One of the funniest stories to emerge from the set of Blade Runner 2049 is that during one of the movie's fight scenes, Harrison Ford accidentally punched Ryan Gosling square in the face. Both Ford and Gosling have spoken about the experience and tried to explain why it happened -- but if you were actually hoping to see that particular shot in the movie, I have some bad news. Speaking with director Denis Villeneuve this weekend, I learned that while the punch was recorded on film it couldn't be used because the incident resulted in Gosling bursting out laughing.
I think no -- and for obvious reasons, I'll tell you why. When it happened, Ryan immediately started to laugh. And Harrison was so embarrassed. You know, it's a thing. Harrison is very professional and very strong with stunts. He did a lot of his stunts; he's very precise, and has a lot of knowledge about that. It was just that we were doing a scene in a very dark environment, and Ryan misses his mark or something, I don't know what exactly happened.
The domestic press junket for Blade Runner 2049 was held (fittingly) in Los Angeles this past weekend, and it was at the end of my on-camera interview with Denis Villeneuve that I asked about the fabled punch. I specifically asked if the actual hit was featured in the final cut of the movie, but the filmmakers response painted a wonderful picture of Ryan Gosling cracking up and Harrison Ford reaching out apologetically. It's a fun image to conjure, and we can only hope that the actual footage is released on the film's Blu-ray.
Harrison Ford's guilt about actually driving his knuckles into Ryan Gosling's face is on record -- but it's honestly surprising that we don't hear more stories like this from film sets. It's true that actors go through a lot of training to prepare for action parts, and every precaution is taken to ensure everybody's safety, but even still you'd expect the odd contact to be made when choreographing a chaotic sequence where blows are being traded back and forth. All the same, it certainly sounds like Gosling took the whole thing in stride.
And not only did Ryan Gosling find himself laughing after being punched in the face on the Blade Runner 2049 set, he actually got some funny words of encouragement from his director after it happened. Denis Villeneuve told me that after the punch, he took his star aside and offered some words of encouragement:
We made a lot of jokes about that. And when it happened I felt bad because I was sad for both of them, you know? But at the same time I said secretly to Ryan, 'You know what? When you can see it from another point of view, it's an honor to be punched by Indiana Jones!'
You can watch Denis Villeneuve discuss the much ballyhooed punch by clicking play on the video below!
After years and years of waiting and building anticipating, Blade Runner 2049 is finally almost here. The new sci-fi blockbuster will be in wide release here in the United States starting on October 6th -- and you should be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the movie's filmmakers and stars!