Rutger Hauer is a multi-talented actor, who throughout the past decades portrayed many different characters. Although he had often been casted as the villain, he always brought more to the table and was able to present versatile characters, that broke through the stereotypes that many actors fight with.

At the recent RXSM Film Expo in Austin TX, he won the award for Best Actor and he will come to the Victoria TX Indie Film Fest to present Il Futuro an Italian-Chilean independent film, which will screen on April 5th.

Boris Castro: Rutger, both of your parents had been actors, nevertheless you ran away from home as a teenager and tried to make it on your own, taking acting classes and first appearing on Dutch television. How important was it for you to learn the craft of acting at an early age?

Rutger Hauer: Well, in the first years I was trying to figure what acting was about. I was in a small theater group that traveled across the countryside. I liked it but in the back of my head, I did not think that I was such a great actor. Then I was luckily discovered for a TV series and through that I was casted for my first movie Turkish Delight, which was a great success in Europe and enabled me to work in movies from then on.

BC: How important was Paul Verhoeven at that stage of your career?

RH: I did five feature films with Paul and our last film together Flesh and Blood was his first international English movie. He was my mentor for the first 10 years and has been one of the most important person in my career. His influence was really strong, also because we both have started together and Soldier of Orange in 1977 really made it possible for me to work in America.

BC: After your first appearance in the US with Nighthawks came your performance of the Replicant Roy Batty in the epic Blade Runner. Were you aware at such an early stage, how important it would be for your later career?

 RH: I felt perfectly in sync with what I was doing, I felt so great at such a young start to get such a great feedback at a time when I was trying to find myself in film and being part of a unique piece, where I still get reactions from people even after 30 years. The feedback is so smart and warm and people really understand what I was doing as this character. And without the Internet, I would not be able to get that because the whole world is out there watching you.

BC: But this also put you under a lot of pressure.

RH: Well, I think it keeps you sane, when people say things and they hit a nerve and you know it’s true, it helps you. If you know it’s not true then you know its bullshit. The Internet connects me with my audience. I kind of understand who they are and see if they can get along with the weirder or unusual films that I do. I have always wanted to create a variety and let myself be challenged with many different projects. To me it is not a career, it is more an unknown road you are going, where you have to find the work that may make sense and exercise your talents and see what happens. When the audience takes it, it all depends. Sometimes they are with you like in Hobo with a Shotgun and sometimes like with Black Butterflies they are still looking for reason, but they right there with me and that is success.

BC: You are running a film academy to support young actors and filmmakers in Rotterdam. How important is the new era of digital filmmaking for you?

RH: The digital format makes everything so accessible. Now, it will show if you have the balls, the talent, a story to tell and your own identity. It is a whole new time. At the end it is not about the money anymore. Filmmaking is about talent and stories.

BC: You established an AIDS awareness organization and also support the Sea Shepherd activists. Please tell me about your personal engagements in these fields.

RH: Basically there are certain things that needed attention and that I felt I should do what I can to be apart of it. I am following Sea Shepherd and the Starfish Association. I do have a few things along my career to keep that visible because AIDS is by no way dead and just the recent news that one baby had something doesn’t mean it’s dead and that’s only one baby. There’s like millions of people with AIDS and they are very poor and they need a lot of help. The news is not news anymore and AIDS is bigger than war. It’s not in the western world that much, it’s more in the poor countries. I really need to do a few things than just work on my own stuff.

BC: Tell us a bit about your latest movie Il Futuro. You already worked in many different countries. How was it to work with an Italian production?

RH: The film was mostly shot in Chile. I have never worked there before and I was nicely surprised, how professional, intelligent, how great it was to work with them. The story was absolutely intriguing and beautiful and even more the screenplay was very interesting and I wanted to work with the director Alicia Scherson. There were like 10 different entities with this project, why I was very excited to make it work. I love novels and books and I always want to be as close as possible to the original story. Alicia Scherson adapted the screenplay of an original novel from a Chilean poet Roberto Bolaño, who died in 2003 and his sister was absolutely happy with the script. This gives me goosebumps. This is what we work for.

BC: Yes, that’s definitely what we all work for, so Dank je wel for the interview and we will see you next Thursday at Il Futuro at the Victoria Texas Indie Film Fest.

RH: Yeah, it’s a story that is so textured that you will not find anywhere else and it’s doing great at festivals like Sundance. It’s an important story. It does not point any fingers, it’s just about two kids that try to survive in a hostile environment. The young actors are great and it’s a European film, its not American, its subtitled. It needs to find a distribution, even if it’s a small one. It needs to be seen.

March 2013