At this moment, the outcome of Napoleon is inconsequential. It may receive praise or criticism from critics. Its success at the box office is uncertain, but it could potentially revive the joy of watching movies in theaters. However, none of this truly matters. What does matter is that Napoleon is a film directed by Ridley Scott, which means we get to hear him speak publicly once again. This is the most significant aspect because Ridley Scott’s public commentary is always a delight.
Fortunately, it appears that Ridley Scott is aware that while many individuals admire Napoleon, there are some who do not. This has caused him to become more protective of the project, which is great news for everyone involved.
During an interview with the BBC over the weekend, Ridley Scott made a noteworthy statement regarding his film Napoleon. When informed of negative French reviews, including one from French GQ that described it as “deeply clumsy” and “unintentionally funny,” Scott responded with the bold statement, “The French don’t even like themselves.”
However, Scott’s insults towards an entire country are not the only display of his anger. In a recent interview with Jonathan Dean of the Sunday Times, Scott also directed his fury towards historians who have questioned the accuracy of his film, Napoleon. He challenged the entire community of historians by asking if they were present during the events portrayed in his film, and if not, to refrain from making comments.
Next, there was a conversation with the Evening Standard on Sunday that deviated from the intended topic and delved into his thoughts on extraterrestrial life and the construction of the pyramids. Similarly, in his recent interview with Deadline, he initially expressed concerns about artificial intelligence, but ultimately boasted about his preparedness for an apocalyptic scenario.
The lengthy New Yorker article about Scott, published earlier this month, became more engaging when he was allowed to freely share his thoughts on whatever was on his mind at the time, which happened to be baboons. He challenged his interviewer, asking if they could hang from a roof for two hours using only their left leg, to which he replied that a baboon could.
What I want to make clear is that Ridley Scott is an exceptional interviewee. He is a dynamic combination of a northern club comedian, taxi driver, and unstoppable force, making it feel like you are just holding on for dear life while he speaks his mind. During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to speak with him about a TV show he directed. While it was meant to be a three-way phone conversation with the show’s creator, it quickly turned into The Ridley Scott Show. He expressed frustration with his adult children, intense anger towards those who doubt the existence of aliens (“The idea that we are the only ones in this galaxy is ridiculous”), and described a work ethic that would put someone half his age to shame. At one point, he even called me “dude”. It was the happiest I have ever been at work.
The exciting update is that there will be additional interviews featuring Ridley Scott. After the release of Napoleon, he will begin production on Gladiator 2. In five months, he will also start filming a western. He has also been scheduled to direct an action movie about a fugitive assassin, as well as several TV pilots. Each of these projects will need promotion, giving Ridley Scott plenty of chances to speak candidly to numerous media sources. Each interview will be wild and undoubtedly fantastic.
Martin Scorsese, who is 81 years old, has recently been the subject of interviews that focus on the theme of mortality. In contrast, Ridley Scott, who is five years older than Scorsese, tends to be featured in profiles that either make harsh comments about the French or share peculiar facts about baboons. This contrast in their attitudes reveals Scott’s reputation as a hard-working individual. When asked about Scorsese’s existentialism by the Times, Scott responded with his typical brusqueness, stating “Well, since he started Killers of the Flower Moon I’ve made four films.” Scott does not dwell on the past or care much for his legacy; instead, he is focused on what is next on his agenda. This could be a big-budget historical movie or a lively conversation with an interviewer who is amazed by his boldness. Luckily for all of us, death does not seem to be a pressing concern for Scott. Long may this attitude continue, as I am a huge fan.