It's difficult to sum up Rutger's talents and skills in few lines, but once he stated, "I am an Aquarius, which means you carry the water from one person to the next, that's a spiritual thing and that's exactly what I do. You know, there are many different levels to the spirit. Films always tell one story, but below that story there is another story and I'm really into that and I try and work on a few different levels. The hardest thing is to get the level you don't see, that it's not on the surface. I hate acting when I see it. I don't want to feel it, I don't want to see it, I want to be taken away with the story. I don't want the actor's ego in front of me. That's why I try to live when I do the work. The tongue-in-cheek stuff is sort of my favourite but it doesn't come along that much. I didn't do a lot of comedy, and I think I could handle the romantic side, it's underdeveloped still. And it's also drama that I'm interested in, it's the craft that I'm interested in. What draws me basically is the story and the people who do it. When you're an actor, you're like a string and the music gets played on you. I have a gift that allows me to make people understand what I am feeling even if they can't put it in words. I have a very strange power within me, I can feel it. The rest I guess is luck and talent, and it's all in the hands of what's-its-name, I call it fate. It's not just work. It's the urge to, let's say, fulfill a certain black hole in you and you just have to follow up on it if you want to get it done. I think the only form of happiness is fulfillment - it's what everybody wants but people translate it in different ways. And there is a cosmic tide that we do not know how to handle. And there is also a psychic understanding that we don't know how to handle. Those are very strong and very present elements in the way we work. Whatever you do, there's always an element of projected fate. You know, it's like you're doing it and you are following it at the same time. I'm not going to travel if I don't feel I'm being pulled...".
Let's start this marvellous journey with him...
1944 - 1969
Rutger Oelsen Hauer was born on January 23, 1944 in Breukelen, a town a few miles south of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
The son of two actors, Arend and Teunke, who had a very open, modern mentality, and who also ran - and taught in - an acting school in Amsterdam (the city where he grew up), he was on stage for the very first time when he was only five years old, but his real acting career started in June 1955 in the role of Eurysakes in the Sophocles tragedy 'Ajax'.
His TV debut in front of a camera took place on December 12, 1956, with 'Asmodée' - this was his first contact with the camera eye, and that's when this long two-way attraction began.
A rebellious, wild boy, who found it difficult to accept the school discipline, often preferring to go to the park, the zoo or to just lounge about, (playing with matches, he once set a haystack on fire!) he ran away from home when he was 15 and got on a freighter of the Dutch Merchant Navy. His sea experience lasted almost a year and gave him the opportunity to see distant places such as Pakistan, Canada, Singapore, Saigon and the Persian Gulf. During these journeys, he became accustomed to different people and ways of thinking, to different languages and cultures, and this gave him the freedom of mind to enter the depths of his acting roles.He also discovered he was able to pick up a lot of languages - now he has mastered English, German, French, Italian and of course Dutch and Frisian!
Back home, he attended school at night and did small jobs during the day (scene decorator, car washer, carpenter, etc.) . His passion for cars and motorcycles started at this time, and the skills he learnt would later permit him to do the most dangerous car stunts in "The Hitcher" without a double.
In 1962 he began attending an acting school in Amsterdam, but soon dropped out to join the Army. He was almost immediately bored by the military lifestyle and so he had himself declared unfit for military service and dismissed. This was his first big acting role, and he played it extremely well, too!
He went back to the acting school, this time to stay, and for a short period he also worked in Basel (Switzerland) for the "Antroposofisch Centrum" as a stagehand, gardener and heating engineer. There he met his first wife and had a daughter, Aysha, now an actress, who gave him a grandson when he was in his early 40s.
After acting school, he started working with the Frisian "Noorder Compagnie" (1967-73) travelling throughout Holland to bring the art of the theater to small villages.
He was also director, costume designer and translator (he adapted 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck for the stage). Their repertoire was taken from authors like Vondel, Goldoni, Ionesco, Williams, Pinter, Shakespeare, Beckett, O'Neill, and so on.
In 1968 he met his life-long love Ineke, a very talented paintress and sculptress. They got married in 1985. His film debut took place in 1969 with 'Monsieur Hawarden' but his scenes were not included in the edited version. In the same year, he gained enormous popularity for the starring role in the black and white TV series 'Floris'.
This was the beginning of a long artistic collaboration with director Paul Verhoeven.
1970-1989 1990-1999 2000-2006 2007-2019