- Blade Runner deviated from the source material by changing the appearance and style of the characters Rachael and Pris, who were identical in the book.
- The decision to have different actors play Rachael and Pris created a deliberate contrast between the two characters, with Rachael as a femme fatale and Pris as a punk.
- Casting one actress for both roles could have added depth to the narrative, creating a conflict for Deckard as he is forced to confront and potentially kill someone who looks exactly like the woman he has fallen for.
The casting team behind Blade Runner made a crucial choice with the roles of Rachael and Pris that completely changed those characters from the book. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a detective sent out into a futuristic Los Angeles to hunt down and neutralize a group of androids, known as “replicants,” who have successfully integrated themselves into human society. The film was adapted from Philip K. Dick’s seminal 1968 sci-fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but director Ridley Scott deviated from the source material in a couple of major ways.
Blade Runner faithfully adapts the themes of Dick’s novel, but changes a few of the specifics. The term “blade runner” doesn’t actually appear in the book; Deckard is simply referred to as a police officer. While the movie takes place in a heavily populated L.A., the book takes place in a desolate San Francisco. While the movie’s version of Deckard is a brooding bachelor, the book’s version of Deckard is stuck in an unhappy marriage. The casting team also made one significant change to the characters of Rachael and Pris.
Blade Runner’s Rachael & Pris Look Identical In The Book
In the book, Rachael and Pris are identical, because they were built from the same Nexus-6 model. In the movie, the two characters are not only played by totally different actors, but very different-looking actors presented in very different styles. Rachael is styled as a femme fatale while Pris dresses in a punk style. Rachael is played by brunette actor Sean Young and Pris is played by the taller blonde actor Daryl Hannah. The casting team and, subsequently, the makeup and costume team had no intention of adapting their identical likeness to the screen. They deliberately set the two characters apart with completely different appearances.
How Casting 1 Actress For Rachael & Pris Would Have Worked In Blade Runner
Casting Young to play both Rachael and Pris in Blade Runner might have confused some viewers at first, but it could’ve made for a stronger narrative. Since Deckard had already started falling for Rachael when he was confronted by Pris, it could’ve created an interesting conflict if Pris was identical to Rachael. Deckard is at his most compelling when he’s conflicted, and having to kill someone who looks exactly like the woman he’s falling for would’ve created a fascinating internal conflict.
Playing two separate roles in Blade Runner could’ve given Young a chance to show off her acting range, which may have led to a wider variety of future roles. After her turn in Blade Runner, Young was often relegated to playing love interests like Chani in David Lynch’s Dune and Lois Einhorn in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. She might have been given more opportunities to play different kinds of characters if she’d pulled off the impressive feat of playing two different characters in Blade Runner.