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

FX on Hulu Pirates casting 2017 Discovery Channel VICE archives anthology critics Podcast TCA Awards spy thriller Comedy Central Dark Horse Comics remakes french toronto facebook 2019 Lionsgate crime thriller DC streaming service Amazon Prime Video SXSW boxoffice war dramedy Pop TV Cannes Mystery GoT hispanic animated award winner ESPN zero dark thirty movie Christmas batman Star Wars Crackle films YouTube Premium Teen Brie Larson A24 book Infographic best jamie lee curtis satire ghosts vampires biography San Diego Comic-Con Character Guide crime drama comic books Freeform Warner Bros. Holiday USA comiccon Academy Awards Sundance Now stop motion scary movies police drama Horror Captain marvel zombies Apple TV Plus Classic Film Oscars reboot binge kids DirecTV DC Comics El Rey LGBTQ CBS composers Martial Arts Acorn TV deadpool LGBT worst free movies Lifetime 4/20 MCU blockbuster Marvel Television cults video on demand joker Ghostbusters Family Spectrum Originals Writers Guild of America 45 Pride Month cars Certified Fresh Television Critics Association nature science fiction anime australia game of thrones cancelled TV shows period drama TV Elton John dceu The CW screenings Endgame teaser politics GLAAD MTV ID talk show Tubi Tumblr christmas movies E! venice TruTV justice league YouTube nfl blaxploitation Pop all-time Extras Schedule Cosplay revenge nbcuniversal Food Network halloween historical drama TCA Winter 2020 Super Bowl doctor who renewed TV shows Premiere Dates Columbia Pictures fast and furious TCA Awards Tour fresh OWN documentary Comedy 21st Century Fox Women's History Month supernatural CMT adaptation Paramount Network quibi breaking bad Winners Rom-Com Esquire BBC One Film Festival Box Office Netflix Christmas movies pirates of the caribbean The Arrangement dragons Best and Worst President Music cancelled scorecard romance Film slashers discovery rom-coms chucky italian Starz ratings foreign TV Land Lifetime Christmas movies spain Pixar technology romantic comedy Marathons robots Video Games Apple TV+ streaming 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Interview Hallmark CBS All Access news Paramount social media Drama Comics on TV PlayStation Trivia Fox News miniseries ITV YouTube Red HBO space mutant Nominations The Witch ViacomCBS versus halloween tv boxing Hallmark Christmas movies Emmys TV One political drama sag awards Shudder theme song dc Reality golden globes Set visit video Anna Paquin Sci-Fi E3 Rocky sports Marvel Studios Lucasfilm Hulu Country spanish Arrowverse franchise Pet Sematary X-Men Amazon Prime aliens a nightmare on elm street Action Stephen King comedies BAFTA Amazon Studios Trophy Talk DGA Reality Competition CNN See It Skip It travel green book Chernobyl comics cancelled TV series twilight spider-man unscripted SundanceTV TCM mission: impossible BBC America HBO Go rt archives Star Trek indiana jones Spring TV harry potter crossover Disney streaming service obituary 2018 natural history Musical singing competition A&E Masterpiece finale disaster based on movie Nat Geo comic Election classics Tarantino New York Comic Con Tomatazos Heroines Calendar Musicals movies TBS 72 Emmy Awards golden globe awards diversity 20th Century Fox Black Mirror Trailer festival DC Universe National Geographic die hard TNT rotten movies we love children's TV AMC Disney Channel Animation werewolf First Look Grammys MSNBC Winter TV reviews latino television toy story transformers Britbox ABC Signature TV renewals Superheroes Photos Funimation IFC cinemax Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt emmy awards Nickelodeon Valentine's Day cooking 007 BET Awards Television Academy Crunchyroll BET Fox Searchlight Quiz Summer concert CW Seed Travel Channel laika zombie Opinion Showtime Alien Spike ABC Sundance TV TIFF TCA 2017 NYCC Superheroe The Walking Dead directors WarnerMedia criterion 71st Emmy Awards Peacock American Society of Cinematographers Sony Pictures VH1 Disney cats RT21 Disney+ Disney Plus NBC strong female leads 99% Logo Adult Swim sitcom Awards Turner cartoon Year in Review Polls and Games independent mockumentary HBO Max RT History APB History worst movies dogs The Academy 2015 Mary Poppins Returns dark Ellie Kemper Emmy Nominations psychological thriller indie universal monsters Creative Arts Emmys Universal rotten Fall TV adventure hollywood hist VOD Shondaland Turner Classic Movies documentaries WGN canceled Red Carpet cancelled television Countdown Rocketman PaleyFest canceled TV shows child's play Black History Month USA Network tv talk Bravo superhero FOX Avengers parents Sneak Peek Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Western Mary Tyler Moore 2016 football Watching Series Holidays sequel Paramount Plus Binge Guide south america Walt Disney Pictures screen actors guild YA First Reviews Epix PBS Biopics sequels Ovation spanish language FX Marvel Hear Us Out Syfy jurassic park elevated horror festivals TLC Cartoon Network GIFs black name the review stand-up comedy docudrama Song of Ice and Fire Sundance asian-american Baby Yoda 2020 Rock Comic Book Vudu medical drama what to watch Mudbound BBC Thanksgiving witnail Mary poppins FXX spinoff richard e. Grant Amazon cops The Walt Disney Company SDCC psycho series stoner ABC Family thriller james bond The Purge Apple Fantasy Disney Plus Kids & Family Toys Mindy Kaling 24 frames Netflix IFC Films japanese OneApp crime trailers serial killer game show true crime