Rutger Hauer is a Hobo, with a Shotgun

Hauer on 'Hobo', 'Blade Runner', and 'The Blood of Heroes'.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Rutger Hauer was one of the last big “gets” of my career. I’ve been doing this 12 years now and met almost all of my heroes, but Hauer hasn’t been on the mainstream studio system. It was the Sundance Film Festival’s festivities for Hobo with a Shotgun that got me up close and personal with Hauer. Here are the questions I got to finally ask him after all these years.


CraveOnline: When you saw the title Hobo with a Shotgun, did you think this is the part I was born to play?

Rutger Hauer: I didn’t know what it meant. It had no meaning other than Hobo with a Shotgun gives you sort of a good sense of what it may want to mean. But it doesn’t tell you about the legs and arms and the blood that comes from the ceiling in every shot. When you shoot a gun, it’s not normal that the blood comes right back at you. How I know is because I have a good eye for the reality. I understand the language of film and we’re trained for it every f***in’ time somebody gets shot, he’s bleeding right away. That doesn’t happen. You don’t even see a hole. People just fall down, unless you shoot them in the face.


CraveOnline: Did you get handy with a shotgun?

Rutger Hauer: How handy were you figuring? I had to act it, act like I was shooting, boom boom.


CraveOnline: Have you been to Blade Runner Q&As and met those fans?

Rutger Hauer: Yeah. You know, I f*** with them and I can really play with them and I’m not bullsh*tting but it’s so much fun to say it’s 25 years ago or 20 years ago or 10 years ago. I’ve been counting because I thought this thing’s going to die at some point and I think the last time was when it was 20 years old, I was in New York and it was a really bad print. It was almost looking at an old movie, the print was so bad and brown, the colors were fading. I thought ah, it’s time. Five years and nothing and then they came out with a new version. It was like oh my God.


CraveOnline: Is it just the neverending movie?

Rutger Hauer: Well, it is a movie that has a lifespan, let’s put it that way, and it owes its lifespan I think to pretty much an audience who’s been saying, “Come on, we didn’t see it all.” Then the funny part after 25 years, I’m sitting in Venice, Italy with Ridley opening the new version and he says, “Yeah, I got screwed over at the beginning. I didn’t release the edit that I wanted but now we have it. Now it’s on a new format and we can have it for a long time.” This is all about a movie that says the future’s old and we’re not going to last.


CraveOnline: What are your memories of The Blood of Heroes?

Rutger Hauer: Blood of Heroes was David Peoples had written a script and he was directing for the first time. We had to invest the game, that was one of the things. We had to invent the game, what the rules were, so we were working with 12 stunt guys for weeks. What’s this part, what’s that part for the character in the game? We did the choreography which would come later in the game. Australia, in the middle of Australia I was riding a motorcycle and following kangaroos around. I got lost once also while I was in costume. I got lost completely, went over the hill and followed this kangaroo because I thought I wonder how big he jumps when I’m chasing this guy. He jumped like 30 feet. I got lost and didn’t know where I was. I could have lost my life right there. I got lucky, I found the way back by coincidence. Silly sh*t like that. I was with Joan Chen who’s one of the most beautiful women in the world and she played this nasty bitch who bites people, who wants to be the princess and learn.


CraveOnline: Do you prefer the sword in Blind Fury or the shotgun?

Rutger Hauer: I prefer the sword and martial arts. Martial arts is like dance. It’s so beautiful and what I love about the martial arts mostly is that what it basically says is you take their energy and you redirect it. Then if you need to, use it on them. That whole thing about redirecting energy I love. I’ve had some great compliments. The blindness was hard for me to do and I thought I got it right and then the sword fight, I got really tough martial arts people meeting me by coincidence saying, “That was great!” For an actor, because you fake it mostly, you’re really proud of yourself. The swordfight in Ladyhawke, that’s what I’m proud of. That’s not easy to do and I like that sh*t. Riding the train [as the Hobo], I’m proud of that.