LOS ANGELES — As Harrison Ford returns 35 years later to a signature role in “Blade Runner 2049,” there is one thing he will not do: act his age.
At 75, the weathered but indomitable actor resurrects Rick Deckard, his malevolent Blade Runner from Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic.
Cast opposite a new Blade Runner, Ryan Gosling’s Agent K, Ford easily handles a highly physical role with no concessions for age.
“I’m glad you think so!” Ford, sitting in a
banquet room at the JW Marriott Hotel, said with a laugh.
“Even 75-year-old guys, if they’re cornered, fight back” — another laugh. “And I’m fighting back, believe me. There are some standards being set here. Ryan had the more physical job. It just looks more physical when I do it!”
Returning to Deckard “did bring back memories of the first film,” a punishing shoot on Warner Bros.’ Burbank lot.
“It was raining, like, all the time. I was tired. But I was happy at the result and it was a remarkable experience working with Ridley. But it was a long time ago in a world far, far away,” and he laughed again.
Ford now has big budget reboots of three of his most iconic films: “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “Blade Runner.” What gives?
“The scientific term for that is luck,” he answered. “I’ve had a lot of dumb luck. I worked with great people and they made movies that I was part of.”
As for the pressure of maintaining a 50-year-but-who’s-counting career, “Well, I’m taking risks with other people’s money. I’m gambling with other people’s chips. So, I care but I don’t transmit it to myself as pressure.”
As one of cinema’s great action stars (“Well, I used to be,” he said quietly), Ford notes, “This is not an action movie. It has a much broader frame than a (normal) action movie might imply.”
And Deckard, like the actor, has changed.
“Obviously, I was able to use the investment in the first story as a point of departure, which gives me the opportunity to say you don’t have to see the first film to understand or appreciate the second. That’s the genius of its construction. It is a sequel but it can stand alone.
“But you can still go see the original and enjoy it. Or at least I hope you might enjoy it.”
(“Blade Runner 2049” opens Friday.)