2. Harrison Ford
Of course, there’s no discussion of Blade Runner that would be complete without turning its focus to Harrison Ford. At the time of the movie’s 1982 release, Ford was in the midst of his formative role as Han Solo in Star Wars. All told, he was still an upcoming actor who was just gaining recognition.
Even back then, however, Ford’s laconic, even withdrawn acting style was in full force. It was a near-perfect match for the moody, dystopian world of Blade Runner.
Ford played Rick Deckard, the eponymous “blade runner” who must hunt down and eliminate the rogue replicants. Given the nascent humanity of the replicants, it’s hard to take any joy in gunning them down. Deckard certainly doesn’t, though he manages to half-heartedly do his job anyway.
Despite the depressive tone to Ford’s performance, he’s able to bring some measure of humanity to Deckard. You see, Deckard finds that he’s becoming romantically interested in Rachel, the apparent daughter of Eldon Tyrell. Later on, however, he learns that Rachel is actually another replicant with extra-advanced memories. Unlike the other replicants, who are horrifically aware of their impending doom, Rachel believes that she is fully human. Deckard can’t help but feel empathy for her.
A side note: try to avoid the theatrical version of Blade Runner. It’s marred by Deckard’s narration, which is obtrusive and frankly insulting to the viewer, given how much it explains. Plus, Ford’s delivery of the narration sounds more bored and annoyed than jaded and world-weary.