The sequel Blade Runner 2049 is hands down one of the most visually and emotionally mind-blowing cinematic experiences to come around in awhile.

As a follow up to the 1982 sci-fi classic, a beloved cult favorite from Ridley Scott that many filmmakers have revered as a study in cinematic genius, Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) quit the blade running biz to go off to parts unknown. Now a new blade runner, K (Ryan Gosling), is hunting down old replicants from Deckard’s time, and he stumbles upon an age-old mystery that leads him on an epic journey – and to meet Deckard himself.

At the recent press conference, the three main players – Gosling, Ford and director Denis Villeneuve – spoke about their love for the original, what they wanted to achieve with the sequel and more!

On memories from the original:

Harrison Ford: It was raining. I was tired but I was happy with the long-term result of the film. A lot has happened since then, and it was remarkable experience working with Ridley [Scott]… But it was a long time ago in a world far, far away.

On taking on something so big and iconic:

Ryan Gosling: Well, it sounded like Harrison had so much fun in the original. Great time, he had [smiles] It’s a very unique opportunity. When I first saw [the original] I was 12, I thought I was going to just watch a sci-fi movie. But what I experienced was something quite different. What’s interesting about the film is not just the experience of watching it but how it stays with you. I wasn’t asking myself at 12 what it means to be a human being, but sub-consciously, those seeds were planted. I realize how much influence it had in the culture I grew up in. Then to read the script… it was a love letter in many ways to the original. Respectively carrying out the themes and narratives of the original but at the same time introducing its own conceptual ideas that still was massive in scale, but at same time, intimate and personal and emotional. This is an experience unique to Blade Runner.

On working with Ford on the set for the first time:

Gosling: He arrived in a very cinematic way. We heard, “Harrison has landed.” Then, “Harrison was on his way to the set.” Then, “Harrison had arrived.” It was very darkly lit, you could only distinguish people by their silhouette. Suddenly, this very distinctive silhouette appears and steps into the light. And he looks at me and [off Ford’s deadpanned glance]… a lot like that. Like I was an 8-year-old kid who just broke his window, and then immediately put us at ease. He’s the best collaborator you could ever ask for, and he with him the experience and the intent of making something great. We all felt that, and we felt like we could really begin to do that.

On tackling a new version of Ridley Scott’s original “dream”:

Denis Villeneuve: What was different in this movie was to start with somebody else’s dream, at the beginning. I was playing with the ideas of Ridley Scott and Hampton Fancher. One of the toughest things for me, with this project, was to bring back Rick Deckard, Harrison’s character. To my great relief, right from the start, I felt that Harrison wanted to be a part of the creative process and to help me. I would not have been able to do it alone. I needed a collaboration and a dialogue. I think it’s a dialogue that evolved through time.

At the beginning, there was a long period of silence and uncertainty, in regard to how to be bringing this character back to life. What will his mental state be, when he’s been away from our eyes for 30 years? It’s a process. With all the actors, it’s always the same. I love to create with actors. I love to share. I don’t know if they agree, but that’s my goal. My goal is to share creativity with them, as much as possible. I think that’s what I tried to do with them, and specifically with Harrison. It was crucial, more than ever.

On returning to Deckhard and how much he’s thought of him over the years:

Ford: I’ve thought about it frequently because I’ve been reminded of how many filmmakers took inspiration from that film and how much it defined a certain kind of fatal storytelling (and) how strongly the effect of that film has been on our culture. And the prescience of how many things that were imagined might be part of the future. It’s had a huge influence on our culture and my life.

I was looking for an opportunity to extend the audience’s understanding of the character and to be part of the telling of the story. The whole of it had to be something that I really wanted to be involved in, and not just my part. I saw that potential. I also was anxious to work with the people involved – with Denis and with Ryan… How much of the story to tell and what story do you tell, in that space between the last time you saw Deckard and when you see him now? What condition do we find him in? I found it a real pleasure to work with Denis’ imagination and to have him respect the process, and we ended in a place that I hope serves the film well.

On how the visual impact of the film affects his characterization:

Ford: A picture is worth a thousand words, and when you get on a set where there’s been a lot of thought put into the visual aspects of that scene, you feel a sense of support and you know what you don’t have to do. You have to be there, of course, for the other characters and to service the story, but so much is done in a visual way. It certainly encourages your confidence.

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