Ridley Scott at the Hero Complex Festival on Youtube, transcript

And this is the best transcription I can make from the Youtube clip which is only an eight minute segment of the total interview

Ridley Scott: Allowed to do by making movies  is to cheat like hell but try and keep it close to the.. I think the closer it is to the truth, the closer it is to the technological feasibility that becomes that more interesting and if it's a film like I'm going to do then it becomes that much more frightening.

Geoff Boucher:  When you say, uh, when you're talking about Alien, and some people criticise it for lack of characterisation but it's interesting to see that Sigourney Weaver. Sigourney Weaver by the way, everybody, what an amazing... 

(round of applause)

But she was voted by many many many fans to be the greatest female character in the history of science fiction, and I don't that surprises a single person in the theatre, um could you talk a little bit about her performance and also, I mean, because that movie was so lean, what do you think it is that came through that really connected with people?

Ridley Scott: Um, I met sigourney who hadn't done a movie when she was, um, beginning to get known off broadway, and erm, we were casting. everyone else and I had heard of everyone but her,  in fact I didn't have sigourney cast until almost three weeks before principal photography, because I tested here, the test I could have cut into the movie, I tested on the sets that were being built. So that would put me, I don't know, that would put me a month or five weeks out, so Laddie was going crazy saying "you've gotta make your mind up". I said "yeah, I can't you know, I can't find it yet." And I heard about this wo-… woman… girl. I just dug up some fil- photographs out of the archives I drew up which are spectacular, about this big of her as  a , like a bathing suit, bathing, you know. She looks twenty three twenty four. And em, i went to meet her in New York, and er she had a very good, bio on her capabilities as an actress., very very smart, and her dad was Pat Weaver, you know, her dad was Pat Weaver. The star of CBS. Is that right? Any body know that? Is it Pat Weaver?

Geoff Boucher:  I believe so

Ridley Scott: So, erm, I met her and erm immediately, just her sheer physique , necause she's , she came in her high heels, I mean, um, I'm a , I'm a, like not a midget, I’m a 5’8”, and Jesus Christ I was always looking up at her! And erm,  I walked into a restaurant with her and I felt like, she hold my hand, I felt like "Mummy, Daddy"

(audience roars of laughter)

Geoff Boucher: Did you like that?

(audience roars of laughter)

Ridley Scott: And erm, I said we're going to have to test, so she tested, and that was certainly a great test, you could have cut it into the movie, and um, it must have been hard for her, but because, the, there was so little dialogue, but the dialogue that existed was I think was pretty damned good, but it was austere, I call it austere, and er, it doesn't give you a long… a lot to get into, there's no five minute scenes, right, and the last thing for her will be… she will gradually earn the position during the drama that she was suddenly coming to the fore, because when you see her at the kitchen table at the beginning of the film, you think "she's going to be the first one to go" in a big gorey horrible mess, and gradually during it, she takes over from Yaphet Kotto, tells him to shut, shut the fuck up. I was yanking Yaphet Kotto saying "get her going, get her going". So Yaphet was pushing her and she lost it, which was great, so it's on film.
And er, I just kept silent, she kept going, it's great.

Ridley Scott:And erm, erm, the err, err, she's great intuition, and erm, great thinking, great elegance, and physically very very good, fantastic. So it was rare, it was a rare experience, Good

Geoff Boucher: Absolutely , and er, you know, there, the next film that we're showing, err, tonight, err, Blade Runner, err, the star of that film, the last time you and I spoke, you told me the story about when you talked to Harrison Ford about being in Blade Runner, he came to your door in London.

Ridley Scott:Ah yuh.

Geoff Boucher:  Could you tell folks… he came to the door, he wasn't dressed in street clothes was he?

Ridley Scott:  No

Geoff Boucher: What was he dressed in?

Ridley Scott:  I was "running"(?), we were casting and building, and I'd seen, I'd seen the , I'd heard that this film being made was called Indiana Jones, it was being made up at Elstree and London, and erm, errrrr, I'd said to my studio and my partners, I want to cast this guy called Harrison Ford, and err, somebody said , who's that, I said well, he's the guy who drives that funny circular vehicle in" em The Maltese Falcon. What was it called?

Geoff Boucher: The Millenium Falcon

(laughter)

Ridley Scott: Millenium Falcon. And err, and they said um, "Oh him, r-r-r-r-r-r, okay" and I said "Yeah", and erm they said 'why?", I said "because if Steven and George decided that this guy's the star in Indiana Jones, i think you want him to follow in this film because I think it sounds like it's a good idea

(laughter)

Ridley Scott: and um, so I met, I waited one night to meet with him, he said "i'm filming, I dunno, ah okay". And he turned up I think around eleven o'clock at night, and um,  but he came in straight from the set, so he still had on I think his khaki hat, leather jacket, unshaven, you know, boots, sat down, said "I'm really sorry I'm late, didn't I" and that was it, that's the first time I met him. He came with the Indiana Jones gear on (laughter) and erm, that was it, um. He found the script very interesting and er, erm, although the script read… I thought the script read really really 'cause it was, it was , it was full of, erm, when i say Prose,  description, as well as some pretty damned good dialogue

Geoff Boucher: I'm not I could pick a film ages better than Blade Runner, I mean it's, it's a little startling actually in fact, the film seems better today than any other time I've seen it

Ridley Scott:  See how right I was the first time, you guys were wrong

Geoff Boucher:  (laughs, points to Ridley amidst the crowds applause) He was right!

Geoff's voice continues to talk, unclear because of the clapping)

Geoff Boucher: ….. a sort of the ah, the, the friction that was because of of, between you and Harrison, but d'you think that that's been over stated… on the making of the film

Ridley Scott: yuh

Geoff Boucher: do you think that was overstated?

Ridley Scott: Yuh, yuh yuh, It's always overstated, I mean there's always skull and hair flying between Russell and I, and certainly,  I've worked with him five times, there's always like um, what it does, it keeps you "honest" (?), because if there's that tension, then everyone's paying attention, and um, the, I think, it was a very difficult thing world, to climb into, 'cause I knew exactly what I wanted, again because I had been a designer, and I, once again I was influenced by Moebius, and just peripherally. I don't know whether Moebius would recognise Blade Runner or not, but it was there and erm, so for me to describe what's happening all the time and why it's raining all the time, drove me nuts. So I got very bad tempered. and er, I said, well that it's raining because I want it to fucking rain , okay

(laughter)

Turn the fuckin’ taps up!’ I got fed up explaining myself, and erm, fortunately I got a very good cameraman who would be it, you know

(Round of applause)

And with him he would bring his first class unit, er, because I'm a camera operator. Because for instance on Alien, I operate on the whole thing and the Duellists and Legend, and erm,  if you're an operator, it's Really frustrating because it's like being a surgeon in a room on a heart operation and you can't touch the patient, so I'm standing there with, erm, Jordan and his guys and err,  it was, it got tense because I say I want this and that and, why, and I said because, I said, that's what i want okay, and, because that's the job, somebody, you know , film making is a team effort without any question, and usually the better you are, the better the team, I don't… I mean, people say you got an eye, you kidding, I got a great camera man
I'm gonna give him a jolly good time, or you're going to have a really hard time and enjoy it at the end of it
That's the deal, I'm like a coach, you know, so in the day of the movie, somebody has to be autonomous, likely preferably, and politically nicely, yes, someone has to say, you go that way, otherwise that's where you get to this place (raised left hand up high) what! When you get committees, that's when it gets right out of control, erm.

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