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“It’s really cool.”
That’s what Harrison Ford said about working on the new Blade Runner sequel with his co-star Ryan Gosling, 35 years after he starred in the original cult sci-fi film.
Gosling, Ford and Canadian director Denis Villeneuve were on a panel hosted by The Hollywood Reporter Monday to celebrate the launch of a new Blade Runner 2049 trailer.
Blade Runner 2049 is set 30 years after the original. Gosling plays Los Angeles police department Officer K, who is forced to team up with Rick Deckard, the original replicant hunter played by Ford.
The Q&A panel was a live-streamed event to drum up interest in the upcoming film but was also a chance to see how Ford and two of the most successful Canadians in Hollywood right now got along. Here’s a few things we learned.
The press panel began with the trio sitting in front of a small room of journalists.
They displayed an easy camaraderie, with Ford joking about Gosling not preparing his answers and then teasing Montreal’s Villeneuve that “English is not his first language.”
Ford said the film explores some of the ethical considerations technology presents us with.
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” Ford said. “We’re really talking about the benefits of technology and the social consequences.”
Director Denis Villeneuve said the sequel is “exploring the themes of memory and empathy that are the deeper tissue of what this movie is about.”
While talking about being on set for the first time, Gosling spoke about the surreal feeling of stepping into a science fiction world that had seeped into his consciousness.
“You were completely immersed in this universe, it was very impressive and overwhelming. I think the trick for me, was to not be impressed on camera.”
Conversely on returning to the world of Blade Runner, Ford displayed his knack for deadpan jokes: “The first time I walked on set, it was a big set, very sophisticated. It was raining, it made me feel welcome.”
“Ryan was working with a naked woman, that made me a little sad. But she was a holographic projection, which made me happy again.”
When asked about a special moment during the shooting of the film, Ford brought up one of his first scenes with Gosling.
“It was a scene about the history that transpired between the two characters and it was unexpectedly deep and really rich. It was the first scene we had together that was complex and sort of out there.”
The 74-year-old actor also praised Gosling’s emotional intelligence and said it was a pleasure to work with him because he never knew what he was going to get.
And he couldn’t resist another dig at the director: “I really enjoyed the way Denis managed the scene and especially the way he sucked up to me.”
The man responsible for bringing the futuristic world of Blade Runner back to life is Roger Deakins, a widely respected cinematographer known for his austere and artful compositions.
Villeneuve says Deakins went wild and the look will be more “impressionistic.”
The event ended with the premiere of the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer. It gives us our first view of fellow star Jared Leto as what appears to be the creator of a new line of sophisticated cyborgs.
The footage also hints at an upcoming war, possibly between real and artificial life. We also see Gosling and Ford’s characters meeting for the first time, a closer look at moment included in the original teaser trailer. The trailer ends with a character telling Gosling “you’re special.” Perhaps a nod to the ambiguity of Ford’s character.
The movie is set to be released in October.