LOS ANGELES — Harrison Ford would start each scene with Ryan Gosling on the set of Blade Runner 2049 with an utterance befitting his famously gruff nature.
"It's a call to arms," Ford explains with a smile, spinning an inspirational narrative.
"It’s a rallying cry. Much like Russell (Crowe's) speech in Gladiator," Gosling agrees. "Or maybe like Braveheart. It just inspires."
"You've got to pump up for these things," says Ford, who proceeds to demonstrate. "It'd be like, 'I’m glad we had a chance to consider all this. I know now personally what I’m responsible for here. And now, let’s shoot this piece of (expletive).' "
After waiting more than three decades to return to his replicant hunter Rick Deckard from the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, the taciturn Ford, 75, didn't want to waste too much time talking.
But his role opposite the equally verbally understated Gosling, 36, who plays a new generation of replicant hunter as LAPD Officer K, is whipping up frenzied fan anticipation.
Stellar reviews have added to the din with breathless praise for director Denis Villeneuve's film (in theaters Oct. 6) built around the two stars. Offscreen, the duo's first collaboration has lead to the surprising revelation that Ford and Gosling can be downright garrulous.
"We just get along. We understand what we’re being asked to do in terms of storytelling," says Ford, adding that their natural rapport helps keep the movie cloaked in secrecy.
"We do this dog-and-pony show. Our job is largely keeping our mouths shut so we don’t spoil anything," he says. "This vaudeville act helps keep us from getting too deep."
Sitting next to a perpetually amused Gosling during an interview at the JW Marriott Hotel, Ford relishes segueing from questions about the arduous Budapest shoot to funny tales around the duo's brutal screen brawl.
Ford accidentally clocked his co-star (whom he frequently misrefers to as "Bryan" for comedic effect) while staging blows in the extended choreographed fight. Amends were made over whiskey in Gosling's dressing room.
"I brought a bottle," says Ford. "I tried to apologize."
"It was a glass," says Gosling, adding that Ford left with the open bottle.
"A wee tipple for medicinal reasons," Ford says. "I didn't want to soften his keen edge."
When Gosling shrugs, Ford adds, "Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Let me try one more time. Mr Gosling, I’m sorry."
Overwhelmingly deferential, Gosling fires some deadpan zingers back, such as when Ford waxes patrician about VIP seats at Dodger Stadium.
"Wow, get out of your bubble," Gosling chides. "Isn’t it cool when you park your jet and they have a hot dog waiting, or when you parachute right into the infield?"
A chagrined Ford laughs. But before their joint photo shoot, he earnestly attempts to sum up his relationship with Gosling, which he says is central to the message of Blade Runner 2049.
"What you’re seeing is the indomitable human spirit at play. You can feel it emotionally," says Ford. "That’s what we need facing the future. The opportunities to redress obstacles we have put in the way, I'm talking environmentally, culturally,"
He trails off. "But anyway ..."
"Come on," says Gosling, breaking the silence. "Let’s shoot this piece of (expletive)."