFF Endgame zero dark thirty Nickelodeon See It Skip It Musicals latino Calendar movies Chernobyl Emmys Mary Tyler Moore Television Academy 2018 game show TLC asian-american Cosplay Walt Disney Pictures PBS free movies Hear Us Out social media El Rey USA Network docudrama GLAAD Discovery Channel children's TV Mary poppins Watching Series FX on Hulu Women's History Month Box Office Pride Month The CW romance Dark Horse Comics sports discovery green book dc Funimation movie indie facebook binge Anna Paquin Academy Awards Fantasy Family DC streaming service YouTube Red Sundance series First Look Lionsgate Freeform Thanksgiving cinemax Black Mirror name the review thriller historical drama Teen werewolf Spectrum Originals APB disaster Awards Tour cancelled TV series Apple TV Plus Vudu Year in Review Trophy Talk south america Ovation MCU streaming American Society of Cinematographers E! Pixar Epix crossover Warner Bros. Turner Adult Swim justice league Avengers screenings independent Peacock The Arrangement halloween Spike batman Holidays Film comics TV Heroines cats Amazon crime thriller ESPN crime drama mockumentary Ellie Kemper Infographic Columbia Pictures critics A&E aliens Trivia Fox News cancelled television YouTube 2019 4/20 elevated horror Character Guide comiccon NYCC CW Seed Schedule quibi theme song Amazon Prime Video boxoffice Comedy Central Election spanish language vampires cancelled mission: impossible transformers Valentine's Day The Purge Logo true crime RT History versus Paramount Network Country TV Land Mudbound diversity cops X-Men festivals TCA 2017 Travel Channel Oscars Amazon Prime Certified Fresh all-time The Walking Dead Sundance TV Musical San Diego Comic-Con best Disney 2015 2020 singing competition golden globes Crunchyroll E3 medical drama LGBT ABC technology blaxploitation universal monsters Quiz Black History Month Nat Geo ratings USA President TBS Biopics Acorn TV Disney Plus dogs Binge Guide travel animated DGA Netflix Christmas movies OWN dragons 20th Century Fox sequel Cartoon Network unscripted Elton John Reality Competition Britbox die hard 71st Emmy Awards what to watch Paramount Nominations Set visit finale Western reboot canceled BET strong female leads DC Universe zombies Disney streaming service award winner HBO Rom-Com DirecTV Hulu MTV cancelled TV shows Trailer Super Bowl chucky Bravo Amazon Studios toy story IFC Films composers National Geographic Baby Yoda Arrowverse 007 TCA SDCC GoT 2016 History cars directors Martial Arts ghosts sag awards Reality Awards Red Carpet YA 24 frames video spain