HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Russell Crowe, Djimon Hounsou, Eli Roth, Kristen Wiig, Jerry Bruckheimer and Salma Hayek were among those who turned out on Hollywood Blvd. Thursday afternoon to celebrate the career of director Ridley Scott as the helmer of this year’s hit film “The Martian” received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Wiig kicked things off with her trademark humor. “We are all here to celebrate and honor your incredible body,” she quipped. “And of course we have to mention your museum of Believe It or Not, right down the street.”
Crowe, who has worked with Scott on five films and grown to become a close friend, said that next to working on a set with Scott, his favorite thing to do is tell stories of those collaborations. “We fought back the barbarian hordes deep in a forest…right next to Gatwick airport,” he joked. “We harvested grapes in the south of France together, we held a medieval castle to siege — we’ve done a lot of things.”
Over the course of a director’s career, Crowe went on, if he or she can produce just one iconic image that holds in people’s minds as soon as they hear the name, then that would be a career of significance. “You’re talking about a guy like Ridley. When you mention his name — the birth scene in ‘Alien,’ the streetscapes of ‘Blade Runner,’ Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon going over a cliff in a car — the images he’s created, the adventures he’s taken the audience on, have just been amazing… This honor, well, quite frankly, it’s just about time, isn’t it?”
Scott spoke briefly about coming to a motion picture career relatively late in life at the age of 40. Prior to that, he remembered walking the very sidewalk on which he was being honored, living in a guest house off Sunset and Vine, passing production of a favorite show, “77 Sunset Strip” with Edd Byrnes and Efrem Zimbalist, hearing Trini Lopez croon his hit “If I Had a Hammer” at the famed P.J.’s night club, watching John Glenn enter orbit on a TV behind the bar and just soaking up the Hollywood experience as a student on a travel scholarship. “The big question for me was how I would return to work here,” he said.
He made it back, of course, coming up in the art department realm and eventually debuting as a feature director with 1977’s “The Duellists.” With “The Martian,” you get the sense that the wave is coming into shore with a film that plays up all his strengths as a filmmaker, providing a moment for the industry to hold a toast — perhaps in the form of Oscar recognition.
In closing, Scott dedicated the honor to his late brother, director Tony Scott. “He was my buddy and my partner,” Scott said. “I know that he’s watching.”