top of page
  • Benjamin May

Blond, Blue Eyes (2006) Review

In 2006, Dutch filmmaker Simone de Vries was granted access to one of the most beloved and versatile actors of his generation: Rutger Hauer. De Vries and her team followed Hauer from Los Angeles to his home in Friesland, capturing an intimate portrait of a most enigmatic star. From his early days as a television actor in Holland, to his breakthrough in Hollywood films and up to the present day, Hauer speaks candidly about every aspect of his life. Featuring behind-the-scenes looks at some of his most acclaimed films, as well as his properties; ‘Blond, Blue Eyes’ is a thoughtful and honest profile of one of cinema’s most charming and mysterious people.

There are many documentaries about actors out there. It’s sad but true that the majority of the great ones are done after the stars have passed away, as, when the subject is still alive, profiles tend towards the self-serving and underwhelming. The filmmakers are afraid to ask tough questions, while the star wants to protect their image and saleability, and is on guard throughout. This is not always the case, however, as it isn’t here. De Vries is not an irresolute interviewer, nor is Hauer afraid to bear his soul and speak truthfully about his life and work.

Hauer, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, tells us that he’s only been in a handful of great films, but has enjoyed all of them; being especially proud of his performance in Ermanno Olmi’s ‘The Legend of the Holy Drinker.’ At age sixty-two, he is as energetic and charismatic as ever, and shares an easy-going relationship with de Vries. For her part, de Vries is not afraid to challenge Hauer when she feels he is skimming over an interesting detail, though remains respectful throughout.

We learn of his life growing up in Holland, and the influence parents Arend and Teunke- actors themselves- had on him. Gradually, we understand not just where his passion for acting came from, but his sense of humour and love of adventure as well. Hauer, though at times philosophical, speaks simply and clearly; he does not have an ego-boosting motivation for participating in de Vries’ film. Instead, it seems as if he simply enjoys the fact that his fans will take great pleasure in knowing a little bit more about him.

For followers of his work, the sequences where Hauer takes de Vries into his garage-cum-storeroom and his home in Friesland will be most rewarding. In the former, Hauer treats viewers to behind-the-scenes videos documenting the creative process he goes through while preparing for roles, as well as exclusive looks at what goes on on set. A real stand out is footage of Hauer practising an American accent for a film he is not sure was made or not- a comical moment, made all the more so when he mocks the heavy-handed dialogue he was speaking in the scene.

An integral part of the film is Hauer’s relationship with his wife Ineke ten Kate, who shares the same sense of humour and appreciation of life as he. De Vries interviews them at their home in Friesland, and both come across as clever, charming eccentrics whose love for one another is as strong as iron. Moreover, through de Vries’ conversations with Hauer, one realizes that friendship and family mean a whole lot more to the man than fame or fortune; making one like him even more.

Insightful and illuminating, Simone de Vries’ portrait of Rutger Hauer ‘Blond, Blue Eyes’ is a must watch for his fans, or fans of film in general. Revealing Hauer to be an introspective, gentle man of wit and intelligence, de Vries’ film shows a different side of an actor most often associated with dark and mysterious personalities. Viewers learn about Hauer’s creative process, getting to know the real man, not the star; peering into a fascinating life full of adventure and excitement. Unlike tears in rain, ‘Blond, Blue Eyes’ will not easily be forgotten.


bottom of page