Todd L Ross
The world lost another movie icon in Dutch actor and environmentalist Rutger Hauer at the age of 75. Known for his chilling delivering of dialogue, Hauer came to prominence in Hollywood films with his nuanced take on now classic villains. Here are some of his most memorable performances.
Earle, Batman Begins.
Cold and calculating, Earle in Batman Begins is a subtle performance portraying the greed of corporate executives. After gaining control of Wayne Enterprises after Bruce went on his globe-trotting journey of self-discovery, Earle forces Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox out of the company with a sinister smirk on his face. Although he didn’t have much screen time, this character has stuck with us due to Hauer’s perfect portrayal.
Heymar Wulfgar Reinhardt, Nighthawks.
One of Hauer’s earliest Hollywood roles saw him playing the villain to leading macho man Sylvester Stallone’s Detective DeSilvia. His performance as a clever terrorist made him a formidable foe, barely escaping the protagonist several times before the showdown at the end, where the Detective finally one-ups Wulfgar by pretending to be his own wife at home.
Eric Vonk, Turkish Delight.
This 1973 Paul Verhoeven film is still the most successful Dutch film of all time, and propelled Rutger Hauer to international fame as sculptor Eric Vonk. According to the Netherlands Film Festival, approximately 3.5 million people saw the film, which was over 25% of the country’s population at the time.
The Hobo, Hobo with a Shotgun.
This cult black comedy film was spawned by a fictitious trailer that appeared before Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double feature Grindhouse. With a premise too ridiculous to take seriously, Hobo with a Shotgun doubles down on the silliness and dives head-first into an over-the-top vigilante story with plenty of gory gags.
Throughout the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Hauer became the face of Guinness beer, appearing in over a dozen ads for the Irish stout during their “Pure Genius” campaign. Some of the more memorable commercials include his “telepathy” ad where he expects viewers to read his mind, or the hilarious ad where he utters one simple phrase: “I’ve got nipples like bullets”.
Cardinal Roark, Sin City.
Appearing in the third chapter of the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s Sin City, Hauer plays a Catholic Cardinal who enabled the cannibalistic killer Kevin and arranged for the death of Marv’s girlfriend, Goldie. Although he’s killed by Marv, the latter is still blamed for all of the murders and receives the death penalty. Interestingly enough, Hauer was one of the last actors to be cast for Sin City, shooting his scenes months after Mickey Rourke completed his scenes as Marv. They only appear in one scene together, which was made possible with some post production magic and editing.
Roy Batty, Blade Runner.
Hauer found his most commercially successful role in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, playing the sympathetic Replicant Roy Batty. His quest to extend his lifespan makes him feel just like us, perfectly embodying the Tyrell Corporation’s motto of “More human than human.” The monologue Batty delivers in the climax of the film is one of the all time greatest in movie history, with Hauer improvising the now-iconic line, “All those moments will be lost in time...like tears in the rain.”