Q&AA: Ridley Scott, directing gladiator

Credit: Illustration by Simon Prades

It’s a warm, sunny morning in West Hollywood, and director Ridley Scott sits in the surprisingly quiet conference room of his film and production company, Scott Free, home to hit movies like “Gladiator” and TV series “The Good Wife” and “The Man in the High Castle.” Dressed unpretentiously in a black fleece vest and long-sleeve shirt, he’s surrounded by memories. On the walls hang blown-up scenes from “Alien”; a striking abstract blue-and-white painting by David Ashwell of him, his father, Francis, and his late brothers, fellow director and business partner Tony Scott and eldest sibling Frank; and the framed pages of Pauline Kael’s scathing 1982 New Yorker review of “Blade Runner”Scott’s reminder to hold steadfast, he says, no matter what the critics say.

Scott Free, which was launched in 1995, sits next door to RSA Films, Scott’s commercial production outfit now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Over the span of five decades, Scott’s work has included the continuation of his early iconic successes (“Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant,” which he directed, and “Blade Runner 2049,” which he executive produced), as well as such recent blockbusters as “The Martian.” Nearly 35 years ago, Scott revolutionized the advertising landscape with the stunning “1984” for Apple, which effectively turned the Super Bowl into a platform for mini-blockbuster entertainment.

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