Blade Runner Star Reveals Iconic Line Was Ad-Libbed

Blade Runner is arguably one of the definitive science-fiction stories of the past century, with its cinematic take on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? still resonating with fans today. Even as the franchise has now branched out into sequels, comics, and anime, there are still plenty of moments in the original film that continue to have an impact, including some significant lines of dialogue. According to a new interview with The AV Club, one of the film's most iconic lines was actually completely ad-libbed. Edward James Olmos, who played Gaff in both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, recently revealed that he actually wrote the line "It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?"

"I wrote that. It was really fun. I just couldn't believe when he left it in," Olmos revealed. "Yeah. It's a wonderful line. 'It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?' And 'You've done a man's job, sir.' I think that was one of the lines that they wrote. 'You've done a man's job.' And then I go walking away and I go, 'Too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?'"

"I knew that [Deckard] was a replicant. See, I'm the only one that did at that moment in time," Olmos continued. "The very last moment that Deckard's on-screen—they changed it when they got into editing, but they went back to the original. There are four or five different cuts, but if you go to [Ridley Scott's] final cut, at the end when Deckard's leaving his house and Rachel goes into the elevator, he looks down and sees the origami unicorn. He realizes [Gaff] was there. Because that origami is something that I made; it was my signature. So he picks it up, looks at it, and it's a unicorn, which was his dream. So he knows that I know his dreams at that moment. But no one ever pronounced it. And for many years, people said, 'No, Deckard was not a replicant.' People have argued about this so much over the years. And Ridley finally came out and he said, 'Yeah. Deckard was a replicant.' That's why Blade Runner 2049 was the awakening."

It's safe to say that Olmos' ad-lib definitely paid off, as the line not only delivers a wallop of emotion to viewers, but further conveys the dystopian themes of agency within the Blade Runner universe.


What do you think of Edward James Olmos ad-libbing his iconic Blade Runner line? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!