Rudger Hauer - Blade Runner

Rutger Oelsen Hauer was born on January 23, 1944 in Breukelen, a town a few miles south of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The son of two actors, Arend and Teunke, who had a very open, modern mentality, and who also ran - and taught in - an acting school in Amsterdam (the city where he grew up), he was on stage for the very first time when he was only five years old, but his real acting career started in June 1955 in the role of Eurysakes in the Sophocles tragedy "Ajax".

His U.S. "adventure" started in 1981, when he played opposite Sylvester Stallone in "Nighthawks". It was this film that brought him to the attention of American audiences. Rutger now saw new possibilities of expressing himself in front of a camera, and so he hired the well-known dialogue coach, Dr. Robert Easton, and learnt to speak the American language without a hint of a European accent, thus becoming the only European actor (except British ones, of course) in a position to play American characters.

Back home for a short while in September 1981, he was presented with the "Gouden Kalf" (Golden Calf) award for Best Actor. A year later he starred in the critically acclaimed role of the tragically touching replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner". This film became a science fiction classic and the first version was added to the National Film Archives maintained by the U.S. Library of Congress. In 1982 he also turned in a stunning performance as Albert Speer in "Inside the Third Reich", once more showing his audiences his ability to reveal beauty and tragedy in all of the characters he portrays.

Rutger is one of the few internationally successful actors whose body of work is appreciated by fans of blockbuster action films as well as devotees of the art-house circuit throughout the world.In 1985, he acted in the Warner Bros. magical, medieval film "Ladyhawke" opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. That very same year he starred in "Flesh & Blood", that won two Dutch "Gouden Kalf" awards, as Best Film and Best Director. This remains to date the last film he has shot with Paul Verhoeven.

He then played two important roles: the dark-hearted John Ryder in "The Hitcher", and the bounty hunter Nick Randall in "Wanted - Dead or Alive". The latter was his first American movie featuring his name above the film title. By this time he had definitely moved to the U.S., he had bought a villa on the Californian coast (although he prefers to live on his boat) and a motorhome, which he frequently uses while working on location.In 1987 he impressed British households with what became a milestone in TV commercials - the Guinness adverts. He succeeded in turning a merely commercial operation into a strange, memorable piece of art, increasing the Company's sales by 22% in only three months!

In 1988 for his role as a compassionate Russian officer in the CBS miniseries "Escape From Sobibor," he received a "Golden Globe" award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. His performance as a homeless man in Ermanno Olmi's "The Legend of the Holy Drinker" won him the "Best Actor" Award at the 1988 Seattle International Film Festival. The film was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion at the 1988 Venice Film Festival and in 1990 was voted by Japanese audiences as "Best Movie of the Year".

At the end of the '80s Rutger was classified amongst the fifty most "bankable" actors in the world, in a list made by the important "Hollywood Reporter". His prolific career also includes the HBO production of "Wedlock" and "Blind Side" which were also released theatrically worldwide. Rutger has also produced several documentaries: "Prosit Ermanno!" (based on Ermanno Olmi's making of "The Legend of The Holy Drinker"), "Who Are They?" (a view of the life of a homeless man) and "Kill The Camera" (a look behind the making of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"). 

Other film credits include "Blind Fury," "Salute of the Jugger, "A Breed Apart," "Surviving the Game," "The Beans of Egypt, Maine", "Mariette In Ecstasy" and TNT's "Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight" opposite Diane Keaton.

The '90s saw Rutger looking for stranger, weirder subjects, always bearing in mind his refusal to be typecast in a defined role or character. More and more, he preferred to work with independent studios, where he could find more room to express his art without being shackled by the Hollywood rule of pouring big money in big productions which have to become big box-office hits, to the cost of art and freedom for new ideas and talent. In 1992 "People" magazine, after a readers' poll, included him amongst the fifty sexiest men alive. In 1994, turning fifty, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the HBO film "Fatherland". Holland celebrated his 50th birthday with a retrospective on his most significant films and a long thorough interview/documentary entitled "Acteur van Oranje".

Not long ago Rutger wrapped a co-starring role alongside Noah Taylor, Embeth Davidtz, Stuart Townsend and Ian Holm in the feature film, "Simon Magus". This film competed at last year's Berlin Film Festival and Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was also presented at the Sundance Film Festival this year, gathering praise from the international press. It also won the Sigtes International Film Festival award as Best Director. It was released in Great Britain in May and in the U.S. its release date is scheduled for the first months of 2001. Rutger portrays Count Albrecht, a gentle, poetry-reading Squire, opposite Taylor who plays "Simon". This film was produced by Robert Jones ("The Usual Suspects"). Soon after this he co-starred in the NBC miniseries "The Tenth Kingdom" re-teaming with Hallmark Entertainment and producer Robert Halmi Sr. The fantasy saga which is based on an original screenplay from Emmy Award winning Simon Moore ("Gulliver's Travels"), tells the story of the Land of Nine Kingdoms, where an evil queen plans to usurp the throne from its rightful heir. 

In April 1999 Rutger received the "Best Actor of the Century" award in the Netherlands, and was celebrated on Dutch television with a compilation of his films, aired non-stop for a whole day. On the same occasion, "Turkish Delight" and "Soldier of Orange" were voted as the first and second "Best Films of the Century", respectively. A special "Gouden Kalf" award ceremony took place at the Utrecht Film Festival from September 22 to October 1. At the same time, the press defined him "still the most attractive man on Earth". 

Now, with an already impressive number of works in his filmography (over 90!), many more films are being released. "Partners in Crime", which is a cop-story with a human heart. "Wilder", a thriller with a humorous slant, starring Pam Grier as a cop investigating a murder that leads to an evil conspiracy by a pharmaceutical company. Rutger plays a doctor who appears to be under suspicion but soon helps her to solve the crime. "Lying in Wait", where the lives of three friends are spun into a web of lust, deceit and murder. "Turbulence 3", based on a group of terrorists who hijack an airplane that is broadcasting a rock concert live on the Internet. And finally "Jungle Juice" a comedy shot in the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

It's difficult to sum up Rutger's talents and skills in few lines, but once he stated, "I am an Aquarius, which means you carry the water from one person to the next, that's a spiritual thing and that's exactly what I do. You know, there are many different levels to the spirit. Films always tell one story, but below that story there is another story and I'm really into that and I try and work on a few different levels. The hardest thing is to get the level you don't see, that it's not on the surface. I hate acting when I see it. I don't want to feel it, I don't want to see it, I want to be taken away with the story. I don't want the actor's ego in front of me. That's why I try to live when I do the work. The tongue-in-cheek stuff is sort of my favourite but it doesn't come along that much. I didn't do a lot of comedy, and I think I could handle the romantic side, it's underdeveloped still. And it's also drama that I'm interested in, it's the craft that I'm interested in. What draws me basically is the story and the people who do it. When you're an actor, you're like a string and the music gets played on you. I have a gift that allows me to make people understand what I am feeling even if they can't put it in words. I have a very strange power within me, I can feel it. The rest I guess is luck and talent, and it's all in the hands of what's-its-name, I call it fate. It's not just work. It's the urge to, let's say, fulfill a certain black hole in you and you just have to follow up on it if you want to get it done. I think the only form of happiness is fulfillment - it's what everybody wants but people translate it in different ways. And there is a cosmic tide that we do not know how to handle. And there is also a psychic understanding that we don't know how to handle. Those are very strong and very present elements in the way we work. Whatever you do, there's always an element of projected fate. You know, it's like you're doing it and you are following it at the same time. I'm not going to travel if I don't feel I'm being pulled...".