Is Ridley Scott the most candid and passionate interviewee in Hollywood? | By Stuart Heritage


At this moment, the success of Napoleon is irrelevant. It could receive praise or criticism from critics. It may flop at the box office, or it could revive the experience of watching movies in theaters. However, none of these factors truly matter. What does matter is that Napoleon is a film directed by Ridley Scott, which means that Ridley Scott will be making public appearances and this is the most significant aspect. Listening to Ridley Scott speak publicly about anything is always a delight.

Fortunately, it appears that Ridley Scott has become aware that while the majority of people are enamored with Napoleon, there are some who are not. In response, he has become slightly defensive. This is great news for all of us.

During a recent interview with BBC, Ridley Scott made a noteworthy statement about his film, Napoleon. He was made aware of negative reviews from French media, such as French GQ labeling it as “deeply clumsy” and “unintentionally funny”. In response, Scott boldly stated, “The French don’t even like themselves.”

However, Scott’s offensive remarks towards an entire nation do not seem to be the extent of his anger. In a recent interview with Jonathan Dean of the Sunday Times, he also directed his frustration towards historians who have criticized the accuracy of his film, Napoleon. He boldly questioned their credibility by asking if they were present during the events depicted in the film. He then advised them to refrain from commenting if they were not.

Next is the interview with the Evening Standard on Sunday, which deviated from the intended topic and delved into his thoughts on extraterrestrial visits to Earth. He expressed skepticism towards theories about how the pyramids were built and ended with a profanity. This aligns with his previous interview with Deadline, where he initially discussed the risks of artificial intelligence but ultimately bragged about his preparedness for an apocalyptic scenario. He stated that we are all in a dire situation and may have to resort to using candles and matches for survival.

The lengthy and weighty New Yorker article about Scott from earlier this month became more animated when he was given the opportunity to freely talk about whatever was on his mind, which happened to be baboons at the time. “Can you hang from that roof for two hours by your left leg?” he inquired of his interviewer. “No, but a baboon can.”

What I hope is clear from this is that Ridley Scott is the world’s greatest interviewee. A blistering mix of northern club comic, taxi driver and literal vehicular juggernaut, you never so much interview Scott as cling on for dear life while he just says whatever he wants. I spoke to him during the pandemic, about a TV show whose pilot he had directed. Ostensibly a three-way phoner with the show’s creator, it very quickly became The Ridley Scott Show. He was variously exasperated with his adult children, incredibly angry at the prospect that anyone might be sceptical about the existence of aliens (“The idea that we are it in this galaxy is fucking nonsense”) and describing a work ethic that would kill a man half his age. At one point he called me “dude”. I’ve never been so happy at work in my entire life.

Fortunately, there are additional interviews planned with Ridley Scott. After the release of Napoleon, he will begin filming Gladiator 2. In five months, he will also start production on a western. Additionally, he is set to direct an action movie about a fugitive assassin and several TV pilots. Each of these endeavors will require promotional efforts, giving Ridley Scott numerous chances to speak openly about his interests to multiple media platforms. Each interview is sure to be wild and undoubtedly fantastic.

At 81 years old, Martin Scorsese’s recent interviews have frequently revolved around the topic of death. In contrast, Ridley Scott, who is five years older, tends to fill his profiles with either harsh comments about the French or random facts about baboons. This contrast highlights Scott’s reputation as a hardworking individual. When asked about Scorsese’s existential concerns by the Times, Scott responded with his usual brusqueness, stating “Well, since he started Killers of the Flower Moon I’ve made four films.” Scott is not one to dwell on the past or worry about his legacy. What matters to him is his current and future projects. This could range from a big-budget historical film to a lively and bold conversation with an interviewer who can’t believe their luck. Luckily for us, death seems to be the least of Scott’s concerns. May this continue for a long time. Personally, I greatly admire him.


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