Rutger Hauer and his 'misbehaving German tongue' | The Blade Runner star on his new sitcom, Porters © UKTV

Rutger Hauer and his 'misbehaving German tongue'

The Blade Runner star on his new sitcom, Porters

Unlikely as it seems, Dutch-born Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer, 73 appears in Dave’s new hospital-set sitcom Porters. Here – in one of the most bizarre publicity Q&As ever – he speaks about his role in the show,. Just don’t try to make too much sense of it….

This is your first British comedy series, what drew you to a role like this? 

My job is hilarious mostly. In the characters I’m offered I tend to act wicked or wacky. Being a clown is my middle name. The writing on Porters got me. Silly, crazy, fast. I giggled and screamed while reading the [first scripts]. Then, Vadim Jean, the director, we Skyped! The rest followed. There was never any doubt I should do this. 

Were you nervous? 

Like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Teeth chattering! 

How do you rate British humour? 

It’s such a fine mix, ambiguous, understated or over-the-top but always with wit, which is in the British DNA. A ‘limited edition’ with pleasure guaranteed. 

Did any of the comedy get lost in translation? 

It is unavoidable when working in a different language, translated humour can go south. But we had such creative open minds, while working on this, that we gained more than we lost. 

How would you describe your character Tillman, a hospital porter? 

Tillman is the Mother Teresa of a goodhearted bunch of idiots and fools (with a few exceptions). Tillman is the one keeping score.

 The porters do all the shitty jobs that keep the hospital running, trying to help the sick, the whining, the sad and lonely. Tillman himself is of global calibre. He has seen big city streets and many golf courses. And he reads a wide range of books while also YouTubing the Dalai Lama! He’s an ex pro golfer with a misbehaving German tongue and rides a German motorcycle. Good karma motivates him and moves his ass! 

He seems like a bit of a father figure to fellow porter Frankie, what does he like about her? 

As Tillman has never stayed with any woman for a long time, he has no kids to worry about. He thinks Frankie is eine super girl who could be the daughter he always wished for, maybe. He likes her a lot.

 What does he think about Simon, the new arrival among the porters? 

Simon (suffers) from all kinds of phobias. If the phobia didn’t exist, he’d invent it. Simon walks on both water and egg shells, at the same time! He’s that kind of guy. 

He starts out as a not-into-golf oddball and really needs more lessons in life than three episodes can give him! He reorganises the hospital’s management system as an experiment, which does screw things up before everything getting better again. And he is a loveable, witty, dry kid too. Lots of great ideas, but he is very naïve about women. Particularly Lucy! 

In the show Frankie gets her hands on a winning lottery tIcket but Tillman doesn’t want her to cash it in, why? 

Why sell any shit to the devil if you can make a decent buck elsewhere? She’s cool, and faster than smart. She could kill a man if she did martial arts. It’s a close call. 

Do you believe in karma? 

The German guru in Tillman knows time will always tell you more if you understand the concept of patience. 

Karma makes him feel happy. I believe karma is wonderful along with other philosophies. 

Men keep inventing reasons for being. If being on Earth is good then Earth is my God. 

Did you learn anything from your co-stars? 

I was completely blown away by their ability to joke and speak and hit all their marks and still be flexible to last minute changes. Awesome! Great talent. 

My funny accent was a challenge but I am quite fluent in that so could rewrite the occasional line with a German twist. 

How does a show like this compare with working on a movie? 

Free falling and wondering if the parachute will open. 

Which do you prefer, TV or movies?

 TV gave me my first chance. It’s a great medium. Good material is what I look for. And I gamble on it. 

So many young actors aspire to make it in Hollywood, what do you think about Tinseltown? 

It’s full of amazing pixels and balloons and 20 million people working three jobs. I don’t think much of it. 

Do you think if you were starting your career now you would have the same success? 

Ha, Jeez, of course! 

What motivates you to keep working? 

It’s joy. I carry a hidden language that won’t show up on any page. People get me.This is an undercover game. It’s a blessing as much as the enormous energy that I receive in return. 

Would you like to come back and film more episodes of Porters? 

Shit, yeah! More coffee?

• Porters,  which also stars Edward Easton, Mathew Horne and Susan Wokoma,  starts its three-part series at 10pm on Wednesday September 20 on Dave. For a slightly more traditional Q&A, creator Dan Sefton talks about the show here.

Published: 4 Sep 2017

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