Harrison Ford

Deckard Profile

"Ultimately it is the actor who has to perform the act and commit it to film. So, while a director's job is incredibly complicated and difficult, there are elements never resolved--how a prop should work, whether the character carries his gun here or carries it there. These may be simple little details, but they are only decided when somebody gets a strong attitude about things and begins to form a point of view. The character Deckard does finally, he begins to develop a point of view about the circumstances around him.

"We do some very complex technical things. The scene where Batty appears at Pris' apartment after I've been beaten up by her is an example. What Ridley wanted from Rutger Hauer's character was a demonstration of his prowess right at the beginning. If you think you've seen our hero suffer up to now, you ain't seen nothing yet. He really meets his match in this super-replicant. The first thing that Ridley wanted to demonstrate was his speed, so he devised a shot which involved me coming in the door of the apartment, searching for a place to hide and ambush him.

"The camera was over my shoulder and could register that my gun was coming up and pointing right at Rutger. Rutger comes into the shot, throwing a shadow that I see, but not close enough for me to get a shot at him. When he finally does come in I see him and fire. But he moves so quickly that he can't be caught. Ordinarily, that would be done by bringing the actor in, cutting, taking the actor out, and shooting at an empty space. That might convince you that he had been there when the shot was fired. Ridley did something more complex, much more difficult, and finally much more convincing. He brought Rutger in at one speed, changed the speed of the camera, and had him exit the frame at another speed, a much slower speed, which made it seem much faster, and it was.

"That's story telling. That's a very complicated event to get on film. If you sit down and analyze it, there are probably twenty contingent factors that all have to be right at the same time to make that scene work. Ridley demands that of himself and of everybody else. It's not an easy task, but that's what I like. I like to work hard and I like to work for somebody who is exacting and sure of himself.

"The film shows a very overcrowded future. Three quarters of the extras on the streets are Chinese. The audience may simply think a certain part of this film takes place in the Chinatown district and never question it. In fact, Ridley's argument at the time was that the Oriental population, with as much of a numerical advantage as they already have, would have even more weight of numbers forty years in the future.

"Ridley predicts a style of architecture that is 'retro-fitted' to cleanse the atmosphere and has a very disciplined vision. And that is an attractive part of the film. It's not as foreign as space, there are familiar elements to it.

"The haircut was my idea. Ridley had envisioned a big felt hat in his first visual concept of the charcater at a time prior to seeing RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. It was important to me not to wear the same hat in one movie after another. I didn't want to drag the baggage of one project to the next. You can't do that. So the hat was out. Ridley still wanted something to distinguish the character and I wanted something easy-care. So I got that haircut, figuring it would give the character definition, a certain look."

-Harrison Ford

Deckard climbing to roof

Deckard grasping for support during an encounter with a fearless replicant.

StoryBoard sketches

Sherman Labby's storyboard of the noodle bar shows the early version of Deckard's outfit, including the felt hat that was later dropped from Deckard's character.

Previous Page Blade Runner Next Page