The dark secret’s out
Blade Runner 2049 takes up the story 30 years after the original
ONE of the most highly anticipated films of the year, Blade Runner 2049, returns to Ridley Scott’s gritty, dystopian version of Los Angeles. Set three decades after the events of the 1982 film, this long-awaited sequel follows young blade runner Officer K’s (Ryan Gosling) discovery of a long-buried secret.
His quest for answers forces him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for 30 years. In this Q&A, Ryan Gosling talks about Blade Runner’s legacy, his new character and working with Harrison Ford.
Q: Do you remember what your first impressions were of the first Blade Runner?
A: I was about 14 years old, which I think was 12 years after the original had come out. So I think my first impression was just the realisation of how influential it had been on so much of what I had grown up watching and listening to.
Q: Why do you think the film still has cult status today?
A: The film is haunting. It’s hard to shake. It asks you to question your idea of what it means to be human. It makes you question your ability to recognise the hero from the villain. It’s a nightmarish vision of the future that’s somehow grounded and real and feels possible, and yet it’s presented in this sort of romantic dreamlike way; so that sticks with you. Time has kind of proven its specialness.
Q: What attracted you to this project? Why did you want to be part of the new Blade Runner?
A: When I heard that Ridley was considering continuing the narrative (as executive producer), I was already invested, I already wanted to know what happened next. And then, given the ability to enter that world and to help tell that story, it just felt like a real, special opportunity.
Q: How did you prepare yourself for the role? Tell us who K is when we first meet him in the film.
A: The film picks up 30 years from where the first one left off. The world has become a much more harsh and isolated place. As a result of that, the Blade Runner profession has become more complicated. I play a character named K, who when we first meet him is deep in the throes of those complications and
Q: Can you tell us more about this world that the film is set in?
A: Things have gotten a lot worse. The environment has become toxic, the world in general is just more inhospitable. People are... barely living; they’re just surviving. Humanity is really almost at its end.
Q: How would you set up the start of this film?
A: In the beginning of the film it’s a day like any other day; K is sent to retire a rogue replicant. He unintentionally uncovers a mystery that ultimately makes him and the audience question everything that they thought that they knew.
Q: Where has Deckard (Harrison Ford’s character) been since the last film and what about the relationship he forms with K?
A: Deckard is a significant person of interest in my character’s case. K sets out to find him in order to get answers to questions that have become very personal to him.
Q: What was working with Harrison like and did you learn anything from him?
A: Harrison is a great filmmaker. There’s a reason why the majority of his films have become iconic, and why so many of them are being revisited after all this time. He’s the constant in all of those equations. There are many ways to play any given scene, but when you work with Harrison you realise there’s only one great way, and he’s already figured it out before anyone else.
◗ Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford star in the movie Blade Runner 2049. SLOW BURNER: The original Blade Runner, released in 1982, underperformed in American theatres but has since become a cult film.