Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars honoured British director Ridley Scott as he was handed the American Cinematique Award on Friday to mark an illustrious career spanning five decades.
The legendary director, who was behind Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, and numerous other milestones in cinematic history, is the 30th recipient of the lifetime achievement award.
Many of the stars of Scott’s movies turned out at the glitzy Beverly Hills gala, including Matt Damon, Ben Kingsley, Noomi Rapace and Sigourney Weaver.
“He’s the greatest — he’s an icon and he gives all these actors the best place to work in so you feel safe and protected but still like all possibilities are open,” Rapace, 36, said.
The Swedish actress, who starred in Scott’s 2012 sci-fi epic Prometheus and appears in its sequel Alien: Covenant next year, said her favourite Scott film was 1991 road movie Thelma and Louise.
Scott, who grew up in a military family in north-eastern England, is the older brother of Tony Scott, a hugely successful filmmaker in his own right who committed suicide in 2012.
Ridley’s body of work — 24 movies in total — may be small compared to some luminaries of filmmaking, but many are considered among the best films of their genre ever made.
Yet Scott has never won a best director Oscar, despite nominations for Black Hawk Down (2001), Gladiator (2000) and Thelma and Louise.
Each of those films was nominated at the Directors Guild of America Awards, while Scott finally won a trophy for his directing when American Gangster (2007) earned him a Golden Globe.
His most recent work, the critically acclaimed box office smash The Martian, starring Damon and Jessica Chastain, received two Golden Globes and seven Academy Award nominations.
“Ridley would say that he has always evolved, as we all do. But the essence of his work was already very clear, it was already very finely tuned,” said Andy Garcia, 60, who starred in Scott’s 1989 underworld crime thriller Black Rain.
Retired Italian soccer hero and Los Angeles resident Alessandro Del Piero, who scored 27 times for his country, described Scott as a “legend.”
“He made incredible movies through all of his career. That’s why I’m very curious to have the opportunity to meet him and feel the energy around him,” the 41-year-old said.
Sue Kroll, president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution at Warner Bros Pictures, was also honoured at Friday’s gala, receiving American Cinematheque’s Sid Grauman Award for her contribution to the film industry.
Bradley Cooper, the star of Warner’s The Hangover films, described Kroll as his “teacher” and “an artist, plain and simple.”
“What people maybe don’t realise is that the first element, the first part of the story we are trying to tell will come from her — the first image, the first moment, the first beat [are] curated by her and her team,” he said.