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* Directors often get

all the credit when it comes to great films, and great TV shows are often seen as ensemble pieces. But what about the actors who help elevate a flick to classic status, or the unsung stars who take a show to the next level? Each month, Pretty Great Performances looks at the actors who rescued a project from failure or added that extra layer of awesomeness.

Pretty Great Performances *

L

et’s start with the moment everyone

Rutger Hauer is much more than a quotable soliloquy as Blade Runner’s Roy Batty / by Joe gross

remembers, the scene most science fiction fans and a fair number of movie buffs can recite from memory. Roy Batty, a Nexus-6 replicant, perhaps the most perfect synthetic human ever produced, sits on a ledge of a building on Earth, a planet that all but the least-favored have long left. He is stripped to the waist, wet from the rain that seems near constant in this city. He has just saved—chosen to save—the life of his hunter, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a man who has sworn to kill him. Batty’s friends are dead, killed by Deckard. Batty himself is dying. He looks at Deckard with a mix of incredulity and exhaustion, as if he’s slightly appalled he has to tell this guy, this human, for God’s sake, What It’s All About. ¶ “I’ve… SEEN things you people wouldn’t believe,” Batty says, as if he can’t believe it himself. “Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.”

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Cut to Deckard, who looks like he has no idea what Batty is talking about. (Perhaps it is the expression of an actor who suddenly realizes nobody is going to remember he’s even in this scene, such is his co-star’s atavistic power.) Cut back to Batty, who seems to be looking almost inward. “All those... moments will be lost in time... like… tears... in rain.” He pauses. “Time... to die.” He smiles briefly, almost embarrassed by this display of emotion. But it is also a smile that says, “Now you know as best you can what I know and how I feel. That’s all I can do.” He lowers his head, releases the dove he was holding, and dies. Rutger Hauer didn’t win any awards for this performance, nor was he nominated. Though it grew in status over the decades and is now considered one

Dimple Records' In-Store Magazine, December 2010  
Dimple Records' In-Store Magazine, December 2010  

"Indie Rock with a Slice of Green." Cowbell Magazine features Cee Lo Green, Daft Punk, plus our lists of the top albums, games and dvds of t...