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Ridley Scott Takes Aim at World Leaders’ Crisis Response: ‘Idiots and Despots’

The outspoken director isn't pleased with the government response to the current crisis, especially the "orange-headed fellow that’s running us."

Ridley Scott All the Money in the World premiere

Ridley Scott


Outspoken and perennially busy filmmaker Ridley Scott isn’t mincing words when it comes to the current global pandemic and attendant crisis gripping the world. In a new interview with Variety, the “Blade Runner” and “Alien” filmmaker sounds off on his feelings regarding the way politicians and world leaders are dealing with the crisis, and what he thinks should happen next. In short, he’s not pleased.

Asked his take on how the crisis is being handled by politicians, Scott cut to the quick. “Particularly with this orange-headed fellow that’s running us, he’s a nutcase, isn’t he?,” he said. “[New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo made a name for himself, he’s put himself on the map certainly.”

It’s not just American leaders, either. Scott told the outlet, “Looking at the globalization of the politicians that are running the world, half the time being run by idiots and the other time by despots, there are very few worthwhile ones, if you know what I mean. No one wants to go into politics. If anyone has half a brain they wouldn’t want to go into politics anyway, right?”

As for his own suggestions, Scott, who was just two years old when World War II broke out, pointed to the past for help. “I’m a war baby, so, in the war years, we had rationing,” he said. “People could not binge on food, we had ration books with coupons where you were at a limited amount that you could buy. They should do that now because people are buying so much food and then the food is rotting.”

He added, “In England as well, I mean, Jesus, Boris [Johnson], get out your thinking cap, ’cause what we’re now talking on is an iPhone, a perfect coupon distributor to limit what you can buy each time you go to the shops. And that way, you have order. You must have order and calm.” Hours after Scott’s interview went live, Johnson, the prime minister of Scott’s native U.K., was diagnosed with the virus.

As for Scott’s own response, the filmmaker is currently back in Los Angeles and self-isolating while waiting to get back to his latest project, “The Last Duel.” Production on the historical drama, starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, was paused this month and Scott hopes to be back to it soon.

He told Variety, “I finished in France after shooting for a month and decided it was sensible to close down for the time being. We’re a month in and it looked fantastic. The period is 1360, so we’re back to medieval France and it’s kind of interesting. Back about two weeks ago, we decided to hold it out because it’s silly to continue and wait for the inevitable to happen. We were set to go to Ireland in a week and it was a natural break, so I said, ‘Why don’t we stop here and we’ll return?'”

Read the rest of Scott’s interview over at Variety.

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