SLIFF 2016 Interview: Rutger Hauer – Co-star of DRAWING HOME
DRAWING HOME screens Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6:30pm at The Tivoli Theater as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. Ticket information can be found HERE. Lead actors Juan Riedinger and Julie Lynn Mortenson will be in attendance as well as producers Allan Neuwirth and Margarethe Baillou.
In 1920s Boston, East Coast debutante Catharine Robb (newcomer Julie Lynn Mortensen) is dating the most eligible bachelor in the world, John D. Rockefeller III. Her future seems set: a dream life in the upper echelons of society. But Catherine finds her careful plans upended when she meets a young painter, Peter Whyte (Juan Riedinger), from one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Although their worlds are polar opposites, a mutual love of art draws them together. They soon face a universal question: Can you find “home” in another person? Inspired by the true story of the central couple, “Drawing Home” features a cast that includes Kate Mulgrew (“Orange Is the New Black”), Emmy winner Peter Strauss (“Rich Man, Poor Man”), Kristin Griffith, and Wallace Shawn. The film was shot on location in Canada’s gorgeous Banff and Yoho National Parks.
Also co-starring in DRAWING HOME is veteran actor Rutger Hauer, who has an international reputation for playing everything from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. Hauer began his career in Dutch films, often collaborating with director Paul Verhoeven on films such as SPETTERS, THE SOLDIER OF ORANGE, and TURKISH DELIGHT. Hauer came to Hollywood in the early ’80s and has co-starred in many popular films including NIGHTHAWKS, BLADE RUNNER, THE HITCHER, LADYHAWKE, and HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. In DRAWING HOME, Hauer plays wildlife artist Carl Rungius.
Rutger Hauer took the time to talk to We Are Movie Geeks about his career and his new film DRAWING HOME.
Interview conducted by Tom Stockman November 8th, 2016.
Tom Stockman: Have you seen the final cut of DRAWING HOME?
Rutger Hauer: Yes I have. I know it took them a while to finally get it edited, but I did see it and I was very impressed with it.
TS: What attracted you to the role of wildlife artist Carl Rungius?
RH: The producer had called me and asked me if I wanted to work on this film. I Skyped the director Markus Rupprecht and read the script and I thought this character was very strong. I liked the script and I thought I could do something with it He was a first-time director and he was wonderful to work with. Everybody was. It was an easy decision to make.
TS: Did you enjoy filming up there in the Canadian Rockies?
RH: Yes, it’s beautiful there. You can’t describe the Canadian Rockies in just a few words.
TS: Was it cold?
RH: Very cold. Crispy.
TS: Had you filmed in that part of the world before?
RH: I’ve been there. I’ve mostly been up there to ski though. I participated once in a VIP skiing race right there in Banff, but I’ve never filmed a movie in that part of the world.
TS: Did you do a lot of research on this artist Carl Rungian before you played him?
RH: Not really. I just took the script and the director and I talked about what he needed from me and I followed his hand. And that was enough. I did look at some books of paintings done by him but we didn’t have a lot of prep time. I saw a picture of him and I mentioned to somebody that it would be great if I could wear a coat similar to what he was wearing in that photo. They had the coat on the set the next day.
TS: Do you enjoy playing real life characters?
RH: Absolutely. It doesn’t get better than playing someone with a real history.
TS: Let’s talk about the scene near the end of the film where your character looks at the camera and recites a poem. I interviewed producers Allan Neuwirth and Margarethe Baillou and they said that you had written that poem.
RH: Yes, it was after I finished filming my scenes. I had been looking for a poem by an American Indian. I found a good one and tried to connect with the writer of this poem, but could never get a response from him. I decided to write a poem myself that expressed some of the same things. After I filmed, I went to the set to say goodbye to everyone, and I mentioned to the producers that I had written this poem. They asked if they could film me reciting it, so that’s what they did. It made sense being in the film and it was nice that it ended up in the final version.
TS: It does fit right in. Were you surprised that it ended up in the final film?
RH: Very surprised.
TS: Have you ever played a poet in a film?
RH: No, I’ve played artists before but never a poet. I do love poetry and now and then I like to write my own.
TS: Some of your dialogue in BLADE RUNNER is somewhat poetic. Did you write any of your own dialogue for that film?
RH: Just one line, but it’s the one line that so many remember.
TS: “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”. That’s yours isn’t it?
RH: Yes. I’m so glad that so many people are able to recite that.
Rutger Hauer in BLADE RUNNER
TS: Have you ever been to St. Louis before?
RH: No, I haven’t really been to the Midwest or southern part of the United States. I’ve never even been to Texas or New Orleans. There are so many places I would like to visit. St. Louis is still on my list.
TS: One of the other films that is playing at the St. Louis international film for festival is Paul Verhoeven’s new film ELLE Have you seen that?
RH: Oh wonderful. No, I have not seen that yet. I’m very curious and I’m dying to see it. I’ve heard good things about it.
TS: You collaborated with the director Paul Verhoeven on Dutch films several times early in your career but you haven’t worked with him since FLESH + BLOOD in 1986. Would you like to work with him again?
RH: Yes, we’re both trying to make that work. We both want to.
TS: What is the Dutch film industry like today?
RH: We have a fund that comes from the government that works for filmmakers trying to get their start. They are making some films there. I will say, even though I am Dutch, I don’t think they travel very well. Filmmakers struggle with the fact that if it’s not Dutch enough, they won’t get the money to make it. I’m fighting them on that, hoping that they will open up a bit. We need to go out into the world with our films.
TS: When you were growing up in the Netherlands, was it easy for you to see American films?
RH: Yes it was.
TS: Did you have some favorite American movie stars when you were young?
RH: Yes, I really admired Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas. I was a big fan of Marlon Brando. When I was very young, I was a big fan of Audie Murphy, who mostly did war movies. There were also a lot of French movies that played in the Netherlands at that time. It was nice. There was always a lot of movies for me to see growing up.
TS: You have directed a couple of short films. Have you ever had the desire to direct a feature yourself?
RH: Yes. We’re working on a script now that I hope to put in production and direct myself next year. It’s a good script. I think we’re really going to go somewhere with it.
TS: That sounds interesting. What genre will this film be?
RH: I’d call it a thriller. A psychological thriller.
TS: I’ve read that they are currently filming the sequel to BLADE RUNNER. Were you approached to be involved in that project?
RH: No I was not.
TS: Is that something you would like to have done?
RH: No. You have to be kind though. You really just can’t say yes or no to anything that you haven’t read. I don’t know what they’re going to do with this new BLADE RUNNER. I’m certainly curious, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t know what to think of it really.
TS: What’s next for Rutger Hauer?
RH: I Don’t know yet. I’ve got some projects in the works, but I’m not filming anything right now. Everything is still above ground.
TS: Very good. Well I really enjoyed your performance in DRAWING HOME, and I’ve enjoyed you in so many films over the decades. Good luck with all of your future projects.
RH: Thanks a lot. I’ve enjoyed talking to you